A weekend in Mullagh, Cavan County, for a theatre retreat.
In order to understand the Irish culture more fully we must embrace theatre, one of Ireland’s more inherent forms of expression. So it was. Saturday was spent working with a theatre group in this beautiful small town of Mullagh. The workshop was fun and the last act was performing in front of a crowded town hall after the dress rehearsal production of “Black Pig’s Dyke.” Yes that’s right, a group of nineteen psychology majors from America acting out a fifteen-minute act of “Black Pig’s Dyke.” Well it was entertaining to say the least. We all had a laugh, audience included.
We left the theatre and walked from one end of town to the other before meeting up with some of the actors from the dress rehearsal and towns people at the Pub. The town was calm. There was a peace to it that isn’t found in the city. We make it into the Pub to be greeted with open arms by so many new friends. It works that way in Ireland; Pub = Life, Meet once = friends for life, a unique phenomenon that I’ve only found in Ireland.
So I sit at a table with recognizable and start talking with the guy next to me. He’s an actor in the play and immediately joins in comfortable conversation. The conversation opens up to him commenting on the Irish accent that I used while on stage. He makes craic. He says that it sounded like a leprechaun from some Disney movie, we both laugh. It makes sense, after all that would be the only other exposure to the Irish accent. I ask about the Irish language and ask if he speaks Irish. He says very little, but some, enough he says. We talk about immigration and the different languages now in Ireland. He goes back to accents and starts to talk about the influence of the American accent in Ireland. He says that his niece and nephew watch American Disney movies so much that they speak with an American accent. He goes on to say that his niece and nephew are not isolated occurrences, that this is a fad in Ireland, sounding American. I mentioned that I could see that in Dublin because of all the international students, but not in such small towns. He then spoke of Dublin with an almost angst or fear. He says that he stay’s in the country and tries to avoid ever going to Dublin. He says the people are dead to the mundane schedule of work; they don’t look at you with the life you find out here in the country. It’s a rocky road to Dublin; he goes on to say, and a sad way. I smile and think of the song Donal played for my group. Interesting how pieces fit together.
The next morning I walked through and around the town of Mullagh. A fog blanketed the ground and all was very quite before the noon hour. Ahead was an afternoon filled with more theatre and then back on the bus, leaving the heart of Ireland and a wonderful experience. The bus door closed and the wheels began their decent along the rocky road to Dublin.