Extracts from the Plays

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Spiffs & scenes from The Connemara Triangle, from How To Roast A Strasbourg Goose - Reason Suspended, Belowstairs, Investiture, The Child - & from James Power O’Toole & The Emerald Oil Company

 

About the theatre pieces.

 

First performed in Dublin during the 1985 Theatre Festival, the starting point of HOW TO ROAST A STRASBOURG GOOSE is an actual case brought against the British Government,  which reached Strasbourg in 1979. Described by the critic Fintan O’Toole as “epic satire” & “savagely indignant” GOOSE recasts the whole episode in terms of a case brought against the universe by a retired existentialist philosopher, in the Court of Tír na nÓg - legendary Celtic land of eternal youth. It is due to be tried before Lord Reason, but he is abruptly suspended on the orders of - who else? -  His Reality Ultimate the 1st & Last. When the case does eventually come to be heard (before the newly appointed Emily X, of Equal Wrongs for Men,) the courtroom attendance includes the Seven Macafees from Belfast, some superannuated deities of the Tuatha Dé Danaan now practising as traditional musicians, & an Angelic delegation, legal defenders... “in the great Dublin tradition of the erudite wit.“  [C.F. Belfast Newsletter.]

 

In HOUSEPARTY AT BALDRIGGERA Lord Maulte (Anglo-Irish whiskey peer - 7th of the name, 1st of the synonyms) invites prominent politicians from north (Rev Wm Blaikie, Ms Billie Gallagher, Sam Ferguson MP) & south (Oliver Grattan McGreal TD, Séamus Stark TD) to his mansion on the border. All agree to come if there is to be foolproof security; however, each side thinks the house is on the other  side of the border, so no arrangements are actually made. The butler thinks fit to invite the UDA (under Suss Farquhar) & the IRA (under Hughie McHugh) unbeknownst to each other... "Essentially a farce... In Ireland the absurdities are real & dangerous... The satire is even-handed & keen-eyed,... playful & angry." (F.O’Toole, S.Tribune.)

THE EMERALD OIL COMPANY. A fictional seer is thrust onstage by his author, with no script. He has to envision the activity that is criminally misusing the world's resources. What he sees: all transactions are controlled by a front company run by one Moloch-worshipper. Moloch demands child-sacrifice be built into every single financial operation... "The biggest little show of the festival, an epic satire... with a savage seriousness & a wonderfully inventive turn of phrase & mind." (F.O'Toole, S.Tribune.)

 

THE 2nd GRAND CONFABULATION OF DRUM C’AT. Fantasy-satire: Ars Poetica-cum-everything-elsica, Critique of Academe, Deconstruction, & the Dialects of Sociologese & Obscuranto. The 1st Convention of Drum Ceat, in 593 A.D., was summoned as a Poet-Cull - the poets had grown to number  one third of the entire population. Now a 2nd Drum Ceat conjures Real Poets from all ages, to Deal with a Dire Surfeit of Academics. A Jousting ensues - Professorial Imperturbables v. Poetic Diffidents!

 

THE SECOND GRAND CONFABULATION

OF DRUM CEAT.

by

Sydney Bernard Smith

Characters

Horse The author

FlanneryConnor Maguire.

 

Fantasy-satire: an Ars Poetica,Critique of Phoney Academe.

The First Convention of Drum Ceat, in 593 A.D., was summoned as a Poet-Cull - the poets had grown to one third of the population. Now a Second Drum Ceat calls on Real Poets from all ages, to cope with the current Surfeit of Academics, to confront Vested-Interest-Obscurantism. A Jousting ensues - Professorial Imperturbables v. Poetic Diffidents...

 

THE BALDRIGGERA HOUSEPARTY

by

Sydney Bernard Smith

 

Characters

Played by Connor Maguire

Rory Devine, Cavan man, butler to Lord Maulte

Suss Farquhar, UDA commander

Oliver Grattan McGreal, T.D., liberal

Seumas Stark, T.D., Minister for Justice, Fianna Fallen govt.

Mr. TamuraAxis Peace Foundation executive

Played by the author

Lord Maulte, Anglo-Irish whiskey peer

Hughie McHugh, IRA chief of staff, Derryman

Rev.Wm. Blaikie, M.P., licensed ranter

Sir Edmund Hake, British Foreign Service

Sam Ferguson, Unionist M.P.

Karlheinz Wohlfahrt Kuhm, Axis Peace Foundation executive

The action occurs in and near Baldriggera House, a mansion close to the Irish Border.

 

Lord Maulte, invites politicos - Oliver Grattan McGreal T.D., Ms. Billie Gallagher M.P., Seamus Stark T.D., Sam Ferguson M.P.(Moderate Unionist Fringe), Rev.William Blaikie M.P.(Lunatic Centre), Sir Edmund Hake. But his butler also invites Suss Farquhar(UDA) & Cuey McHugh(IRA). Ructions threaten... until everybody discovers that  it isn't a crime to be different.

"Essentially a farce... In Ireland the absurdities are real & dangerous... The satire is even-handed & keen-eyed,... playful & angry." (S.Tribune.)

 

THE EMERALD OIL COMPANY

by

Sydney Bernard Smith

 

Characters

Phil, visionary

James Power O'Toole, returned Yank

Leo, student

E.M., emperor of finance

Stage Manager, Kerry type

Old Retainer, vintage Cockney

Giant, loud and dignified

 

A fictional seer is thrust onstage by his author, with no script. He has to envision the activity that is criminally misusing the world's resources. What he sees: all transactions are controlled by a front company run by one Moloch-worshipper. Moloch demands child-sacrifice be built into every single financial operation...

"The biggest little show of the festival, an epic satire... with a savage seriousness & a wonderfully turn of phrase & mind." (F.O'Toole, Sunday Tribune.)

 

HOW TO ROAST A STRASBOURG GOOSE

by

Sydney Bernard Smith

 

Personages

Narrator

Packy Connemara man

Guard

Bert Stump existentialist emigrÑ

Messenger

Head Angle twee

Lord Reason sound

Chancellor Serious Italianate dignitary

Dubliner

Kate another

Poetasters

Purslane MacClelland literatus

Serena Aurelian trendy

The Dagda early specimen deity

Andy Macafee  Belfast

Cuey Macafee    his bro'r

Murtagh Macafee    his bro'r

Dodger Macafee    his bro'r

Biff Macafee    his bro'r

Rubberneck Macafee    his bro'r

Pea Soup Macafee    his bro'r

Emily X

Angelic Messenger

Leonard Bevin journalist

Nuada

The MorrÒgan

Sergeant

Angles   

Child

 

His Reality Ultimate the 1st & Last is arraigned before Lord Reason for torture of the human species. Prosecuted by a Gaulish existentialist, defended by tweedy Angelics. Meantime Chancellor Serious passes orders to Meaning: design a New Illusion! Early specimen Celtic deities, & Emily X of Equal Wrongs For Men, & the Plain People of Ireland, & the Seven Macafees from Belfast  all have their say.

"Tour de force"(Sunday Tribune, Limerick Chronicle, & In-Dublin Magazine.) "Brilliant satire. A must."(Irish Times.) "One-man performance is a misnomer; the stage is thronged... Wicked & hilarious." (Limerick Chronicle).

 

THE CONNEMARA TRIANGLE

Comedy

by

Sydney Bernard Smith

 

                Time: about 2 hours.

 

Characters

 

Mickeleen - thirties or younger, Connemara man.

Anna - the girl next door.

Patrice - of diplomatic age and bearing;

Oxford accent to begin with -

subsequently naturalized.

 

 

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