It’s 7pm on a Tuesday night in the Millennium Forum.
On my left there’s a man dressed as woman, footering with his bra strap and dealing with a ladder in his tights; to my right, there’s a young man holding a chamber pot as he casts his eyes over sheets of tightly bound papers.
Is this the inaugural meeting of the Derry misfits club? No, this is the second week of rehearsals for Brian Foster’s new play ‘When the Bogside Spinster met the Carndonagh Stud’.
Ironically it’s me, a woman who was once a Bogside spinster, who’s come to get the first ever look at this play.
And after openly describing Brian Foster’s play ‘From the Camp to the Creggan’ in a review in this newspaper, as the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on a Derry stage, the local playwright has a lot to live up to.
Foster has already confessed that this sex-crazed comedy could be the one that gets him run out of Derry, so it’s with an open mind I come to what I’ve been told is an outrageous comedy set to shock and entertain the city.
But before I even make it to the rehearsal room, I meet the Bogside spinster herself walking along the foyer trying to get used to her stilettoes.
Actor Eoghan McBride forgets he’s in character for a minute and lets his ginger wig slip. But that’s just the start of the fun. Already I’ve taken a redner.
The cast of Eoghan McBride as The Bogside Spinster, Pat Lynch as The Carndonagh Stud, Kathy Deehan as Auld Mrs Coyle, Rachel Melaugh as Majella O’Donnell, and Shaunsy Coyle as Mr Cecil ‘Creepy’ Crawley are currently doing read throughs of the play ahead of opening night on November 16.
But already the cast have gelled and they’re having fun with the parts. Only three scenes in and I’ve discovered what it means to have a baby out of gridlock (go figure), why it’s illegal to use more than two drops of Entrapment perfume, and that Clark Gable’s explosive climax might not be everything it’s cracked up to be.
For those theatre goers from Inishowen, a bus trip from Carndonagh to the bright lights of Derry may never been the same again.
I’m not traumatised as I leave the rehearsal room. I can only pray that my redner has settled down. Not sure whether I should go to confession now and confess what I’ve heard or wait until I’ve seen the full production in November. I can’t wait.
Tickets for ‘When the Bogside Spinster met the Carndonagh Stud are available from the Forum box office on www.millenniumforum.co.uk or by ringing 71264455.
Next week...find out the deadly prop that Brian needs your help to source.