Last night I had a lovely time at the Cáca Milis Cabaret with a few friends and some nice wine at Arthurs in Thomas Street.
My friend Helena Mulkerns has been running Cáca Milis for several years now and has recently brought it from Wexford to Dublin. She sang a tricky Kurt Weill number with panache and sequins accompanied by Josh Johnston. But what really impressed me was the diversity of talent she brought to the stage.
Author Louise O’Neill, whose recent and critically acclaimed novel “Only Ever Yours” I read and enjoyed very much (and couldn’t help thinking Organised Recreation would have been a good idea for certain of my characters to blunt their bloodthirstiness, but anyway) read a section from her novel and it was gripping and chilling at the same time. Then we had Christiane O’Mahony the Harpedian (Harpist + Comedian) who wrote a poignant song about the problems of singlehood and trying to make a packet of ham last throughout the week. She is very good, folks. I was nearly in pain laughing. Andrew Legge‘s short, steampunky film “The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden” was really sweet and heartbreaking. And Lorraine McColgan and the Winters are a folk group whose voices blend really well together – and who write damn good songs.
For me it was a nice occasion to catch up with friends on a balmy July night, but I was also impressed by the talent on show, none of it sponsored or given grants or organised in libraries. Though that said, when in West Cork, I briefly dropped into Bantry to hear Eimear McBride read from Girl is a Half Formed Thing and found her voice sonorous and the prose style very poetic. I don’t tend to read experimental fiction but maybe I could give this one a try.
I have been reading Small Island by Andrea Levy and it’s magnificent in scope and style – everything I could want in a book. More detailed review later when the resonances have faded and my mind is clear.
Anyway, here is a picture from the south side of Cape Clear, up at the top of the island on a looped walk: