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  • Northside East

The show goes on... high drama for local group in Catalonia

Friday, 3rd November, 2017 8:00am
The show goes on... high drama  for local group in Catalonia

DRAMATIC: Members of Riverside Drama Circle pictured during their recent visit to Catalonia.

The show goes on... high drama  for local group in Catalonia

DRAMATIC: Members of Riverside Drama Circle pictured during their recent visit to Catalonia.

MEMBERS of a Northside drama group were caught up in more drama than they could ever have imagined when they went on their first tour outside Ireland. 

After staging Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ at St Brigid’s School, Killester, in April, Riverside Drama Circle decided to bring their interpretation of the successful Broadway play to an international audience – in Catalonia.  

However, they hadn’t reckoned on their show being staged in the region on the same weekend as the Independence Referendum which became front-page news worldwide.

Sharon Sullivan, PRO for Riverside Drama Circle, now in its 45th year, told Northside People: “The director of the play, Kevin Jones, has had a long association with Sant Llorenç de Morunys, a small town in Catalonia, high in the Pyrenees. 

“When the trip was being arranged none of us could have anticipated the dynamic changing political landscape that is presently occurring in Catalonia.”

On Thursday, September 28, 16 members of the group travelled to Barcelona and onwards to Sant Llorenç de Morunys.

“We arrived during siesta time and everything was closed, there wasn’t a person to be seen,” said Sharon. 

“We visited the theatre where the play was being staged, a wonderful building situated in the town hall.

“This building was also being used as a polling station for the Catalan Independence Referendum on Sunday, October 1. 

“The following day we explored the beautiful town, flags hung from most balconies and groups of people chatted quietly. 

“On the Friday evening we arrived for our rehearsal to find the building closed on the orders of the local Catalonian police. 

“Thankfully we managed to get in to rehearse after a short delay and our play went ahead on Saturday evening.”

Sharon said they didn’t expect such a great reaction.

“The theatre was full to capacity on the night and we were so excited,” she said.

“Although the play was in English, we provided a certain amount of translation in Catalan but the audience seemed to understand the frustration of the lives of the five unmarried Mundy sisters set in Donegal in 1936. 

“As we left the theatre in the late evening, the adrenalin still rushing after the fantastic response from our audience, the local inhabitants of the town were setting up tents outside for the night ahead. 

“They remained outside the town hall all day on the Sunday as voting took place; it was all very peaceful with families barbecueing and local politicians speaking. Many in the town still managed to congratulate us on our performance.”

Sharon said it was an eventful trip.

“We will remember it for a long time to come due both to the authentic Catalan welcome we received and the ‘drama’ of the referendum,” she added.

Riverside Drama Circle will be performing two one-act plays in Naomh Barrog GAA Club, Kilbarrack on November 15, 16 and 17. For  more, check Facebook page Riverside-Drama-Circle or riversidedramacircle@gmail.com 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here