Tuesday 23 February 2016

Theatre Review: The Book of Condolences by Kieron Connolly (directed by Vincent Smith)

"It's strange the dreams you have when you're insane," declares one of the characters of the stage production, The Book of Condolences, which has just had its opening night at the Teachers' Club on Dublin's Parnell Square. That may be about as close as you will ever get to discerning an underlying 'message' or 'meaning' contained in Kieron Connolly's debut play, directed by Vincent Smith and ably supported by solid performances from all of the cast members.

Those familiar with Connolly's work (three published novels to date - There is a House, Water Sign and Harold) will know what to expect but even the cerebrally-challenging nature of the storyline and the subject (if there is one!) will be impressed by the way that it is skilfully handled and put across on stage.

A disparate group of friends (if they can be called such) meet at a funeral parlour for reasons not entirely clear. It would seem that they have come to pay their condolences except that the coffin is empty - there is no body, or maybe there is just nobody, there. In spite of the complicated plot and structure, with an obvious nod to the comedic stylings of Beckett and Waiting for Godot, by the end, the story has resolved itself into a fairly straightforward parable about learning to let go.

The Book of Condolences is performed by Monaincha Theatre and runs until Saturday, 27 February. The venue is the Teacher's Club on Dublin's Parnell Square and tickets can be bought online.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Book Launch: Melodies at Eventide by Rex Lee. A Memoir about Overcoming Disability

Melodies at Eventide by Rex Lee. Memoir.
In the days before scientific advances and the accompanying rise of modern conveniences made life easier, people born with severely limiting disabilities relied very much upon compassion, understanding and networks of support in order to make their way in the world. A soon to be published volume of memoirs, Melodies at Eventide by Rex Lee, is a personal account of somebody who overcame disability, never allowing it to limit his outlook or narrow his horizons.
Out of desperation was born the motivation to embrace the philosophy of physical and mental compensation: by finding a faculty for the one he lost or never had. Rex is living proof that this can overcome most obstacles to leading a normal and independent life. It has in his own words been 'a privileged existence'. - friend and colleague, Peter McKevitt (from the Foreword to this edition)
Rex's story is also the story of Ireland as a country striving to assert itself on the world stage, overcoming barriers and obstacles that history had put in the way. His account spans much of period following Independence. Through his own involvement and activism (including work with organisations such as Macra na Feirme and the Irish Farmers' Association) he both witnessed and played a part in the making and shaping of the Irish society that has been handed down to us today.

The book will be formally launched by Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos Ireland, on Tuesday, 9 February at Kells Public Library (corner of Maudlin Street and Carrick Street in Kells, Co. Meath). The evening commences at 7pm. Light refreshments will be available and signed copies of Rex's memoir will be on sale.

Melodies at Eventide by Rex Lee is published by The Manuscript Publisher (ISBN: 978-0-9576729-7-0) and is available to buy online. RRP €12.99 plus P&P. An e-book edition is to follow soon.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Penzance Literary Festival 2016

Penzance Literary Festival 2016 takes place from 6-9 July. Submissions are now being accepted on the 'very flexible' theme of Going Underground.
West Penwith has a history as a mining community and that is what inspired us, but what goes underground is so much more: music, espionage, counter culture, earthworms, moles and hobbits…

Guidelines are available to view online and to download. The final date for submissions is 19 February. Further information is available from the festival website and Facebook page.

Monday 1 February 2016

Bradford Festival of Literature 2016

The 2016 Bradford Literature Festival takes place from 20-29 May. The festival programme will be formally launched in March.
Bradford Literature Festival offers a distinct, diverse and dynamic blend of programming. As well as celebrating the spoken and written word in its broadest sense, the festival celebrates the UK’s literary, historical, cultural and faith heritage. The range of events aim to provide a literary offer in the heart of Bradford, reflecting the cultural sensibilities of the city’s diverse demographic; thereby acting as a bridge between different communities as well as a neutral space for dialogue.
You can keep up-to-date with the latest festival news by following online. The festival website includes information about Bradford's history and heritage, maps of the area including festival venues.

Search This Site

Popular Posts

Calendar – Dates for Your Diary