In March 2020 we were full of excitement for what was going to be a marvellous St. Patrick’s Day celebration. We had reserved a suitable venue – the iconic Artistic Metropol – and the award-winning actor Denis Rafter, who is a fantastic example of an Irishman coming to Madrid and making a success of it, was going to join us. And to have even more ádh mór, we had a couple of soul-stirring musicians, an Irish speaker, and a master storyteller.
Then, the pandemic hit.
Everything was cancelled, and almost a year to the day this nightmarish pandemic started, we are back with a special lockdown variety special, one which brings Irish and Spanish culture together, with a mix of Indian to boot. Yes, we have gotten the old gang back together, and have added a couple of new faces to the line-up. Welcome to an Irish celebration….
The Music of Fadó, Fadó: A Celebration of Irishness
Our video features many performances, and book-ending the endeavours of our other artists are the songs of this duo, Irishman Padraig O’Connor and Englishwoman Melanie Lawrence. They do a cover of The Pogue’s Rainy Night in Soho and the Irish classic On Raglan Road. In the middle of the show, they sing an original song by Padraig, Hangover Lane.
They have long been a fixture in Madrid’s musical scene, and we are proud they are such a big part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
We also have a touch of comedy, with a few surprise appearances from Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, and Matthew Broderick. For those wishing to travel stateside, you will catch glimpses of Chicago in this Fr.Ted inspired skit.
Limerick-born filmmaker Barry Costello has hilariously taken a look at how celebrating a national holiday during confinement can be stressful. Unfortunately, this is the situation Irish people find themselves in, and this is why we have put this showcase together.
Poetry, Dancing & Culture
Kieron Crawley is a consultant, educator and keen photographer who works with a range of organisations around the world. There is simply no end to his talents. In our video, he explains the link between our very own W.B. Yeats and Tagore, the garlanded poet and philosopher from Bengal.
Apart from his elegant explanations, we are treated with some of his most stunning shots, and it is all capped off by a narration of a Tagore poem and a performance from a graceful Bharatanatyam dancer.
Dermot Miller, who has been living in Madrid for a few years and who is an enthusiastic Irish learner, has penned a story that will transport you back to the past, with its vivid and engaging writing style.
Denis Rafter is a versatile TV, film, and theatre actor who has spent many decades in Spain. After starting out in the Abbey, he has worked with the texts of Joyce, Dickens, and Shakespeare. He has also penned a number of monologues, such as The Remarkable Oscar Wilde and Being an Actor. On this last topic, he gives us the benefit of his experience in our variety show.
We are sure you will enjoy these wise words from an Irish acting heavyweight. He has a wonderful voice and a captivating onscreen presence, and the theatre space he inhabits in this piece supports our vision of transporting you to cultural spaces during confinement.
Irish Slides from eDIL & Royal Irish Academy
Our Fadó, Fadó: A Celebration of Irishness showcase also gives us an opportunity to learn. You will walk away from this event humming some tunes, remembering sage advice and well-crafted stories, and with the ability to speak a few words of Gaeilge!
In this regard, we are delighted to collaborate with the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) and the Royal Irish Academy. They have put together these gorgeous slides that illustrate (pun intended) the deep linguistic links between Ireland and Spain.
For regular readers of the blog, this is something we enjoy exploring in our street tours and in our El Arpa endeavours.
Watch the Video Here…
The performance will be streamed live on YouTube at 7 pm (GMT) on March 17th. To enjoy it, follow this link!
You can go on our virtual tour of a historic neighbourhood in Madrid. Listen to our podcast for more cultural pieces, and head to our online shop for some literary-inspired fashion. You can also buy our book on Amazon and in many bookshops around Spain. Finally, check out our latest interview with the fantastic Spain Speaks.
Thank you for reading about Fadó, Fadó: A Celebration of Irishness!