Yeats, Ballylee, Only Jealousy of Emer, DancePlayers, theatre
A riverside procession led by pied-piper musicians; damp stone and peat fire; a white cloth unbound in darkness; silence on the winding stair; and then, something happens: a young lover presses through bodies; a laughing creature leaps with wicker arm; a woman kneels before the hearth; a figure ghosts through a doorway. Climbing higher through whirling dancers, a vertiginous fiddle is answered by jackdaws; sudden sunshine burns gold a silver mask; a bat flies through a barred window and motes of thrown dust catch the setting sun. None of these are things one associates with your average theatre production. But all became part of the drama as WB Yeats’s play The Only Jealousy of Emer came home to his stone tower house at Thoor Ballylee, Co Galway.