Blue Raincoat present a summer of Yeats plays

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Blue Raincoat Theatre Company will present 60 performances and events in Sligo this summer, running from June 21 to August 8.

Actor Barry Cullen performing in  a Yeats play last summer. The Blue Raincoat are due to run more Yeats' plays this summer.
Actor Barry Cullen performing in a Yeats play last summer. The Blue Raincoat are due to run more Yeats’ plays this summer.

The new festival of theatre, entitled “A County Under Wave – The Theatre of WB Yeats” is set to take place everywhere from the summit of Benbulben and Streedagh Beach to the company’s Factory Performance Space in Sligo town.

For the past two summers, the company have presented works by Yeats in iconic outdoor Sligo locations.

In June 2013 the company staged Purgatory atop Knocknarea mountain, which drew an audience of 300 to the summit and in 2014 brought On Baile’s Strand to the beach at the foot of that mountain.

This summer will see Blue Raincoat Theatre Company take all 26 of Yeats’ plays to the great outdoors, with its Yeats in Sligo Landscape project.

Blue Raincoat will mentor 26 groups who will perform the plays at different locations in the countryside throughout Co Sligo over one weekend (August 1-2).

The Festival will feature one-off, outdoor productions of some of Yeats’ best plays. On Baile’s Strand on 21 June will visit Streedagh Beach and on 21 July, Purgatory will scale another famous Sligo summit, this time on the world famous Benbulben.

At the Hawk’s Well will conclude this exciting outdoor series at O’Rourke’s Table on 8 August. Plays at Blue Raincoat’s home space, The Factory, include At the Hawk’s Well (6-17 July) and The Only Jealousy of Emer (27 July – 7 August) and a cycle of five plays, the Cuchulainn Cycle, will be performed on consecutive evenings from 22 – 26 June at 6pm in Hargadons’ Pub.

A programme of Yeats inspired exhibitions will include original sculptures inspired by the dance plays of Yeats plays by Bettina Seitz entitled The Trembling of the Veil.

Other events include a performance by Noh theatre master, Ryoko Aoki at the Factory (June 26) to delve into the major influence of this Japanese artform on the theatre of WB Yeats, and archaeologists Padraig Meehan and Marion O’Dowd will present talks about the history of the Sligo landscape (22 July and 5 August).

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