Film artist Oonagh Kearney and composer Ellen King invite you to re-imagine the Port of Cork via a silent disco on a socially-distanced spot, with a shifting composition of sound, spoken word, beats and music.
Inspired by the life and legacy of Kate ‘Birdie’ Conway, an opera singer from Cork who at the dawn of the last century, set sail under the magnificent stage name “Mademoiselle Delrita”, we re-imagine the moment of her departure and her subsequent return.
BIRDIE invites you to look at the port as you might look at a cinema screen - as a series of dynamic scenes unfolding in real time. Via a silent disco headphone system, each performance invites an intimate audience to stand on a socially-distanced spot and tune into a shifting composition of contemporary sounds, spoken word, electronic beats and opera.
Guided by film artist Oonagh Kearney and composer Ellen King, you will be encouraged to listen, move, dance, stay still or simply watch in response - whatever feels comfortable. Our aim is to bring you into the present while simultaneously weaving in elements from the past. Our hope is fire up your imagination and embolden you to let go.
A co-production between Cork Midsummer Festival and Tyrella Pictures.
Supported by Cork 2020 Commemoration Fund and a 2021 Countess Markievicz Award.
On returning to Cork in the early years of the 20th century, Kate ‘Birdie’ Conway became involved in the new cultural activities associated with the Irish language, the literary revival, and the Volunteer movement, and was deeply interested in the Irish nationalist question. After the 1916 Rising, she put on a benefit concert to raise funds for the prisoners and their dependents, a moment credited as a turning point in Cork for many who became engaged with these activities. In 1918, she joined the Shandon Cumann na mBan set up by the Conlon sisters and by 1919 had become President. In later years, she was very involved in charity work and died at home in Douglas in 1936 at the age of 64.
Main Image: Clare Keogh
Production Images: Jed Niezgoda