Saturday, August 8, 2015

Enniskillen Beckett Festival & back to Mountshannon

This was the theatre space for Stirrings Still, Beckett's last prose piece. Doesn't look like the usual for a thespian venue, does it? We were picked up by a bus just outside the castle in Enniskillen for a 45 minute journey to a secret location. Isn't it astonishing how anything secret, even when you're grown up, is more enticing than something you know about?

Off we went, following Lower Lough Erne towards Enniskillen, watching the clock to see were we close, trying to guess where we were going. At least that's what I was doing. Was it going to be Belleek? No. The bus passed the pottery factory and out the other side, passing through a bit of the Republic on the way. It's years since I was there on the boat. Looks pretty much the same.

The signposts were telling us we were on our way back to Enniskillen by the time we turned off, the bus squeezing through great stone gateposts into the grounds of Castle Caldwell. The building in the photo is right beside the jetty where we'd stopped a couple of times on the boat.

Up the stairs into the chill of the derelict building. Actor Ian McIlhinney was sitting in a room within the room, playing the part of a man watching himself rise and go. His pre-recorded voice read Beckett's words. It was extraordinarily moving and very cold. Thank goodness I'd gone in my usual state of over-preparedness for the Irish summer.

Our last day in Enniskillen. We'd spent the night on the jetties at the Ardhowen Theatre where there was a contemporary dance event (weird and wonderful). We trolled off to the Round O in the rain, needing to hook up to electricity to charge the phones (inverter caput). As we sat there in the now driving rain and many-miles-an-hour winds, we noticed the bandstand in the park beside the Round O. Here it is:

The cars form a protective barrier against the weather, the one facing us with the boot up. The people in blue are the brass band. You have to hand it to them. No audience, vile vile weather, and still they turn up for duty.

It finally stopped raining as we came into Carrybridge. We'd already decided the only thing to do in such weather would be go to the hotel for dinner. They do a mighty steak and chips, and a sublime panna cotta for desert.

Next day we paused in the tranquility of Trial Bay and played a few tunes. Warmth. No wind. Sunshine.

And back to Mountshannon. Weather wild again, but at least it had warmed up a bit. People were daring themselves as the waves jumped onto the pathways.

This week it's been trad. The Feakle Festival is on and we're off playing tunes in the pubs.

Back to the boat next week.

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