In so many ways Ireland leads the way. Not least in their policy on clean energy. But I’m not here to talk about that.
Way back when I was in The Seafarer with a quartet of excellently robust actors, (the craic was mighty) I asked Mick Millamphy to give me a hand with the accent of County Armagh, significantly different from the Dublin sound we were going for then. I had an audition for The Ferryman. This is the transfer that originated at The Royal Court Theatre in London and then ran in the West End for almost a year and is now coming to Broadway with the original cast.
“Sure,” said Mick, “come over to Ryan’s Daughter (a bar on New York’s Upper East Side, he was part owner) and we’ll work on it.”
I made my way to 85th Street and 1st avenue. It was a misty evening. A light drizzle was falling. Shape-shifters were out and about just past the corners of perception. As I entered this bar under an Irish flag (one of several in New York City), a pint of Guinness materialized in my left hand.
“Come up to the snug,” said Mick.
Guinness continued to manifest about every quarter hour. Just before the preceding pint was finished. And here is the funny thing; I never saw it arrive. Mick and I chatted, discussing the idea that the job I was going for – understudying several roles in The Ferryman, an extraordinary play by Jez Butterworth – was distantly reminiscent of when governments subsidize farmers not to grow alfalfa. Getting paid for actively not acting. Although being ready, willing and able to do so, should someone twist an ankle.
At my age the capacity for Guinness is not what it once was. So although Mick’s company was highly agreeable, I had to slip away after about a gallon or two. We did spend a little time actually working on the accent and the next day I got the job. I started work last week. We preview October 2nd, open October 21st. Mick, I owe you.
The Ferryman tells an epic true story, but the play is threaded with mythology. I’m now convinced that selected newborns in Ireland are taken by the ankle and dipped in the river of Guinness that runs, with tributaries, through all of that magical land.
19 replies on “Don’t go Green go Emerald”
Ah Colin me auld Segotia. Great blog. I’ll always be ready to help
With a few pints mate.
Slainte! – haven’t quite got that pronunciation, maybe just one more pint!
Thanks Colin. I love your articles! 😍
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Thanks Lesley! Appreciated!
Fabulous…….as usual…. So much love to you both! Barbara
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Thanks Barbara – love back to you from us!
My daughter Natasha was desser and wArdrobe ssistant on the West End run Have a good craic x
Oh wow – the next generation huh? Apple tree not far! x
What a wonderful story, Colin!
Break a leg!
Contact me if you need any mime assistance in opening a creaky, screen door!
Break a leg…hoping for many a twisted ankle. 🙂 Patti (Your “Our Town Pal”)
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LOL “Eeeeaaarchhh….. ”
Colin, so magnificent. The story and the gig!!! Bravo friend!
Ah Beth … !
Congrats Col! Miss you buddy. Hope we can cross paths soon.
Likewise – where are you?
Oh you are a Poet, Mister Colin, you are–I’m gonna bike over to that place one of these days, will it emerge from the fog like a dream? Looking forward to seeing you in the show!
Sounds, great, Colin. Alas, we were in NYC quite recently but we’re now in FL but hope to see you again at Dramaworks! Funny, we recently saw Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy at the Westport Country Playhouse. Now you are one! Best wishes, Ann and Bob