There he was,

As I bit into my Big Mac,

Throwing shapes;

At whom I am not too sure,

Maybe at himself

Or the devil he clearly had in his pocket;

Because he was dancing on dandelions,

Hopping on hot grilles,,

Twisting, grimacing,

Playing to some mad gallery in his head,

Laughing at a joke somebody was playing,

Or maybe he was just out of his

Dope-fucked mind.

Either way it didn’t matter;

I just wished he would let me

Eat my fucking burger in peace.


I Finally saw THE SILVER TASSIE at The National Theatre last night. What a play, and what a performance! O’Casey’s great war play – or should that be anti-war play – has finally found its natural home.
Act one is set in a Dublin pub, where the victorious football team is celebrating their victory in the cup – the Silver Tassie of the title. Most of them are home on leave from the trenches and are having one last celebration before heading back to France.
Act two, which is set in what appears to be a bombed-out Monastery, drips with symbolism, and the realism of act one has been replaced by a fantastical second one. The soldiers, battered and beaten by their experiences, cower among the ruins,trying to make sense of all the madness, seeming at times to be worshipping the huge gun which pokes its nose out at one corner of the stage. Whether the inference is that religion is as bad as war,or that it causes war, I couldn’t make my mind up,but that there is a clear link between them is certainly implied. The booming and flashing was quite alarming at times, never moreso than at the end of the act, when the huge gun is trundled centre stage, loaded and then pointed directly at the audience, resulting in another almighty bang and a flash that had me seeing stars momentarily.
Acts three and four deal with the aftermath; act three with with the gassed, the shell-shocked, the maimed and the blind trying to recover some kind of normality in hospital; act four at the celebratory dance at the football club where the story began. Here the wheelchair-bound footballer who had won The silver Tassie for the team and his blinded friend finally realise that for them life will never be the same. The ending is surreal, several girls dancing with their ‘scarecrow’ partners, falling down and picking them up,falling down and picking them up…

Brilliantly done and great writing. 5*****




The Morris Dancers were out inn force today, in preparation for the traditional May Day celebration  of Jack-In-The-Green, which takes place tomorrow.  JITG is a tradition going back hundreds of years; In the 16th and 17th centuries in England people would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebration. They became increasingly elaborate, and many groups would try to outdo each other. In the late 18th century this became a matter for competition, milkmaids in London carried garlands on their heads with silver objects on them, but the crown had to go to the chimney sweeps. Their garland was so big it covered the entire man, and it became known as Jack in the Green.

However,  by the turn of the century the custom was seen no more. The reasons were twofold: the Act which stopped boys climbing chimneys had been passed and these had been the main performers; secondly the Victorians had a different attitude to such customs, the prettification of customs took place; no more the giant maypoles with drunken and promiscuous behaviour. They were replaced by small poles imported from Germany with happy skipping children around them. 


The custom was revived in Hastings by Mad Jacks Morris Dancers in 1983.