Going out with Magill - May 1978
Film, Theatre, The Liberties Festival, and the Censorship Seminar
THEATRE - YOU never can tell
Abbey Theatre, Lr. Abbey Street, Dublin 1 744505 Running until 13th May G.B. Shaw's witty comedy You Never Can Tell featuring Cyril Cusack, Maura O'Neill and Clive Geraghty. Direction by Patrick Mason, design Wendy Shea. To be followed by Hugh Leonard's Stephen D on l Sth May. A play about exile. Adapted by Hugh Leonard from Joyce's major autobiographical works "Stephen Hero" and "A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man", the play is set in Ireland at the end of the 19th century and traces Stephen's development from childhood through his inevitable exile from his homeland. It reflects a world where family loyalties, patriotism and religion are bonds which must be broken to allow the artist to stand alone. In his adaptation of the works, Leonard has managed to combine complete faithfulness to the original with an extremely effective theatrical presentation. This production is the first time it has been seen at the Abbey Theatre and marks the first production by the Company's new Artistic Director Joe Dowling. Setting will be by Bronwen Casson.
The Project Theatre Co. is presenting its own production of Lee Gallaher's "The Other Side of Lilliput", at the Project Theatre until May 13.
"The Other Side of Lilliput" deals with one man's memory 'of two traumatic events in his adolescent development. It is set in his past, when he first experiennced sexual awakening in the shape of the buxom Peggy, a fantasy like figure who he confronts in his inhibitions and also his youthful desires. His encounters with Peggy are counterposed to his relaationship with the Admiral, an old sailor who lives in his past memories.
The play is a dreamlike story that touches on experiences common to us all.
"The Other Side of Lilliput" is directed by Jim Sheridan, who also directed the highly successful "The Risen People" at the Project earlier this year. It is desiggned by Gemma Jackson, Project's resident designer who previously designned "MaratjSade" and "Famine" at the Project.
The cast includes Gerard Flynn, Paul Bennett, John Olohan, John Franklyn, Felicity Stewert and Annie Kilmartin.
Eblana Theatre, Busaras, Store St., DUb. 1. 746707 24th April - William Shakeespeare's Macbeth. A Stage One Producction transferred from the Project after a very successful run. The play is treated as an experimental production and will attempt to bridge the gap between classical drama and the realities of moddern power politics. Seats £1 and £1.50,.
FILMS - Semi-Tough
Satirising American insistence on winning has taken Michael Ritchie from serious beginnings towards the more overt, though still off-beat, comedy of Smile and Bad News Bears. Semi-Tough adapted froin Dan Jenkins' novel about pro-football, is Ritchie's most comic and least successful film. Walter Bernstein's script wastes the football setting in favour of the romance of best buddies (Reynolds and Kristofferson as elderly jocks) competing for the boss's daughter (Jill Clayburgh ), and broad swipes at American 'conscioussness' and therapy movements.
Narrative and pacing have never been Ritchie's strongest points and here, by diving into the middle of each scene, he denies the film its own comic momentum and sense of space. Meanwhile Kristofferson and Reynolds inndulge in directionless more-laid-back-than-thou performances, infinitely more cutsey than the kids in Bad News Bears. Previously Ritchie's characcters have been viewed askance. Here the gradual endorsement of Reynolds' good 01' fashioned values reveal Semi-Tough as a more than semi-soft-hearted'30s style romantic comedy, but lacking style or chemistry.
Also showing ...
Another Man, Another Woman - Claude Lelouch applies his glossy soft focus A Man and a Woman therapy to a Wild West romance. Ritual violence takes a welcome second place to patient passsion, with Genevieve Bujold beguiling, but tough guy James Caan somewhat at a loss in all the meaningful French atmosphere. .
Arabian Nights - Pasolini founds off ambitious 'Trilogy of LIfe' with defiantly subjective account of a pretty young man's initiation to sex in its most simple and its most commplex forms. More beautiful than Decameron and Canterbury Tales, with spectacular locations in Iran, Eritrea and Nepal, but lacking the bawdy humour that gave these bawdy mediaeval epics an eerie contemporary relevance.
