Tag Archives: Dublin

Red chairs, grumpy stares and a giant monkey

Today we brought wee Princess to have her photo taken. Nothing too serious, just one of these chain companies that are found in shopping centres. I had a won a voucher towards it in a competition and we said we would try to see if we could get something worthwhile.  Mostly I wanted to see if we could get a family shot of me and mon amour with our little lady. 

I knew it was going to be a strange day when we walked onto the concourse. In the centre of the thoroughfare was a large red chair with the words ‘I WANT YOU’ etched underneath. 


Behind a curtain a group of people were getting ready to warble into a microphone. People were gathering around to gawk and the cheekiest were putting their kids up on the chair for a ‘selfie’. Not the noise levels you want when you are trying to settle a little child. We quickly walked past and headed for our photo shoot.

Thirty minutes of screaming, trembling lip and drool later (Princess did not appreciate the photographer’s efforts and constant bell-shaking) we emerged somewhat more fragile into the centre. I thought nothing could be as surreal as that rushed experience. I was wrong.

As we turned the corner with the pram we walked into a giant monkey!

It’s just not write


It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at a project, to create whatever veneer you wish, there is always a weak link that will put their own ‘spin’ on their input.

Bad grammar annoys me, yet misspellings, in the right context make me giggle. This special handcrafted sign appears on a temporary plywood facade affixed to an ancient cast-iron gate. The gate has been daubed an offensive green shade to colour match the part year dollification of Dublin Castle for the six months Ireland holds the EU Presidency. The paint job offends me – the ‘official’ sign prompted a smile.

With thanks to the worker on the Irish EU Presidency project for the photo moment of the day.

To improvise or interact – that is the question

I have just had the most peculiar evening of performance and interaction, thought provoking and fun

I am always curious about the experimental elements in theatre. Interaction within a performance piece entirely alters the experience as the audience becomes either cast or prop or device but no longer simply voyeur. As a result, what you take from such a performance varies greatly depending on how you approach it. The Company (for such is the name of the theatre group) created an interesting set up and incrementally drew the audience into the action as the night progress. Some looked incredibly uncomfortable, others slightly bemused. My Intelligent Other (American so fairly open to this) took to the whole thing like a screaming duck to a bath of fish (or something similarly offbeat but smile-inducing simile).

I noted as we arrived and were directed to different types of seating that the audience at such interactive theatre productions are visibly more funky, chilled and hip. Be-suited festival goers tend to be less comfortable diving to the floor or cuddling up with cast members on their lap. Admittedly as I had come straight from an office situation I looked unlikely to get as involved and I clearly surprised some people in my area by playacting with gusto.

The experience was relaxing and uplifting and left me with an intermittent fit of the giggles for some hours after. But strangely the thing that I took away was a feeling that I had not been on a night out to the theatre. It was much more like a games night with role players.
Nothing wrong with that. Right?

The play’s the thing….

When a play is not sure if it is still a book it can suffer from an existential crisis. That was my experience last night sitting in the Abbey theatre in Dublin. I felt the story and language and themes of a novel attempt to force itself out through the skin of a play and it was uncomfortable viewing. Brave attempts to push together themes and speak through conceits. But ultimately unsatisfying.

Today, another theatre, another cast, another book. Or to be specific a book of short stories. And yet these mini moments, our glimpses of epiphanies were so vividly and robustly rendered as if the characters had stepped from the page in front of us.

This is why theatre is so addictive, voyeuristic draw among the artifice. For a few hours I held my breath, the world stilled its incessant spin and I was a world away…..in Dublin.