Killaspugbrone ruins to host W B Yeats play

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As part of “A Country Under Wave” 26 plays by W B Yeats in 26 locations, local writer Sid Rainey directs ‘Ressurection’ in the ruins of Killaspugbrone Church.

SLIGO: Local comedian and actor Barry Cullen will star in the Yeats play.
SLIGO: Local comedian and actor Barry Cullen will star in the Yeats play.

The cast includes Barry Cullen, Joe Rooney and Jay Starlipper with a guest appearance and music from Dean Gurrie. Killaspugbrone is an early Christian church near the Airport at Strandhill.

Known as Caiseal Irrae in the earliest references, it is one of the earliest churches in Sligo, founded by Bishop Brón mac Icni a contemporary of St. Patrick.

“I was asked to be part of ‘A Country Under Wave’ by Niall Henry from the Blue Raincoat Theater Company,” revealed Sid Rainey.

“He asked if I’d like to be one of the 26 chosen to direct… a week or so afterward he handed me a brown A4 envelope with ‘Resurrection’ written on it, my mind kinda blanked at that stage as I have never directed a play before!”

The casting process led Sid to call on mostly comedic performers with careers also in stand up comedy.

“I then called my friend Joe Rooney to see if he would be available and by some miracle he was by two days! I’ve known Joe from my music playing days in Dublin, Joe was the singer in a band called ‘Guernica’ ~ we kept in touch through the years. Comedian Joe Rooney is familiar to Sligo audiences from his many Tv appearances but he is very familiar with Sligo. Joe remembers his first visit as a mixture of emotions:. “I was doing a show with John Colleary in The Model Theatre.

Next morning we got up, had breakfast and went for a two hour surfing lesson. “It wasn’t a particularly successful surfing experience for me as I barely got up on the board. Towards the end of the lesson it started raining as the sun came out simultaneously and I suddenly felt this surge of energy and happiness. It was the pure joy of just splashing about in the sea with rain hitting my face and the sun reflecting of the waves as I immersed myself in the moment.”

A Country Under Wave celebrates Yeats and his Sligo connections. Sligo’s geography features throughout Yeats’s poetry and plays. The county has a rich dramatic heritage and these performed readings of all 26 of Yeats’s plays, over two days, celebrate the link between poet/playwright and the landscape that inspired him.

Sid Rainey says “I feel very privileged to be part of the ‘Theatre Of Yeats’ as I have always had a soft spot for his work in my heart… his poems, plays and spirit has travelled this globe and shall continue to swirl and influence a new audience of fans and students for years and years to come.” “Resurrection” takes place on Sunday, August 2 at Killaspugbrone Church at 4.30pm.

Access to the Church is via the Strandhill seafront, which also has parking. You are advised to bring appropriate rain gear if the weather is bad.

For more details of the A Country Under Wave programme, visit www.blueraincoat.com

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