An English and Drama trip to Dublin explored Dublin as it would have been at the time of Sean O’Casey’s writing of Juno and the Paycock.
A tour of a tenement house in George Street enlightened students about the living conditions which families such as the Boyle family would have endured, from drawing water from a trough outside the basement to cooking over an open fire in a tenement building that would have housed up to 100 residents. Students saw original windows and shutters dating back to the erection of the house in the 1700s, and gained an appreciation of the scene where Joxer Daly escaped through the window at the end of Act 1 of the play.
A walk to Henry Street, where Juno purchased her gramophone in Act 2, gave students a sense of distance, and of the proximity of streets in Dublin. Students also visited the GPO where the character Johnny Boyle was injured during the 1916 Easter Rising. A photograph opportunity beside the pillars at the front of the GPO brought students face to face with the bullet holes which remain to this day.
Before departing Dublin, students visited the Yeats exhibition at the National Library Ireland, where they saw original manuscripts of Yeats poetry and gained further insight into the context of the Easter Rising documented in the Yeats poem 1916.