A Play – The Heavenly Behan : Starring well known Maleny poet Irish Joe Lynch with music arranged by local Maleny musician John Wright. Warning: this is irreverent and very funny.
Where, When and How Much: At Finbars Lounge Bar, Bicentenary Lane, Maleny, Friday & Saturday 25th & 26th September 2015 starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 each with $10 concession and are available at the Maleny Visitor Information Centre between 9:30 am and 4 pm or telephone 0402 825 065.
As a young boy growing up in 1960’s Ireland we were told much about the eternal suffering in Hell. I was always very interested when the Priest or teacher talked about the flames and the screams of the poor suffering souls. The fact that you could burn and suffer for all time without actually turning into ashes amazed me. I had once burned my finger playing with my Uncle Jimmy’s lighter when he was out of the room and I knew how painful that was.
There was little mention of the other place heaven, of course they said it was grand and we would have everything we wanted. One Sunday evening on a BBC religious programme there was a discussion of Heaven by a group of religious clerics, high up men Cardinals and the like. They came to the conclusion that in heaven we would sit and stae at God and find such peace and tranquillity by doing so. We would sit at peace for all eternity. As a six year old I felt let down, what sort of heaven was that? So I had a choice of being burnt to a crisp or bored for all eternity.
Later I decided that the way people spoke of wanting to go to heaven it could not be that bad. So through my life I have researched what people thought of it. Did you know that there are Irish Pubs, Irish Music and horse racing in heaven? Well there is. When you get there it is going to be one big party.
In the play Shane McGowan, the Irish singer, songwriter from The Pogues is dreaming that he is in heaven. There he meets (in an Irish pub) one of his heroes the writer Brendan Behan. Behan was born in 1923 into a Dublin Republican family and joined the IRA at 16 – ended up in Borstal for possession of explosives. From there he went onto write about his experiences in prison and the working class of Dublin, he achieved international success. Behan died in 1964 at just 41 years of age. He described himself as a drinker with a writing problem.
When the two meet up in the Pub (in heaven) – what follows is a hilarious discussion of life, the afterlife and who God really is accompanied by the music that Shane wrote for The Pogues. The two are joined by Irish American writer James Patrick Donleavy and Samuel Beckett who give their unique points of view.