Diary entry by Gene Rooney, currently on tour with Fishamble’s SWING in Australia
Time is doing mad things altogether. I feel like we have been on the road forever, and yet it is still going too fast! We’ve been in Oz for just 2 weeks now and so far, so very lovely.
First stop… Wollongong, was very special. We were given a great welcome by everyone. They had more or less sold out by the time we arrived so they were predisposed to liking us!! The audiences were lovely. We loved them. Every seat had one of their bums in….what’s not to love?!
Wollongong is a beautiful place. Stunning beaches and scenery. I just kept walking around crying, thinking “I’ve won the acting lottery”! An emotionally wrecked eejit all week. I swam in the Pacific every morning at dawn but that was crazy jet lag, more than me auditioning for Home and Away.
Then on to Canberra . As I drove into town and saw Mount Ainslie in the distance I just started crying-again! Canberra is where I decided to be an actor, so it was a huge life moment arriving back, as an actor on tour. Lovely big audiences with big laughs! The Irish Embassy gang were in, so some jokes were getting first big laughs since we left Ireland. My Aussie pals were in too, some of whom I hadn’t seen in 22 years, cue more bawling.
We were entertained for lunch by His Excellency Noel Ahern, just Noel to us darlings. A gorgeous afternoon with the Swing gang, embassy staff and some of the Canberra Arts folk. As I was reversing out the driveway with Noel slagging my driving, I asked him just how diplomatic one has to be to an ambassador??!!
And so on to Sydney for a few days off. Having lived here, I knew to take the dramatic route in so that we drove over the Harbour Bridge with a view of The Opera House. Selfishly, I wanted to witness Arthur’s and Marella’s first time seeing them. Their reactions were all I hoped for. Another “life moment”.
Lads, there ye are anyway. Just a quick touch base. Some of the situations will make for a great few stories in my one woman show about it all…. “Dag in a Bag” (only in Oz 2 weeks and fluent already!!)
SWING by Steve Blount, Peter Daly, Gavin Kostick, and Janet Moran is on tour with Merrigong Theatre Company, supported by Culture Ireland as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.
19 May: Mittagong Playhouse
21 May: Cessnock Arts Centre
24 May: Montrose Town Centre
25 May: The Memo, Healesville
27-29 May: Brisbane Powerhouse
31 May: Shoalhaven Arts Centre
2 June: Wagga Wagga Theatre
4 June: Mandurah Arts Centre