A Bit of Culture

Mon 16th Sep 2002

A Bit of CultureLostCarPark took some time off to check out An Evening with The Great Writers. This is a one-man show performed by actor Neil O'Shea, taking place in Buswell's Hotel on Molesworth Street.

As the title suggests, the show focuses on the work of many of the English language's most popular writers over the centuries. As it happens, the show's creator decided to concentrate on writers with an Irish connection, however tenuous.

A true one-man operation, the show starts with the actor explaining to the audience that any resembelance between himself and the person who sold the tickets is purely coincidence. He wears an evening suit and bow tie (no silly hats here).

The first half, entitled "The Old School" includes items such as Jonathon Swift's "Resolutions When I Come to be Old", a fine example of 1699 humour, and an account by Oscar Wilde of a visit to an American mining town. Later writers include G.B.Shaw, J.M.Synge and Christy Brown. The performer also included a piece of his own prose entitled "Dublin Bus". And, of course, the evening wouldn't have been complete without a lively performance of that excellent poem "Satisfaction" by R.Stone.

Some notable omisions, in my opinion, were Beckett, Joyce, and my personal favourite, Flann O'Brien. However it was later explained that this was for copyright reasons (the estate of at least one of these had gone after him for royalties from an earlier version of the show).

The standard of acting was excellent throughout. He really brought all of the pieces to life. Quite a few of the pieces I was familiar with from secondary school seemed far more interesting than I remembered. I suspect if Mr. O'Shea had been available when I was studying English I whould have got a much better grade.

The show has nearly completed it's current run, but may have a couple of weeks to go. Check the event guides.

Highly recommended.

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