Saturday, 22 January 2011

"The Field" at the Olympia. An interesting show for the actors?

Thank goodness it’s the weekend. Time for a little light respite from the hard-hitting analysis and tireless exposés we usually revel in at Gombeen Nation. Let's have a little culture – or lack thereof.

Ireland is a nation of savages. Mostly, anyway - we'll exempt ourselves from that sweeping classification.   I don’t know how the hell it happened - whether large swathes of the great Irish public were never properly civilised in the first place or whether those "Celtic Tiger" bank loans and resultant increased participation in third-level education produced a nation of ignorant boors and degree-waving ignoramus brats. Either way, this is where we are at.

A couple of interesting letters appeared in the Metro Herald last week, concerning the latest production of John B. Keane’s The Field, which is having a run-out at the Olympia in Dublin. The first one was headed “WAS IT IGNORANCE?” and appeared on Thursday. The best thing is for me to paste it here and let you read it:

The second one appeared yesterday:

Now, the last public event I went to – I try to avoid the Irish public – was at the O2 in 2009, to see Madness. We were in a seated area but we might as well have been pogoing to the Sex Pistols in 1977 for all the hopping up and down we had to do...  all to allow passage for those more interested in the bar and doughnut counter than the stage.

Shortly before that, I read how one Yusif Islam was barracked by an O2 crowd because he didn’t belt out his 60s alter-ego Cat Steven’s “Morning has broken”.  Now you might say that anyone who goes to a Yusif Islam/Cat Stevens concert deserves all they get, but that is another matter.

Ignorance and oafishness - you see it everywhere here.   Whether you are in the Palmerstown Bowler, The Harp, Temple Bar, the O2 or the Olympia.  It is replicated at all levels and by those of all backgrounds in Irish society.

It is the one respect in which we are truly egalitarian.


Dakota said...

Oh yes, I can fully sympathise with this. Just for comparison I went to an American football game in Croke park, must have been early 00s and it turned out to be a complete nightmare. Time after time, after time, someone or other would get up and wander off. There was even yokels getting up out of their seat and stretching their legs, in front of those sitting behind. This was in tandem with much of the crowd talking to the top of their voice about their indept knowledge of the game (which was laughable). It became obvious after about 20 minutes that very few people were there for the love of the game. It was the most bizzare experience. Horrible almost, the game was completely ruined by thick Irish numbskulls. Any americans in the crowd were appalled. I even heard a lot of shouts from the few that were there telling these people to sit down.
This was in direct contrast to every football game I went to in the U.S. Yes every single game! The difference between the two crowds was literally chalk and chesse. Don't know why Irish people just can't seem to enjoy themselves. That's why I always laugh in disbelief everytime I hear this thing they call craic. Yeah craic alright when they are full of alcohol and sedated.

The Gombeen Man said...

Ah yes. The loveable, chatty, joyful, charming Irish, with the blood of the bards running through their veins. Talk about confounding stereotypes.

I'd well believe your experience, Dakota - just as I am certain the authors of the letters above are spot on. I know because I see it, day to day.