Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fiction: ‘The Doll’

Today’s blog is a departure. As my loyal readers will know I write regular pieces for this blog, and also plenty of short plays. I have been neglecting my prose writing however. Having no writing project on the simmer at the moment, I decided to attend a writers’ workshop near my house today.  Time to practice my fiction.

The concept was simple. The facilitator provided a visual prompt. We then had thirty minutes to write a piece. Afterwards those who were willing would read it to the group.

Today’s prompt was a ‘Tiny Tears’ doll.  This is my endeavour. I’ve not edited it apart from the spelling mistakes. I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading Fiction: ‘The Doll’

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

Fly, lesbian seagull. Fly

I flopped out of bed, and I staggered to the shower. Staring into the mirror while brushing my teeth, my eyes looked bleary and bloodshot. It had been a disturbed night’s sleep, thanks to a wonky shoulder. Only after my alarm started its melody of doom, did the urge to fall into a deep slumber overcome me. I resisted. I have to be at work by a certain time. Even though my boss is on summer holidays for two weeks, I still have to show my face and appear alert. The industrial wastelands never sleep you know. Continue reading Fly, lesbian seagull. Fly

An unplanned evening

The trouble with modern technology is also one of its strengths. It makes you accessible.

Long gone are the days when you’d make a plan to meet on Saturday night – in front of Brown Thomas on O’Connell Street – two days in advance. If something came up, then you’d call on Saturday afternoon, hoping you’d be able to speak to the other person, in order to cancel. Occasionally you’d end up, waiting, like a marriage proposal that never arrives. You’d hope the person was just late. And you’d stand there. Waiting. Half an hour was about my limit. Days later you’d get a phone call – on the landline – with the other person apologising profusely, explaining that they’d been unable to reach you,. Alternatively they’d say ‘ My bike had a puncture in the tyre, so I had to walk, you weren’t there when I arrived.’ Continue reading An unplanned evening

Pride in the name of Manchester

The phone buzzed. It was a Facebook message – I could tell from the tone.

I was sprawled out, like an ungainly heap on the sofa, reading Hillary Mantel’s book – ‘Wolf Hall’ – about King Henry Tudor and his headless wives. It is taking longer than anticipated to read. Perhaps it is because I feel sorry for Queen Katharine and want her to cling on to her position (I know that this is not logical – this book is based on historical fact – it’s not going to have an alternate ending). King Henry did Katharine wrong, when he decided to install that TROLLOP Ann Boleyn as his new bride. Mind the head though, Ann – who knows what is coming? It could be an axe.

I unscrambled my limbs into a more respectable position, and reached for my decrepit phone and swiped to read the message.

It was a simple request.

‘Want 2 go 2 Manchester 4 Pride on last wknd in Aug.?’ Continue reading Pride in the name of Manchester

‘NO REGERTS: Only God can judge me’

Remember the old days when tattoos were exotic and mysterious and implied a slightly dubious character? Before they became mainstream, millennial and dare I say it, bland? The glory days when a man with a fading green anchor on his forearm; or a delicately inscribed ‘L-O-V-E’ and ‘H-A-T-E’ on the knuckles of each hand caused a frisson of unease. Were these people sailors? Or bikers? Had they been in prison? A tattooed woman was even scarier. Was she a wasp-chewing gangster’s wife with a flick-knife hidden in her backcombed wig? Was she on the game? Was she CHER? Continue reading ‘NO REGERTS: Only God can judge me’