Category Archives: Theatre

Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock


I love the theatre – there is something magical about waiting in the dark for a show to begin. A live performance is so much more immediate and wrenching than watching something on a screen. The joy generated by a good show and performance is electric. Having dabbled in the dark theatrical arts myself – as a performer, writer, director, stage manager; lighting technician and sound technician (when you work in no budget theatre, necessity requires versatility) – I can appreciate the effort that goes into getting a play from an idea in a writer’s head to the closing night. It can be gruelling (not in the same manner as working on a chain gang might be, granted, but tiring nonetheless). I attend a show, wanting to like it – mentally willing the actors to give an impressive performances. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock


Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’


In ancient Greek mythology, Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agememnon and Queen Clytemnestra, who was sacrificed to the gods to for a wind change which would allow the king to invade Troy. In the play ‘Ipghigenia in Splott’ in Smock Alley Theatre, Ipghgenia (Effie) is a hard boiled young woman in a hoodie, who terrorises her neighbours as she prowls the street of her estate. Hard drinking, tough-as-nails, she knows what people think of her. But she doesn’t care. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’

Theatrical: ‘Death of a Salesman’


Was I interested in going to see a staged reading of a play? Well sure. A staged reading of a play is exactly that – the actors stand on stage and read the text out loud, to an audience. It is different from a table reading in that it is not merely the actors reading the play among themselves. There is an audience. It is a very preliminary stage of any production. So early that even if it not an original piece you generally don’t need to pay the writer to stage it. It can be a rewarding means of sourcing cheap entertainment. You are not getting a full on production. It is only semi-rehearsed, so it is not expected to be as impressive as a fully rehearsed and learned performance. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Death of a Salesman’

Winter wastelands


In eight days I will be paying a visit to my old stomping ground of Amsterdam for a friend’s very important birthday (i.e . the celebration of an age where the second digit is zero). It will only be a flying visit this time as my gluttony for leisure went unchecked this year – I have only twenty six minutes holiday leave remaining, for the rest of 2018. It’s unlikely I’ll see all the people that I would like to, but I will do my damnedest to see a few. It comes at a particularly appropriate time as I am currently wallowing in a pit of glumness, as November draws to a close. Having spoken before about how utterly soul-destroying the final fortnight in November is, I am reminded of the brutal reality as it is being endured. A trip to the Lowlands will be a tonic. The thundering incompetence of Dublin Bus comes into sharp relief each November as I wallow in rainy, dark misery on Parnell Street each morning for the 40D bus – also known as ‘The bus that never arrives’. This morning as I boarded, my nostrils were assaulted by a noxious odour of halitosis. How could anyone not be aware of the brutal reality of their oral stench? My eyes were watering by the time I finally disembarked in the eternally grey industrial wastelands of County Dublin. Continue reading Winter wastelands

To the theatre darling: ‘Men at play’


I received a text on Wednesday night from a friend. She recommended that I haul my grizzled old carcass to the Complex on Little Green Street at my earliest convenience, to see Good Dog Theatre’s latest work – a play called ‘Men at play’. She thought I would enjoy it. Seeing as I am a person of easy persuasion (but very high virtue) I decided that Thursday evening would be the occasion I would attend. Continue reading To the theatre darling: ‘Men at play’

Last chance saloon: ‘Mother’s little treasure’


Three shows have now been performed in the run of ‘Mother’s little treasure’ at the Pearse Centre. The audience has increased night on night, which is satisfying. Tonight being Friday and tomorrow being Saturday we are now entering the special nights. These were always going to be the blockbuster nights. Continue reading Last chance saloon: ‘Mother’s little treasure’

Opening night: ‘Mother’s little treasure’


Opening night is complete. What a buzz. My fingernails are bitten to the quick. I took the executive decision last night to sit among the audience to laugh loudly at the places I thought they should be laughing. Just in case they needed any encouragement. It’s not that I am being arrogant. Or as delusional as the main character Maureen Moore is about the classiness of a leopard-print wardrobe. I was just nervous that they would sit there in stony faced silence and crush all my dreams by falling asleep. The house lights went down. The voiceover began.

‘Good evening ladies, gentlemen and others. Welcome to Firedoor Theatre’s production of Mother’s Little Treasure…’ I gulped and grasped the side of the seat in a vice-like grip. The show was on the road.
Continue reading Opening night: ‘Mother’s little treasure’

The smokey eyes of Midnight Murphy


One of the deeply glamourous side effects of diabetes is blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. This is where diabetes induced damage is caused to the retina. Over 80% of diabetics who have had the disease for 20 years or more will get retinopathy. Not all people with retinopathy will go blind thankfully. I have been diabetic for forty years since I was but a toddler. For some bizarre reason my eyesight is still intact. Every year I go to a special eye clinic where a nice woman takes a photograph of inside my eye, sends it away to a lab for analysis and issues the result. Continue reading The smokey eyes of Midnight Murphy