Morrissey at the 3Arena


The Morrissey concert on Tuesday night was very impressive. The man remains in fine baritone voice, with effortless charisma and stage presence.

Upon arrival in the 3Arena we were greeted by a huge white, cloth screen covering the stage. On it was projected the image of Peter Wyngarde – the recently deceased lothario actor who was renowned for his suave, sophistication, as well as playing the TV detective Jason King in the late 1960s / early 1970s. His television career ended with an unfortunate series of cottaging incidents in Gloucester Bus Station in the mid-1970s. He never officially came out. Continue reading Morrissey at the 3Arena


Calling airport security – there’s a rogue passenger on the loose.

Check out from my apartment was at midday. My flight was not until 7.30pm. That was a long time to be hauling a rucksack around on my back. With the deviousness of a fox, I walked to the Museum of Liverpool, and availed of the storage lockers – for one pound. I know these are meant for museum visitors. However I had visited the museum some days earlier. Today was Monday – a quiet day so there were plenty available. No harm intended or caused.

Afterward I went to the Mersey Ferry Terminal. I love being on the water and having several hours to explore I decided that a ferry across the Mersey was essential. I had done this trip twenty years earlier and knew that it would be enjoyable. The boat sails from Liverpool on the Mersey river over to Seacombe on the Wirral peninsula; then onward to Woodside.  A narrator explained the history of the port, and the sights visible to us. I disembarked at the Woodside in Birkenhead, and walked to Hamilton Square in the town centre to witness a square comprised fully of Grade 1 listed buildings – only Trafalgar Square in London has more, in the entire UK.

Back to the Woodside terminal to see the ‘U-Boat Story’ exhibtion. The U-354 – a German u-boat sunk (sunk even more I mean, it was already underwater) in the last days of World War 2 has been reassembled in parts and is open to the public. The u-boats were built to attack ships carrying supplies to the Allies, and were a terrifying threat to seafarers. It looked like the residents of these underwater attackers were not living lives of comfort.

Back in Liverpool I returned to the museum and explored the railway history of Liverpool. I collected by bag from the locker and headed to the bus.

Upon going through check in at the John Lennon International Airport, I discovered that the battery on my phone was dead. The phone on which my boarding pass was stored. I asked the guard if I could charge my phone at his booth. Well what other choice did I have. I didn’t want to pay the forty quid Ryanair charges you to check in at the airport desk. He looked at me askance but allowed me ten minutes at his plug.

He must have called ahead to X-ray baggage check, as when I reached those guys I was instantly pulled aside for a full body search. I do not enjoy strange men exploring my groin area in these circumstances. I was mortified.

Upon completion of the search – where of course nothing was found, I staggered to the waiting area. My phone was at 2% battery – not enough to last the hour before boarding when the boarding card would need to be shown again. I search high and low, but not a plug socket was to be found. With one exception – the area for passengers who required special assistance. People in wheelchairs I mean. There was no-one in the cordoned off area, so it is not like I was inconveniencing anyone by sneaking in and plugging in my charger.

If I was approached by staff I had a marvelous excuse ready – although not personally in need of assistance, my phone certainly was.

Luckily I was ignored by all except a few people passing in wheelchairs who gave me looks of curiosity. Inwardly I was screaming apology, while averting my eyes.

After about half an hour the phone was back at 40%. That would have to do.

Casually I unplugged my device, made my way to the gate and boarded without incident.

I had a horrible suspicion that I was going to be hauled off the plane for crimes against airports. Luckily no such thing happened.

Home again after my wonderful trip to Liverpool.

Continue reading Calling airport security – there’s a rogue passenger on the loose.

Solo travel in Liverpool


And then there was one…

The group of four, meant to be traveling this weekend to Liverpool, was quickly whittled down to one – my good self. Not being a pearl clutcher, and reasonably comfortable on my own, I decided that there was no point in wasting the forty euro Ryanair flight. I would go to Liverpool on my own. Continue reading Solo travel in Liverpool

Theatre times: ‘Black Cherry’


Being a bit of a theatre buff – either front-of- or backstage – I attend a lot of plays and shows, and have met some very interesting and talented people as a result. Being a member of Firedoor Theatre has meant that the majority of my Irish theatre experience backstage has been with this specific group (although it would appear that I am branching out over the summer). As it is a fairly exclusive (in other words small) group, there is a limit on the number of projects that can be staged or promoted fully during the year. People occasionally need to branch out, if and when the opportunity arises. So was the case with one of the stars of the new play ‘Black Cherry’ by Krystal Sweedman, which is being performed as a staged reading, as part of the Scene and Heard Festival, at Smock Alley, on Saturday 17th February at 4pm. Continue reading Theatre times: ‘Black Cherry’

Dublin Bus 40D – the emblem of failure


I have written previously about how shockingly difficult it is to reach one of the largest industrial estates in the country, on public transport, during rush hour, every morning. A place where tens of thousands of people work, served by such a primitive and unreliable service, clearly ought to be regarded as a problem. The problem is simple – the 40D bus from Parnell Street to Ballycoolin Industrial Estate is ‘The Bus that Never Arrives’. If I arrive at 8.25am for the 8.30am service then the bus will arrive at 8.44am. If you crawl out of bed early to make the 8.15am service then it will rock up at 8.44am. Continue reading Dublin Bus 40D – the emblem of failure

Acting workshop: ‘Exploring the text’



Firedoor Theatre runs weekly Wednesday/ acting workshops at a top secret city centre location (top secret as due to overwhelming demand, availability is limited – if more than the optimum numbers of people attend then the workshops become too crowded, which the group endeavours to prevent). I used to be the organiser of these workshops – in other words I would maintain the schedule, by booking a workshop facilitator approximately six weeks in advance; and then on the preceding Monday I would verify that they were still set for the Wednesday event. Those who cancelled several weeks in advance were readily forgiven; those who never responded to my last minute pleas for confirmation were never booked by me again. I’m like a vengeful elephant – I never forget.

The vast majority of facilitators attended on time and in full and have given us a series of entertaining and fulfilling workshops. The subjects can vary week to week – the Meisner Technique (apparently this dude is major when it comes to acting technique but I can never precisely remember what his methods are or what for). Other subjects are clowning; use of voice; audition workshops and the whole plethora of activities that make up the world of theatre.
Continue reading Acting workshop: ‘Exploring the text’

Back on the saddle again



After a three month sabbatical, I have decided that it is time that I remount my trusty steed and start driving once more. While I understand that, after my abject failure at my last test would indicate that the wisest course of action would have been to continue my classes on schedule. Regular practice is the means by which people obtain their driver’s licences. Continue reading Back on the saddle again