King Lear Performance

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Cillian, Nick, Michael with Eamonn Owens

Cillian, Nick, Michael with Eamonn Owens

The ‘King Lear’ performance by Sackville Theatre Company today was brilliant. A selection of scenes was acted featuring Lear’s relationship with his daughters and the Fool. The choices and actions of Lear were carefully tracked culminating in his descent into madness. The performers engaged the students with solid performances and thought-provoking interpretations of their characters. One of the highlights of the show was the modern setting of some key elements of the play which featured a family divided over inheritance. This modern family creatively reworded Lear’s ‘Blow winds’ soliloquy into a rap that comically captured many aspects of the tragedy of Lear’s downfall. A thoughtful discussion ensued as the students engaged in a question and answer session with the actors and director. Not only was the morning highly entertaining, but it also served as a way to highlight a reflective analysis of key issues in the tragedy of  ‘King Lear’.

Jack, Cillian, Nick, Michael with the cast and director

Jack, Cillian, Nick, Michael with the cast and director

Reading and discussion with Claire Keegan

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The 5th year students have been reading Claire Keegan’s novella ‘Foster’ as part of their comparative studies. They were enthralled by the story of this vulnerable child and her first experiences of care, tenderness and affection. The story is elegant in its simplicity and yet leaves the reader with many questions.

The students had the perfect opportunity to ask those questions of Claire Keegan herself on Friday; and the answers were deeply insightful. After reading the section of the novel where the girl attends the wake and goes back to Mildred’s house, the questions began to flow. The students wanted to know about the girl’s lack of name; about the hand in the water; about the relationship between the girl and John and the girl and Edna. The discussion continued about family in general and where people find love and affection. There were many questions that Claire could not answer because she said that it was up to the reader to create their own meaning.

Overall, the discussion was insightful and philosophical and certainly gave the 5th years plenty to think about. It will be fascinating to draw parallels between ‘Foster’ and ‘The Plough and the Stars’ as we progress with our comparative studies.

Some students from 5th year with 'Foster' author Claire Keegan

Some students from 5th year with ‘Foster’ author Claire Keegan