Thursday, November 30, 2006

Twelfth Night review

Rebecca Feeney-Barry and Emily Plunket, from Transition Year, who were also two of the production's prompters, here review Twelfth Night.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Year of the Hiker

Tomorrow night, all our Transition Year go to Druid Theatre's fine production of John B.Keane's The Year of the Hiker at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (we also took last year's TY to it at the Gaiety). Visits to challenging and enjoyable drama productions are part of our TY programme; earlier this term we went to The Importance of Being Earnest at the Abbey, and more visits are planned in the next two terms.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

McCarthy and Dillon

Two recommendations from recent reading, both coincidentally about memory and the ways our minds work. A novel, Remainder by Tom McCarthy, starts : "About the accident itself I can say very little. Almost nothing. It involved something falling from the sky. Technology, Parts, bits. That's it, really: all I can divulge. Not much, I know." The narrator's memory has been wiped out by this mysterious catastrophe, and thereafter the story takes an intriguing, funny and eventually demented turn. Constantly interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking.

Then a form of a biography : In the Dark Room- a journey in memory, by Brian Dillon. The author meditates about his home, his childhood and the ways we remember and forget. A touch of W.G.Sebald about this. Again, always absorbing. Much of the best work we receive in our Work Portfolios in the Transition Year is driven by memories of childhood; Dillon writes about our first homes that 'in the furrows and expanses of the house, we uncover for the first time the surfaces on which memory and imagination can be sent in motion, safely sliding from room to room ... to remember such a place is to reconnect with our most solitary sense of ourselves.'

JMG, English Department

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yeats Exhibition

We've added a new link in our Poetry categories in the sidebar on the right to the truly outstanding National Library of Ireland Yeats exhibition. The Library has now created a micro-site on Yeats and has started putting on some of the material from the exhibition, including, for instance, Luca Crispi's video masterclass on 'Sailing to Byzantium', and will be developing the site further. We highly recommend the exhibition itself to all our readers; it is difficult to imagine any poet presented better. There are also excellent free tours conducted by expert guides.

VI formers, studying Yeats for the Leaving Certificate, will also shortly each receive a copy of this week's Irish Independent supplement on Yeats, and we will be organising trips to the Library. The four films shown in the exhibition are now available on DVD, which we have bought for use in class. The exhibition is long-term, and expected to last three years.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Twelfth Night photo album

Click here for a selection of over 120 photos of rehearsals and other moments from the recent Twelfth Night production. Then click on 'View Slideshow'.

'Leaves', by Rowland Cooper

Our first posted poem by a pupil - the first of what we hope will eventually be a large Creative Writing section on this site. This is 'Leaves', by VI former Rowland Cooper :-

'Autumn's pale sun shimmers
In the crisp, clear sky.
The last butterfly helplessly
Beats against a pane of glass ...'

For the full poem, click here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Twelfth Night

Our production of Twelfth Night featured last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and was tremendously well-received - great reward for all after more than two months' hard work. Shortly we will post a pupil-review here, and an album of photos.

Transition Year pupils have now completed their major project, the Extended Essays. These will also feature here within the next fortnight.

Exams start tomorrow, followed by an Exodus weekend off.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Twelfth Night performances

Above, the huge cast of our production of Twelfth Night, which had its preview last night, and opens tonight in the BSR at 7pm.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Vanishing Ireland

A plug for a new book by an Old Columban, photographer James Fennell (together with writer Turtle Bunbury), which is now in our Library - Vanishing Ireland, published recently by Hodder Headline. This is a stunning collection of portraits, with James's beautiful pictures vividly bringing alive an Ireland which is being rapidly overtaken by a very different society. To see some of these photographs, click here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Twelfth Night week

Pictured is a general dance practice for the end of Twelfth Night, this year's Senior Play, which is performed this week on Thursday (preview), Friday and Saturday. The production ends with the whole cast dancing to Charles Trenet's 'Hop! Hop!'

For those attending, here is a link to a page from the programme, describing the set-up for the plot, and commenting on the play.

Next week, we will post a review of the production by Sophie Haslett, V form.

Below, Ben Russell in full flow preparing for the part of Malvolio, Olivia's steward.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wilfred Owen

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day for victims of war. So, an appropriate time to add a new link to our Poetry section (look down the right sidebar) for Wilfred Owen - the superb Oxford University Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive. Click on Browse the Archive and you can look through the full manuscripts of the poems. A fascinating and valuable resource.

Today the London Independent books section featured an article about Owen's early life by the poet Paul Harley, and this is Wilfred Owen Week on BBC Radio 3.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Paul Auster

In a September post, Deirdre Gannon recommended Paul Auster's novel The Music of Chance. Recently, an essay by Auster in the Guardian passionately explained the necessity of writing and the power of fiction :-

'To do something for the pure pleasure and beauty of doing it. Think of the effort involved, the long hours of practice and discipline required to become an accomplished pianist or dancer. All the suffering and hard work, all the sacrifices in order to achieve something that is utterly and magnificently ... useless.

Fiction, however, exists in a somewhat different realm from the other arts. Its medium is language, and language is something we share with others, that is common to us all. From the moment we learn to talk, we begin to develop a hunger for stories. Those of us who can remember our childhoods will recall how ardently we relished the moment of the bedtime story, when our mother or father would sit down beside us in the semi-dark and read from a book of fairy tales.

Numbers don't count where books are concerned, for there is only one reader, each and every time only one reader. That explains the particular power of the novel and why, in my opinion, it will never die as a form. Every novel is an equal collaboration between the writer and the reader and it is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy.'

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

E-mail subscription & RSS

We have now added an option to have e-mail notification of posts from SCC English - go to the end of the links section on the right, and fill in your address in the box (it won't be used for any other purpose, and you can easily unsubscribe). For more tech-minded visitors, there's also now an RSS feed button there ...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Twelfth Night poster

Term resumes this morning. Congratulations to Gabriella von Bulow, the VI form artist who has won the poster competition for our Twelfth Night production next week.