Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

From the paper: exit stage right

Encore: why I don’t go to the theatre that much any more

Tue, Feb 3, 2015, 09:30


It’s always interesting to write an opinion piece about something or other and watch in astonishment as people completely miss the point. Over the last few years, I’ve found myself going to the theatre less and less. It was more accidental than anything else – there are only so many hours in the day to do everything that has to be done – and, slowly but surely, theatre began to slip down the to-do list. As I wrote on Saturday in the Culture Shock column, “when you realise that you’ve seen only one play in the past 12 months, it’s time to fess up that theatre no longer forms part of your cultural diet. It has been cut out, and it hasn’t really been missed. Exit stage right.”

For a long time over the weekend, I wondered had one of the fine sub-editors in the paper accidentally put up some other column under my name, such was the response to the piece. Between tweets (and, of course, subtweets from a surprising gallery of folks, many of whom already follow me on Twitter and some of whom I used to respect, but who didn’t have the courage or backbone on this occasion to address their criticisms directly to me) and texts, it was as if I’d casually murdered every supporting actor in the country before going home for my tea.

It quickly became clear that (a) most people hadn’t bothered to read the column from start to finish (a bit like walking out of a play after the first act), (b) many deliberately and willfully took it the wrong way and (c) there are a hell of a lot of conspiracy theorists in the Irish arts’ world when it comes to The Irish Times. Plus ça change, as the man who went to see the umpteenth version of The Field said, plus c’est la même chose.

The upshot of it all is that the paper has now banned me from going to the annual theatre awards. Seems I’m now a “trigger”. Damm, and I was looking forward to it and all. So, does anyone want my ticket?