50 Shades of Greystones

After the wardrobe malfunction during Thursday’s performance, on Friday after work I was a man on a mission. My mission – which I had no choice but to accept – was to acquire pale blue underpants that matched my overalls. Therefore if my trousers split again, then at least I would be colour coordinated.


And what better shop to acquire said apparel than Penneys (or Primark as it is known outside Ireland).

I also needed a needle and thread to do emergency surgery on the burst trousers before the show.

Penneys don’t sell needlework equipment however. The friendly lady behind the counter, upon being asked if they did, threw her eyes to heaven and told me that as Penneys clothes were so cheap, that people just threw them away. How very wasteful I thought – I have long been a dab hand at a bit of sewing and wouldn’t be a fan of disposable clothing – unless it is a nappy. She told me however that Michael Guineys on Talbot Street was the shop to go to.

What a shop is Guineys. It was like takingĀ  portal through time back to the 1950s. The floor was a sickly looking linoleum. There were fussy net curtains on the windows and it clearly hadn’t been painted while Queen Elizabeth 2 has been monarch of Canada. Supplies were piled to the ceiling in no apparent order. I located my supplies however and dashed to the theatre.

Friday’s show got a good reception. My haphazard sewing skills caused much amusement with one person telling me that there was a loose thread dangling from the seat of my pants. I gave a stony faced reply that this was essential stretch room, and that it was there for a reason. My rushed embroidery job did the trick, and there were no indecent exposure on stage.

Saturday night was the finale. It received the best response so far I think and my downbeat Ukrainian received some laughs. People can be such monsters. There I am trying to milk some poignancy from my roadsweeping duties, and the audience starts laughing like a drain, at my Ukrainian misfortunes. Actually that’s not true. I got some pleasant feedback from people which was appreciated.

The second after the bows finished and the audience had been herded out, the disassembly of the theatre began – seats stacked, curtains dismounted, set packed up. It was done in about an hour.

It’s a sad and slightly nostalgic reality that you spend months preparing for these productions. The run seems to last only a heartbeat and after the final claps, it disappears. The work that’s been put in on designing the set, the hours spent rehearsing, the drama and camaraderie is wonderful.

And then. Just like that. It’s gone.

You know that you will meet and work with these lovely people again. But each show is like a little microcosm of time, with an irreplaceable temporary family. The next show will have a new dynamic, and will be just as fragile and temporary and bittersweet. Each production has its own individual magic. And this one most definitely had that.

Today was a strange day. For the first Sunday in months there was no rehearsal to attend. What to do with those long afternoon hours.

I took an executive decision that I was going to keep busy by traveling to the seaside town of Bray in County Wicklow to do the cliff walk to the next village along the coast – which is called Greystones.

I got the train from Connolly Station. It’s a unique train route – on the very edge of the sea, with cliff face directly outside the window. One gust of wind… There are tunnels drilled through the stone mountains to allow the train to pass through. Bray and Greystones are your typical colonial style seaside villages with beautiful imposing houses all along the seafront.

These are the types of town I want to live in. Maybe one day.
The cliff walk took about ninety minutes and involve a lot of hill.

My legs are now well stretched.

A rather splendid weekend, all told.

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