I posted this during Star of the Sea’s run at GIAF 2014 and think it deserves another airing – it’s been updated so go on, have a read…
Hello there Blog Reader. What’s that you say? You’re wondering whether or not you should book tickets to Star of the Sea?
For those of you lucky enough to speak English and Irish, a bi-lingual show could be a bit of a novelty but something you’ll have no trouble understanding. If, like myself, you are a non-Irish speaker, hearing that the show you have tickets for is not entirely in your own language could be just the cue you need to spend the evening in with Netflix instead, but you should hear me out when I say that Star of the Sea is the show for you.
I’m Scottish and like many of my fellow Scots, I never learned my own “native” language Scots’ Gaelic. I have lived my life with virtually no contact with the language at all. It’s spoken by over 87,000 people in the country I lived in for the first 21 years of my life, however I am rather embarrassed at my lack of comprehension of Scots’ and would be slightly afraid to commit 2 hours of my life to an evening in the theatre confronted with that. From what I understand from my Irish friends who don’t “have the Irish”, the situation is rather similar over here.
The Moonfish ensemble are working extremely hard to make sure Star of the Sea can be understood by everyone. Ever since Moonfish began to work with both Irish and English we have so often found ourselves being asked the same crucial – and totally understandable – question: If I come to see your show, will I be able to understand it even if I have little or no Irish? For any of you prospective Star of the Sea audience members out there let me put your minds at ease now and say an emphatic YES! Moonfish are cool that way. Rather than communicating with the audience using just the spoken word, we make theatre with a language of images, physicality and music. Therefore Star of the Sea is written with the intention that it can be enjoyed and fully understood not just by those who have been brought up with just the words of Irish or English.
We use Irish as a theatrical language. Having this language spoken all around us is an incredible asset, so why not use it in our theatre-making? In Star of the Sea, Moonfish have ensured that you – yes YOU can experience and understand this very piece of theatre through Irish and English without actually having learned both languages. The play is set in 1840s Galway and Connemara, when Irish would have been broadly spoken so the bilingual aspect is amazingly apt for a production in Ireland in 2015, which is one of the reasons we are so excited to bring the language of Connemara to the stage. If Irish isn’t your first language, or even if (like me) you’ve barely spoken a word of it in your life, this particular Moonfish production will take you on a journey not just of words, words, words, but of sights, sounds and sensations. (I sound like I’m advertising an evening in a brothel now, but if that shocks you it’s probably best I warn you now that Star of the Sea does feature a brothel scene. Pass the smelling salts…)
It’s a fantastic show. A piece of theatre that will challenge and excite an audience, rather than just be something they’ve typically come to expect from a night in the theatre. Irish, English, Scottish, Klingon – whichever language comes most naturally to your ear, you should definitely book an evening out of the rain on www.moonfishtheatre.com
Until next time, Slán.