Friday, September 16, 2011

Culture Night 2011 at NUIG Archives and Special Collections

For Culture Night 2011, the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway will be opening up and exploring their unique literary, theatre and landed estates archives. 

To mark the first involvement of NUI Galway Archives and Special Collections in Culture Night we are delighted to put on a programme of events that will share these wonderful archival collections. 
At 7pm Special Collections Librarians Marie Boran and Brigid Clesham will talk about their new project, the Irish Landed Estates Database, an incredible resource for those interested in tracing their family history or looking at the history of the landed estates of Ireland. 

At 8pm, Fergus Fahey, Institutional Repository and Digitisation Librarian, will discuss the personal archive of writer John McGahern. Having catalogued the McGahern Archive, Fahey will deliver a detailed and insightful overview of this wonderful collection of hand-written novels, drafts, stories and correspondence, created over a lifetime’s work by one of Ireland’s most celebrated and intriguing writers.

The evening will be topped off at 9pm by screenings from the award-winning DruidSynge series. Described by The Irish Times, as “one of the greatest achievements in the history of Irish Theatre”, Galway’s Druid Theatre undertook the mammoth task of staging all works of playwright J.M. Synge. Here, you can enjoy two of these works, Riders to the Sea and The Shadow of the Glen

All events are taking place in the Patrick Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway, next to the James Hardiman Library. A free shuttle bus service will be available on the night to bring guests to and from Culture Night venues. For more information and updates on the NUI Galway Archives and Special Collections programme for Culture Night, contact, follow on Twitter: @nuigarchives , Theatre Archives blog or go to our homepage

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Siobhan McKenna's first press review?

[James Hardiman Library Archives,
Siobhan McKenna Papers, T20/368]

From 16th to 23rd November 1941 Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, the Irish language theatre based in Galway, staged a production of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Translated by S.L O Suilleabhain and directed by Walter Macken, it had been planned that the Taoiseach, Eamonn de Valera, would have attended the opening night. Founded in 1928, An Taibhdhearc had founda new lease of life from 1939 with the appointment of Walter Macken as director, who also took the lead in this play.

[James Hardiman Library Archives,
Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe Collection, T1/D/76.]

Siobhan McKenna had just started her Arts degree in U.C.G. and had acted in An Sciursa Bhan by Karl Capek the previous June and An tImpire Mac Seoin by Eugene O'Neill in September, but this was her first major role with the theatre. Later, when she went for auditions in the Abbey in 1945, and Ernest Blythe asked her for an impromptu speech in Irish, it was one from this role she performed.