The Duelists - a low-budget Barry Lynden, but almost as hypnotically beautiful, with Harvey Keital and Keith Canadine performing prolonged danse macabre as two officers in Napoleonic Wars condemned by absurd code of honour to duel to the death. Impresssive debut by Englishman Ridley Scott.
The Goodby Girl - That's what nervy Marsha Mason is to a succession of men in her life until she finds herself sharring an apartment with method actor, Richard Dreyfus, hoping to make Broad way as a gay 'Richard III ("the queen who wanted to be king"). Missunderstandings keep getting in the way of true love in Neil Simon's witty but compassionate script.
Censorship Seminar - May 6th - 7th, 1978
A seminar on censorship in Ireland will be held in the Projects Arts Centre on May 6th - 7th. This will be the third annual 1216 commemoration seminar, organised by the 1916 committee. The members of the committee are drawn mainly from the arts, education, and the media. The first 1916 seminar' was orrganised in 1976 when it became clear that the then Coalition Government intended to mark the 60th anniversary of the Rising with the minimum of cereemony and the maximum denigration of its leaders.
The forthcoming censorship seminar will deal with censorship as it affects the media, publications, Government bodies, political freedom of expression, censorship of films and the Women's movement. Speakers will include Patrick Kinsella and Brian Trench (NUJ), Mary Matthews (Law Lecturer UCD), Ciaran Car thy (Film Critic, Sunday Indepenndent), Romira Worville, Anthony Cronin and others.
The Project Cinema will be showing Joseph Strick's film Ulysses, which is still banned from commercial release in Ireland, and the Berwick Street Collecctive's film Ireland Behind The Wire, which, when it was shown on RTE, ennraged the then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, -Conor Cruise O'Brien, who said it contravened section 31 of the Broadcasting Act. Another film banned in Britain in the '30s called Free Thaelmann dealt with the imprisonment of the German Communist Party Leader by the Nazis and was part of an interrnational campaign to have him released, will also be shown.
Both Ireland Behind The Wire and Free Thaelmann can be seen on Sunday, May 7th.
The Liberties Festival
THE LIBERTIES encapsulates almost the essence of Dublin, being almost a village in its sense of identity, pride and history.
The Liberties Festival from May 12 to 21 is a celebration of all these attriibutes, primarily by the local people themselves.
If the PRO of the Festival, Larry Dillon, is typical, there is a fierce bitterrness in the area by the attempt of outtsiders to commandeer the heritage of the Liberties. He and others associated with the Festival fought hard to preeserve the architectural and archaeologiical treasures of the area, to find now their efforts rewarded by exclusion and disdain.
Larry fought hard for the preserrvation of St. Catherine's Church in Thomas St. when it was threatened by Dublin Corporation in the early sevennties with demolition. The Church dates back to the 12th century when it was built by Saint Thomas a Beckett monks
and dedicated to St. Catherine, the patron saint of successful voyages. In 1765 this medieval church was dernoliished to make way for John Smith's present building which was finished in 1769. The roadway in front of the church is the site of the execution of Robert Emmet. The hall is now used for concerts and exhibitions.
A request to the management commmittee of the church for two reserrvations has been turned down because "St. Catherine's is now fully carpeted and is particularly vulnera ble", accordding to a letter signed by the secretary of the committee, Ms. Anne Griffin.
The outrage occasioned by this is matched by the indignation over the use of another historic building in the area, Taylors' Hall, as a pub in recent times. The home of Wolfe Tone's Black Lane Parliament was handed over to the Georgian Society by Dublin Corporaation a few years ago and they in turn leased it to the catering section of Aer Lingus. After they had lost a tiny forrtune on the place the hall was handed over to two brothers who now run the place more or less as a pub. Meanwhile there is an acute lack of social and recreational amenities in the area.
The festival includes lectures, walkking tours, exhibitions, concerts and a play. The most noteworthy of the concerts is one by The Chieftains on May 12 in St. Nicholas and St. Luke Without, and another by the New Irish Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, May 20 at the same venue and at which the soloist will be the 10 year old child prodigy, Daire Fitzgerald.
The play which won the Liberties Festival Prize in 1976. "The Battering Ram", by James McKenna, will be staged in the Project from Tuesday, May 16. The play is situated in the Liberrties and is an angry assault on the commbined church, state capitalist establishments in Ireland.