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By the Bog of Cats
13th June 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 17th June 2017 @ 7:30 pm€15
Under licence from The Agency London, Dublin Shakespeare Society proudly present this amateur production of
By the Bog of Cats
Directed by Geraldine Maguire
The scorn of Hester Swayne, a woman abandoned once and discarded later, threatens a whole community as she awaits her mother’s return to the Bog of Cats: ‘God’s punishing me but I won’t take his blows lyin’ down’. Forgiveness, vengeance and disparate forces figure in the tangled history embodied in her own powerful drama as it makes its way through heartbreak and, occasionally, hilarity, and its secrets unfold towards its tragic conclusion.
Wednesday 14th June,Special Guest : Dr Emilie Pine, UCD
Emilie Pine lectures in Modern Drama and Irish Studies. She joined the School of English, Drama and Film in the spring of 2008. Prior to this she lectured for two years at the University of York, following the completion of her PhD in Irish Theatre and Film at Trinity College, Dublin.
Emilie is Director of the Irish Memory Studies Research Network and Assistant Editor of the Irish University Review. She is currently a judge for the Irish Times Theatre Awards.
Emilie will comment on the production which will then lead in to a discussion with contribution from the audience.
Marina Carr’s plays are all inspired by the plays and legends of Ancient Greece. Carr states that By the bog of Cats was inspired by Medea by Euripides which was produced in the ampitheatre at Epidaurus in 431 B.C. The play remained part of the repertoire of Ancient Greek Theatre and experienced renewed interest with the emergence of the feminist movement because of its nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea’s struggle to take charge of her own life in a male-dominated world.
Hester Swane represents both Medea and the Traveller Community as she is the outsider shunned by the settled community because of her strange and foreign ways. She represents The Other’, the untouchable, the people that society reject and therefore is ostricised by the community. With so many immigrants today in Ireland we are faced with the challenge of embracing different cultures.
Ireland today and the rest of the world has embrace capitalism, industrialisation and materialism. Carr poses the question what space is there left in our lives for the wild, the untamed, for dreams, ghosts, poetry and song? She presents characters full of wit, comedy, tragedy and pathos. She explores the warped relationships in familiies and communities. The play is a microcosm of society’s struggles and the whole gambit of the human condition.
Nature itself is shown as monumental, represented by the Bog, which holds the secrets, of the past and is ever changing, mysterious and treacherous. Modern society is confronted by the ghosts of the past and the memories, dreams and poetry of the human soul and spirit. We recognise Carr’s characters in ourselves. They are full of warmth, dynamism, courage with hearts struggling to survive the human condition. Carr shows us the unpredictabilty the transitory, and vulnerable nature of existence.