Staging Canaletto / The Mouth of the Grand Canal

Accompanying the audio play is a map of the Grand Canal in Dublin, which pinpoints the 3 locations that the story occurs. The map was created by Irish artist Annie Gahan
Accompanying the audio play is a map of the Grand Canal in Dublin, which pinpoints the 3 locations that the story occurs. The map was created by Irish artist Annie Gahan.Credit

To tie in with our exhibition Canaletto and the Art of Venice, we invited Rough Magic SEEDS to be our theatre-makers in residence, responding to the exhibition in a variety of different ways in a project called Staging Canaletto.

The Mouth of the Grand Canal is a new audio play by Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, written in response to the exhibition. Ciara describes her work as follows: 

The Mouth of the Grand Canal was inspired by Dublin's Grand Canal and three paintings in Canaletto's Grand Canal series, on display as part of Canaletto and the Art of Venice. Each character in the audio is based on a character in one of the following three paintings in the exhibition (scroll down for images):

  • The Canale di Santa Chiara looking north towards the Lagoon
  • The Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto to Ca’ Foscari
  • The mouth of the Grand Canal looking west towards the Carità

Using present day Dublin as a setting, we follow Jude and Nigel, two career alcoholics, on a mission down the canal.

Accompanying the audio play is a map (above) of the Grand Canal in Dublin, which pinpoints the three locations that the story occurs. The map was created by Irish artist Annie Gahan.

The aim of the audio is to allow the audience to view Canaletto’s work from a different perspective, through characters. It will guide the audience to be cognisant of where they are viewing the work. The play is reflective not just of Dublin, but of Ireland. The audio also draws attention to the physical space in which the work is exhibited.

How do you behave when you feel watched?

How does this space influence you physically?

What do you feel is inappropriate in this space?

Why?

“Through constant observation Canaletto captured moments of daily life and the picturesque beauty of his native city imaginatively transforming them from prosaic transcriptions of reality into works of art” - Royal Collection Trust.

 

You can listen to the play below.

BE AWARE that discretion is advised, as strong language is used throughout.

The Mouth of the Grand Canal was inspired by Dublin's Grand Canal, and three paintings in Canaletto's Grand Canal series, on display as part of Canaletto and the Art of Venice. Each character in the audio is based on a character in one of the following three paintings in the exhibition (below, from top to bottom). 

  • The Canale di Santa Chiara looking north towards the Lagoon (top)
  • The Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto to Ca’ Foscari (middle)
  • The mouth of the Grand Canal looking west towards the Carità (bottom)

All the images are reproduced by kind permission of Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.

Royal Collection Trust / ©  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018.Credit

CAST:

John Doran - GLASSBACK

Stefan Dunbar - NIGEL

Daniel Monaghan - JUDE

ARTIST:

Annie Gahan - https://annieg.net/

About Ciara: Ciara Elizabeth Smyth is an award-winning freelance writer and theatre artist based in Dublin, currently participating as the Writer on the Rough Magic SEEDS Programme for 2018/2019. She is also writer/co-founder of Sad Strippers Theatre and her work has been presented in theatres and festivals across Ireland. In 2018, Ciara was shortlisted for Fishamble's A Play for Ireland initiative (2018-2020) and awarded the Writer in Residence position in The New Theatre, where she presented We Can't Have Monkeys in the House as her residency production in November 2018.