By this point next Wednesday we will be three shows into the run, and we’ll have a better idea if the play is the hit of the season or the flop of the millennium. The former hopefully – enough work has gone into this at this point to ensure that at the very least we will give it a very good go. I am starting to panic at random moments for no apparent reason.
While waiting in line at the coffee dock I get palpitations unrelated to caffeine consumption. While standing in line behind the ginger guy at the bus stop I feel faint (and this has nothing to do with his manly thighs). I wake in the middle of the night with a vague sense of expectancy and unease. This is normal behaviour from me when there is a show approaching. I find myself appearing calm on the exterior. On the inside however I am a howling inferno of excitement, anxiety, paranoia and distress. This is illogical because regardless of how the play turns out, it won’t be a judgement call on my value as a human being. It feels a bit like that though.
This play has been featured quite heavily on this bloggette in recent weeks – you can rest assured however that within a fortnight I will be making more frequent posts about my bus journey to work once again and the evolving tale of Beyoncé and her mum. This play is the fruits of my labour. I wrote it, so I have a much deeper personal interest in how it fares out there in the clique-y world of the theatre (darling).
I am probably labouring the point when I mention that because I am appearing in a play that I wrote, it is far more subjective. Nowhere to run. No excuses to hide behind. I have no reason to believe that it won’t go well. Our glorious director and the electrifying cast all seem to be happy with the progress.
In typical style I remain plagued by self-doubt and paranoia.
Are people merely humouring me? It might be a good play but what if no-one shows up? What if one of the cast breaks an ankle three days before opening?
Will I be able to perform in crutches, dosed up on benzos?
And then there is the subject matter. This is a very delicate balancing act. The play at its core is meant to be a comedy. But it is concerning such a sensitive issue that it must not be trivialised.
It is about a city centre apartment dweller named Declan (that would be my role). A year earlier his flatmate Niall took his own life. Declan now has a new housemate – a country and western singing lesbian named Aoife (played by Dympna Heffernan). Without telling Aoife, Declan arranges a little soiree in their apartment. He invites Niall’s twin sister Karen and ex-boyfriend Andrew (played by Lesley Ann Reilly and Benjamin Musgrave). Karen and Andrew have not seen each other since Niall’s funeral. Both of them are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy. Both have unresolved (and maybe unresolveable) issues of blame and guilt and anger – towards Niall, themselves and the other. They don’t like each other. And they don’t know that the other has been invited that evening.
Karen arrives drunk. Andrew arrives with his new younger boyfriend Zach (played by Jack Beglin). Fireworks ensue. Aoife stares at Declan slack-jawed, mouthing ‘What have you done you utter moron?’ Declan offers more drinks.
While it is comedic in its scenario I think that the director Brian Quinn has done an admirable job of keeping the audience aware that while it might be an amusing situation there is a horror lurking just beneath the surface. While my character Declan provides some of the comedy moments due to his utter cluelessness, he is not a comedy character. There are no villains in the piece (although why is Zach feeling triggered in a safe space). There are no heroes (with the possible exception of the sainted Aoife).
I can’t wait to start.
Come see it – we’ll do our utmost to keep you entertained. Get your tickets HERE…..