Category Archives: Limerick

‘Drama – ‘Tis Personal’: A New Documentary

The new ‘Different Voices’ series of documentaries on Newstalk Fm radio got off to a very entertaining start this weekend. Drama, tis’ personal followed the ‘Anvil players’ group from Kilmallock Co. Limerick on the gruelling national amateur drama festival circuit. The candid and open documentary recorded the fortunes of the group as they took their production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ through rehearsal to opening night at Festivals in Kildare, Cavan and Cork with the hope of qualifying for the holy-grail destination of Athlone for the All-Ireland Amateur Drama competition. The All -reland festival in Athlone has been attracting the best of Irish national drama since the 1950’s and rightly has a reputation as being fiercely contested by all attending. The competitiveness behind the good-natured national drama festivals which lead to qualification for Athlone is legendary. Getting to Athlone is in itself a nerve-wracking battle. The passion of those involved in the Anvil Players, particularly the director John McGrath makes for terrific radio. The programme is as engaging as a work on the stage itself. Do have a listen:


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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Culture, Limerick, Theatre


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Round up of the week’s news and events, 15 Oct 2010

Yet another busy week and here is a round-up of some goings on at home and abroad that came across the desk of Staged Reaction in the past week.

  • Two major exhibitions and archive events are taking place in Limerick. Photographs taken by Franz Sebastian Haselbeck, which went on display at the Museum Hunt include pictures of Home Rule meetings, farmers’ demonstrations and meetings of volunteers leading up to the War of Independence.
    In another ceremony in Limerick yesterday, the diaries and photographs of Cecil Mercier, a former manager at Ranks Mills for over 40 years were presented to the Limerick City Archives. Limerick City Archivist, Jacqui Hayes, said it was an important addition to the city archives because Ranks Mills had such an impact on the economic and social development of Limerick.  Read more:


  • Corn Exchange Theatre Company are receiving sell out performances for their production of Freefall. Nothing new there you might rightly say. Well, these performances are in Mexico! Corn Exchange are taking part in the celebration of 200 years since Mexico’s independence and have set up residence in the city of Guanajuato. Reports so far from Corn Exchange say they are the first Irish company to perform in Mexico for forty years. Here is a video promo for Freefall.


  • This Saturday 16th October at 4pm the artist Gerard Mannix Flynn will give a talk about his work and practice at Dialogue Art Space, 43A Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ. Flynn’s talk will focus on the politics and culture of the ‘performance of inclusion’, a cause which he has championed through his art, his theatre and his work as a councillor. Always engaging and always powerful, Flynn commands his audience’s attention.


  • The Abbey Theatre will tour to New York early next year when Frank McGuinness’s John Gabriel Borkman will be staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 12 Jan – 6 Feb 2011. McGuinness’s version of the cautionary tale by Henrik Ibsen is proving a huge success as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival and is proving a huge point of interest for eager audiences at the Brooklyn Academy.


  • Next week is Research Week at NUI Galway. Numerous events are taking place to mark this new event to promote new digital research resources and research and archive collection held by the NUIG James Hardiman Library and Archives. ARAN and RIAN are programmes that allow access to research at NUI Galway and a single portal for national research containing resources from the seven Irish universities and DIT. A series of talks and seminars are planned to help you maximise your research across all disciplines.


  • Irish Museum of modern Art (IMMA) will launch a new exhibition marking the contribution and works of Irish modernist artists and explore the development of modernity in Ireland through the visual arts in the period 1900 to 1975. Professor Luke Gibbons will hold a lecture to mark this event next Tuesday 19th October at IMMA, Peripheral Visions: Rethinking Irish Modernism, which explores the transformations of visual culture in relation to Irish modernism and the Revival.


  • A letter to The Irish Times this week highlighted the plight of the former residents of the Bethany Houses who suffered in these homes and suffered in their lives outside the homes. Exempt, like the Magdalene’s, from the 2002 Redress Board, a new resurgent call for all complete archives and records of these institutions and people be made available to scrutiny and research.


  • Finally, a national broadcaster has recently used a song as a backing track on a programme advertisement. The 1970 track, The Revolution will not be Televised by Gill Scott Heron is an aptly timed use of a powerful call to a people to stand up and be heard. An anthem certainly for our time and certainly worth a listen.

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New Begining for Limerick’s Belltable


A much needed cultural boost is nearing completion in Limerick. The Belltable arts centre based on the city’s O’Connell Street is currently nearing the end of its 880,000 euro redevelopment.  With capital funding from the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture, the new departure in arts development in the mid-west is a timely boost to the region that has been dealt an overly severe hand in recent trading and social difficulties. 

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Kiely, along with Minister of State Peter Power and other public figures were yesterday among the privileged few to receive a personal tour of the new Belltable which is designed by the renowned John Keogan who also oversaw the redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Cllr Kiely said: “Limerick City Council are fully behind this project and will provide all the necessary resources and we have assured the board of the Belltable of this”. The Belltable was first opened as a multi-disciplinary arts centre in 1981 and acted as one of the only arts venues to tour work outside of Ireland at this time. Having last received a refurbishment in 1991, the Belltable has continued to serve as a venue to develop and produce theatre, visual arts, dance, music and film but was restricted in recent years by capacity and technical issues. 

It is particularly important taken by the Board of Directors, investors and city council that the site for the Belltable was chosen to remain on O’Connell Street and not on a green-field site outside of the immediate city centre. A drain of resources, trade and general atmosphere from the city centre of late has typified a population that has suffered more than most at the hands of economic instability. The Belltable will take pride of place on the city’s main thorough fare and provide cultural permanence and a venue the city and its people can be proud of. 

The success in recent years of events such as River Fest, Limerick Theatre-Hub, sporting achievements and other cultural initiatives highlight the passion in Limerick and the mid-west to support positives in the locality and also a drive to pull the region forward. 

Peter McNamara, chief executive of the Belltable, said they expect the work to be completed by November 2010. For all involved and for the many who are looking forward to this development, it can’t come quick enough.


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