I had been enjoying a bijou sabbatical from the theatre world, after my exertions earlier in the year with ‘An Unexpected Party’ and ‘Mother’s Little Holiday Treasure’ (the tawdry tale of trashy dames on the rampage in Tenerife).
I knew there were upcoming auditions for Firedoor Theatre’s winter production of original play ‘The Lovers’ Guide to Losing Your Mind’ by Jason Coburn. Last year I had appeared in a short play called ‘The Stranger’ which he had written. That had been an excellent experience.
I had read this new play and enjoyed it very much.
However being a mature, thoughtful (and realistic) individual I knew that the age profile of the characters in this play, were not suitable for me. It was almost like a burden had been lifted. I’d been feeling close to burn out with all my theatrical shenanigans. A little break had been welcome.
To sit out the audition was somewhat of a relief. I wouldn’t need to put myself through that emotional wringer of rejection. I wouldn’t need to haul my forty year old carcass about the place, trying to convince the non-blind that yes I can pass for someone in my twenties.
The play was cast, and the director picked. All was good. I would be front row central for opening night.
Then my phone rang.
‘Hello, Midnightmurphy here,’ I mumbled huskily into my phone.
‘Hello there, would you be interested in backstage work for the new show?’
‘Why certainly.’ I replied.
How could I refuse?
The director of the play is Alex McKenzie. I had been directed by her in several plays in the past, in Amsterdam– including ‘The Astonished Heart’ by Noel Coward; and ‘Dark Lady of the Sonnets’ by George Bernard Shaw.. I had played Joxer Daly opposite her Juno Boyle in O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the Paycock’ for the Badhuistheater. Most recently I had been directed by her as the character of ‘Jim’ in an original piece ‘Dog’ by LesleyAnne Reilly in Firedoor Theatre’s ‘Spring 2017 Uncut’ showcase.
Most importantly I had been her glamourous stage manager in ‘Café Noir’ which had been a riot of enjoyment.
I knew that the ‘Lovers’ Guide to Losing your Mind’ would be a fun ride, from the reading we had done of it a few months previously.
My job is to make sure that the stage is ready and the actors are ready. If I do a good job I won’t be noticed. If I am noticed it is a sign of failure on my part. No pressure.
Someone bring me a fan.
It is difficult to talk about the plot in detail without revealing too much. I’ll just say that it is a comedic, yet bittersweet examination of how complicated friendships and relationships can be; and their impact on a group of friends. How the repercussions of actions can be felt for a long time. How oftentimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone as Joni Mitchell (who never lied) once trilled.
It is a very funny play – with some truly abhorrent (therefore wonderful) analogies. You’ll never look at a chicken fillet roll in the same way again.
It stars a bevy of Firedoor beauties (both male and female) who you make have seen in earlier shows (‘Vinegar Lips’ Delaney is almost unrecognisable in this new play for example.)
It’s get-in to the theatre this Sunday. The world premiere is next Tuesday.
Nails are being bitten to bloody stumps as I type. It’s almost show-time.
Don’t miss out – this is a good one.
Nothing’s going to stop them now.
Running from Tuesday 5th December to Saturday 9th December in the Teachers’ Club at 36, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Doors at 7.30pm, show at 8pm. It’s €10 for Tuesday’s show and €15 for all other shows.
You can get your tickets at the LINK. or at the door on the night.