Tying Up Loose Ends…

Our group shot after performing an acting showcase in December 2009.

It happens—we become busy and projects like this become neglected. But, now it’s time to finish up what I started and finally complete this blog. The first step, which has been completed is, is giving this space a fresh, new look. The previous theme looked interesting, but the blog posts were not well presented in the layout. After analyzing a number of themes available, I think this one works the best. The next step is to post some lost entries, and clean up/expand older stories. It won’t be hard writing about past events or previous plays I have seen—referring to previous notes and relying on my photographic memory will do the trick.

There is also going to be a reorganization to this blog too, hopefully. To make different posts accessible, I’m going to be creating a variety of pages under different categories. For example, if you want to read the play reviews I wrote, all you have to do is click “Play Reviews.” The blog will look similarly to a website, chronically all aspects of my time studying theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

So stay tuned, the final transformation of this blog is coming shortly. You don’t want to miss what happens next.

-GM

I AMsterdam

Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Dublin….it seems like everyone has been there. I decided to take a trip to a city not often high cited as places to go. So where would that be?

Amsterdam of course!

The capital of The Netherlands (aka Holland) is a very liberal city, and I do not mean American Liberal. This is Dutch Liberal. Prostitution and marijuana is legal. So, there are plenty of “coffee shops,” racy advertisements, along with the good old Red Light District for all sorts of crowds.

However, I have NO interest in those two things! So don’t worry, I played safe in this city, the pictures will reflect that.

Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy, cold, and partly rainy during that early-November weekend, but Sunday morning was full of blue skies!

We visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, and explored the rest of city by gazing at the beautiful street lined canals. Amsterdam is truely a beautiful city. Though most of the signs were in Dutch, many people spoke English! The trams were well placed around the city and integrated tightly in main streets. And there were a ton of bikes, you needed to watch your back whenever you crossed the street! You’ll see what I mean in the photo gallery.

I AMsterdam Photo Gallery

What is “I AMsterdam?” Visit this link here to find out.

-GM


A Trip to Cymru (Wales)

Photo by George MyattBefore jet-setting off to our IES London Theatre Trip (10/22 − 10/26), me and four other fellow thespians took a three day trip to Northern Wales (10/17 − 10/19). The ferry ride from Dublin to Holyhead (pronounced holly, head) was 60 euro (round trip). That’s cheaper than most flights these day!

Activities included:

  • Visiting the Victorian era Bodelwydnn Castle
  • Exploring the town of Conwy (surrounded by ancient castle walls)
  • Finding a Welsh town with a very long name
  • Experiencing the Great Mines of Orme (from the Bronze Age)
  • And walking around the near-by town of Llandudno

The signs were in English and Welsh, the official language of Wales, next to English. Welsh is a very complex language, like Irish is, but is fundamentally different because of how words are pronounced and spelled. Northern Wales has the largest concentration of native Welsh speakers. Though we did not personally meet anyone who spoke fluent Welsh, I did hear a police man at the train station speak Welsh. I gasped in amazement – it’s not everyday when you hear a lesser known foreign language actually spoken.

Cymru is Welsh for Wales.

Nonetheless, almost all the people we met and converse with were very nice. The English accent was heavily predominant, but you could feel the independent spirit surrounding you in a non-instrusive way. All you needed to do was look out the window on the train and see the endless abundance of farms with cattle, and sheep, and occasional once-mighty castle ruins. We passed through the quiet country-side on the trains, and it was a nice change from the hectic and loud noises of Dublin. Wales is a part of the United Kingdom. The Welsh have their own government in the form of a national assembly, which also cooperates with the British Parliament in London.

Since this was such an eventful trip, there are two photo albums.

Wales Trip Day 1: Bodelwyddan Castle (Rhyl) and Conwy

Wales Trip Day 2: The Great Orme Mines and Llandudno

Enjoy the photos, you’ll feel as if you are there!

Experiences and reflections on the trip to London, as well as the reviews of the plays I saw, are coming soon!

