Before The Hudson and The Liffey

August 2016

The Hub, Edinburgh International Festival

This special event, commissioned to commemorate the early life of James Connolly in Edinburgh on the 100th anniversary year of the Easter Rising, was based on text and picture research by Terry Brotherstone and Hilary Horrocks. Ben directed shaped the event dramaturgically, finding the right structure for the material and dovetailing it with songs selected from James Connolly’s own repertoire and the those of his influences and followers. The event placed Connolly firmly as being shaped by the influences of Edinburgh both architectural and political, with his birthplace on the Cowgate shaping him as much as the voices of Leo Melliet, John Leslie and Patrick Geddes. A superb band of Maeve McKinnon, Aidan O’Rourke and Brian McAlpine joined with the excellent actors Helen Mackay and Kevin Lennon who read extracts from letters, lectures and articles together with scenes from Margareta d’Arcy and John Arden’s The Non-Stop Connolly Show.