Waterford’s Oldest Graveyard and Rock n’ Roll: Day 4 of the Imagine Arts Festival is Not to be Missed!

Yay! It’s Friday and there is loads in store for the weekend thanks to Waterford’s Imagine Arts Festival. Find out more about the city, its history and culture, art scene, literature talent and rocking music. There’s fun for all ages…so don’t miss out.

Friday October 28, 2022

Heritage and history:

  • What: Behind Closed Doors—Cathedral Square
  • Where: Cathedral Square
  • When: 11.30 a.m.

As part of the Festival’s Behind Closed Doors Series, there’s a guided tour of 3, 4 and 5 Cathedral Square. The tour starts at 11.30 a.m. and the duration is approximately 45 minutes.

Cathedral Square itself is the site of the oldest graveyard in Ireland’s oldest city. Numbers 3, 4 and 5 Cathedral Square contain elements of the fabric of an almshouse founded on All Souls Day 1478—the purpose of which was to provide accommodation for the respectable aged poor.

Later in the late 18th century the architect John Roberts, who designed Christ Church Cathedral and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, lived in what is now called the John Roberts building in 1-2 Cathedral Square. His wife Suzanna gave birth to 22 children so Roberts gained possession of numbers 3, 4 and 5 presumably to create living space for his growing family. By the 19th century the houses in Cathedral Square were subdivided and became essentially tenements.

Over the past few years, Waterford City and County Council have been working with Eamonn Mc Eneaney, Director of Waterford Museum of Treasures to develop these buildings into a museum which will explore the traditions, superstitions and customs associated with death over the centuries. When works are completed, the museum will have an extensive collection of very rare objects associated with death from the earliest times to the 20th century.

This tour will showcase the ongoing works to restore the buildings. The various features have been discovered during the works tell the story of the evolution of the building over the past six centuries.

Cathedral Square 2

Heritage and history:

  • What: Let’s Talk Waterford: Within A Marble City
  • Where: The Reg
  • When: 1 p.m.

Mary Tobin is in search of something more than a life behind the counter in her father’s shop. When she takes matters into her own hands and meets Christopher Murray, Mary creates an opportunity to change her fortunes. Set on a Sunday in October at the riverside and in the parlour of the Tobin home, “Within a Marble City” continues Teresa Deevy’s exploration of women characters who seek out alternative futures to oppose the constraining forces of 1940s Ireland.

For the first time since its 1949 broadcast on Radio Éireann, South East Technological University Theatre Studies students present a rehearsed reading of Deevy’s one-act drama to a Waterford audience.

Deevy photo by Olaf Deevy courtesy of the Deevy Family scaled

Performance:

  • What: The Curlew Theatre—An Gorta Mór (Hunger)
  • Where: Momo restaurant 
  • When: 3 p.m.

The Famine has been for so long in Irish life a literally unspeakable subject. The sense of silence was what prompted Eamon Grennan in the first place to try to centre and orchestrate such a piece through voices. Given the variety of elements involved, what Eamon decided to do, in order to make a “dramatic recital for two voices” was to put together a kind of patchwork quilt, an audio quilt, of the voices of some of those directly involved (whether suffering or helping or hindering) in the catastrophe itself, whether English, or Irish, or indeed American.

What Eamon has done, in order to tie the thing together into some sort of unity, is create by means of most of the speeches spoken by Sean, a kind of Everyman character, a countryman whose observations (sometimes apparently spoke in our time, some contemporary with the events he mentions) form a common-sense ordinary, emotionally active response to the various elements he notes in the years of famine. Aside from this, he speaks in the persons of a few other incidental participants, while Tegolin brings various other characters to life as speaking voices.

In addition, the first part of the piece serves as a kind of “historical prologue,” sweeping from the 16th to the end of the 18th century, and using snippets from such writers as Spenser and Swift and Goldsmith to prepare the way into the middle of the 19th century and the terrible events of the Great Famine itself.

In devising the piece, Eamon used mostly direct documentary evidence, in mostly direct quotation. There’s a bibliography at the back of the program citing the works he drew from. These quotations (sometimes a little adjusted) he has sewn together with some incidental linking bits of his own. This documentary evidence includes, of course, poems and songs as well as political speeches and oral memories.

The hope is that through immersion in what these living dead voices are telling us, our sense of some of the features of that unspeakable Famine landscape will become clearer to us, and open us to a somewhat more immediate feeling about it.

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Literature:

  • What: Lani O’Hanlon & Dalal Sayed: Memoir
  • Where: Central Library
  • When: 4 p.m.

Join Dalal and Lani as they explore and discuss the memoir Escape From War To Live in Peace.

Born in Damascus, Dalal was studying to become a primary school teacher when the Syrian civil war in 2011 escalated and forced her to flee. For the next six years she was on a perilous journey with her family to find safety. She arrived in Ireland in 2017 speaking no English. She now lives in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford with her husband Amer and her three children Nazha, Judi and Aziz.

The book which is expected to attract interest both locally and nationally as a firsthand account of a family fleeing the war in Syria has already been endorsed by BBC Irish Foreign Correspondent Fergal Keane.

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Performance:

  • What: Catalan Butterflies
  • Where: Medieval Museum
  • When: 6 p.m.

Come along to an evening of music and spoken-word poetry to celebrate the launch of the award-winning book, Catalan Butterflies (Templar, UK) by Laurence O’Dwyer.

The evening will also showcase the work of Adele Pound, who has created craft artworks in response to the collection.

Presented and performed by Dónal Gallagher (Asylum Productions), supported by the author and musicians—the poems, songs and stories of Catalan Butterflies will take the audience on a journey over the Pyrenees along the Catalan trails that have inspired Laurence O’Dwyer’s latest work.

A chance encounter with a butterfly expert who described himself as an anarchist lepidopterist provided the first spark for a series of portraits of humans and butterflies that inhabit some shadowy corners of a sunny province of the world.

Phil Soanes (Resonating Wood Studios), Frank Maher, Shaun O’Neill and Eric Downer have composed an album of music to accompany the poems of Catalan Butterflies and the launch of this book will also mark the debut performance of this collaboration between musicians working between Ireland, Poland and Slovakia.

Vanessa Atalanta White 3

Music:

  • What: Inner Space: Arrivalists/DJ Set
  • Where: Luca Records and Decks
  • When: 6-7.30 p.m.

Luca Records is delighted to host Arrivalists as part of this year’s Imagine Arts Festival.

Pat Barrett, formerly of Hedge Schools and Ten Speed Racer will play an intimate set from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. on the Luca stage.

In the lead up to Arrivalists, there will be DJs in the shop from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are €12.

Luca Records & Decks is a destination for entertainment and good sport. Specialising in a wide range of eclectic vinyl records, they invite DJ’s, musicians and music lovers to book a slot or pull up a chair. The Luca Records & Decks Stage is the place to perform, converse and enjoy. 

Arrivalists

Music:

  • What: Moonlight Benjamin
  • Where: St. Patrick’s Gateway
  • When: 8 p.m.

Moonlight Benjamin returns with another thrilling collection of brooding Rock n Roll inspired by voodoo culture and the Arctic Monkeys. Following on from the international success of 2018’s album Siltane, Haitian singer Moonlight Benjamin returns with her new album Simido. Continuing where her previous album left off, Moonlight’s thunderous and rebellious vocals reverberate throughout. The enthralling mix of heavy, guitar-laden blues, owing much to the likes of Black Keys and Alabama Shakes combined with Moonlight’s intense and dominating vocal caught the international limelight back in 2017.

This is one event not to be missed. For more information and tickets, see here: Moonlight Benjamin > Imagine Arts Festival

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