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Galway Bay FM News Archives

All-male Propeller Theatre return with Shakespearian ‘soap operas’

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Date Published: 29-Jun-2011

A fascinating soap opera of a family bickering,” is how theatre director Edward Hall describes Richard III, which his company Propeller will be performing at this year’s Galway Arts Festival.

This is the second Galway visit by the all-male Propeller Company, which made its Arts Festival debut two years ago with The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“We had such an enjoyable time the last time,” he says, “it felt like people watching it received what we had done just for what it was, with no preconceptions.”

Propeller has a track record of pairing Shakespeare’s plays, performing a comedy and a tragedy in repertory, which they will be doing at the Arts Festival, when Richard III is staged alongside The Comedy of Errors.

“I started pairing plays a while ago, mostly out of artistic interest and also, doing two plays by the same writer means you get better at doing it,” says Edward.

This immersion in Shakespeare is fascinating process for both director and performers.

“It’s not the similarities but the differences you notice. That’s the extraordinary thing. With these two, you hardly think it’s the same writer,” he muses.

While Edward uses the word ‘bickering’ to describe the family strife in Richard III, the term barely begins to do justice to Richard’s antics.

Richard III was the last king of the House of York. He was killed in 1845 during the War of the Roses, leading to the reign of the Tudors.

A hunchback with a limp who was scorned for his deformities, he became king after a murderous campaign which saw him kill his brother, nephews and several other family members.

It is a play which delves deep into English history, but says Edward Hall, it’d be a mistake to think that English people are more knowledgeable about the story than audiences from anywhere else. In any case, you don’t need the back story.

“All you need to know is that he is a bad guy and if the audience don’t know that, they soon will.”

People will also “recognise the politics, the greed, the ironies and you are horrified at the violence and the almost charmingly awful way Richard orchestrates it all”.

But while Richard is a baddie, it’s not all black and white.

“In the last part of the play, he dies like a warrior and there’s a curious heroism about the last part of the play for me,” says the director, adding that it’s not for nothing that some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse”, are from that heroic moment.

Edward points out that Shakespeare was writing this play under the reign of the Tudor queen, Elizabeth I and so, he had to portray Richard III as a villain.

“But he gave him a hump and a limp and had him murder everybody, and then had him die a hero, so . . . ,” he reasons that Shakespeare didn’t really see it as a black and white story either.

Propeller premiered this double bill in January in Sheffield, when the highly visual productions, complete with music and masks, were lauded. The Daily Telegraph described Richard III as ‘a tour de force’ praising its “OTT relish for bloody gore” and its “intelligent, witty” interpretation. But it didn’t come easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway has country’s largest population of young people

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Galway has a population of young people which is more than twice the national average.

According to information gathered by the Central Statistics Office, Galway’s population of 20 to 24 year olds is more than twice the national average.

The number of 25-34 year olds in Galway is also more than the norm nationally, with the two main colleges thought to be the main reason.

However immigration in Galway is much higher than in other areas at 19.4 percent, compared to the national average of 12 percent.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call for direct donations to city charity shops

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

A city councillor is encouraging people to donate goods directly to charity shops.

It follows allegations of thefts from clothes banks in Galway and across the country in recent months.

However, cameras are in place at some clothes banks and surveillance is carried out by local authorities.

Speaking on Galway Talks, Councillor Neil McNeilis said the problem of theft from clothes banks is widespread.

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.

That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.

The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.

Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.

Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.

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