Reading, Boru Review

Reading, Boru Review, Thursday 24th September

This isn’t standup, but I figured I’d post it as a) I’m embarrassed about it, and b) it occurred at this point in the standup chronology. The video is of a reading I gave at Hedigans ‘Brian Boru’ pub in Glasnevin, as part of the ‘Boru Review’, a monthly music / poetry and creative writing review, run by the Irish actor Claire Jenkins. As far as I can remember it was only the second public reading I’ve ever given of my written work (the first being a relatively successful reading from the novel, at the Naked Lunch open mic night in Feile bar), and I was nervous as all hell.

I would like to have read something from the book, but Claire advised against it, and in the end she was completely right. Most of the crowd were locals in their sixties who would have thrown a riot if I’d read one of the scenes of horrific and disturbing grotesquery I’d planned. Instead I read two completely unrelated pieces, probably the only short form (under eight hundred words), ‘clean’ stuff I had available. The first was a Myles Na Gopaleen homage, called The Croquet Lawn, by Flann O’Brady Hastings, which was originally written for the unreleased second issue of Piranha 2008. The second was a silly piece on the Electric Picnic 2007, from the Jackdaw Reviews project, an experimental comedy endeavour from my college days.

I’m not particularly in love with either piece, but thank goodness I didn’t read anything more controversial. The crowd were drunk and rowdy (it was after all Arthur’s day), and I clearly hadn’t rehearsed enough.

Lessons learned: Read with more vigour, ideally in better lighting, and look up at the crowd when possible. Rehearse like mad, even when you’re going to have the piece in front of you. Once again, dashing as it is, I shouldn’t have worn the jacket.

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