Lithuanian theatre in Ireland back with a bang

Felix Waitkus, the sixth pilot in aviation history to cross the Atlantic must have been mightily relieved when, in need of an emergency landing space, the dark deeps of the ocean gave way the green fields surrounding Ballinrobe. The pilot, touching down in 1935 was just the precursor, because the world’s media followed hot on his tail, giving the sleepy Mayo town an occasion to be told from generation to generation in the annals of its history.

It is, perhaps, the first of a growing number of links between Lithuania and Ireland and is recalled by the Lithuanian community here – mentioned by Laima Prokofjeviene in our interview with her for Declan’s Coimisiún na Meán-funded television series ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’. We spoke to Laima, from the Lithuanian Theatre Group, at Tallaght Theatre Group’s “Theatre in the Hills” where they the first Lithuanian play since the pandemic was being staged. The play, in the Lithuanian language, was a gratifying success. In attendance was the Lithuanian Ambassador, who also took time to speak to us for ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’.

The series, which was due to be completed in early summer, has had its production schedule extended to include the Ukrainian community in Ireland.

“When the series was conceived, we were concentrating on the largest non-Irish national communities in Ireland. Ukraine wasn’t on that list. In just a year, that has changed radically. Ukrainians now make up an estimated 70,000 strong part of the Irish social family,” explained Declan. “That puts them third after Poland and the UK, according to the last census figures from 2016”