Well, what can I say about being with The Prufrocks at Flat Lake 2011 at stunning Hilton Park? Firstly that the whole thing is as quirky as ever - haybales and mild mayhem are the order of the day; that Hilton Park is as lush and beautiful as ever; also, that it is as male-dominated a festival as ever; and that the 'organisation' is as shambolic as ever. Did we have fun? We did! Did it piss rain? It did! Was there mud? Lots of it!
I think for us it was a festival of two halves. The first half was a relatively mild and very sociable Saturday. We wandered from tent to marquee to barn, enjoying the mad shenanigans of David McSavage, and introducing Juno to what became her beloved donkey at the pet farm. We met fellow writers Brian O'Connell, Colm Keegan and Kathleen Murray, with their partners and kids, had nice chats, drank wine and gadded about.
Saturday began to darken for The Prufrocks when we discvered we weren't on the programme, despite having been allotted 9pm on Sunday night at the Gonzo Marquee by email and on the Flat Lake website etc. We asked the production manager to fix this and didn't hear from him again that day.
It began to rain. It pretty much did not stop raining all day Sunday. We hounded The Pro Man for a restored - or new - time slot. Back and forth we went. We ate falalfels with chili sauce for breakfast in a red double decker bus. Our fourth member was on her way, driving three and a half hours through the rain from Galway. But we still needed a slot! With the help of texts to our absentee member, Jaki, (busy in New York with her play), we finally got a venue and time, but subsequently it kept getting pushed this way and that.
|Writers Gina Moxley and Anne Haverty, with Butler the dog|
|Writer Órfhlaith Foyle waiting to go on stage|
|The Prufrocks - Geraldine Mills at the mike|
|The Prufrocks - Mary Mullen at the mike|
|Popcorn eaters - Lily Mullen & Juno & friends in The Butty Barn|
We slept like big old babies that night in the blissful quiet of Ballinasloe. The end.