Ten Night Run Of New Production Begins At Siamsa Tíre

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Fiddle player Mairtín Ó’Cathasaigh, Helena Brosnan and Mairtín O’Cathasaigh, performers with Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland ‘An Ghaoth Aniar’ – The Wind from the West which opened on Wednesday. Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan

SIAMSA Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland had its world premiere of An Ghaoth Aniar – The Wind from the West on Wednesday night.

This new production — which runs nightly until August 31 — marks 50 years since the first summer season of performances by the National Folk Theatre, combining old favourite traditional songs and tunes previously in the repertoire and traditional Munnix step dance with some new traditional compositions and unique contemporary staging.

To show their continued support for Tralee, Siamsa has a very special ticket price for locals for this production of €20 (full price ticket is €27.50) and there are also really good family rates! Call Siamsa Directly if You Want the Local’s Rate on 066 7123055.

With a cast of 23 performers, the show gives a sense of the distinctive way of life and traditions of the west coast of Ireland.

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These grew out of the harsh but beautiful landscape, a livelihood wrestled from poor land and rough seas, poverty, and a capacity to draw on human inventiveness and creativity to entertain themselves.

As the title suggests, the inspiration for this production is the west coast of Ireland and all that it entails: the beautiful scenic land and seascapes along the west coast of Ireland; cultural inspirations like the Sligo fiddle traditions and North Kerry dancers; aspects of the weather like a child playing in the rain; the beauty and mystery of the boglands and all the working traditions of these fishing communities. An Ghaoth Aniar is performed in the unique ‘Siamsa’ performance style, combining traditional music, song, dance and folk theatre.

This show combines traditional performance with a more contemporary theatrical staging.

An Ghaoth Aniar contains some old favourite jigs, reels and other tunes and a sprinkling of newer traditional compositions.

The traditional orchestra of eight musicians includes fiddle, concertina, banjo pipes, flute, whistles, keyboard, bodhran and other percussive instruments.

The 23 performers were drawn from the full-time and community cast members of the National Folk Theatre.  Eight are musicians and 15 are performers (multi-talented dancers, singers, musicians, actors).

The production team involves five core full-time staff and four external professional artists for lighting, costume and set design.  The show has been produced by Jonathan Kelliher and Joanne Barry.

The set plays an integral part of the performance. Artists, Holger Lonze and Kenmare native, Karen Hendy designed the set, animations and photographic images that will be used as projections to illuminate the show.

Lighting Designer, John Hurley, has spent many years working as a technician for Siamsa and has designed lighting for all of the National Folk Theatre productions since 2013.

Costume Designer, Joan Hickson, hailing from Cork, has worked with the National Folk Theatre for many years producing costumes for many of our more recent productions. Music Director is Tom Hanafin, Chorus Mistress is Geraldine Hurley and Production and Stage Manager is Des Hurley.

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