Lady Gregory comes back to Thoor Ballylee this Wednesday!

Pentameters Theatre/London Irish Theatre presents:

LADY GREGORY: A GALWAY LIFE

Written by Phil Mason

Directed by John Dunne

Produced by Léonie Scott-Matthews

Starring Maura Judges as Lady Gregory

Thoor Ballylee performance Wed 21st October 2015 – fresh from a run in London’s West End

Tickets: £13.00 / Concessions: £10.00
Tickets available from Colm Farrell auctioneer 091632688, from Yeats Thoor Ballylee soc members and (if available) on the door.

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Lady Gregory was the driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival at the turn of the twentieth century and was a central figure in the founding of Ireland’s Abbey Theatre. She was also a major influence on W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Sean O’Casey and many of the Irish writers of the day.

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About the author…Phil Mason is a graduate of NUI, Galway B.A. (Hons) in English and Philosophy, the College of Commerce Dublin (Computer Programming) and a former member of the institute of Certified Public Accountants. She worked in Dublin, Galway, Germany and Derry for many years developing, installing and supporting computerised accounting systems. She then qualified as an accountant and worked in accountancy for some years until she decided to trade creative accounting for creative writing just four years ago. In this time she has had one novel published and has written five plays, three of which have received rehearsed readings. Her latest play about the life and times of Lady Gregory opens in London at the beginning of October followed by a short tour in Ireland. She is currently working on a screenplay.

About the actor…Maura Judges: Recent work has included the role of Maria Josefa in The House of Bernarda Alba and Fonsia Dorsey in The Gin Game. Last year Maura took part in The Mother by Bertolt Brecht, a community production at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Maura also enjoys working as an extra and has been seen in many TV programmes including Call the Midwife, Doctors, Broadchurch and Casualty. She also played a mad aunt in Shane White’s Belfast comedy Romancing the Score (Pentameters/Irish Theatre). Her last role was in Shelagh Stephenson’s play Five Kinds of Silence in May and her future plans include playing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella in December.

About the producer…Léonie Scott-Matthews. Founded in August 1968, Pentameters is one of the most respected fringe theatres in London. Léonie has put on hundreds of professional shows from Shakespeare, classic revivals and new plays to alternative comedy, music and poetry events. The many authors to perform at Pentameters include Dannie Abse, Kingsley Amis, Margaret Drabble, Ted Hughes, Laurie Lee, Roger McGough, Edna O’Brien, Harold Pinter, John Wain and the psychologist R.D. Laing. The Theatre has also played host to many performers at the start of their careers, including Russell Brand, Adrian Edmundson, Ben Elton, French and Saunders, Nigel Havers, Celia lmrie, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Jenny Seagrove, Pamela Stephenson and Alexei Sayle. To celebrate her commitment to the creative arts, Léonie was honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and, as a Hampstead resident, received a Camden Good Citizen Award in 1998 in recognition of her outstanding work for the community.

About the director…,John Dunne works as a producer, director, writer and stage manager. He has directed his own work as well as work by new Irish playwrights, with premiers in London, Dublin and Belfast. As a writer he has penned a trilogy of Irish plays consisting of Famine, 1916 and Belfast and has also written a series of Ulster plays consisting of Long Woman’s Grave, Cattle Raid of Cooley, Macha’s Curse and most recently Tommy’s Wake. John has also toured the UK and Ireland with a number of his productions. John writes, produces and directs issue plays and classic adaptations of English novels many of which have premiered in London and played across the UK.

Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory

(15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932)

Lady Gregory was a member of Irish Ascendency class with extensive land-owning property. Despite this aristocratic background she became interested in the cause of Irish freedom and supported the nationalist causes of the day.

It was on meeting W.B. Yeats at the turn of the century that her prominence as a literary figure came into being. She was a key figure in establishing the Irish Literary Theatre and later the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national playhouse. Along with J.M. Synge and Yeats, she formed a formidable trio of Irish literary giants which was later to include Sean O’Casey and many others.

Her stately mansion at Coole Park, County Galway, became a creative hub with artists and writers staying for long periods of time – it was Yeats’ second home! Indeed, her influence on Yeats was immense, especially in the penning of many of his plays. At one point her own plays proved more popular than Yeats and Synge put together, having written up to forty plays for the Abbey as well as books on Irish folklore and mythology. .

Maura Judges delicate portrayal of Lady Gregory embarks on a journey of a life filled to the brim as we see Augusta, first as a socialite, then nationalist, then as a literary linchpin in an Ireland desperate for a national identity.

Lady Gregory’s motto in life was taken from Aristotle: “To think like a wise man, but to express oneself like the common people.”

NB: Lady Gregory will be embarking on a short tour of Ireland

During October calling at Listowel (15th), Kenmare (16th), Waterville (18th), Ballylee (21st) and Kilworth (22nd).

For further information please contact John Dunne on 07981 851 554 or email info@londonirishtheatre.com

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