Cork Midsummer Festival hosts Virginia Woolf’s mystical adaptation
He was in a “state of seduction,” admitted Tom Creed, after seeing Prometheus Now in the online segment of the Cork Midsummer Festival. Creed, the director of Lynda Radley’s cover of The Art of Swimming, sought to categorize the haunting fusion of fluid and spectral images of the Gaitkrash Theater. Specialists in witchcraft, theater artists Bernadette Cronin and Regina Crowley, with sound scheme by Mick O’Shea, filming and editing by Harry Moore and the mix of Schumann, Lizst and improvisation by pianist Gabriela Mayer, have created a haunting evocation of a myth still applicable to humanity’s dependence on blind hope.
Those who, despite author Virginia Woolf’s frenzied doubts, had been enchanted for nearly a century by her novel At the Lighthouse, may also have found themselves in a state of bewilderment after the adaptation’s world premiere. by Marina Carr from this dismal book. Broadcast live from the stage of the Everyman Theater and presented by Hatch Theater and Everyman, this production captures not only the succinct beauty of Woolf’s prose, but also Carr’s ear for consistency and affinity. Woolf asks the reader to read in a new way by allowing his mental commentary pattern to flow through a narrative of dialogue and activity. The device is difficult on the page. On this stage, it’s as if director Annabelle Comyn and set designer and lighting designer Aedin Cosgrove took the shaded, fluctuating text as a model, creating an almost mystical atmosphere around a group of really quite ordinary people on seaside vacations. usual in the early 1900s.
Like the scene itself, these are people on distinct levels of existence, their streams of thought coinciding only around the rituals of the Ramsay family’s life, and in particular around Mrs. Ramsay. It is a world in motion, newly alive from the dubious existence of, say, a table, and in her own finite sphere, Mrs. Ramsay endures a psychic weariness of being necessary, of being conformable; her thoughts provoke denigration in the dream world she shares with her husband, children and guests. Imposing tension and rhythm on this meditative text, Comyn sometimes immobilizes the camera (José Miguel Jiménez) on an image like a beautiful painting, a portrait caught in the ebb of time.
As in the novel, the end point is not easily reached, and the late introduction of author and editor disrupts a style so carefully crafted by both script and directing. Carr honored Woolf by extraction, as an empathetic editor gifted with eloquence and intuition. A consummate quality cast is brilliantly led by Derbhle Crotty as Mrs. Ramsay and Declan Conlon as husband; their courage is matched, among others, by Aoife Duffin as Lily Briscoe and Olwen Fouere as the enigmatic Mr. Carmichael. A tender unanimity of intention seems to unite them all. Seduction is the only word for it.
Elsewhere in week two of Midsummer, geographic loyalty to the ‘Port to the Fort’ strand gave way to Birdie, with film artist Oonagh Kearney and songwriter Ellen King guiding a distant audience along the Custom Wharf peninsula. House. Kearney’s dubbed screenplay connects the story of Cork-born soprano Miss Delrita, who sacrificed her international opera career to become president of the Shandon branch of Cumann na mBan, in Kearney’s own commitment to the city by mutation. By accepting his invitation to take a fresh look at the river, the quays and the new ramparts of the docks of buildings floating on the buildings, it is also possible to see the emblematic protected spire of the Saint-Luc church, if we see it. let’s look and squint.
Any party worthy of the name must have its evangelists, and here is Vicki Davis with Meatán, also at the port, in a reflection on the environmental impact of cattle farming, in particular on the reports on the Argentinian method of collecting methane by tube. and balloon of a cow intestines. In his austere installation, Davis accompanied his silkscreened inflated feeding bag with calls from herdsmen and crews as the herded animals are loaded from the Cork docks, in a process largely ignored by the public. But Davis saw it.
Across town is dance artist Lisa Cliffe representing the Cork Dance Initiative. In the questionable sunlight of Cornmarket Street, she radiates the positivity of aspiration, offering a choice of seeds in exchange for a matching seedling, and through shared development, an ideal of pollination and connection evolves to invigorate the dance culture in Cork.
The festival across all its strands was filled with comparison extremes in a mix of online and live events compliant with Covid-19 restrictions. The contrasts were characterized by the closing celebration at Elizabeth Fort hosted by Tobi Omoteso, and the final streaming production, still from the Everyman stage, of writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s event from her book A Ghost in the throat. His contemplative response to the eighteenth-century Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, composed by his widow Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, was visually grounded by Tadhg O’Sullivan’s eerie landscape of woe and femininity and Linda Buckley’s soundscape.
Spaces at the Crawford Gallery remain open for Doug Fishbone’s work, but Laura FitzGerald’s I Have Made A Place ended with the festival, but not before her place proved to be a grass cutting essay. Another revelation comes with Bad Siobhán, a line dance piece by Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and his boatbuilder father Padraig. From spoken stories to demanding questions on Instagram and Youtube, including young musicians and hip-hop writers at Kabin Studio in Knocknaheeny, or the interactive Ontroerend Goed TM session in Belgium, this festival has woven a model of successful survival.
The smallest seduction was also the first. In a midsummer ad and arranged by Jack Healy of Theater Makers in homage to the late George Roberts, tower master of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the long-silent chapel bell at Griffith College rang at 8:30 a.m., repeating his laps for 30 minutes. Then the bell of the neighboring church of the Holy Family rings, then that of the south chapel; our ears were listening to the bells all over Cork.