Culture

Culture Latest Play

Shaw sides with working-class women

The immediate social background to George Bernard Shaw’s most famous comedy, Pygmalion (1912), is the growing British women’s suffrage movement at the time. The play is as much about class relations as it is about women’s rights. For Shaw, the two are inseparable. Pygmalion is about practical, intelligent women from […]

Culture Latest Music

The return of Anderson

Badhands, the musical project from Dublin, were the backing group at the Workman’s Club Cellar on Saturday 10 September for Anderson’s first live show in over four years. It was standing room only for a show with no set breaks as they cranked out tune after tune. You could have […]

Culture Latest Poetry

War and Peace

A bilingual 31-syllable tanka (5-7-5-7-7 syllables) in Irish and English, in response to a work of street art. Street Poster, Liverpool, by Guy Denning cad atá ar siúlis deacair é a thuiscintcuir in iúl dom écén cuspóir atá againnní thuigim a thuilleadh é what are we doing it is hard […]

Culture Play

O’Casey’s dark comedy

Sean O’Casey’s dark comedy Cock-a-Doodle Dandy (1949) is set in Ireland about 1940 and is rarely performed. Witchcraft is haunting the village of Nyadnanave ever since Marthraun’s daughter by his first wife, Loreleen, arrived from London. A rooster causes commotion and embodies indomitable joie de vivre and rebelliousness. The setting in the backwoods suggests […]

Books Culture

Unmanageable revolutionaries

Margaret Ward’s ground-breaking book on revolutionary women in Ireland, Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism, 1880–1980 (1983), was republished in an updated, revised and richly illustrated new edition by Arlen House in late 2021. It is a superb introduction to some of the great women in Irish history since Anna […]

Culture Music

A rising star

The singer-songwriter Sive got a surprise at the 2018 James Connolly Festival when Christy Moore took to the stage at the concert Sive was headlining to give an impromptu performance of four songs, including “Viva la Quince Brigada.” Sive played an amazing acoustic set at “Live at the Local” in […]

Gaeilge - Irish Language Poetry

Orpen and Keating

Two bilingual tanka, in Irish and English, “Hail the Deserters” and “Weeping in their Graves,” 31-syllable poems (5-7-5-7-7), in response to work by two Irish artists, William Orpen and Seán Keating. When the First World War broke out, Orpen’s assistant, Seán Keating, returned to Ireland, avoiding conscription, but Orpen stayed […]

Books

Two book launches

This month Connolly Books will play host to two book launches.      On 15 July, at 7pm, Conor Magahy will launch his first book, Posh Mackers, a moving and at times humorous account of his early childhood in Dublin, set between the years 1978 and 1988. It tells the story […]

Culture Gaeilge - Irish Language Poetry

War poet

The short life of Sidney Keyes (1922–1943) is in itself a striking metaphor for the cruelty and futility of war. He was killed in action before his twenty-first birthday in Tunisia. His book The Cruel Solstice (1944) can be read on Faded Page (tinyurl.com/4282dd4u).      Keyes was an unusual poet, […]

Culture Poetry

“Let the axe strike at the root”

Engels said about Shelley: “Byron and Shelley are read almost exclusively by the lower classes; no ‘respectable’ man is likely to have the latter’s work on his table without coming into the most terrible disrepute.”      Born shortly after the French Revolution, Shelley was heir to a substantial estate and […]

Poetry

POETRY: Crossroads

CrossroadsIreland during the Civil War, 1922–23by Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh (1874–1957)Translated from the Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock How mysterious, this road ahead, Behind me, a road of desolation. Roads to the left and the right of me— Whither now, Lord of Creation? My feet can hardly carry me, Empty hands, my […]

Culture

James Connolly Festival 2022

The James Connolly Festival is an annual, week-long series of events in radical arts, culture, and politics. It is a community-centred celebration of music, film, discussion and debate that brings together the ideas and thoughts of progressive and radical thinkers and organisations from around Ireland and beyond. Since the festival’s […]