Strongbow’s Clock podcast on WLRfm (broadcast Oct. 27th).
Set in Brennan’s Bar, a peculiar pub on Waterford’s O’Connell street, Strongbow’s Clock is a comic ghost story concerning a pair of barflies, an immigrant Hungarian barman and the events that ensue when the pub’s clock stops working and a mysterious young woman is swept in the pub door.
Nick and Angela have met at the same time in Brennan’s Bar every evening, for years. They are served by Gabor, a Hungarian who has become ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’, and who is a keen, if confused orator of Irish history. On this particular evening however, the antics of a Hallowe’en circus in town delays both Nick and Angela’s arrival and interrupts Gabor’s daily ceremony of winding the grandfather clock. The regular flow of events is thus unsettled, jovial banter turns nasty and the exposure of a dark secret looms. Then, the evening takes a further surreal turn with the arrival of a dazed young woman from Ferrybank…
Strongbow’s Clock is a comic ghost story. It is also a study of the consequences when unrequited love is toyed with carelessly, and the violence such passions can stir.
Strongbow’s Clock is directed by acclaimed playwright Jim Nolan and stars leading Irish talent Michael Power, Jenni Ledwell, Ema Lemon and Nick Kavanagh. Strongbow’s Clock was my fourth radio drama and followed Cow, The Daffodil and Cake, also directed by Jim Nolan. My radio work since includes: The Angel of Trafadden, Shellakybooky, The Cat in the Box and Mussels.
Strongbow’s Clock was made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television license fee.
A transvestite pub-owner, his emo daughter, 15 missing cats, an asthmatic punk, a keen teen vlogger in an Irish pub:
Broadcasts in eight short (5 min.) episodes, on KCLR96fm at 8:15p.m. Mon-Thurs for two weeks from Nov. 30th
Calamity Rain and her cross-dressing father, Feidhlim Phelan, live in a darkened Kilkenny City pub, recently closed down by health and safety officials. They entertain themselves by tormenting unwitting tourists, subjecting them to unpleasant pranks. However, this existence is threatened when Feidhlim beckons an asthmatic middle-aged punk grappling with his own mortality, and Calamity invites along Molly-May Curnihane, a young teen with a vlog dedicated to missing Kilkenny cats. Zany and fast-paced, the series is a surreal comment on contemporary familial relationships and inter-generational dynamics.
The Cat in the Box stars Michael Power (Game of Thrones, Vikings), Michael Quinlan (This is England ’90), Ema Lemon (Garter Lane), Niamh McCann (Waterford Youth Arts).
Budapest, Hungary, 2015. Nursing a broken heart, Mar Walsh travels from Waterford to Hungary to stay with her sister Brigette Walsh Cooney and family. Mar is impressed by her sister’s seemingly idyllic expat existence. Brigette simply ‘does not do negativity’ and her days are full of champagne and yoga. All is not how it seems, however, and cracks are soon evident in the Cooney’s perfect veneer. A mistress, a graffiti-obsessed son, an anarchist and a gay minister focused on change, all combine to shake the Cooney’s world and expose its fragility as the country’s political problems arrive on their doorstep in the form of a revolution.
Broadcasting on Monday, October 26th, 6pm-7pm (Irish time) on WLRfm.com