An actual review! Written by a stranger!

There it sat on the bottom left hand corner of my computer screen, pulsating. Whispering my name, urging me to click on the link and to open it. In a reedy, wavering voice it whimpered ‘Open me, my precioussssssssss, read all about yourself’.

I am talking about the review of my play ‘An unexpected party’ which was featured on a website called The Outmost. This is the website for the monthly magazine GCN – which is Ireland’s largest (perhaps only) gay magazine. Anything that happens in the LGBT world in Dublin, will be reported on in this publication.

I left it sitting there – smirking at me, while I went about my daily business in my open plan office, in the industrial wasteland of county Dublin. I don’t know why I was procrastinating. I knew that there was absolutely no doubt on earth but that I would read the review. So why the delay.

In the end I stopped overanalysing and I clicked on it. I scanned it quickly. I closed it immediately.

Five minutes later when the palpitations ended, I opened it again and I read it slowly.

It was positive. The comments about my writing were very pleasing –  ‘There are touches of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party in the play, and Murphy, who also stars in the play as Declan, can write some very funny lines.’

Why thank you.

‘Murphy is obviously a writer of some potential and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.’

You might not have to wait too long. A sequel to ‘Mother’s Little Treasure’ is percolating in my devious little brain at present.

There was a ‘standout turn from Lesley-Anne Reilly as Karen, featuring immaculate comic timing. Reilly plays a great drunk.’ I fully agree.

Although it was noted that the performances were uneven– that’s not something to worry about. Opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one. I choose to be delusional and only listen to the complimentary ones until the show is over.

I shared the review with the other cast members. I received a quick response to tell me that the reviewer had stated that stated that the play was being performed in the wrong venue. We are showing in the Teacher’s Club on 36 Parnell Square. The review mentioned a different location. I had missed that.

I wrote a polite email to the website thanking it for the review, and mentioning the error, and I asked them to change the advertised location of the play to the correct one. For a small show this type of mistake could cost us seats – it’s not like we’re in the Abbey after all. Well not yet anyway.

I checked this morning – the location is still incorrect.  I am pleased with the review. And unsurprised that a potentially expensive error like the one made stands uncorrected.

I love G.C.N. – it is the  printed mothership of gay Ireland after all. But as it is the mothership it is not particularly responsive.  I had two stories published in an anthology by the Limerick Writers’ Centre last year called ‘It’s a queer city all the same’ I contacted the paper, asking whether they would be reviewing it. I thought that as  the national LGBT magazine, which contains a monthly book column, then a book showing new Irish LGBT writing from outside Dublin would be right up its street.

Therein lies the problem though. This was a book from outside Dublin. Sadly – despite GCN’s protestations to the contrary – it seems to be very Dublin focused, Dublin specific magazine. It’s understandable I suppose – it’s located here and I can’t imagine its travel budget is too extravagant. The book was never mentioned in G.C.N.  Although I bought a copy in an actual real life book shop in Limerick.

Never mind.

Come see the play. It is called ‘An unexpected party’. It runs until Saturday May 6th in the Teacher’s Club on 36 Parnell Square. Showtime is at 9pm each evening  (with an additional 4pm matinee on Saturday). Book your tickets at or buy them at the door.

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