GILMARTIN – a new play

My report on Sunday’s reading of Gilmartin at Pentameters:IMG_7398IMG_7395
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.



I never thought I’d say

That Ireland is to me

Just another piece of ‘real-estate’ today;

The place where we murdered rabbits

On nights both windy and dark

Giving them that old one-two

With a rigid hand behind the neck;

The place where we captured hares

For coursing in the glen

The blood coursing wildly through our veins

As Morrisseys lurcher

Swept them up from behind – again

The place where Mass was said

And Politics pled

On Sunday mornings

Outside churches

While inside, the sermon was read;

The little man was important then

And favours done, or causes won.

Were little enough

To cause much concern to anyone

Not any more

Now that the greedy guts hold all the floor

And all you hear is rampant cheers

And raucous shouts for more

And more…

And more…

And more…


Our lives are not our own
Our cards are marked from womb to tomb
Jealousy is the art of counting
Someone else’s blessings and not your own
You will never grow big by thinking small
The life you leave behind is no big deal at all
Be strong, be brave
But most of all don’t be a slave
To fashions, to politics, or whatever is the craze
Don’t run if you’re not able
And never expect happiness to come
With a glossy buy-me-now label.