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Last on

Mon 9 Jun 2014 16:00 BBC Radio 4

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 09 June 2014

Marie-Louise Muir meets Ireland's artists at the former ancestral home of theatre impresario Sir Tyrone Guthrie.

Before his death in 1971, giant of world theatre and pioneer of the open stage, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, bequeathed his ancestral home at Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, to the Irish State as a residential workplace and retreat for artists.

Today 'The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig' continues to function as a vital cog within the creative landscape of writers, composers, painters and dancers from Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and beyond. It's a flagship example of cross-border co-operation, dependent on joint funding from Arts Councils on both sides of the Irish border and could be seen as a barometer of the nation's cultural health overall.

Crucially, Guthrie stated in his will that a condition of any residency at Annaghmakerrig would be that guests sit together for dinner each evening in the dining room of this historic house set among the rolling hills of the Irish countryside.

Now arts journalist and broadcaster, Marie-Louise Muir, is joined for 'Dinner At Annaghmakerrig' by Irish composer Neil Martin, Belfast born visual artist Rita Duffy and former Creative Director of Dublin's Abbey theatre, Christopher Fitzsimon. Together, over fine food and against a backdrop of archival recordings of the great man himself, they share their perspectives on Guthrie's gift and legacy and explain what they believe to be the role of the arts and the artist in Irish society today.

Producer: Conor Garrett.


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