1916 - visionaries and their words: description

Dates 2017

31/03/17 | Dundalk An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk | Tickets

02/04/17 | Dublin the 5 Lamps festival Seán O Casey Theatre, East Wall, Dublin | Tickets

14/04/17 | Cork Triskel Christchurch, Cork | Tickets

29/04/17 | Belfast Culturlann Mac Adam O Fiaich, Belfast | Tickets

20/01/17 Wexford Arts Centre | Tickets


Show Promo

A Century on from a remarkable revolution of visionaries and poets, VISIONARIES reveals the flair, the beauty, and the artistic brilliance in the writings of four leaders of the Easter Rising; Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, Eamonn Ceannt, and Joseph Plunkett

In an acclaimed piece of music theatre, the vision of the people who sparked the revival of a country and its culture are celebrated using their own words; original music; and beautifully animated archive imagery.

Creator, Lorcán Mac Mathúna, reveals the musical influence that touched on the lives of the most inspiring Irish people of the 20th century, and a centenary after their 'Great Rebellion' uncovers the Sean-nós of Pearse, the perfect meter of Plunkett, the balladry of Connolly, and the fire of Ceannt.


Dates 2016

Album release gig: Saturday 15/10/16; 3:30pm
Músaem an Phiarsaigh, St. Enda's Rathfarnham
FREE admission

The temple Bar Trad Fest:January 30 2016; 1pm
St. Michan's Church, Church Street, Dublin.
Tickets : Full Details

The temple Bar Trad Fest: January 31 2016; 8pm
St. Michan's Church, Church Street, Dublin.
Tickets | Full Details

Derry International Irish music festival: February 2nd 2016; 7:30pm
The Glassworks, Sráid Shéamuis Mhór, Derry.
Tickets | Full Details

Festival Interceltique de Lorient: Thursday August 11th 2016; 9:00pm
Le Grand Theatre Lorient. France.
Tickets | Full Details

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Ennis: Tuesday August 16th 2016; 6:00pm
Dánlann an Chláir, Coláiste Muire, College Road, Ennis, Co. Clare
Tickets | Full Details

What You Forget: Reflections on 1916 : Friday sept 30th 2016; 8:00pm
Iontas Arts Centre, Castleblaney, Co. Monoghan



Joseph Plunkett's poem, Daybreak, with an ominous sense of timing and momentum "there is that feeling of what would become labelled as 'a terrible beauty'."


Images from Live production

1916 Visionaries and Their Words Live




Interceltic 2016: a remarkable evening devoted to the Irish uprising of 1916
- Agence Bretagne Presse 10/09/16


Although dedicated this year to Australia, the Inter-Celtic Festival held an evening commemorating the Irish Easter Rising in 1916 on August 11, at the Grand Théâtre de Lorient.

As the director of FIL, Lisardo Lombardía, indicated “it was inconceivable that Interceltic misses this major event in the contemporary history of the Celtic countries.”

In a sort of introduction to the evening, the Cultural Institute of Brittany offered in the afternoon a conference on Easter 1916 by Alain Monnier. In front of nearly 120 audience, this specialist on Ireland provided insight into the origins and reasons for the uprising. The ICB has also made a booklet which will be discussed later.
The evening "1916, visionaries and their words" deliberately planned and chosen by the FIL to highlight the centennial of 1916 was still a daring bet by the organizers and Ireland 2016,  as the event of the summer regarding the 1916-2016 programming in Brittany. This bet was won because nearly 700 spectators finally attended this memorable evening.

Alternating reading of texts written by the main actors of the uprising by the excellent actress Elaine Ó Dea, perfect interpretation by Lorcán Mac Mathúna and Íde Nic Mhathúna of songs and music composed by these personalities, amid archive images of Ireland from the years 1910-1916, this show conquered those present. The high quality musical accompaniment was by Martin Tourish accordion, violin Daire Bracken, Eamonn Galdubh the uilleann pipes.

The extremely absorbing chosen texts, illustrated the thoughts, passions, doubts the motives of 1916. The hero of one of these texts was highly applauded by the audience because it resonated undoubtedly strongly with the situation in Brittany: a declaration by Patrick Pearse denouncing the state of education in Ireland which denied any place for Irish language and culture ...

