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Glenmalure Hill Walk and Performance

18th August 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


The Dublin Shakespeare Society is holding a fundraising hill-walk followed by a rehearsed reading of JM Synge’s ‘In the Shadow of the Glen’ in Glenmalure on Sunday 18th of August (weather permitting).

Rehearsed Reading ITSoTG

The walk, to be led by Louis O’Byrne, will start at 12.00 noon and last approximately one hour.  It will include part of the historical Miner’s Path and involve some uphill walking along forest paths suitable for most walkers.  The starting point will be the Barravore car park close to Glenmalure Youth Hostel, and will terminate at the hostel itself.

The reading which should last approximately 45 minutes, will be performed in the garden of the  hostel after the walk. The starting time will be 2.30pm (for those who do not wish to walk).

‘In the Shadow of the Glen’ is a particularly suitable choice, as a ruined cottage close to the hostel is believed to be the cottage Synge had in mind as the setting for the play.  The reading will be performed by Roisin Mee, Philip Gleeson, Paul McCorry and Stephen Burke and directed by Paul Maher.

Cooking facilities at the hostel are limited but tea and coffee will be available and the venue is suitable for picnics.  You would be advised to bring ground blankets or foldable chairs. Sanitary facilities are also limited.

It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach Glenmalure Hostel (A67YW77) from Dublin by car and, as there is no public transport, we would suggest that those travelling might offer lifts to members who don’t have transport of their own.

Booking at 0858432881, contribution €15 per person.


Historic Glenmalure

At the famous Battle of Glenmalure 1580 an Irish Catholic force made up of Gaelic clans from the Wicklow Mountains and led by Fiach McHugh O’Byrne, defeated an English army under Lord Grey. The fighting took place near the O’Byrne mountain stronghold in Glenmalure.

While trying to climb the steep slopes of the valley (visible from the path), the inexperienced English soldiers were ambushed by the Irish rebels, who had hidden themselves in the woods. The English army of 3,000 suffered 800 casualties. Rumours that Louis O’Byrne was leading a walk in the valley at the time can be discounted, as he was clearly too young.

Mining in Glenmalure may have begun as early as 1797.  It continued through the period of the 1798 rebellion which persisted in the valley until 1803. Various records document intermittent production between 1811 and 1900.  On the walk you will see spoil heaps from the mines, a tunnel or adit, the remains of a crusher house and water mill.

John Millington Synge

Synge was widely regarded as the most influential Irish dramatist of the twentieth century. He was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, and collector of folklore. One of the co -founders of the Abbey Theatre, he is best known for the play “The Playboy of the Western World” which caused riots during its opening run at the Abbey theatre. Synge wrote many well known plays, including “Riders to the Sea”, which is often considered to be his strongest literary work. Although he came from an Anglo-Irish background, his writings are mainly concerned with the world of the Roman Catholic peasants of rural Ireland. “In The Shadow of the Glen” premiered on October 8, 1903 as a production of the Irish National Theatre Society. Although it was the third play completed by Synge, it was the first to be produced, and it created an immediate controversy for the author and the National Theatre. Although the play’s focus on a loveless and decaying marriage hardly represented a new subject for drama, many Irish nationalists saw Synge’s play as nothing less than an affront to Irish femininity. The resulting confrontations established the author’s volatile relationship with the nationalist community in Ireland and set the stage for the more massive and far-reaching conflict.


18th August 2019
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Dublin Shakespeare Society
+353 85 843 2881
View Organiser Website


Barravore car park
Cullentragh Park, Co. Wicklow A67 A265 Ireland + Google Map