It’s not often that I take the opportunity in this blog to talk about something closer to home — after all, the purpose of these articles is to whet your appetite and stimulate your curiosity so that you venture abroad and experience some of the destinations that I write about. Every now and then though, I come across something that is so good that I simply cannot let the opportunity pass without telling people about it and the subject of this week’s Blog is such an instance!
I have a sister who has lived most of her adult life just 19 miles from central London in a small village called Bricket Wood. Her British husband works in the city and commutes there and back every day yet despite that proximity, both of them rarely venture into London to take in a great restaurant, see a show or visit any of the world-class attractions. Familiarity, it appears, breeds contempt! Of course, yours truly is not without original sin because despite the fact that I’ve visited all the continents with the exception of Antarctica, I’ve never been up close and personal with the Aran Islands, the Giant’s Causeway or the Guinness Storehouse.
It would also appear that I’m apparently not alone as most people I’ve spoken to harbour not dissimilar stories of huge deficits in their respective sightseeing c.v.’s and I suspect that this would also include most Dublin residents reading this Blog. I had the pleasure recently of experiencing what is probably Dublin’s newest visitor attraction — www.Vaults.Live The attraction is housed in a largely nondescript building down a one-way street just off the busy thoroughfare that is Thomas Street. Nearby points of interest include Vicar Street, Dublinia and Christchurch. The building features six different ‘scenes’ which are all like miniature movie sets and which recreate various chapters of Dublin or Irish history and some of their most notable or infamous characters. The audience is directed from set to set where they are greeted by professional actors who perform to a pre-written script (all written by famous playwright and film director Peter Sheridan — brother of Jim Sheridan, director of award-winning films such as ‘In America, ‘My Left Foot, ‘In the name of the father’). The acting is both terrific and authentic but what is really great fun is the magical way in which the various actors interact with their captive audience within each scene. There is much humour involved and the production values of the various sets are so convincing that it is easy to lose yourself within each tableau.
The six different sets deal with story-lines as diverse as Bram Stoker, author of ‘Dracula, ‘Molly Malone’, the Viking invasion of Ireland, Cromwell’s chief torturer, St Brigid’s room of Alchemy, and particularly humorous courtroom scene. It’s not the cheapest attraction out there at €25 a pop for walk-up admissions (20% discount if you book in advance) but it is a most diverting one and well worth a detour. I would recommend doing it with a bunch of friends or work colleagues for a bit of craic!