As part of The National Neighbourhood: Press Play, Dublin’s Culture Connects worked with Irish playwright Dermot Bolger, who was the artist in residence at the National Museum of Ireland, our ‘Press Play’ partner. Commissioned to consider the people and places of north west Dublin, Dermot created a series of four richly evocative monologues, conjuring up reimagined lives from the rich tapestry of Dublin life over the past century. Excerpts of Bolger’s monologues were performed at the Abbey Theatre and axis:Ballymun as part of The National Neighbourhood.
These four tales have now come to life in a different format in New Island’s publication ‘Bang Bang & Other Dublin Monologues’ by Dermot Bolger. On paper as on stage, they conspire to be humourous, mesmerising, shocking and deeply moving all at the same time, painting a vivid picture of Dublin places through local people and places. You can buy a copy of the book HERE
Here’s a little more information about the stories to whet your appetite:
In blind old age, Dublin’s most famous gunslinger, the legendary street character Bang Bang, recalls decades roaming the streets of Dublin, which became Dodge City in his mind as he fought imaginary gun battles with bushwhackers and banditos with the large key he carried in his pocket as a pistol. Amid his fantastical tales, Bolger subtly weaves in his real life story, as Thomas Dudley, raised in a Cabra orphanage.
A teenage girl sets out to entice the boy she wants to marry on an unfinished street corner in Cabra, after her family are given a new house there in 1941 following the destruction of their old home when a Nazi plane bombed the North Strand, causing a conflagration that tears apart an old Dublin community.
John Bell, a twenty-year-old Finglas-born soldier in the First World War, recalls the village of his birth while awaiting execution at dawn in France in 1915. A century later, in the same suburb, a teenage girl sits beside an ancient stone cross to remember how her missing father intimated that she had hidden gifts just waiting to be found.
Dublin’s Culture Connects aims to connect Dubliners to their city through culture and conversation. We develop activities and events that bring communities together, and to life: all based on people’s stories, wishes and experiences. It’s all about making and taking part in culture.
One of our programmes is The National Neighbourhood. We want every neighbourhood to know and ‘own’ their city’s cultural resources, so we connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places – including our National Cultural Institutions – to make cultural events in their communities.