Growing up in Ireland, we were taught that Ireland is a sacred land , full of legends and mysteries.
Another part of our teaching was the way the ancient Celts expressed their beliefs through symbols, art, music, song and dance.
Just as their love of the divine compelled them on pilgrimages, it also inspired them to artistic expression using music and song.
Celtic Cry , which opened at the Watergate Theatre in the city on Wednesday night encapsulates Ireland’s story in music. Names that brought exasperation to schooldays are dramatised on stage - The Firbolg, Queen Mebh, Cú Chulainn, Brian Boru and diverse companions provide an entertaining historical reprise.
Major plaudits must go to singer / songwriter Murty Brennan whose original material came to life on the Watergate stage. This 80 minute show may just be what the doctor ordered. The programme is lively and energetic with great ensemble playing ensuring that no one performer takes more than his/her share of the light.
Solo numbers are spread nicely between Murt Brennan, Lotta Verrkunnen and Martino Vacca.
Apart from vocals guitar and bodhrán, Brennan also acts as narrator, giving the audience a sort of “penguin book” type taste of the history of Ireland.
We come away from the show with a little more knowledge about such characters as Queen Mebh, The Firbolg, Brian Boru and Cú Chulainn all interlaced with music and song.
Serious plaudits must go to Chip Weckl, James Blennerhasset and John Travers . All three contributed so much to the show and it is only when you check out their cvs that you realise what serious talent you have before you.
For such a diverse group , which includes Irish, American, Italian and Finnish nationalities this group gels very well, proving beyond doubt that music is indeed an international language.
What really came as somewhat of a pleasant surprise was the expertise and ease in which both Martino ( Italian) and Lotta (Finnish) mastered the beauty that is Irish music and Dance.
Celtic Cry is a project that deserves to work. Its 7 p.m start is very attractive on these bright (although wet) nights. The setting of the Watergate theatre is perfect for this show and the intimacy of this venue adds
greatly to the show. Celtic Cry continues at the Watergate every Wednesday and Thursday during July and August .