Cavan Discovered on Tour

Culture day in Cavan was a hot trail of art and theatre through blue skies, scudding clouds, all merging into a wonderful sunset behind the spire of the cathedral. It couldn’t have been a more artistic setting.
It was a great day which began with the Women’s Traveller Health and Social Care Project. They put on a wonderful spread of food but it was the knitting, the painting, and the chat that was brilliant to see and hear. I didn’t realise the project was so extensive. What a resource for the town to have.
In the evening, Julie and I started in the Library with Sally O’Dowd’s one line drawings. I was intrigued by these. I used to like doing one line drawings myself but mine only turned into scribble, unlike Sally’s. Maire, a friend of mine, reminded me of the toy we had as children: grey screen, red backing, two knobs in the front which you turned and created a one line drawing. Ahh yes, memories. Sally’s drawing made me wish I’d kept at it.
After the Library we headed up to the Moth Studios behind Church St. This is where I discovered parts of Cavan I didn’t know existed. Long beautiful gardens roll up a hill and there are interesting bungalows dotted on the horizon beneath an almost Swiss looking forest of conifers.
On down to The Living Thing exhibition by Jackie O’Neill and Joe Doherty in The Teacher’s Centre. This was a delightful surprise. The outside tree light sculptures were so pretty and so was Kavan Donoghue playing the harp. It was a lovely exhibition. It focuses on the concept of Mandella, the unifying centre from which everything evolves. Yes, a little hard to get your head around but the wooden artefacts were gorgeous and I loved the way the way they were displayed. I particularly liked Jackie’s Shannon Pot piece.
We got so excited about this exhibition that we missed the beginning of the Tapas Theatre on in the Town Hall but when we did get there, I really enjoyed this performance. With the Sinfonia orchestra on stage providing the music in between, the Theatre Lab Cavan brought us a few of the tiny plays collected by Fishamble and the Irish Times who received over 1,700 submissions when they asked the Irish public what could be achieved on stage in three minutes. I particularly liked the heart knitting piece, the two girls drinking and dreaming, and the banking scene. So clever, and so enjoyable. The stage setting was fab too.
As, indeed, was the launch of the Town Hall Programme by the crew. What a spectacular! Great lighting, smoke, creativity, charisma, charm, and engagement. I loved the lowering of the gigantic bar of lights to centre stage (isn’t it ironic how the lighting is rarely acknowledged in theatre despite often being the show piece) and the final wrap up with the wrapping up of the dancer by the stage hands. Brilliant.
We are so lucky to have the Town Hall as an arts centre in Cavan. It feels like home. There can be no greater accolade. Thank you everyone!

th prog benchjoe doherty

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