AN Irish play about transporting Guinness from Dublin to the heart of Ireland has won a major award in the second largest arts and cultural festival in Europe.
Performed on a sparsely furnished stage with few props, ‘The M Boat’ brought a slice of 1950s life to the upstairs room of a Brighton pub.
It played to sell out audiences during the May festival that attracts thousands to the city on England’s south coast. Combining live music with storytelling and humour, it won standing ovations and a five star review.
This week it was also voted an Angel – a festival oscar - by the theatre going public who praised the ‘brilliant dialogue’ and described the play as a ‘fabulous performance’. The official critic was equally fulsome, calling it, “a wonderful show.”
Writer-director Eddie Alford commented, “This is beyond my wildest dreams.” Eddie Alford settled in his wife’s home village of Shannon Harbour when he took early retirement from drama teaching in England.
Eddied explained, “People warned me not to put ‘The M Boat’ on during the Brighton festival because there is just so much going on, much of it free, so the competition is fierce. But the local Irish Society was behind me 100% of the
way and the result was we had full houses night after night.”
Dedicating the Angel award to his cast of five and Brighton Irish Society, Eddie says his play was inspired by the stories he heard from his father, a clerk at the brewery in the 1950s, when barrels of Guinness would be transported to Shannon Harbour by barge.
“I’ve been writing since I was a kid – I did an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Sussex and they put me on the right route by telling me that my talent was for comedy and my subject was Ireland,” concluded Eddie.