Cork Midsummer Festival 2017 – Part 1 0f 2
This is part of the letter I wrote to Lucy, who administrates the Delve Scheme for ISACS. I wrote it after the first evening as part of my feedback to the DELVE17 group…
From: David Spathaky
Date: Sat Jun
Subject: Re: DELVE Schedule!
Hey Lucy et al,
Thanks so much for all your hard work getting this Cork #Midsummer17 segment of #DELVE17 together and your amazing attention to detail. I really appreciate how much effort you must have put in to make this happen and get all of us almost in the right place at the right time.Obviously, the meal at the Quay Coop was a bit of a magnet and was excellent. Good call!
You’re all great to make Stephie so welcome once again. Great also you managed to get Kath to come along too for the nosh! The Director of the festival coming out for a meal on the opening night of the festival! Almost unheard of! I imagine Kath has everything running smoothly and all angles covered with minions. All the same, very impressive!
As far as work goes so far;
Did I enjoy the Future Proof show at the Everyman? It was thought provoking. I think, like everyone in our group, I had some technical reservations. Perhaps because I was sitting a bit further back in the stalls than most of our group, maybe I got a wider perspective and I was able to overlook the, at times, clunky blocking and the sound issues that other people seemed to find quite intrusive. I understand some people in the physical theatre world are now almost allergic to listening to actors speak. For me, I was able to let the words carry the story. I found the representation of physical disability in a physical way well-handled and not intrusive. At no time did I think that there ‘should have been’ people with disabilities on stage. In fact, there is no way I would know what talents the cast had hidden from view.
Obviously, the subject matter of a ‘freak show’ at the end of their days is resonant in all kinds of ways, particularly for me as a stiff ‘old timer’. I found the atmosphere of quiet desperation on stage and the way the actors maintained an almost anti dramatic dynamically added pathos. The cast was all magnificent. I overheard a few comments from the audience afterwards about it being too much about the dialogue and lacking in physical skills but for me, that missed the point.
Old time Freak Shows were more about people being stared at and the fat man character made interesting reference in a speech to different strata of freaks. The ‘real’ physical oddities, the people who exaggerated some natural ‘oddness’ or deformity, and the out and out fakers who merely pulled on a costume. Also the idea of the freak show ‘giving people what they want’ to see. People’s nightmares personified.
Still interesting issues in the context of disability and ‘otherness’ in our societies. Might be interesting to know more about what the cast thought of the content of the show in a QnA session, although I would ask that of anyone after an opening night! Good to see a fairly full house in the gorgeous Everyman Theatre. It really is such a joy that we have that historic treasure of a theatre space still in Cork. I love seeing shows there, it suits variety shows so well. (The last time I was in the Everyman, I saw the Chinese circus performers).
Might be interesting to know more about what the cast thought of the content of the show in a QnA session, although I would ask that of anyone after an opening night! Good to see a fairly full house in the gorgeous Everyman Theatre. It really is such a joy that we have that historic treasure of a theatre space still in Cork. I love seeing shows there, it suits variety shows so well. (The last time I was in the Everyman, I saw the Chinese circus performers).
I look forward to participating in Blurring The Lines at the Circus Factory this afternoon as well as seeing new work by old friends particularly the multi skilled Riuchi / Guillaume. As ever Cork looks vibrant in the sun and the festival puts an added sparkle about the place. I’m not sure how much outdoor work is happening this year. I will peruse the brochure in detail in a moment and take a wander.
See you all in a short while. I’m not sure I will last out until the 11.30pm show. I will do my best!
PS Lucy, I may post some of this online to NASAUK. Happy if you want to put some on ISACS web site or in DELVE17 archive someplace.
In Part 2 of this article:
- Blurring the Lines: The Rise of Interdisciplinary Arts | ISACS Seminar | Cork Circus Factory, Centre Park House, Centre Park Road.
- Dream of Light – Riuchi | The Granary Theatre, Mardyke
- Fitzgerald Park
More to come. Part 2 be here…
Thank you and goodnight
by Dave Spathaky
Dave was attending the Cork Midsummer Festival as a guest. I got a festival pass for a few shows in return for feedback and social media postings. Kudos and thanks to Kath and Lucy et alIncidentally, by a strange twist of fate, I am a dual national, I hold citizenship in R.O.I. and the U.K. Find out more about me here: https://dave.spathaky.name/
I’m a member of NASA-Uk & ISACS and now AFA.
- AFA (A Few Acronyms)
- ISACS is the Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacles Network organisation. Headed up by our lovely Lucy Medlicott
- DELVE17 is an arts participation scheme for members. Organised by ISACS and funded by the Irish Arts Council
- NASAUK is us. The National Street Artists Association in the UK
- ISAN is them. Just kidding. The Independent Street Arts Network. Angus is the head honcho. Nice man that he is.
- CMF – The Cork Midsummer Festival is an annual arts festival. It happens every year in, …ummm… Midsummer.Yes! In Cork!
While we are at it. A few definitions:
- Ireland the island in the Atlantic Ocean north west of Europe. The Republic of Ireland or R.O.I.
- The North. Six counties in the north of the island of Ireland. They have some connection with some other country. Details are unclear.
…and here is a quote I quite like:
“Fantasy will destroy power and laughter will bury you”
– reportedly by Mikhail Bakunin.
I thank you all.
Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network
00353 870541812 | www.isacs.ie
- ISACS on Twitter.
- Search Twitter for #Delve17.
- Cork Midsummer Festival on Twitter.
- Cork Midsummer Festival on Facebook.
Full Disclosure: Dave was visiting Cork Midsummer Festival as a guest of the festival and of the ISACS DELVE program supported by the Irish Arts Council. He is also supported by the Irish Department of Health & Social Welfare and a good pair of Y-fronts.