Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Cat and the Moon

I went to Sligo last Wednesday and took in two lectures in the Yeats Summer School. First time in its fifty years I attended any Summer School event. That's what retirement is for! I also attended a lunchtime performance of Yeats' The Cat and the Moon by the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company in the Factory Performance Space on Quay St Sligo.

This was my first time visiting this very impressive theatre space located in what was Denny's factory. I talked to a man who remembered visiting the factory with the son of a worker and being shown around. He remembered seeing pigs being slaughtered in what is now the foyer and the theatre.

The Cat and Moon is one of Yeats' mask plays loosely modelled on the ritualized Noh theatre of Japan. Actors wear masks, there is chorus of musicians and the setting is spare without props. Movement, music and dance is important.

The plot of the play is simple: two beggars, one lame and one blind, who are dependant on each other, reach the holy well of St. Colman, hoping to be cured. They are offered a choice,
blessedness or a physical cure. Each has to make a choice which will of course have consequences for both.

The minimal setting was very impressive and the performance enjoyable, a great way to spend a lunchtime. The lunch was excellent as well! The capacity crowd enjoyed the forty or so minutes.

The performances will take place from 1.10pm daily from August 4th to 15th with lunch available from 12.45 at The Factory. Further information is available from Blue Raincoat Theatre Company on 071 917 0431 or by visiting the website.

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