The Day I Almost Met Daniel Day-Lewis

I arrived in Dublin late on Friday afternoon after a rollicking bus ride from Belfast, in which the angry Irish wind tried to pull us off the road several times (and did actually manage to pull off one of the bus’ side windows, meaning we had to stop for half an hour and wait for a new bus). I went straight to the Abbey Theatre – Ireland’s National Theatre – and made myself known to the people there.
That is, I bought two tickets to their current productions.
That night, I saw Arrah-na-Pogue, which was a wonderful melodrama, colourful, whimsical, romantic and utterly ridiciulous. And that was just the accents. Its apparently part of the Irish theatrical canon, having been written 150 years ago and concerns a brave Irish rebel named Beamish MacColl and the terrible misunderstandigs and mishaps that happen when a beautiful young lady, Arrah, tries to hide him from the British army in her little cottage. Tears, laughter, kisses! Lovely.
After the theatre, I went to a lovely little bar, well, it was more a room, called the Sackville Lounge, and read the Irish Times from cover to cover with a pint of cider. Its another thing I’ve heard you should do if you want to understand a place – read their local paper (but I remember where I heard that – it was Pete McCarthy in ‘McCarthy’s Bar’). In which case, Ireland is a very very depressing place. The paper tells me its essentially bankrupt, and all the young people have moved overseas (I know – I met them all in Bondi) and nonw of the politicians have any idea what to do, and the EU basically controls Ireland now, and once again, Ireland is under the control of foreign power. So, having had my cider and been suitably depressed, I got up to leave. As I was going the barman said, ‘So where are you from then?’ I explained and then said I’d been catching up on the local politics. He rolled his eyes, frowned and said, ‘Now, don’t you be worrying too much about that then. Good luck to you.’ And shook my hand.
Yesterday, I got up to see a bit of Dublin. After the lovely moment with my barman, I got up, full of hope, but I did find Dublin depressing. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the empty streets. Maybe it was the attempt to take all of my money by ushering me into places like a Leprechaun Museum or to see a single page of the Book of Kells. Anyway, as I was wandering round the streets, trying to find something to do that I would enjoy spending money on, I came across the Irish Film Institute, who was doing a season of Jim Sheridan movies (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, In America etc.) And the opening night had special guests, Jim Sheridan and feckin’ DANIEL DAY-LEWIS. And this was just in tiny writing at the bottom of a poster down a little alleyway, as if, ‘oh, you know, we always have people like Daniel Day-Lewis coming to our opening nights. No big deal. In fact, most people round here have met him already, so we’re kind of over it. Its like, whatever.’
Unfortunately, as you can probably tell from the heading of this post, I had missed the opening night. I desperately checked the program to see if he was coming again and he was! The night after I was leaving Dublin. Dublin is such a tease.
So, I had to settle for the interview with Jim Sheridan, which, in the end, I thought was a pretty decent compromise, all things considered.
Before the interview, I went to the pub again, had another pint of cider, and watched Italy vs. Ireland in the 6 nations, which I thought would be another good thing to do, as a ‘cultural experience’. We (Ireland) won, so it was a good afternoon. However, I was completely distracted by the fact that there was a Roman GOD on the Italian team, named Mirco Bergamasco, who I spent most of the match fantasising was going to come and steal me away in the manner of leda and the swan (oh, wait, that’s a Greek myth, isn’t it? I don’t care, Mirco can ravish me anyway he wants… Greek… Roman…. *sigh*) . So, I missed great chunks of the game. At one point, an Irish guy sat down next to me and said, ‘So what’s the score?’ And I went, ‘Uh? What? Oh, Mirco got some goals….’
Yesterday evening I met up with a Dublin girl I met in Chile, named Lorraine, and her boyfriend and friends, which was great. They insisted on buying me many ciders and being all-round lovely people, which cheered me up about Dublin a great deal. They had a similar attitude to the barman about the Irish news – they don’t pay attention to it anymore. They’ve got jobs, they’ve got a bit of money – they’ll go crazy if they listen to how bad everything is continuing to get every month.
And then I finished off the day with more theatre! But this time of the young, avant-garde variety. It was piece using ‘Ulysses’ as a starting-point, so, it was kind of, ‘stream-of-consciousness’ theatre. It was very enjoyable. It used cardboard boxes as the set and repeated movements, so it seemed very similar to a lot of work we did with Sam Chester at ACA. If I were cynical, or if I hadn’t enjoyed the show, I’d say, well, that’s all you need these days to seem post-modern and significant. Cardboard boxes. But, I did enjoy it, so I think that would be mean. Even if its a little true.
I’m going to have to leave it there. Other people are waiting for the computer.

Photo: My Roman God. Look at the jawline. And how the sun bounces off his golden head of hair. *Sigh*



Filed under Ireland

2 responses to “The Day I Almost Met Daniel Day-Lewis

  1. That guy is an ADONIS. I”m going to Rome, I'll hunt him down for you.

  2. I think he has a brother… bring them both 🙂

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