by Nikki Hoffpauir
So we left Galway on Tuesday morning and moved on to Cork, stop number two on our grand tour of Ireland with AFGM.
We were in awe right off. The Everyman Palace Theatre is spectacular. Gold leafing, patron boxes, red velvet seats…very old school theater. We loaded in quickly Tuesday afternoon thanks to the help of our truck driver, Liam, and the lads at Everyman. Mark, the technical director at EP couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful and we proceeded to get the set built in no time flat.
We had a bit of a bigger challenge with the lights since we had a different front of house set up than we had in Galway, so there was some re-focusing and re-working of cues to be done over the course of Wednesday into Thursday.
Luckily, with all the hard work our lighting designer Kyle had already put in with identifying differences between theaters, and Mike’s brilliant lighting expertise, by the time we opened, lights were in the right place at the right time. Huzzah!
Thursday night was our first show and we had an amazing audience. We’re learning that the audiences here are very appreciative and enjoy the show, but do take a bit of time to adjust to the accents, so they may seem quiet at first but are absolutely with us and 100% attentive. In fact, they were so with us that they applauded pretty feverishly after Jessup left the stand, celebrating the bad guy getting his come uppance and the great work in the famous “You can’t handle the truth” monologue and the “You ordered the Code Red!” “you’re goddamn right I did!” exchange, that we had to hold the final scene of the sentencing until the applause died down. This happened again our last night there and was even longer—almost 45 seconds!
We had shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Cork, so we were there about five days. There were no full days off so it left limited time for exploring, but people did manage to get around. Cork has an incredible shopping area just across the bridge from where we were staying and the theater, so we spent a lot of time browsing stores and going to the English market, which is a lot like an indoor farmer’s market with pretty much every cut of fresh meat you could want, local cheese, vegetables, honey, pastries, etc.
A lot of folks also spent time enjoying the local pubs and restaurants. A big shout out to Gallaghers for their daily soups that fed several of us, Tara’s Tea Room for indulging us for Brianna’s birthday tea party, Oliver Plunkett’s for having a kickass local band performing, and to Andrew and the crew at Shelbourne’s next door to the theater for helping us celebrate nightly post-show and introducing us to a bunch of new types of whiskeys. If you ever make your way to Cork, please check them out.
I also managed to sneak in the Jameson Distillery tour on our last day there…clearly someone from Keegan had to go! Totally fascinating to see the Irish whiskey making process and then doing the tasting afterwards—I may never be able to drink Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker again after learning about the value of the triple distilling process.
Others managed to get to the Crawford Art Gallery and the cathedral. The highlight though, for me, was definitely Blarney Castle…that’ll have to be a separate post though, so stay tuned.