Our Brownbread Players, Kalle, Sean and Brian (and special guest star Jessica Ryan), just got back from performing at the Flat Lake festival in Monaghan. It was incredible amounts of fun.We managed to draw a wonderfully warm and engaged crowd for our sketch show, which grew as the show went on. Ripples of laughter became roars, small claps and whistles became hollers for more. It was a cracking night and we are most grateful to all who came to see us and for the kind, effusive praise you gave us afterwards. (Check out many of the sketches you saw on our YouTube channel!) Thanks also to the dude who critiqued our portrayal of German people, only to realize we were portraying a specific German director by the name of Werner Herzog. It was a really special night that had us buzzing for hours afterwards. High fives all round.
Overall, the festival is truly unique with a really relaxed, welcoming, familial atmosphere with quality performances aimed at both the heart and head. Where else would you be able to see John Banville, Sam Shepard and The Rubberbandits on the same bill? The Gonzo Theatre tent, curated excellently by Phil Doherty, was the focal point of much of our time there and we got to see outstanding poetry that silenced the room by Colm Keegan; a wonderful reading by ledgebag and icon Sam Shepard who recounted terrific tales of crystal meth, violin music and shooting films with directors in New Mexico; a fantastic musical performance by Pearse McGloughlin and his band (featuring our very own percussive pointman Enda Roche); a raucous and energetic gig by old school next-big-things Whipping Boy (whose singer is an incredible energetic frontman who sadly has about as many notes drowning in his head as he has teeth these days); and a madcap, magnificent poetry slam hosted by the comedic genius pairing of The Gombeens.
Much of the rest of the fabulous festival was spent soaking up the sun (or being slightly lashed by the wind and rain on Sunday) and lazing around, drinking quietly in the sweet sunshine, laughing and sharing moments, watching the kids play, eating delicious food, wandering through the Rose Garden and magnificent grounds of the house and estate, stumbling in to a reading or performance and smiling at the pure excellence of it, watching people dance in the halflight of a summer night, feeling the incredible goodwill and positive energy from all around. In other words, it is easily one of the best festivals in Ireland and it is an absolute must on everyone’s social calendar for next year. If we were to describe it to an outsider, we would say that it is like wandering through a particularly good novel – intriguing, inviting, delightful and when it is over, you wish you could start at the beginning again.
The brownbread mixtape is a free monthly comedy, poetry & music show in the Stag’s Head pub in Dublin, Ireland.
Each show has a theme. We all have loads of fun. Simple as that.