Monday, August 17, 2009

Flatlake - bloody brilliant!

I'm just about revived from the Flatlake Festival in Monaghan. Pat and Kevin and their very able crew ran a very tight ship and I got to see quite a few other acts as well as reading with the Prufrocks, and the Diva Collective.

I saw a brilliant one-act solo show about the wife of Dylan Thomas, Cait McNamara. The actress doing this ran the whole gamut of emotions and really got across what it might have been like living with someone like Thomas, being tied down with babies and wanting to have a life of their own too.

Our act, The Prufrocks, was sandwiched between this show and a Harold Pinter tribute (which included the lovely Keith Allen, nowadays better known as Lily's dad).

Liz Gallagher led us off down the path reading from her brand new, hot-off-the-press collection from Salt books, The Wrong Miracle. She was followed by Jaki McCarrick, who not only writes poems and prose, but writes plays (award winning ones too!). Mary Mullen, originally from Alaska but who now lives in Galway gave us some poems that evoked living in Alaska in the 60s, and then Nuala Ni Chonchuir took the stage to read some poems that will feature in her new pamphlet forthcoming from Templar, Portrait of the Artist in a Red Car. I finished up the set, and I got a bit of a fright when I stood up to read. I had been sitting in the front seat, focussed on the readers, so I hadn't been aware of the crowds pouring into the tent. It was by now packed to the rafters!

*** Late edit: Nuala Ni Chonchuir has posted her report, complete with pictures of all the Prufrocks who read - do pop over and take a look! ***

Some pics:
If you embiggen this one, you'll see Cillian Murphy, star of Breakfast on Pluto, gazing enraptured at, well aparently it was me! EW took the picture.


And this is meself in my reading garb, complete with de-rigeur wellies! Despite the shadows, we had a lot of sunshine on the day - some weather gods smiled on us!

Later on I read with the Diva collective, at Radio Butty/Mondo Rancho, compered by Pat McCabe himself. We were on after The Poetry Chicks, who did a specially commissioned piece by Dermot Healy for the occasion as well as some of their own inspired performance pieces. If you get a chance to see them anywhere, you should go along for a look, they are brilliant.

As for ourselves, the Divas, we also amazed with our own work, and that poem about boobs I may have mentioned a good while back finally got a good airing in public. Seemed to go down pretty well, judging by the laughter it got...

Unexpected highlight of the day: Jinx Lennon's act in the Butty Barn. I'm willing to bet you've never heard such a great song title as 'Gobshite in the House,' or 'Everyone's got a mental home inside their head.' Jinx is described as a "a proper seanchaí, a punk, a poet, a troubadour and fuckin nutjob to boot," in a review over on his website - and I'm not joking, I was mesmerised by the whole act that I saw. Words just don't do him justice - go and see him if you can. He's got my respect and he lives here in Dundalk, right under my nose and I never knew what he was up to!

Now, I must get on with this back-to-school malarkey and do me other job: being mum-of-six ...

9 comments:

Dick said...

It all sounds great. Did Caitlin's own power of personality come across in the performance? God knows, DT (what appropriate initials) must have been difficult to live with. But she was something of a force of nature too.

BarbaraS said...

Very much Dick, she came across as being every bit as strong a personality (if not more, sometimes) as he did. But, oh boy, did she love him with a strength!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Yay! Great report, B and proof that Cillian was there and all! ;)

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Barbara, you mentioned Dermot Healy in your latest post. Any news about him? Me and my wife really feel as part of his fans since we listened to him in the nineties reading from "The Bend for Home" at the Abbey Theatre for a Waterstone's anniversary.
A long time has passed since his latest novel "Suddeen Times"...

Totalfeckineejit said...

What a brilliant do, B.Very well done.It's definitely flat lakes for me next year,unless of course I'm flat out again like this year ;)

Rachel Fox said...

It sounds like a fantastic festival. Great to be part of something like that!
x

Michelle said...

Oooooh, love your reading outfit - and the name The Prufrocks. Fabulous, Ms Barbara.

Kay said...

Thanks for the report - it all sounds so lively and like absolute poetry heaven - with boots on! Well done you!

BarbaraS said...

Cheers Guys, it was all tremendous fun and I think I'll do it again next year!