The idea that Gary as a name – the tribe of Gary – is under threat from history – is one of the running jokes, and Gary’s talent for irony and tragedy, as well as his off-beat sense of humour, makes it a brilliant concept for him to play with. He describes himself as “an envoy or missionary spreading northern gloom through the medium of verse”. That doesn’t inhibit the laughter, though.
Interludes of sadness, corny running jokes and stretches of pure poetry, comic self-deprecation, acute observation made comic by stinging words, a list of hairdressing accoutrements bitterly recited to the background of “Imagine” - the show has all the originality and dynamism to make it a hit in Edinburgh. Its depths and heights will be honed by nightly rehearsal. I almost wrote “nightly repetition” but Gary has a talent for interaction with his audiences that will keep the performance developing. It’s a piece that would bear seeing over again, to pick up more of its nuances. No more spoilers: I’ll leave my comments there.
She was a lovely, warm person and her sudden death was a great shock to her friends. Dónall remembered talking with her about singing, and he wrote “ Song Sing Me” to read at her funeral, but was crying too much to read it clearly, so this was the first time I’d heard it. He followed it up tonight by singing “The Curragh of Kildare”, a haunting song by Christie Moore.
“Gran’s First Flight” was based on a true story, and so was “Like Music made Visible”, about Tilly laughing unseen. “How the Black Shines” is a very early visual memory, as Dónall explained. You can read the poems on “Stage to Page “, here.