Category Archives: Theatre

Opening night

When you are working as the director on a play, you tend to become superfluous on opening night. The actors have their lines and blocking learned. The set is ready. Sound and light design has been handed to the technical people. You have to surrender your baby to the cast and tech team, and hope that they are kind, loving adoptive parents. You’ve told them what you want. They have practiced. But if they decide to deliver Hamlet’s soliloquy through the medium of modern dance and jazz hands, without telling you, then, there’re not really a lot you can do.

If you are both the writer and director then the wrench of offering up your baby to the masses is even worse. That play has come from the pit of your mind and you are donating it for public consumption. People tend to judge writers from a moral viewpoint more so than they do directors or actors. Those people are interpreters. The writer is the creator of the idea. Therefore slightly more of a morally dubious character.

Last night was opening night of Firedoor Theatre’s ‘Uncut summer 2017’ – a showcase of original short plays.

My offering this time is ‘Mother’s Little Holiday’. It’s the show finale – which in my mind is quite prestigious. It’s a low down, vulgar comedy about thrashy people living thrashy lives. While dressed in leopard-print. In Tenerife. It’s not high art I grant you, but people seem to find the adventures of Maureen (a woman with notions as dark as her fake tan) and her vinegar lipped sidekick Carol, entertaining. This latest chapter in their sordid lives is the sequel to my February play ‘Mother’s Little Treasure’ which saw Maureen all aflutter in her new IKEA kitchen, as she awaited the release from prison of her cruelly misjudged white collar criminal son Gary (pronounced ‘Gorry’). This new update sees our intrepid pair in hot pursuit of Gorry to the Canaries – to where he had fled upon his release – with his low-down, devious, good for nothing tart of a girlfriend Rosario. But where is Gorry? And why is the bar he purchased with the proceeds of his embezzlement called ‘Casa Rosario’? You’ll have to come to the Pearse Centre for 8pm on Friday and Saturday to find out. Continue reading Opening night

Theatre times: ‘Jimmy’s Hall’

On Wednesday evening I attended ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ in the Abbey Theatre.

I purchased the tickets six months ago, not knowing anything about the play- aside from the fact that the true story was an adaptation from a 2014 film by Ken Loach. As ‘early bird’ tickets were available for ten euros, for the Saturday night Dublin preview (the play had already had its world premiere shows in Leitrim a week earlier), I booked a pair of front row seats. Saturday in the Abbey, darling. Sure what else you would be doing?

Festering in my pit, one Saturday morning, some weeks ago, I received a call from the box office.  Apparently the stage was larger than anticipated, meaning my front row preview seats were  no longer available – in fact my front row no longer existed. Would I be interested in swapping them for full price tickets during the run – at no extra cost to myself? My answer was swift, and in the affirmative. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Jimmy’s Hall’

My glittering writing career

Rehearsals are well under way for the new Firedoor Theatre showcase called ‘Uncut’.

On a twice yearly basis this group invites writers and directors to submit new, or previously performed, pieces. If selected, a number of them get staged over a series of nights in a theatre in Dublin. In addition to the showcases the group also stages a full length theatrical extravaganza (also known as a play) a couple of times a year.

Firedoor Theatre is the name of the city based theatre group in which I am a member. I got involved, upon arrival in Dublin in late 2015. I had been a member of both the InPlayers English language theatre group, and the Badhuis group in Amsterdam, prior to my departure from that city. Always as an actor though. I joined this Irish group, partly to maintain my interest in drama. More realistically however, I wanted to meet new people. I was quite the Billy NoMates when I first landed in Dublin, after decades away. I thought that mingling among people with active ‘jazz hands’, would ease my re-entry into the Dublin social whirl. Continue reading My glittering writing career

‘Mother’s little holiday’ – the sequel

On extremely rare occasions film sequels are better than their predecessor. The only three that immediately spring to mind are ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ ; ‘Addams’ Family Value’ (thanks to Joan Cusack playing the insane nanny Debbie) and ‘The Godfather Part 2’. While some people claim that ‘Aliens’ is better than ‘Alien’  I don’t agree. ‘Alien’ is a vampire movie on a spaceship and is all the more tense and nailbiting as a result. ‘Aliens’ is an action film in space. Continue reading ‘Mother’s little holiday’ – the sequel

Theatre times: ‘Joto!: confessions of a Mexican outcast’ & ‘The Elephant Girls’

To the Outhouse theatre tonight to see another double bill at the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. For my viewing pleasure tonight was ‘Joto!: Confessions of a Mexican Outcast’ from Mexico, and ‘The Elephant Girls’ from Canada. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Joto!: confessions of a Mexican outcast’ & ‘The Elephant Girls’

Theatre times: ‘Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Queers’

Week two of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival kicked off in town this evening. Now that I am a man of leisure I decided to check out some of the shows in the exciting second week programme. The festival takes place in several venues about town. Each has a double bill every night. For my delectation this evening I selected ‘Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Queers’ at the Players Theatre in Trinity College. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Queers’