Sean Walsh

I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…

The Dreamers

Published on Saturday 19th October 2013 by Sean Walsh

Set in a grotty bedsitter in the London of the late 60’s, early 70’s, THE DREAMERS centres on two Irish immigrant labourers, Shay and Liam: the former a maturing tree, the latter a mere sapling…  They have much in common, little in common… Both are dreamers of dreams: as the piece progresses we come to realise that their foremost dream – of making it, returning  solvent to their homeland – will never become a reality…

A simple story, told simply. Yet for reasons that I cannot quite explain, this two-hander –  whenever and wherever broadcast, televised, staged over the years – seems to strike a universal chord : the lonliness of exile… the frustrations and hopelessness of the immigrant worker at the lower end of the scale… the hankering after the homeland.

THE DREAMERS  was first staged at lunchtime at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin’s South King Street  in August, ’74, and ran for three weeks.  Directed by Tom Hickey with Tom Jordan as Shay and Noel O Donavan as Liam.  Later on it was produced at the Playhouse, TrinityCollege, with a young Gabriel Byrne – then still an amateur – playing Liam…

Radio versions followed: on RTE Radio One with Niall Toibin as Shay and Patrick Dawson as Liam;  in an Irish version/translation, also on RTE One, Shay was played by the late Eamon  Keane;  BBC 4 broadcast  – then repeated – as a half-hour with Michael Duffy and a young Stephen Rea, directed by the late Michael Heffernon…

A 60’ television adaptation was screened on RTE One in the 80’s: directed by Paul Cusack with Patrick Laffan as Shay and Jimmy Bartley as Liam.  It was subsequently re-screened on Channel 4.

It has also been broadcast – in translation – on several European networks…

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