“The Miser” at Roscommon Arts Centre
The Lyric Theatre from Belfast presented its adaptation of the play The Miser by Moliere in the Roscommon Arts Centre on June 25th 2010. It is on a nationwide tour. So we, members of BARA, went along to see it.
Having had a delicious meal in the Abbey Hotel, we arrived at the Arts Centre for 8pm and had a delightful evening. The actors and actresses were superb and as for Andy Gray, the Scottish actor doing the Miser, he was just the best I have ever seen. It was such a pleasure to see him act out his part and even involve the audience as well. The costumes were beautifully designed and appropriate to 17th century France.
The miser is a rich moneylender called Harpingon, from whom his children long to escape. Harpingon has decided that his children are costing him too much money and must be married off. He has found an old man, who won’t demand a dowry, for his daughter Elise and a rich widow for his son Cléante. Unfortunately, Elise is already in love with Harpingon’s servant and his son is in love with the penniless Mariane, whom Harpingon has decided to take on as his own wife. He is convinced that his children are plotting to rob him. Then he finds to his horror that the fortune he buried in his garden has been stolen and that’s when the real fun starts......!
We all really enjoyed this comedy and would highly recommend it.
Our Dublin Outing
Our June outing took us to Kilmainham Gaol and Croke Park. We travelled by train on June 16th and had a most enjoyable trip.
Kilmainham Gaol was our first stop. It is a former prison, built in 1796 and is a witness to the turbulent years from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth.
It was the most infamous prison in Ireland. Here Ireland’s greatest rebels were imprisoned and many were executed. It was opened four years before the Act of Union abolished the Irish Parliament. Irish prisoners were imprisoned here, including Charles Stuart Parnell and Robert Emmet, also leaders of the 1916 Rising. After the Rising the leaders were condemned to death by firing squad in the prison yard. Our guide informed us that when Joseph Plunkett was condemned to death, he and his girlfriend Grace Gifford were married in the prison chapel, just hours before he was executed.
Eventhough this deserted prison was depressing, cold and dismal, it was worth visiting, in order to pay homage to those honourable patriots of the past.
Next our trip took us Croke Park Stadium and the headquarters of the GAA. Today Croke Park is one of the largest stadiums in Europe after a 12 year redevelopment programme.
After a delicious lunch, in the corporate suite, we were given a tour of the stadium. We were shown the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand and Hill 16, together with the player facilities. Some of our group even tried out the VIP area to really try to feel the atmosphere one experiences when Up for the Match.
We returned home on the 5.45 train to Ballinasloe, tired, but more than satisfied with our Dublin visit.
RONAN TYNAN IN CONCERT
Our trip on June 5th to the Town Hall Theatre Galway to attend Ronan Tynan in concert was a most enjoyable occasion. All thirty of us, of course, are admirers of Ronan and the amazing courageous life which he has led. He lost both legs in an accident but recovered to become a medical doctor, specialising in orthopaedic sports injuries. He then studied music in Trinity College and won the John McCormack Cup for tenor voice. He made his operatic debut as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly.
Ronan’s repertoire on the night included many well-known favourites such as Amazing Grace, Sing me an Irish Song, The Fields of Athenry, Danny Boy, Hallelujah, Red is the Rose, Grace, Ave Maria – to name but a few. Interspersed throughout the performance were witty anecdotes from Ronan about his experiences on stage. Kay Lynch, a wonderful soprano, was his guest artist and also sang a few duets with Ronan. Encores included a lovely jazz melody from the Deep South. Afterwards Ronan signed copies of his CDs.
On June 1st four members of the Ballinasloe Active Retirement attended a debate on “The Ignored Demographic: Older People in Ireland” at NUI Galway. Fintan O’Toole, Assistant Editor of the Irish Times chaired the meeting. The speakers were Áine Brady TD (Minister for State with responsibility for Older People), Dr. Shaun O’Keeffe (Consultant in Geriatric Medicine), Robin Webster (CEO, Age Action) and Maureen Kavanagh (CEO, Active Retirement Ireland). This debate was organised by the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament. Representing Ballinasloe Active Retirement were Jimmy Crehan, Bridie Loughman, Anne Killeen and Douglas Rafter.