Sunday 16 June 2019

Living history: RTÉ stars to help us take step back in time

Keelin Shanley (left) and Miriam O'Callaghan in Dublin's Wynne Hotel to launch RTÉ's Road to the Rising. Photo: Ray McManus
Keelin Shanley (left) and Miriam O'Callaghan in Dublin's Wynne Hotel to launch RTÉ's Road to the Rising. Photo: Ray McManus
Sean Rocks at the launch of RTE's Road to the Rising at Wynne's Hotel in Dublin. Photo: Ray McManus
Aine Scully (9) and John Scully (7) from Croghan, Co Offaly, at the launch of RTE's 'Road to the Rising' at Wynne's Hotel in Dublin. Photo: RayMcManus
Back row, from left, Sean Rocks, David McCullagh, Rick O'Shea, front row, Keelin Shanley, Aine Scully (9), Miriam O'Callaghan and John Scully (7). Photo: Ray McManus
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

RTÉ presenters Keelin Shanley and Miriam O'Callaghan dusted down their bustles and bodices as they took a step back in time to launch new historical event 'The Road to the Rising'.

RTÉ, An Post, Dublin City Council, the Department of the Arts, and the National Library have teamed up to create an immersive day-long event which hopes to recreate the sounds and sights of 1900s Ireland.

Wander down O'Connell Street this Easter Monday, April 6, and you will be transported back to 1915 - the year before the main thoroughfare of Dublin became the battlefield and backdrop to the Easter Rising.

For one day, the entire street will be closed off; an ornate vintage carousel will spin, two lovebirds will tie the knot trussed up in period garb, an oversized gramophone will blare music hall standards and a hot air balloon will float 80 foot above the GPO - weather permitting.

"We want people to engage and connect with the rich history surrounding them," head of arts and cultural strategy at RTÉ, Lorelei Harris, explained.

"To bring that world and that era to life so people can understand the mood and the energy engulfing this defining period of history."

Ms Harris is hopeful the event will help throw the history of O'Connell Street into relief and help citizens understand the political climate of the time.

A tented village will explore popular professions and clothing styles of the time; Louis Copeland will showcase some perfectly cut Edwardian suits; John Shevlin will discuss the importance of a top-notch top hat and Conor McAlister will coif and trim gents locks into rakish hairdos and neatly trimmed beards.

A silent moviedrome will show a selection of wistful and romantic films produced by New York's O'Kalem Film Company during the period 1910-1915 and 1966 RTÉ drama 'Insurrection' will be screened in Liberty Hall.

Organisers are asking members of the public to bring family heirlooms to the GPO to add to the archival tapestry of 1916.

Specialists from Whyte's Auctioneers will value battered uniforms and torn and tattered letters while historians will photograph and catalogue items.

A recording booth will allow people to recall family folklore in a bid to build a library of aural history.

"We want people from all over the country to come forward with memories and memorabilia," Ms Harris said. "They can vary from the mundane to the magnificent. Everything is important for us to gain a rounded understanding and appreciation of the time."

The project follows on from the success of The World War One Roadshow held in Trinity College Dublin last year. A host of RTÉ presenters will be milling about presenting live radio shows and chatting to the public.

More than 60 lectures, talks and panel discussions on a variety of topics will take place on the Abbey stage. These include seminars on 'Law and Order', 'Women in 1915' and 'Family Memories of Volunteers'.

Guided walking tours will depart from the Jim Larkin statue every half-hour from 11.30am. Innovative theatre company Anu Productions will present gripping promenade show 'Yellow' and some of the country's best-known musicians will perform to an ornate Edwardian music stage, manned by a suited and booted Louis Lovett.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top