East Wall Celebrates Sean O’Casey

This wonderful video by Near TV Productions is a record by the people of the East Wall of the celebrations they arranged to commemorated the 50th year of Sean O’Casey’s death on September the 18th 2014.

It is a fascinating piece that brings to life the time that Sean lived and worked in the area. The people of the Sean O’Casey Community Centre give readings from the autobiographies and act out scenes from the plays and autobiographies; well chosen and well acted.

It is very moving indeed to see. Thanks to Mairéad Ní Choísóig, all the people of the Sean O’Casey Community Centre and the East Wall for remembering Sean’s anniversary and filling it with life.

Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks Includes The Plough and the Stars

Sackville Street (Dublin) after the 1916 Easter Rising
Sackville (now O’Connell) Street, Dublin, after the 1916 Easter Rising
The Irish Times is running a series of articles looking at modern Ireland through artworks in various media. The Plough and the Stars has been included with an article by Fintan O’Toole looking at the context of the play and its impact.

It was not unreasonable to expect that the Abbey would mark the [tenth] anniversary [of the Easter Rising] respectfully. Instead it presented Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, which presented the Rising through the experiences of those who suffered most in Easter Week: the Dublin slum dwellers unwillingly thrust on to the frontline. And it suggested that, for them, the great event had brought nothing but deeper misery.

The article looks at how W.B. Yates defended the play and importance of the ability to accept failings and ambiguities as a mark of a mature nation.

The series of articles looks at many different artworks and their impact on Ireland and the wider world.

Rod Taylor, Australian Actor and Young Cassidy, 1930 – 2015

Rod Taylor, died at home inRod Taylor - 1967 Los Angeles on January 7th at the age of 84. A strong leading man, he played many notable roles through his career including Johnny in the Sean O’Casey biopic Young Cassidy in 1965.

He played alongside many other great actors in notable films such as GiantOne Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Birds and Zabriskie Point.

Announcing his death Rod’s daughter Felicia Taylor said in a statement:

“My dad loved his work. Being an actor was his passion – calling it an honorable art and something he couldn’t live without.”

Further obituaries and articles,

 

Professor N. Dharmarajan, Translating Ideas Across Cultures

Prof. N. Dharmarajan
Prof. N. Dharmarajan. Photo: R. Ashok

Professor N. Dharmarajan has worked for 56 years translating over 170 works from various languages into Tamil. In an article in The Hindu we have learned that his very first work of translation was Sean O’ Casey’s The Worker Blows the Bugle appearing as Uzhaippaliyin Sanganatham in Janasakthi in 1958.

Professor Dharmarajan’s work includes translating many works into Tamil including all the works of Tolstoy (excluding War and Peace).  The work of a translator in bridging works and ideas across cultures is not an easy one and Professor Dharmarajan is responsible with introducing several new coinages into Tamil.

We are very proud indeed that Professor Dharmarajan’s wonderful journey began with a step hand in hand with Sean.

Gabrielle Reidy, Irish Actor, 1960 – 2014

Gabrielle Reidy as Bessie Burgess
Gabrielle Reidy as Bessie Burgess in the Abbey Theatre’s production of The Plough and the Stars by Sean O’Casey. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

It is deeply saddening to learn that Gabrielle Reidy has died. Her career was bookended by roles in plays by Sean O’Casey at the Abbey Theatre. Starting as a child actor in The Shadow of a Gunman in 1971 and with her last role her acclaimed performance as Bessie Burgess in The Plough and the Stars 2012.

In the intervening years she graced many productions on stage, television and film. More information is contained in her obituaries in The Guardian and The Irish Times.

Condolences to her family and friends.

Sean O’Casey Features in the Abbey Theatre’s 110 Moments

To celebrate its 110th anniversary the Abbey Theatre has produced a pictorial timeline of 110 important moments in its history from Éamon de Valera’s performance in A Christmas Hamper in 1905 to their writers salons nurturing the next generation of irish playwrights. Sean O’Casey features in two of these first as a listing in the submission logbook for Plough and the Stars and then in a stark image of the Abbey damaged terribly by fire in 1951 during a production of that same play. Remarkably the cast and crew managed to perform the play at the Peacock the next night.

Juno and the Paycock at the Playhouse Liverpool

The acclaimed production of Juno and the Paycock staring Niamh Cusack and Des McAleer is currently on at the Playhouse in Liverpool after a run at the Bristol Old Vic.

Juno and the Paycock at the Playhouse Liverpool
Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the Playhouse Liverpool staring Niamh Cusack and Des McAleer

Directed by Gemma Bodinetz this production has won glowing reviews.

  • “it is a joyful and moving night out”
    The Daily Mail
  • “This powerful production with Niamh Cusack is a stark portrait of a divided house and country”
    The Guardian
  • “Gemma Bodinetz’s superlative revival”
    The Telegraph
  • “two splendid leads”
    The Independent
  • “A fine revival of O’Casey’s masterpiece”
    The Stage

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