Review of 2007 activities
Pat Murphy and Una Mulrenan ran Irish drama workshops, which benefited greatly from the advice of experienced tutors and directors from Lace Market Theatre company.
In February, NISG organised a subsidised outing for members of the Golden Shamrock Club (for older Irish) to see The Playboy of the Western World by J M Synge, at Thoresby Hall in Ollerton.
Nottingham Wednesday night conversation classes enjoy continued success, thanks to the commitment of leaders Pat Murphy and Daithi O’Geannan . Meetings are held in the Irish Centre, Wilford Street, Nottingham, 7.30 – 9pm.
In Mansfield, Deirdre O’Byrne ran two Irish language groups: Mondays in the Black Bull, and Tuesdays in Boothy’s Club.
NISG joined with Nottingham St Patrick’s Day Parade organisers to add to the lively celebrations of our national day. In the Council House, local performance poets Michelle Hubbard and Dave Higgins of BlackDrop read their work and discussed their Irish roots.
Steve Carroll, who also has Irish connections worth exploring, ran writing workshops on Irish identity. The talented Ethel Swann dressed children in medieval costume, and other children did puzzles and made cards. Deirdre O’Byrne led storytelling sessions in Central Library and in the Council House.
The Irish Reading Group continued until the summer break, reading a diverse range of books by John McGahern, Edna O’Brien, Roddy Doyle, Colm Tóibín, and Bernard MacLaverty. Some members joined the poetry reading group to discuss Seamus Heaney’s new collection District & Circle.
In conjunction with Mansfield Irish groups, Deirdre O’Byrne ran an 8-week course in the Black Bull. Seven weeks covered Irish literature on such topics as comic writing, the family, the Irish in Britain, the North, and Irish attitudes to death. Ken Loach’s controversial film The Wind That Shakes the Barley was shown, with an introduction by Deirdre.
THE IRISH JAMAICAN
NISG were delighted to help Michelle Hubbard of BlackDrop launch her new collection of poetry, The Irish Jamaican, celebrating her dual Irish-Jamaican heritage. Michelle’s grandmother was an O’Byrne from County Wicklow. Deirdre O’Byrne, whose great-grandparents came from the same area of Wicklow, was delighted to make the acquaintance of another cousin.
Deirdre joined other storytellers at Central Library in May for an International Folktales event.
Deirdre also told Irish tales at Rufford Way Out Festival (5-6 May), Nottingham Riverside Festival (3-5 Aug), and Big Day Out (22 Sept) at Nottingham Castle. If you would like to book an Irish storytelling session, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadway Media Centre again proved a popular partner, thanks to the support of 2nd-generation Irishwoman Caroline Hennigan, who is Broadway’s film programmer, and a staunch supporter of our events, along with Broadway education manager, Richard Mathews. On March 18th, those not nursing post-Patrick’s Day hangovers turned out to see The Rocky Road to Dublin, a fascinating documentary on 1960s Ireland by Peter Mullan. The film benefited from an incisive introduction by Pat Murphy. We also watched Mullan’s account of making the film, and the audience joined in a lively discussion afterwards.
On Saturday 16 June, we continued our celebration of James Joyce with a ‘Bloomsday at Broadway’ event. John Huston’s The Dead was shown, followed by a workshop on Joyce’s Dubliners, led by Deirdre O’Byrne.
Brian McCormack has added his voice to the local open mic scene, with several appearances at the Orange Tree and a spot at Gladdies.
Autumn saw the launch of our new website, designed by Shaun Belcher.