After a lovely tea of chicken, spinach, mushrooms and apple amber, Louise and I went to the Chorlton Irish Association Club to watch “Room to Rhyme,” an evening of Irish poetry and folk song. Sounds shit, I thought, I’d much rather go to see the Tempest. How wrong I was! The poetry came in two sections. The first saw each of the women taking on characters from a traditional time in Irish life – the post-mistress, the layer-outer of the dead, the travelling tinker – and the second saw them each tell their own tale of how they moved to Manchester. The first half was entertaining, funny, whimsical, but the second part was really emotive. Moving in the 1950s and 1960s as children or young girls from the countryside to the smoggy brickwork of a dark and grim place was traumatic as described in their mouths, but wonderful too. All of them missed Ireland. None of them wanted to leave. The fear that change brings, and the opportunity. Very moving.
The poems were interspersed with beautiful folk songs. The other people in the room, old, Irish, all sang along.