Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Yesterday I happened to catch in its last hour online a Nightwaves interview with the playwright Tom Murphy on the restaging of a play The Sanctuary Lamp he wrote 30 years ago and caused uproar at the time.

These were notes I scribbled of things he said.

“The most loathed word I have from my youth is Respectability, I absolutely hate the word. Everything became more conservative.”

Murphy talked about having lived in an Irish ghetto in Birmingham He described a cult of violence “men walking with what was called the gimp, thumbs sticking out from either side. They didn’t belong to England, they didn’t belong to Ireland, they felt guilty about Ireland, felt they’d done something wrong, during their annual sojourns back to Ireland they discovered doubly so that they didn’t belong.

There was a great deal more, but one of the main discussions centred around what the reaction would be to the restaging of the play at the Arcola Theatre in a now predominantly muslim community Dalston. I have to track down more specifics.

His first comment on respectability was in relation to what happens to a community when people leave the way they did at that time. Always wondered why more was not imported back in to those places — the way the exchange happens between say languages. (Hiberno-English-Hiberno English and now sraid Gaeilge in reverse back to Gaeilge.)

The Guardian also ran an interview with Murphy very recently and so you get a great sense of him and some of his work from this article

Yonks and yonks ago I heard Murphy intone “What gets me mad gets me going” and I regularly appropriate his phrase when I am in the swing of vexation (vexating).

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