11/11, the annual commemoration of Armistice occurs aptly enough in the octave of the Christian Feasts of All Saints and All Souls at Hallowe’en, such that there’s an intelligible liturgical link between elegy and eulogy, between reverence for the slain and shame at their slaughter.
Dermot Bolger’s beautiful duet for the flesh and blood of that spirit-world evokes the life and dying of one particular person in his conversation with a ghostly escort from the trenches, small-talk that will gradually debrief the detail of a dead comrade’s remote rural world back in Ireland to reveal the would-be writer, Meathman Francis Ledwidge, a working-class composer of verse who might have made a poet in the fullness of time if he’d survived a shell-hole at the front in Flanders late in the Great War.
Peter Hanly plays the premature Ledwidge and Joe Taylor his phantom chaperone in this vigil of pilgrims.
Sound Supervision Mark McGrath
Produced by Aidan Mathews