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Huge Turnout For John Arden Book Launch

category national | arts and media | news report author Saturday November 07, 2009 18:11author by Fred Johnston - Western Writers' Centre, Galwayauthor email westernwriters at eircom dot net Report this post to the editors

Politicians, writers and friends at Galway City Museum

Renowned playwright and novelist John Arden celebratesthe launch of a new book and his entry into his 80th year
John Arden and Fintan O'Toole before the launch
John Arden and Fintan O'Toole before the launch

Irish Times columnist and commentator, Fintan O'Toole launched John Arden's collection of stories, 'Gallows and Other Tales of Suspicion and Obsession,' before a capacity crowd at the restaurant of Galway City Museum this afternoon. He spoke of the impact of 'The Non-Stop Connolly Show,' and of Arden's radical sense of theatre running through most of his work. How, he wondered, was his work not better celebrated in his native England? The launch was accompanied by a display of Arden's drawings. Among those attending were politicians and artists, such as Liz McDonnell, Michael D. Higgins, Catherine Connolly (Cllr.) publishers, academics and writers such as playwright Patricia Burke Brogan, poet Knute Skinner and Eva Bourke and Rita Ann Higgins and Fred Johnston. John Arden thanked a number of people who had helped bring the project together, including his partner Margaretta D'Arcy, his son Finn (whose short documentary on Arden accompanies the novel on DVD) and Sylvia Crawford, whose harp music is on the DVD. Lelia Doolin spoke and introduced the arrival of a birthday cake! There was mention by actor and director Eamonn Draper of putting on 'Serjeant Musgrave's Dance' in Irish, and Draper called for the play to be done again and now. Many in the audience had travelled considerable distances to attend, from Dublin and from England, and some old friends of John Arden from his Cambridge days were also there. Thanks was extended to Breandán O hEaghra, Director of the Museum, for his work on the event.

Finn  Arden, Margaretta D'Arcy (hidden), John Arden and Lelia Doolin
Finn Arden, Margaretta D'Arcy (hidden), John Arden and Lelia Doolin

author by Fred Johnston - Western Writers' centre, Galwaypublication date Sat Nov 07, 2009 20:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Renwowned musicians Charlie Piggot and Johnny Moynihan played the music for John Arden'sbook-launch at the Galway City Museum this evening.

John Arden, Johnny Moynihan, Charlie Piggot
John Arden, Johnny Moynihan, Charlie Piggot

A section of the capacity crowd
A section of the capacity crowd

author by Sarah - N/Apublication date Sun Nov 08, 2009 23:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congratulations on the new book as well as all the old ones. Sorry I missed it..

author by Wallypublication date Mon Nov 09, 2009 01:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Best of luck to John and his partner Margaretta on the occasion of this publication. They both deserve lifetime achievement awards, for their contributions to civil society as much as for their steadfast commitment to artistic life.

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