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Drama group try their hand at experimental theatre

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By Michelle Crean

One local drama group undeterred by the COVID restrictions has turned the tradition of appearing on stage on its head - and will instead come to directly to the audience!

It will be a case of experimental theatre for Killarney Drama Circle who plan to raise the virtual curtain on its latest production, 'The Secret Garden in Baa-lorglin', to be performed this week.

And the venue? Your living room - or the supermarket car park - or any other place that you happen to find comfortable on Tuesday, November 3 and Wednesday 4 at 7.30pm.

The play, written by Uzbekistan-born director and producer Rayla Tadjimatova, takes the form of puppet theatre and is the second episode (the first being staged in 2019) in the lives of Rodger, an alien, and the friends he made in Baa-lorglin on his first visit to earth in search of company. Rodger has returned to Baa-lorglin only to find his friends, Bee and Baa, Katie Daly, Alice the Dreamer, Jazzy and Daniel O’Donnell distraught. What has happened to the earth during his short absence! It seems that only Lucy Lu, who helped Rodger on his first visit to the earth, can save them all.

Rehearsals for the 10-strong group have been taking place twice a week since September and, in the challenging times faced by all, many hours have been ploughed into performing in an unusual environment – via video link. The process is limiting in terms of theatrical space and only a director can properly acknowledge the frustrations of being unable to coach with the physical. Nonetheless, it is a product of the moment, and theatre is nothing if not experimental.

Director Rayla Tadjimatova, who has lived in Killarney for more than 20 years and who recently staged 'The Other War', has met the challenges head-on, rehearsing with actors via Zoom-link one-to-one and with the entire cast, which includes Sylvia Thompson (Narrator); Margaret Slattery (Daniel O’Donnell); Geraldina Harnett (Lucy Lu); Mary Wood (Katie); Michael Lynch (Jazzy); Terrie Shirtliff (Alice); Sheila Barclay and Carl Herpels (Bee and Baa), and Janet Murphy (Rodger).

"There has been a lot of laughter along the way and technology has provided much of it," Janet Murphy from Killarney Drama Circle said.

"Like everything in life, there are pros and cons to online theatre, and a big pro is being able to enjoy the experience on cold, dark evenings with your slippers on and a cup of tea or, perhaps, a small glass of wine, within your grasp."

Performances, supported by Kerry Arts Council, are by invitation only.

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Lee Strand awarded Gold in Sustainability Programme

Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards. Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink […]

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Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards.

Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme led by Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board. Gold Membership is awarded to companies who demonstrate an exceptional annual performance on their sustainability targets.

“We are delighted Lee Strand is recognised once again with the prestigious Origin Green Gold Membership for our commitment to sustainability,” Gearoid Linnane, CEO said.

“In Lee Strand environmental management and sustainability are key elements of our business model, from launching 100% renewable cartons, to reducing water usage and energy efficiency. This is a great achievement by our sustainability team who are continually striving for higher levels of environmental excellence. We would also like to thank Veronica Kennelly from the Munster Technological University who assisted Lee Strand in the development of our Origin Green plan.”

Origin Green continues to evolve to ensure Bord Bia is helping Irish food and drink companies to remain up to date with the evolving needs of trade customers and their consumers, globally. With the introduction of the Origin Green credits system in early 2022, it is now easier to identify members who are performing at a high level or excelling in their sustainability performance.

To retain ongoing membership of Origin Green, companies must subsequently submit an annual review to demonstrate clear progress against the established targets and initiatives set. This annual review is subject to an independent third-party review by their verification authority Mabbett. This ensures minimum programme requirements are consistently met and maintained. Companies receive credits for their performance in areas such as raw material sourcing; water and energy efficiency; waste reduction; packaging; and social sustainability. Origin Green has established five different membership tiers based on company size and turnover, so that a real diversity of industry is reflected in the overall Gold Membership.

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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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