ANTIGONISH

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ANTIGONISH

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

“Antigonish” is an 1899 poem by American educator and poet Hughes Mearns. It is also known as “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There”, and was a hit song under that title. Inspired by reports of a ghost of a man roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, the poem was originally part of a play called The Psyco-ed which Mearns had written for an English class at Harvard University about 1899. In 1910, Mearns put on the play with the Plays and Players, an amateur theatrical group and, on 27 March 1922, newspaper columnist FPA printed the poem in “The Conning Tower”, his column in the New York World.
A very simple poem, yet a very effective one, and a clear example of how ‘plain is sometimes better’.

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REVIEW TIME

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!

 

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http://www.reviewsgate.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7449

 

 

 

NO BLACKS NO DOGS, NO POLES

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This preview of my new play appeared yesterday in the London/Irish newspaper, the Irish World. However, sods law was at it nefarious work without anyone knowing, for no sooner than it had appeared than we had to postpone opening night for a week due to problems with the cast. It now runs from 20th May – 8th June. Ah well, these things are meant to try us! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

see my books @  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-OBrien/e/B0034OIGOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1388083522&sr=1-2-ent

 

CROMWELL’S TOUR OF IRELAND

‘Cromwell’ started off as a joke. We were touring Ireland a couple of years ago with another of my plays ‘On Raglan Road’, and had just played in Dingle, Co. Kerry, where I had purchased a new biography of Oliver Cromwell’s time in Ireland. When somebody asked what my next play was going to be I replied ‘Cromwell The Musical’. Everybody laughed, including myself, but over the next few months there were several (joking) questions about ‘how is the musical coming on’, and I thought ‘ maybe I will surprise them all’. I did surprise them – myself included – by actually writing – and finishing – it!

Cromwell's Tour of Ireland - Courtyard Theatre Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Hell or to Connaught: that’s where Oliver Cromwell plans to send all Irish Catholics.

(The province of Connaught being perceived as little more than a collection of bogs and rocks, and of little use to English land-grabbers)

The year is 1649 and Oliver Cromwell is on the rampage in Ireland. His mission is to quell the Irish Catholic rebellion, with its growing support for English Royalists. Failure could mean a new Civil War in England. Not that he countenances failure; he has seen a vision – he truly believes he has God on his side.

Ireland’s only hope is Owen Roe O’Neill and his Ulster Army. O’Neill is a veteran of the Spanish Wars and is recognized as Ireland’s greatest soldier. Cromwell plans to ensure he doesn’t leave Ulster.

We see his journey through Ireland through his own eyes, those of his Puritan soldiers, and of two girls, Emir and Eithne, who, having been captured at the battle of Drogheda, are now being forced to work in the kitchens before being shipped off as slaves to the West Indies.

Emir is hiding a big secret; she is a spy for Owen Roe O’Neill’s Ulster army, She plans to poison Cromwell, little knowing that Cromwell’s own agents have a similar plan for O’Neill.

When Eithne is raped by one of the Puritan soldiers, both plan to escape and join the defenders at Limerick, where O’Neill’s Ulster army is making a last desperate stand.

PERFORMED IN MODERN DRESS – WITH A SPRINKLING OF MUSIC!