Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A momentous meeting...

Yesterday afternoon. 2.30 pm. The sun is shining outside but I am sitting at a table in a dim theatre with two of Dublin's impresarios as we hammer out how we are going to collaborate to get my play on stage in this space.

The walls around us date back to the 17th Century in parts. There are tables behind littered with books that feature this space in its heyday, that mention the subject of my play, George Farquhar, as he trod the boards - escaping from his very deadly Divinity degree in Trinity College, Dublin - back in 1696/7.

There are weary stretches of boards from the original stage, bits of plasterwork, the alcove above us - filled in at a later stage - is where the sets were pulled from for the vast repertoire of plays the theatre staged. There are oyster shells - apparently the snack of choice in restoration theatre. And there are the open plans for how it will look when it has been made ready for an audience of 240+ next Spring - and it will look magnificent. This is Smock Alley Theatre, the oldest and most historic theatre in the city, and it is coming to life.

There is a fantastic array of skills being brought to the table to ensure that my play is staged and staged phenomenally and imaginatively. It's the most exciting time, when so much energy is spilling in the right direction. A photo is taken to mark the occasion.

And to think, I almost didn't write it.

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