Remarkable, there is no other word to describe this exceptional evening that the audience had a hard time leaving, with continued applause until all of Lorcan Mac Mthuna [‘s band] left the stage to the hall of the Grand Theatre where he was truly besieged by all who would purchase the CD of the show.
A great success that touched the heart participants.

Thank you to Lisardo Lombardía and Interceltic for allowing the arrival in Brittany of such a performance.

PS: one may wonder why there are few shows of this style produced in Brittany....

Jacques-Yves Le Touze



The 1916 leaders remembered in song and spoken word
- Ireland today 3/2/2016

The first Derry International Irish Music Festival showcased the writings and ideals of the leaders of the Easter Rising last night in a glorious exploration of what it means to be Irish.

Lorcán MacMathúna and his band explored these words and ideals of the 1916 leaders in a spectacular fashion.

Musically, dramatically, through song and spoken word, 1916: Visionaries and their Words, really offered an impressive snapshot of history on The Glassworks stage in Derry.

The entire script was written by those who fought in the Rising and actress Elaine O’Dea, interpreted the written words, against a background of archive footage showing Ireland 100 years ago.
Lorcán Mac Mathúna’s show interprets the vision of these revolutionaries and the impact they made on Irish life then and since.

“Bringing the words of those who fought for Ireland’s independence, to life once again, this truly was an emotive piece of performance art."

The audience were left to bask in the works of some of Ireland’s foremost thinkers and writers of the 20th century, including: Pearse, Plunkett, and Connolly.

From the onset with the Spoken word of O’Donovan Rossa’s famine account, the audience were transported back to one of the most harrowing parts of our history.

Songs such as Johnny Seioghe, White dove of the wild dark eyes, Óró sé do bheatha abhaile provided touching yet haunting musical accounts of a time long since gone but still felt in the heart of every Irish man and woman.

With so much of our history steeped in politics and troubles, it is easy to forget the culture and traditions that have developed, soared and excelled through time.

"It is these cultures which help us retain our identity as a nation. It is these thinkers, writers, the revolutionaries, that have given us a tradition to be proud of."

W.B. Yeats paid tribute to these men in his poem, Easter 1916.  He concluded this work with the words: “Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.”
Yeats acknowledged the idealism and the courage of these men.

In 1916: Visionaries and their Words, McMathúna has also acknowledged their idealism and courage in their writings, their work and their song.

He has interpreted their vision and the impact they made on Irish life that echoes to the present day.

At times throughout the night the music was sombre.  It eerily reflected the mood of that time, 100 years ago.
At other times it was upbeat, and at all times delivered with a precision and an accuracy that these men would be proud of.

"As Brian Friel once wrote, It’s not the literal past, the ‘facts’ of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language."

The Easter Rising is embodied in language and song forever.

The standing ovation at the end last night was sincere and deserved and the re-playing of Óró sé do bheatha abhaile, welcomed by all.

1916: Visionaries and their Words featured: Lorcán MacMathúna, Íde Nic Mhathúna (voice), Martin Tourish (piano accordion), Daire Ó Breacáin (fiddle), Éamonn Galdubh (uilleann pipes) and Elaine O’Dea (spoken word).
The project is one of the nine Open Call National Projects included in ART: 2016, the Arts Council’s programme as part of Ireland 2016.




Download tech spec/ stage layout



ART: 2016 is the Arts Council's programme as part of Ireland 2016It is a diverse and distinctive public showcase of Irish art which will be presented across Ireland and abroad throughout the year. Key programme strands include the Open Call National Project Awards, which feature cutting-edge, contemporary art events in dance, visual arts, poetry and music; the Next Generation Bursary Awards which highlight the work of eighteen rising stars of Irish art; and A Nation's Voice, an open-air, free concert at Collins Barrack on Easter Sunday, featuring new choral and orchestral work by Shaun Davey and Paul Muldoon, and the voices of a 1,100-strong choir. The programme also includes a selection of national touring productions.

ART: 2016 is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through its Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and is created with a range of partners; local, national and international