- Tickets or $20 day of show
Patrick Ball – "The Fine Beauty of the Island"
Or call in your reservations for our November 13, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert with Patrick Ball to 401-725-9272.
Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world as well as a captivating storyteller. In playing the legendary brass-strung harp of Ireland with its crystalline sound, and in performing tales of wit and enchantment, Ball not only brings new life to two cherished traditions, but blends them to create a richly theatrical and hauntingly beautiful performance. There is only one person on the stage, but as Patrick Ball performs "The Fine Beauty of the Island," a whole culture appears before us. Through the voice of his Celtic harp, the lilt of his penny whistle, and the brogues of a pubful of characters, contemporary bard Patrick Ball casts a spell out of scraps of stories, researched history, and the raucous dark humor of the Irish. The play tells some of the story of The Blasket Islands which lie three miles off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. For centuries they were a lonely, remote place, a place of fishermen and farmers, of poets, musicians and storytellers. In the early 1950s, however, the last remaining inhabitants of the islands were forced to leave their homes and settle on the mainland, for their turf was gone, their land poor, and their seas plundered of fish by large trawlers from England and France. The islanders loaded all that they could carry into their curraghs and rowed away - a leave-taking known historically as "The Vanishing." But they also carried with them their tales and legends, one of which told of a deeply haunting tune that was heard on the winds of the islands, then passed on through generations of island musicians. Twenty years after "The Vanishing," Patrick Ball heard this tune in an Irish bar in San Francisco, and his life was changed forever. In "The Fine Beauty of the Island," Patrick tells the story of his journey in search of the origin and meaning of this strange, enchanting tune which led him back not only to a Blasket Island community and culture "whose like will not be seen again," but to a long-neglected corner of his own past.