30 Sept 2023
From Culture to the Sky! A review of events.
September was a bustling month at the castle, filled with a diverse range of events and activities.
Reflected Light – Grief Songs: One of the month's highlights was the presentation of "Reflected Light – Grief Songs" by Anne Haverty and Donal Lunny. This event allowed us to experiment with the Gallery's layout, creating a unique quarter-circle seating arrangement. The audience faced the stage and the right wall at a forty-five-degree angle, offering a captivating view of the centre stage and the mesmerizing projections by David Bickley.
The performance featured scenes of breaking ice, polar bears, and volcanos, complemented by the enchanting music of Zoe Conway's fiddle and vocals, which brought Anne Haverty's poetry to life. Graham Henderson's keyboard added haunting melodies, while Donal Lunny's bouzouki expertise rounded off the emotional depth of each 'Grief Song.' Anne Haverty read her poems, and the musicians responded with their own artistic contributions to enhance the experience.
Faces of Creativity & Culture: The following week, Shakefest and Rahan Comhaltas joined forces to host 'Faces of Creativity & Culture.' The night was a splendid showcase of talent and artistry during Culture Night at the castle. Bubble Lock's school of Hip Hop held the audience captive with their performances. The Red Embers belly dance troupe continued to impress with their graceful moves. Local poet Roseanna Tyrell enchanted us with her readings, including poems dedicated to Celeste S. Duckworth, a dear friend of the castle. The Celtic Blondes treated us to a mesmerizing Irish dance performance. Rahan Comhaltas concluded the evening with a delightful performance, marking the end of this celebration of creativity and culture.
Gramophone Society & Contempo Quartet: The Gramophone Society presented an afternoon performance by the Contempo Quartet, which left the audience spellbound. Even 'Princess' the cat couldn't resist the captivating music. The stage was set at the centre window of the Gallery, surrounded by a semi-circle of eager listeners. The event was fully booked, and the musicians marvelled at the impressive acoustics of the room, allowing them to hear each other's musical conversations during the performance.
Irish Meet - Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships: We had the privilege of hosting the Irish Ballooning Association during the 'Irish Meet,' the Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships. The Dining Room served as their headquarters for the week, where they discussed weather conditions, launching logistics, and more. Bridget Vance delivered a brief speech about the castle and the Trust, followed by a guided tour led by our volunteer Romain and myself.
Spooked Ireland Premiere: The month ended with the premiere of 'Spooked Ireland' on Discovery+. This paranormal exploration series featured Vouge Williams, Chris Flemming, and their team as they delved into all things supernatural. Several of our dedicated volunteers were featured in the episode and acted as gracious hosts to the group. Bridget shared a famous ghost story, while David Wenger and Samantha assisted the Spooked Team in their eerie activities.
In closing, we'd like to inform you that the castle will be temporarily closed to the public for approximately two months, starting from October 2nd. We are excited to announce that the castle has been selected as a filming location for an upcoming project, and we can't wait to share more details with you soon. Stay tuned for further updates!