I disembarked from the bus – as I always do – at the top of O’Connell Street. I had rehearsal this evening for a new top secret play that I will be performing in, as part of a theatre festival at the beginning of May. We have been told that until the festival is launched then no promotion can take place. Well that’s all fine and dandy but zipping my lip is getting increasingly difficult.
So let me just say this – I wrote the play. It lasts about one hour. I have one of five roles in the play. It is an ensemble piece. It will play for eight shows over six days (two matinees included) in early May. As soon as the starting gun is fired on the festival I expect many people will place my profile on ‘Mute’ on Facebook just to cope with the onslaught of my pleading with people to see the show.
I didn’t have time to go home before rehearsal so I decided that call over to the Moore Street Mall for some food. This an underground shopping centre, close to Parnell Street which comprises entirely of ethnic shops and restaurants – there is a Polish supermarket; a Polish bookshop; a Turkish café, a Balkan café, a Brazilian café, an African clothes-shop with the fantastic name of ‘God First Boutique’ (I felt like approaching the owner to advise him to change the name to ‘Fashion First, God Second Boutique’, but as this input was uninvited, I kept my opinion to myself).. The most miserable shop of the bunch is the Vegan Café – I don’t know what it is called but I call it ‘The Dreary Vegan’ to myself. I have no idea who runs it – but it is the café of no craic. It looks very handwoven and unhappy. Its misery is ethically sourced of course.
I rushed past that forlorn little café, frightened that it’s misery might be contagious and settled into the Indian halal place where I enjoyed a spicy meal of joy.
I paid my bill and departed, and made my way to the rehearsal space.
As I crossed the construction site that is Dublin city centre (the new tram line is scheduled for completion at the end of the year) I saw a man I recognised, approaching me from the opposite direction. His face was sour and craggy looking. I racked my brain as to how I knew him. He was a gentleman in his seventies I would have guessed. Could he perhaps be the father of one of my friends? Or a neighbour? Or an old school teacher?
I glanced behind me to stare at his back. He shuffled across the road towards the Ambassador Theatre – which is currently housing the ‘Real Bodies’ exhibition.
The Ambassador is situated in front of the Gate Theatre – one of Ireland’s most prestigious playhouses.
It was star of stage and screen Sir Michael Gambon (also known as noted homosexual Professor Dumblefore from the Harry Potter series of films – it’s not me making this up – JK Rowling has confirmed it)
Sure why wouldn’t it be?
When I got home I googled his name. He is appearing this week in a play called ‘Eh Joe’ by Samuel Beckett in the Beckett/Friel/Pinter Festival at the Gate Theatre – running until March 26th.
And apparently he is Irish – originating in Cabra in 1940 before relocating with his family to London in 1945. Who knew?
I may have to buy a ticket. Now that I have seen him in the flesh and all.