The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, June 14, 2013

the impressario in repose

A night of strange and perturbed dreams.
You know what folks.
Eerie portents gild my every reverie.
I kid you not.
What can be the cause?
I'll tell you.
My play Poets In Paradise has already had a few outings in aid of charity this season.
The story of the play features a meeting in a pub in heaven of Ireland's greatest dearly departed writers.
I'm happy enough that each time the play is performed, it has created a certain magic.
All has not been plain sailing though.
For one thing, my talent for falling out with people is coming to the fore yet again.
The great film producer Sam Goldwyn is supposed to have once said: "Actors are cattle."
He was wrong.
Cattle are nice things.
Anyhoo.
Not quite plain sailing.
The devil woman diva known to fans of my work as The Brezzer is completely out of control.
In the most recent performance of the play she was walking around heaven with a handheld microphone trailing electric wires in her wake.
By the way, she made the executive decision herself to use the microphone along with lengthy backing tracks for all her songs.
Surprisingly in the past ten years, she's never actually pulled that stunt before.
All you other soprano singing sensations out there, who've been wondering if there are handheld microphones in heaven, take heart.
Apparently there are.
But this is the least of my worries.
All my humble attempts to stop this cast of Bolshevicks from including a completely out of place Italian operatic aria at the close of my play which is intended as an homage to the music, poetry and literature of Ireland, all my most earnest entreaties, all my appeals to their better nature, even my most desperately romantic sallies directed at their intellects, Gawd 'elp us, all of them I tells ee, have once more came to nought.
The Brezzer can sing it, their reasoning goes, so the aria stays in the show.
It's stayed in for ten years.
During which time the curvilinear laughter lines which enoble my exquisite preraphaelite visage, have turned a tad jagged.
An Italian aria in an homage to Irish culture.
I ask you.
Presumably if we had someone who could do a good impression of Mussolini, we could at the very least give him a walk on, instead of wasting our audiences time by ethereally and sublimely evoking the humdrum shades of such losers as Patrick Kavanagh, Percy French, Brendan Behan and WB Yeats.
O tempera, o morons.
The other cast members Uncle Scutch, Vivian Clarke and Maurice O'Mahoney will do precisely what I tell them only if the wind is blowing from the north northeast and I first throw a dead cat over my shoulder in a graveyard at midnight.
Otherwise, if I so much as ask them to smile at a particular moment, they will first weigh the merits of smiling, and the ontological meaning of smiling, and the numerous possible reasons not to smile; then they will consider whether a smile might not offend foreign nationals, whether a smile might not be a bit vulgar, or whether a smile might not more efficaciously be expressed in the present context as a snarl; finally they will discuss in portentous tones amongst themselves how much James Healy really knows about smiling since he does so little of it himself and since, when he does smile, his buck teeth show and he looks a bit like one of his own hamsters, the hairy one, Fur Ham; and having exhausted this avenue of amusement, they will come to me in a veritable phalanx and utterly refuse to smile in this play or any other play, now or at any time in the foreseeable future, forever and ever, Amen.
Gawd 'elp us indeed.
You know what.
I still occasionally try to reach them.
In a magnificently heartfelt nay poignant plea I told them yesterday: "It is a serious drawback to this production if all decisions are made by committee when there's only one person on the committee who has a clue what he's talking about."
I spoke with all the calm dignity of a young Mini Mouse.
Of course, modesty prevented me from naming the person on the committee who actually knows what he's talking about.
Arf, arf.
I'll use that one again in a few months.
Pretend you're hearing it for the first time, gentle readers.
But let's get back to where we were when I started this diary entry.
I wanted to tell you about my night of strange dreams.
I have become distracted.
Listen.
Last night I dreamed the strangest dream I ever did dream.
I dreamed we were in the theatre at Kilcullen for the next showing of my play which is due to take place there on December ninth in aid of my favourite charity, The Buy James Healy A New Car Foundation. (It's a noble cause. Y'all come.)
A bunch of Al Qaeda terrorists burst into the theatre.
About thirty of them.
For a moment all is chaos.
The traditional theatre style chaos to establish mood and character, featuring the Jihadis spraying the ceiling with their machine guns, a couple of them self detonating over by the video man, the audience cowering in their seats, terrorists shouting Allah U Akbar into their hand held microphones, etc etc.
Particularly etc etc.
By the way, the classic theatrical stage direction for such improvised chaos is: Business with the terrorists.
Eventually the business concludes.
Mood and credibility have been established.
Then the lead Jihadi faces the little group of performers on stage.
"Which one of you is James Healy?" he snarls with a smile.
Silence descends.
The cast look at one another with a wild surmise. (Like the Brezzer on  a peak in Darien when her microphone breaks down.)
Then, as a man, and essaying all the ancient valour of the Irish nation, Uncle Scutch, Maurice O'Mahoney, Vivian Clarke, and even the ephin miked up Brezzer herself, step forward forming a human wall at the front of the stage, a veritable phalanx of actors, and announce proudly:
"There he is. Yeah him cowering over there. Him in the white suit playing WB Yeats. Do you want us to hold him down for you?"

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