Charles Macklin: the final curtain
Farewell to 'the father of modern stage'
Originally written in November 2015 in the lead up to the performance.
At 7.30pm on Friday 20th November, the church hosted an evening of music and words in honour of Macklin, culminating with the highly-regarded play, Macklin: Method and Madness. This comedy is a brilliant two-hander written and performed by Gary Jermyn and Michael James Ford, which tells us in a most colourful fashion of the life and fast times of Macklin himself; the first great West End ‘star’ whose stage name came from dropping the ‘glough’ in McLaughlin to the much simpler Macklin. Ingeniously funny, it never lets up until the end; a perfectly madcap salute to a local hero who had treaded the boards and run the gauntlet for well over a century.
Bookending pivotal events
A proper send-off
Saying farewell to a man who has been gone for 218 years may seem a bit late in the day, but this swansong was just as much for the people and home place that remembered Charles Macklin for the last 25 years of a small rural festival, as it is for the man himself. The Irish Embassy was good enough to provide refreshments which were much appreciated. A reception was held in The Seamus Heaney library of the The Bloomsbury hotel after the event. As Heaney was a close friend of Macklin Festival patron, Brian Friel, it was a most fitting and salubrious ending to the Macklin festival.
Musicians Peter O’Connor and Declan Daly rehearsing at the church’s altar. They performed a number of 18th century pieces before the main event.
Macklin: Method and Madness
By Gary Jermyn and Michael James Ford
Friday, 20th November 2015
Actors Church, Covent Garden
Doors opened, 6.45pm; Performance, 7.30pm
Produced by John Ward and Antelope Productions
Read a tribute to the Macklin Festival’s patron, Brian Friel, at his eventual appearance at the 2013 Autumn School in our accompanying piece.