Posted by in News.

Catastrophe Presents

The Passion of Jonathan Swift

Claregalway Castle 11th and 12th November 2011

“David Heap’s Swift playfully engages with the audience, his long-published words tumbling out as if crafted there in the moment of utterance… an engrossing performance” – Irish Theatre Magazine

Love & Fury
I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner.

Jonathan Swift has lost the love of his life, a love that he never acted upon but one that has left him melancholy. He tries to distract himself by railing against the Bankers, against society and finally against humanity in his satirical masterpiece ‘A Modest Proposal’.

All the while Swift attempts to tie together the disparate elements of a story; a story of a man who goes to sea and wakes up as a giant, but that is only the start of the adventure…

Every Man desires to live long but no man would be old

Along with Wilde and Shaw, Swift is one of the all time great Irish satirists.

Actor David Heap talks about the show

1) Tell us about the show:

Jonathan Swift is only known by most people now for Gulliver’s Travels and usually children’s editions of that masterpiece. But he was perhaps the foremost satirical writer of his age and his works had a powerful political impact. One of his campaigns against an unpopular government measure led to him being cheered through the streets of Dublin by a grateful populace.

The play takes place in a room in his house next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin where he was the Dean. He is mourning the death of his closest female friend and to distract himself he reminisces and quotes poems, thoughts and passages from many of his finest writings, including Gulliver’s Travels and The Modest Proposal. All the words I speak were written by him: what I’ve tried to do is give an impression of his wit, wisdom, passion and anger at the injustices of the world around him.

I hope it is both funny and sad and that people will enjoy the brilliance of his creations.

2) Where did the idea for the show come from:

The idea for the show came from Gavin Kostick, the playwright, who had discovered a couple of Swift’s writings which have an uncanny relevance to today – a uncomplimentary poem about bankers and an essay called The Swearers’ Bank. I was walking through Chinatown in Manhattan last year when he called me with the idea. Half an hour later I had joined the New York Public Library and was researching in the Reading Room!

3)You played Donal Maher in Fair City, how long for, how long ago, do you still get recognised:

I was in Fair City for ten years altogether and enjoyed it enormously. I was always amazed by the number of people who recognised me – and not just in Ireland, but England and New York. It’s been six years since Donal went off to London with his girlfriend’s sister, but people still say hello and ask if I’ll be back. I tell them to write to the producers demanding my return! Sometimes people just think they know me from somewhere. The best bit was getting lots of smiles from gorgeous women – very good for an old guy’s ego!

4) Why should we go see the show:

I hope people will come to see Love & Fury because it’s a chance to hear some of the best bits of Gulliver’s Travels and discover something of the life and the brilliant creative range of one of the greatest writers in English of all time – and a Dub by birth!

Watch an extract from the play here:

The play will take place in the perfect surroundings of Claregalway Castle’s Hall on 11th and 12th November 2011.
Tickets are €15 and €12 and can be booked by phoning  091-799666.