Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of Trade

It’s a strange paradox that confessionals largely occur either with the priest or the prostitute.   Trade makes use of the confessional between an older man and a young rent boy whose services he has procured previously.   The play is stripped back to its bare essentials with a minimalist dialogue, a dingy B&B bedroom and two characters that remain nameless.  Yet despite the simplicity of the story and setting, there is nothing simple in the execution of this play.  It is honest, raw and cleverly places the audience as voyeur and witness to the complexity of both men’s lives.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A way with words - connecting the traditional with the digital

In his essay ‘Story-telling: The Gaelic tradition’ Declan Kiberd states that for “the past eighty years in Ireland, the short story has been the most popular form of all literary forms with readers,” and that it has “been the form most widely exploited by writers”.  Kiberd highlights that Patrick Pearse saw with “uncanny accuracy” that the future of Irish literature lay in the short story rather than the folk tale.  That essay, which formed part of a collection on the Irish short story, was published in 1979[i].  Over thirty years later the short story form continues to be widely exploited by Irish writers today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Letting Go?

In the good mother’s way with her sons;
The fledged bird is thrown
From the nest – on its own
But the peasant in his little acres is tied
To a mother’s womb by the wind-toughened navel-cord
                                                        (excerpt from The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh)

In the summer of 2002 I visited an unusual place in the Garden County. Just outside Roundwood is an Indian Sculpture park called Victor’s way. This oddity in rural Ireland is owned and managed by Victor, who inherited the land and developed it into a philosophy park. The sculptures are strategically located around the place to enable the visitor to reflect upon the various stages of life.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rejection: a fact of life

There are things we have to do in life and things we have to experience in life.  In order to survive we have to breathe, drink, eat, sleep and shelter from the elements.  As we develop emotionally and psychologically we experience a wide range of emotions, navigate relationships and ourselves.  To a greater or lesser degree we can control our emotions, avoid relationships and avoid experiences.  But there is one area of experience that we cannot avoid…that ever perennial problem of life; rejection.