29th May, 2017

Irish twinkle at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust celebration

Ian Hughes 2nd Mar, 2017 Updated: 2nd Mar, 2017

THERE will be an Emerald twinkle in the eye at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

In honour of St Patrick and in recognition of the strong Irish presence in the world’s largest Shakespeare archive, the trust will present Irish in the Archives on Saturday March 11, showcasing the literary links between Shakespeare and Ireland.

Organised as part of the Trust’s new Shakespeare After Hours programme, visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of talks, readings and displays that explore the Irish connection between Shakespeare and Stratford. This event will also include a range of Irish refreshments as well as performances of traditional Celtic music and dance.

The evening will highlight Seán O’Casey’s use of Shakespearian dramatic composition in the likes of ‘Juno and The Paycock’ and W.B. Yeats’ vision for the Abbey Theatre influenced by Frank Benson’s approach to theatre at Stratford.

Other collections on display will include Irish theatrical contributions from Sinéad Cusack and Siobhán McKenna performing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and from an earlier era, Bram Stoker managing Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre.

Contemporary Irish writers are also represented in the archives, such as Marina Carr, whose 2008 play ‘The Cordelia Dream’, originally staged by the RSC- was influenced by Shakespeare.

Wider Irish literary interests will also be reflected, including work by Louis MacNeice and Edna O’Brien amongst others in Stratford’s annual Poetry Festivals.

Jim Ranahan, Collections Archivist at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “Irish people across the world are just as attracted to Shakespeare as any others.

“In Stratford, this is manifested in many ways and our archives reflect this. The event is a great opportunity to delve into Shakespeare’s influence on Irish culture and celebrate the rich literary links that extend across borders.”

The event starts at 5.30pm and tickets cost £8, available online at www.shakespeare.org.uk/afterhours, or by calling 01789 204016.

* For those unable to attend, the archives can be accessed free of charge by visiting the Shakespeare Centre on Henley Street. Thee records, associated books and artefacts comprise the rrust’s own collections and those of the RSC and have been developed over many years through shared commitment to research.

Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/collections for further details.

Playbill for Taming of the Shrew 1888, supplied courtesy of the RSC. (s)