joseph o’connor

Star of the Sea

Coming to An Grianán | Tuesday 21st November – Joseph O’Connor’s gripping story of revenge and forgiveness.

“A lesson in theatre magic … captures an extraordinary and devastating story ” Irish Daily Mail | “Vital theatre” Sunday Business Post | “This emotional tour de force honours the author, and, most of all, the victims of The Famine and the coffin ships” Irish Independent | “Truly sensuous, ebullient, and multifaceted” Irish Times | “Unquestionably an exquisite piece of theatre ” Examiner.com | “Gorgeously assembled theatre ” Irish Times

Moonfish Theatre’s critically-acclaimed, sell-out success Star of the Sea is touring Ireland and the US this autumn, with a performance at An Grianán on Tuesday 21st November. Based on Joseph O’Connor’s epic best-selling novel, this story of love, murder, revenge and forgiveness in the time of the Famine is back by popular demand. An unmissable piece of Irish theatre, Star of the Sea was a sell-out hit of the Galway International Arts Festival 2014, which was followed by a packed tour across Ireland in 2015. This will be one of the last opportunities to see the show as this will be its final tour with Moonfish.

Star of the Sea tells the story of a famine ship sailing from Cobh to the promised land of New York in the winter of 1847. On board are passengers with secrets to hide – a silent maidservant, a ruined lord, and a murderer on the run – characters whose lives and fates are far more intertwined than they realise. Moving between the wild landscape of Connemara, grimy London streets, and the claustrophobic confines of the famine ship, this sweeping production from the award-winning Moonfish Theatre charts the lives of the three characters, from the childhoods that shaped them to their final, fateful journey.

O’Connor’s novel combines elements of thriller, mystery, romance, and Gothic suspense tale, and this innovative and much-loved theatrical re-telling has been adapted from his work by Moonfish’s ensemble cast. The company’s Star of the Sea sees language, movement, imagery, live sound effects, song, traditional music and six performers conjure the worlds of the characters. One of the remarkable things about the stage adaptation of the novel is the fact that Moonfish using their signature style of bi-lingual theatre have given voice to the characters whose first language would have been Irish. Audiences are invited to experience Irish as a theatrical language, translated continuously through subtitles, movement and song.

“I found their version of (the story) and their presentation of the adaptation just so moving and very emotional, and to hear those words spoken in the Irish language, was really something that I’ll never forget.” Joseph O’Connor

DEVISED & PERFORMED BY:
Mairead Ni Chroinin, Ionia Ni Chroinin, Grace Kiely , Zita Monahan, Morgan Cooke, Sean T O’Mealleigh

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

An Grianán, Letterkenny, Donegal
Tuesday 21st November 8pm
€18/€15/school groups €10
W: angrianan.com | T: 074 912 0777

BOOK NOW

Suitable for audiences aged 15+.

MOONFISH THEATRE

Moonfish Theatre is an award-winning theatre ensemble. Based in Galway, they create work in English and Irish, for young people and adults. In 2013 Moonfish was awarded the Stewart Parker Trust / BBC Northern Ireland Irish Language Theatre award for its acclaimed production of Pinocchio – A Nightmare.

To find out more: W: moonfishtheatre.com | Facebook: Moonfish TheatreGalway | Twitter: @MoonfishTheatre | Instagram: Moonfish Theatre

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
With thanks to: Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Galway City Council, Foras Na Gaeilge, Culture Ireland and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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Joseph O’Connor’s Guide to starting a book club

We have a wonderful stage adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea coming up in November and feel that it would be terrific opportunity for a night out for book club members. So if you haven’t already decided what your November book is going to be, why not consider picking Star of the Sea?

Already a popular choice with book clubs, Joseph O’Connor has created his own guide to Star of the Sea especially for reading groups which can be downloaded from his website here

Moonfish Theatre's Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author's blessing) from Joseph O'Connor's acclaimed novel.

Moonfish Theatre’s Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author’s blessing) from Joseph O’Connor’s acclaimed novel.

But what if you’re not in a book club?

To find a book club near you visit the Donegal Country Library as they facilitate and support a number of Book Clubs around the County including those hosted and run by the library as well as those held outside the library. See their website for further info.

Start your own?

If you want to get proactive and start your own book club check out these handy tips from Joseph O’Connor:

THE PEOPLE

  • Decide how many people you would ideally like in your group. Less than 5 can be a bit small but more than 15 is a bit too large.
  • Ask your local library, college or bookshop to put up an ad for you on their notice board.
  • Spread the word amongst friends – get word-of-mouth going about the group.
  • Hopefully you’ll end up with a diverse group of people which will make discussions all the more interesting.

THE LOCATION

  • Libraries, colleges and bookshops are a great help as they may have a room where you can hold meetings.
  • You may prefer to meet in more relaxed environments such as a separate room in a pub or restaurant or even in members’ homes – alternating for each meeting so everyone has an opportunity to host.

THE MEETING

  • Decide how often you would like to meet – most groups tend to meet once a month giving everyone plenty of opportunity to read the chosen book.
  • Try and meet on the same day each time. This will give the group continuity, the meeting priority and will make it easier for people to keep it free and attend regularly.
  • Decide how long you would like the meetings to last – but be flexible in the course of each meeting.

THE BOOKS

  • Everyone in the group is going to have slightly different tastes in books so try and choose a real cross-section of authors and genres so that all tastes are covered and you all get to try different writing.
  • Decide how you are going to select what books are to be discussed – a rota system or drawing suggestions from a hat are a couple of commonly used systems.
  • Look to your local bookshop for suggestions through staff recommends and promotions such as fresh talent and book of the month.
  • Write to publishers and ask for their new title catalogues to get a head start on up and coming new titles.
  • Don’t forget to scour the shelves for older more established classics that you may not have read but have always meant to.
  • Think about whether every few meetings you’d like to have a themed evening, such as crime, or Booker prizewinners and choose two or three books to compare.

THE DISCUSSION

  • Discuss what everyone wants from the meetings – everyone’s expectations for the groups need to be fulfilled as much as possible.
  • Think about having a different facilitator at each meeting. Their role could be to present the book with a little background information on the author and book, this can help set the scene for the discussion to come.
  • Have some discussion points ready to get things going. A little structure at the start can be beneficial.
  • Try to avoid letting one voice dominate proceedings, this can be intimidating to other group members and hinder discussion.
  • Be aware as to when the discussion is getting bogged down and needs to be moved on.

GET GOING

Remember being a member of a reading group is meant to be fun and will enhance your reading – enjoy yourself.

Source: http://www.josephoconnorauthor.com/for-book-clubs-star-of-the-sea.html

Blending language, song, movement and imagery, this exciting and inventive production by award-winning Moonfish Theatre brings Joseph O’Connor’s epic novel to the stage as part of their national tour. Set in 1847, Star of the Sea is a famine-ship sailing to New York. Among the passengers are those with secrets to hide – a silent maidservant, a ruined landlord, and an infamous murderer.

Moonfish Theatre present their adaptation of Star of the Sea on Tues 21 November. Tickets are €18/€15 but if you are coming as part of a group please contact Daithi or Nicola at the box office on 0749120777 to avail of a generous discount. We’d love to hear from you! 

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