The first thing to say is that there were quite a few surprises. The first was that we nearly had a full house for the occasion! It’s usually unheard of to get more than a handful to come to readings. The second was that the cast got a standing ovation at the end. The third was that a life-long friend of Gilmartin’s fetched up from Luton, and was so moved by the occasion that he almost broke down in tears at the q/a session afterwards. He did manage to issue an invitation to us to repeat the exercise in Luton, where he said we would have no problem getting a couple of hundred to come. But the biggest surprise of all was that Tom’s son and daughter turned up. They were very complimentary about the whole thing, particularly Tom Jr, who felt that we had got the essence of the story, and more importantly, the essence of his father. Phew…thank God for that!As for the play itself, I thought it worked very well as a piece of theatre – much better than I expected. I wasn’t sure if the audience would get the story, being quite mixed, and story being so Irish, but they got it in spades! It seems to be a universal tale; corruption at high level, and contemptible treatment of the ordinary man/woman. The script still needs a little tweaking here and there, but not much, and I did get some useful insights to the man from Tom Jr – which I can add to the mix.Where do we got from here? Not sure yet; we may go for a run at Pentameters later in the year or early next year, and we may well take up the invitation to do the gig in Luton, but there were also serious suggestions that we should do it in Dublin. The topic is still very hot in Ireland; and all the main protagonists are still walking around free as birds over there. They should be prosecuted but I don’t think the relevant authorities have any appetite for doing it. Apparently Bertie Ahern was on Irish radio yesterday being questioned about the bank scandal so none of it has gone away.I think it could be a ‘big’ play if we could get the right backing, and my feeling is that a tour of Ireland, starting in Dublin, could be the way to go. It’s early days yet, so I think we will await developments for now.
When Bertie Ahern resigned on May 6th 2008 after 11 years as Irish Taoiseach and more than thirty years all told in the corridors of power, it was as a direct result of the fall-out that occurred from the treatment meted out to Irish businessman, Tom Gilmartin, which only emerged in its entirety at the conclusion of the Mahon Tribunal, which had sat for almost 15 years before reaching its conclusions in 2012.
Tom Gilmartin had emigrated to Luton in the 1950’s from Sligo, and over the years had built up a successful business in construction and engineering, in Luton and South East England. Now a multi millionaire he decided in the late 1980’s to invest his experience – and money – in some projects in Dublin, where unemployment was high, and where poverty had once again seen many young Irish people cross the water in the hope of a better life.
Tom had ambitious plans for several major retail developments in the city, which he hoped would provide work for hundreds, if not thousands, in the city, but little did he know that in order to do business in Dublin, senior politicians and public officials would want a slice of the action – in large amounts of cash.
Embittered and impoverished by his experiences, Tom finally blew the whistle on the corruption at the heart of government and the city’s planning system. His complaints resulted in the setting up in 1997, by order of the Oireachtas, of the Mahon Tribunal to look into ‘certain planning matters and payments’. Ironically, it was championed by none other than one Bertie Ahern.
Length…2 hours approx./Setting…Dublin 1990’s – 2000’s
BRENDAN BEHAN’S WOMEN – LAST WEEK @Pentameters. DON’T MISS IT
Reviewed in the IRISH WORLD yesterday.
view all my published books @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-OBrien/e/B0034OIGOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1388083522&sr=1-2-ent
First review is in for NO BLACKS, NO DOGS, NO POLES. The reviewer sees the play as ‘a new look at an old problem’ and gives it a fairly decent write-up. I was pleased with it, and I think the cast can be too. There are several more reviews due out on Wed/Thurs this week. Looking forward to them!
OUR FIRST WEEEK DOWN AND WE LEARN THAT WE HAVE OUT-PERFORMED THE LAST PLAY AT THE VENUE – WHICH WAS AN ALAN AYCKBURN OFFERING! EAT YOUR HEART OUT, ALAN!
AUDIENCE NUMBERS HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD, AND THE RESPONSE EVEN BETTER. EVERYBODY SEEMS TO HAVE GOOD WORDS TO SAY ABOUT IT. ONE INTERESTING COMENT I MUST RELATE; A WOMAN FROM CORK WHO HAD MARRIED A BLACK MAN TOLD ME SHE HAD RECEIVED DOGS ABUSE – AS HAD MANY OTHER IRISH WOMEN IN THE SAME POSITION. HOWEVER, SHE SAID, IRISHMEN WHO HAD MARRIED BLACK WOMEN HADN’T HAD THE SAME ABUSE. NOW, THAT IS INTERESTING!
NO BLACKS, NO DOGS, NO POLES
PENTAMETERS THEATRE, HEATH ST, HAMPSTEAD, LONDON NW3 6TE
TUE – SAT 8pm SUN 5pm. ENDS 7th June
box office 0207 435 3648
MISS IT AT YOUR PERIL!
Rehearsal pictures of NO BLACKS, NO DOGS, NO
IRISH POLES, taken at Pentameters Theatre
All photos are by SIMON PURSE
BISEXUAL FATHER + RACIST COUSIN + ABORIGINAL WIFE = RACISM AND BIGOTRY IN IRELAND. DONT MISS!
BISEXUAL FATHER + RACIST NEPHEW + ABORIGINAL WIFE = RACISM AND BIGOTRY IN IRELAND
DON’T MISS THIS NEW PLAY
Synopsis: The dysfunctional Kennedy clan are having a re-union. There’s the father, Con, a successful building contractor in London who has had to relocate back in Ireland because of tax irregularities in the UK. Con is secretly bisexual, although not-so-secret from his wife, Marion, who has known it all along and kept quiet about it. His estranged son, Michael, turns up after five years in Australia with Cathy, his new aborigine wife. To say his parents are surprised would be putting it mildly. His nephew, Jimmy, also turns up and it is soon apparent that his racist, bigoted views haven’t mellowed any as he has got older. We learn that he is there at Con’s invitation; his real reason being to spy on Marion, who Con suspects of having an affair. Jimmy also has his own agenda, selling crack/cocaine to the local drug users – a plan which backfires when the drugs, which he has buried in the back garden, are discovered by Michael, heightening the already tense atmosphere in the house. Add in JJ, construction manager for Con, whose attraction to Marion must be obvious to everyone except Con.