It was a great treat to see a duo of touring Irish (as Gaeilge) plays done in a modern physical theatre style in Garter Lane.  Fibin, the Galway based theatre company, are on a national tour, mostly to schools but Garter Lane are progressive enough to mount a public performance to give people a good chance to see fine work.
Fibin brought a realistic set in the style of Galway Arts Festival logos of recent years and a very hard-working and extremely energetic cast of three plus crew and told a folk tale of God versus Devil and those three wishes of destiny.  The clever and additional use of imaginative puppets added much to the performances and underlined the dialogue in a very vital and visual way.
The Gambler Mac Caba is a card trickster, who comes into conflict with God and the Devil in an imaginative working of a story once considered to have its origins in the Rinn Gaeltacht.  Cillian O’Donnacha was excellent as this all-action trickster and the other roles were well actualised by Domhnaill O’Donoghue and Co. Waterford actress, Grace Kiely.
The soundscape of music was alive and kicking with great atmospheric Hell effects.  Additional to this was a lighthearted slice of fun with audience interaction from the Irish novel, Fiche Bliain Ag Fas (Twenty years a Growing).  This involved two volunteers from the audience dressing up or getting into grotesque Sumo wrestler-style costumes and taking part in some knockabout scenes.  The backing tracks for this featured Nick Cave, Kraftwerk and an exciting Yann Teirsen.
Coming on St. Patrick’s Day to Greyfriars Gallery, is a welcome return of the excellent Branar, another Galway company, who specialise in Children’s entertainment as Gaeilge.  Waterford’s own Marcus Quinlan is touring manager with Branar and they put on their shows within a tent inside in a room and it is such a pleasant and amazing experience.
The work is very visual with music by Morgan Cooke and puppets by Agneksa Jablonska.  This time they will perform Na Sioga Agus An Greasa’ – a fresh Irish re-telling of the much loved, Elves and the Shoemaker.