We’re nearing the end of the Galway leg of our tour and I’ll surely be sad to leave this town. The town is filled with fine musicians which you find in the pubs of course, but just as often on the streets playing for a few coin – sometimes in the pouring rain at ten o’clock at night with no one really around. Audiences for The Crucible have been warm and receptive, and our hosts have arranged for some fine nights out and I find myself “entirely amazed” (Proctor’s line in act 2) at most everything. The past two days have been beyond any words I can summon. Wednesday a good number of us piled into a “coach,” and our merry driver, Desmond, took off. The Galway City Center slipped away into the neighborhoods, which thinned into tiny villages and before long there seemed nothing around us but beautiful untouched Irish country side. I cannot say how long we were on the road because I have been somewhat in awe of all my surroundings. The natural beauty of this country is stunning. Our destination was the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. Being so high above he sea was at the same time frightening and beautiful. The pathway along the cliffs is flanked by grassy pasture where we played frisbee in the wind and managed not to lose it over the cliffs.
On Thursday one of our host producers, Tom Grealey, arranged for us to visit Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. Again the drive to the Abby was spectacular and we stopped and took picture of one of the “twelve pins” – great and beautiful mountains. I could barely keep myself from running away from the bus on one stop and resolved to encounter this country again with a back pack and a bike. The grounds of the Abby itself were equally stunning and featured a wooded walking path that was completely deserted and made for a contemplative half hour walk. Our driver, Eric, had studied Irish culture and was well versed in the history of Ireland including its occupation by the British, the great potato famine, and the country’s struggle for independence.
We’ve done a matinee performance already today which went well. I feel an amazing sense of pride that I am able to share the stage with such a talented cast. I am impressed each and every day as I observe the stage-craft and ongoing work. Add to that the music, the pubs, the fellowship of cast members, and it is clear: these are the good ole days. Tonight and tomorrow and we are on to Kilkenny to meet a new set of Irish actresses and continue this magical tour.
-Charlie Abel (Hathorne)