Diverted Flight

Sometimes things just come together perfectly.

I had thought that my play “Flight of the Earls” was something in my past.

It was written in 2004 and first performed in 2005.

After we had taken it on a tour of the west of Ireland in 2007 I thought that it was a project that was at a natural conclusion.

I thought no more of “Flight of the Earls” until I was asked about it earlier this year by the “Sweet for addicts” theatre group.

One thing led to another.

Last night the curtain came down on the final of four performances over two days.

Characters that had entered my consciousness a decade ago were alive on a small stage in Glasgow.

Colin McGowan as Peadar and Eddy MacKenzie playing Daragh produced performances that wowed the people who were lucky enough to be there.

Moreover, I suspect that you will be hearing a lot about these two young actors in years to come.

A talent that does not reach its potential without the necessary application is a wasteful crime.

Thankfully there is little chance of that with these two fellas.

I was privileged to see the effort they both put into working with the director and the voice coach.

Colin was so convincing as a Donegal lad that when he spoke to a friend of mine after the show in his Glasgow accent that my buddy did a double take.

Eddy can communicate more with a twitch of an eye brow than lesser actors could do with several minutes of dialogue.

The lads deserved the standing ovation that they got from the audience.

I understand how thespians can get hooked on that.

The craft of acting fascinates me more than any of the other performing arts.

Actors give so much of themselves and the more demanding and complex the character the bigger the emotional drain on the performer.

Both the lads told me that their respective characters had taken them on a journey.

It was clear that Colin and Eddy left a lot of themselves on the stage.

The people who were they got a real going over with powerful performances from the two lads.

As with the other productions I sat in the foyer for the opening show. I can set my watch by the script and I know when laughs are coming down the line and when the quality of the silence from the audience indicates that they are engaged by what is happening on stage.

The folks at the Shed told me that the first performance on Saturday was the biggest audience of any event held there so far.

I am very grateful to “Sweet for addicts” for their care and precision to making the piece come to life again after seven years.

The tour had been a ‘black box production’ with not set and minimal props.

At The Shed the stage was transformed with a brilliant set that augmented the efforts of the actors.

I am hugely grateful that the theatre group found and cast Colin and Eddy because these two lads produced performances of such power and clarity that I left the Shed last night with a súil eile on aspects of my own play.

A decade after I created Peadar and Daragh I am still learning about their world after seeing them so confidently portrayed on stage.

Only an actor can do that for a writer and no amount of re-reading of the script will achieve that clarity and focus.

Lucky people find something they love doing in life and manage to get paid for it.

Colin McGowan and Eddy Mackenzie work very hard at being so fortunate.

They have my thanks.

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