Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady’

June 18th, 2009

Podcast 14: our final podcast of this academic year, just in time for some satisfying holiday reading, is an interview with former colleague John Fanagan, who talks about Henry James's great 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady. Set in England and Italy, the book examines the progress of the innocent American young woman Isabel Archer, as she comes into contact with the ways of an older civilisation. John discusses other characters in the novel, such as Ralph Touchett, Lord Warburton, Madame Merle, Henrietta Stacpoole and the dark Gilbert Osmond. There's a spoiler warning before the last few minutes of the podcast, in which the infamous ending is discussed, so if you haven't already read the novel, you might like to pause it then, and return later.

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Actiontrack: an interview with Nick Brace

June 11th, 2009

Our 13th podcast is an interview with the Artistic Director of the Actiontrack Performance Company, Nick Brace. Actiontrack have been coming to us since 1993, working with II formers in March, and with Transition Year in particular at the end of each year in 'showbuilds'. Nick discusses the process in which a musical production is created from scratch in five days, involving song-writing, singing, dancing, set design and of course acting. He also talks about Actiontrack's work generally, including local work in Somerset with schools, youth groups and communities. Actiontrack's website is here.

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The Great Hunger: MacIntyre, Kavanagh, Jameson

June 6th, 2009

Our 12th podcast is an interview with Department member Evan Jameson, about the highly successful part he look in the Balally Players' production of Tom MacIntyre's The Great Hunger, his 1983 adaptation of the epic poem by Patrick Kavanagh (the first part of the poem is on the Leaving Certificate course). We reviewed this here six months ago. Evan discusses the rehearsal process for this very physical piece of drama, the nature of the writing itself, and the experience of going to amateur drama festivals around the country, culminating in the All-Ireland finals in Athlone last month, where the production achieved 4th place.

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