Austin Gaffney – A Tribute

The wonderful Austin Gaffney, pictured above in the banner was from a performance of “Song of Norway”, with my wife Pauline (Magrath) in 1966. No one but Austin could enter a scene with such a swirl of an operatic cloak, or doff a silk top-hat with such panache.

Born in Dublin, for decades, he was the star of so many Light Operas, Pantomimes, Cabarets, Reviews, Television Shows and Recordings, often with some of the biggest orchestras and bands in Britain and Ireland. His performance as The Red Shadow in, ”The Desert Song”, surpassed all others; his voice superb, his acting superb. From “Die Fledermaus” to “The Merry Widow”, Austin reigned supreme.

Austin was also an original member of and, a staunch supporter of the Variety Artist’s Section of Irish Actors Equity, helping to raise the standard of that Branch for many years.

He was generous, unselfish and a pleasure to work with and, his path to stardom was a tough one. Following twice-daily performances in the Gaiety Theatre, at the drop of the evening curtain, he would be off to perform in Jury’s Cabaret in Dame Street until midnight. Weekends, and free days were spent enjoying the coaching of the next generation of Irish singers.

Austin was part of, what was, a great theatrical ‘family’ of colleagues that embraced so-called ‘legits’, and ‘non legits’, with equal camaraderie from the post-war years onward. His soubriquet, “The Gaffer”, created with true Dublinese affection, was apt indeed. He was greatly missed when he retired and he will be even more greatly missed now, as a valued colleague to so many. What a voice, what a star, what a friend to all!

Laurence Foster. February 15th 2019.

Banner photo: Copyright Pauline Magrath (Foster)

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Housing is a Human Right

Talks between Abbey Theatre management and theatre workers

Talks between Abbey Theatre management and theatre workers – Please read the article which appeared in The Irish Times on Saturday, 2nd February 2019 READ ARTICLE

Choral Evensong in Remembrance of Actors, Musicians and Artists


Choral Evensong in Remembrance of Actors, Musicians and Artists. All welcome.

Tribute to Actress, Virginia Cole

Sad it is to again to salute a dearly departed colleague from the Theatre World.

Virgina Cole was only just seventeen years of age when she launched her acting career by landing the plum role of Concepta Feeney in Tolka Row, the much vaunted RTE drama series which aired from 1964-1968.

During this time, she had also established a fine theatre career and performed in most of the Dublin Theatres and, in 1971 appeared in the highly praised RTE Drama, “A Week in the Life of Martin Cluxton”.

Featured roles in Many Dublin Theatre Festivals followed and Virginia then appeared in many more movies and TV series, most notably, “The Snapper”, “Adam & Paul”, “Agnes Brown”, “The Informant” “Perfect Scoundrels”, “The Clinic” and Tara Road.

In the 1990s she played the demented schoolgirl “Slighty Bonkers”, in “Fortycoats” for RTE TV which later transferred to RTE Radio Drama.

Virginia, who later became a barrister was married to John McColgan, producer of “Riverdance”.

Always a strong, supportive member of Irish Actors Equity, she was very much a no-nonsense actress; extremely professional and always well prepared and, in the days when it was even tougher for actresses to sustain a theatrical career, she was well able to take care of herself, was extremely candid, didn’t suffer ‘fools’ gladly, or otherwise, and was never shy about letting a director know where they both stood.

We shall all miss her greatly, her camaraderie, her strength, and most of all, her friendships which never waned.

“Soft, by and by. Let us the Curtains draw”. King Lear

Laurence Foster

Applying for the 2018 Co-operation Projects Call?

10am-3pm Thursday 18th October 2018
Europe House, 12-14 Mount Street Lower, D2
Sign up: E-mail your name, organisation and brief project details to cedculture@artscouncil.ie.

Are you developing an application for the next Co-operation Projects deadline in 2018? We will host a free application workshop in Dublin on Thursday 18th October for organisations that are developing proposals for Co-operation Projects in 2018.

Get some insights into what you need to demonstrate in your proposal for a successful application!
Learn about the red flag items that can trip applicants up!

Hear tips from previously successful applicants.
Bring along all your niggling questions on the application process, application form and budgets.

We will also have a general introduction to Co-operation Projects funding to begin the session. If you are not planning an application for this year’s deadline but would like to learn more please do come for coffee and the introductory session.

We are also holding an Information session and Workshop in Waterford on 8th October.

Can’t attend our workshops in Dublin or Waterford? Phone us on 01 6180200 for information and advice or email your questions to cedculture@artscouncil.ie. We’re here to help, right up to the time that you press that submit button, so do keep in touch!

To register your interest in attending please email cedculture@artscouncil.ie.

Creative Europe Funding Workshop

· Mon 8 October 2018 | 10:00 – 13:00
· Garter Lane Arts Centre, 5 O’Connell Street, Waterford
· FREE TICKETS ON EVENTBRITE HERE

Our free workshop will be an interactive session for arts, culture, heritage, craft and design organisations to explore ideas for developing transnational working practices and to learn about accessing Creative Europe funding.

The session will begin with an overview of the Creative Europe Culture sub-programme and in particular the Co-operation projects fund by Audrey Keane of the Creative Europe Desk Ireland’s Culture office.

Round table discussions: This will be followed by round table discussions exploring the different aspects of developing and running a European project. Hear from Creative Europe beneficiaries including Chris Clarke, The Glucksman Gallery (VIBE project) and Edel Doran, First Fortnight Festival (NEFELE project) and Katherine Collins, Waterford Walls who will share their experiences.

This will be an opportunity to learn from the experience of those already involved in projects and to test your own ideas for a project. Delegates are invited to stay on for a networking lunch with more opportunities to share learning and ideas.

This event is organised by Waterford Europe Direct Information Centre in partnership with Creative Europe Desk Ireland (Culture Office), Waterford Cultural Quarter and the Waterford Area Partnership.

APPLY VIA EVENTBIRE FOR YOUR TICKET HERE

Have your say: Has Dublin become too expensive for artists to live here?

Musician David Kitt says he was being forced to leave because he can’t afford it anymore

Musician David Kitt is quitting Ireland, claiming it is too expensive to live in the country anymore. Kitt says he has no choice given that the Dublin house in which he lives is being sold as part of a portfolio to a consortium of European investors. “I do think it is sad that so many creative/artistic/bright people are being forced to leave this city and the country in general.” He blamed Fine Gael who he said are “failing this city and its people massively. And Dublin’s heart and soul is being ripped out and sold to the highest bidder.”

The Irish Times would like to hear from readers on the issue. Do you think Dublin and other cities and towns around Ireland have become too expensive for artists, musicians and other creatives to live and work? Is the cultural vibrancy of the city being lost as a result? If you are working in a creative industry, have you had to leave Dublin, or Ireland, to make a living? Or are you, like Kitt, planning to leave? How would you fix the problem? Are there examples of better functioning systems where you live now that could be adopted by Ireland?

You can contribute (max 300 words) using this form. Please include a few lines about yourself – where you are from originally, when you emigrated and why, where you live now and what you do there – and attach a photograph if you have one.

A selection of responses may be published in the Irish Times, or passed to a journalist who may wish to contact you for more information.