-GMPhoto by George Myatt

 

 

London – A Theatre Capital

The Union Jack - national flag of the United Kingdom

IES Abroad took us to a five day trip in late October to one of Europe’s (the world’s) busiest and bustling cities: London, the capital of the United Kingdom.

The West End (located in Convent Garden) in London is a sight to see! We saw plays War Horse, Endgame, If there Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, and Many Roads to Paradise. While I write the reviews, click on the play titles to learn more about the performances. War Horse was my favorite.

To move easily and freely around the city, I used a great subway system called the London Underground aka The Tube. It is the oldest underground system in the world which started operations in the late 1800’s. You could find your way around by following the map, a great collage of colored lines taking you to your destination.

Sights and Activities Included:

  • The London Tower
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • The British Museum – fantastic world history museum
  • Shopping at Harrods
  • Getting Lost in Kensington Park
  • And, going on a Haunted London Walking Tour

After walking through the glorious Tower of London, me and my friends decided to take a Haunted London Walking Tour. As we walked through the East of London, we stopped at all of sites of the infamous murderer Jack the Ripper. Many people always wonder why this horrible man was never caught. We learned there were so many times when he could have been caught, but always managed to slip away into the dark. The real problem was the police.

London has two police forces; The Metropolitan Police (surrounding London) and the London City Police. There was this great rivalry the two forces had, and because the murders overlapped between their boundaries, no one collaborated to catch the killer. Thankfully, both police forces have a healthier relationship today. Nonetheless, it was a great tour!

It appears to be the case photography is going to become my favorite new hobby because I took a lot of photos! You can view the galleries online here:

London Trip 1: Shakespeare’s Globe and Museums

London Trip 2: The Tower and Platform 9 ¾

London Trip 3: Kensington Park

Enjoy the pictures, I’ll post the play reviews of the plays soon!

-GM


The New Electric Ballroom

A scene from "The New Electric Ballroom."

Unfortunately, this was another show I hated. The actors spoke WAY TOO MUCH, and the show just went in circles of continuous, similar dialogue. For me, that made it hard to make out what they were saying. I just cannot bear to begin to comprehend what really happened.

If you’re brave enough, you can go here to learn more about the show. The Abbey Theatre’s website also provides a great deal of information about the performance.

-GM

The Blue Dragon

The Blue Dragon 2
The Blue Dragon 1

Whenever you go to see a show with an epic title, you expect to see precise technical elements and phenomenal characters and stories brought to life. In reality, only the stunning lighting, and technology used in “Blue Dragon” made it worthwhile to sit through and bear. The acting was monotone and awkward for the first thirty minutes. After that, things picked up, but the actor’s performance seems as small. It felt like I was watching a bad independent film.

“The Blue Dragon” is about this French-Canadian woman named Claire who visits her friend Pierre in Shanghai, China to adopt a child. But problems occur when Claire experiences issues with adopting a child, and Pierre’s personal life continues to invade his professional life.

It was a technically complex show with a small plot. My professor Dr. Fintan Walsh, who teaches “Contemporary Irish Drama,” wrote a review of the show for Irish Theatre Magazine. Go here to read the review. You can also go to the show’s main web page to learn more about the performance.

-GM

Places!

Places ~ the stage manager/director communicates to the actors/performers to get ready for beginning of a show, the second act, etc. (utilized in rehearsals and performances, can also have other uses)

But in cyber world here, it can mean: stand by (get ready) for new blog posts!

Coming out the blog writing pipeline soon will be reviews for the plays “The Blue Dragon,” and “The New Electric Ballroom.”

Plus, we are now taking some classes with new Gaiety Acting School students! Their first day of class was last Wednesday (October 7th), and we met them that Friday. Most higher education instiutions in Ireland begin around the start of October. They are a great bunch of people: full of energy, ready to expand their creativity and eager to become smarter artists. I’ll let you know later what class is like with them.

And next Tuesday, I’m seeing a musical that tests the boundaries of living on the edge, dark desires for fame and fortune and human dignity. Yes, it’s a vague description. So, you’ll have to guess for now what musical I’m talking about and wait for the review next Wednesday.

Here’s a hint: I was in this show the fall of my freshman year at college.

-GM

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