Friday, July 14, 2017

Ireland Study Abroad, Installment 4

We've arrived in Galway to catch part of the Galway International Arts Festival. We've got a lot of things to see as well as excursions to the Cliffs of Moher and Inishmore planned.
Our last handful of days in Dublin were relatively slow-paced. We met with Claire-Louise Bennett (insert link here), author of pond. She was also a very interesting person, as most of the creative types we've met with have been. These people seem to have so much vitality and vibrancy of character; no wonder that people would pay for their work.
We saw The Great Gatsby at the Gate Theatre last night. I'm not too sure what my feelings about it are. All of the seating was removed and 20's dress was encouraged. The audience were the invitees to one of Jay Gatsby's famous parties. Attendees might learn to dance the Charleston or follow various characters into backstage areas of the theatre to learn secrets. All of the main plot points occurred in the large main room, ensuring that every audience member viewed that much of the story, regardless of where else they wandered. However, I'm uncertain if the thread of events made any sense to anyone who hasn't read the book or seen the film. While people enjoyed it, it felt a bit like a costume party for those people who had read the book. Of course, there may not be very many people who aren't at least vaguely familiar with the story of The Great Gatsby. I did find the depiction of George Wilson to be far more sympathetic than I had ever found him to be in the book. His physically locking up his wife Myrtle is quickly skated over in this performance, and there's a good deal of focus on his motivations and his love for her. The scene in which he mourns his wife provides a direct contrast to Gatsby's death: while Myrtle's body and George's grieving is shown, Gatsby's corpse is not seen, and Nick Carraway recites a quote about how no one shows up to Gatsby's funeral.  Overall, the performance was a more multifaceted view of the world and the story of Jay Gatsby than the original text, which is filtered through Nick Carraway's perceptions.

No comments:

Post a Comment