If a play is being performed in one of the leading theatres in Ireland, The Abbey theatre in Dublin, and it happens to be called bookworms and deals with events during a bookclub meeting, it is almost obligatory for any self respecting bookclub to go and see it. And thanks to County Cavan's head librarian, Josephine Brady the members of the three bookclubs the library hosts in Bailieborough, Cavan town and Cootehill all had the opportunity to go and see the play last Wednesday, June 23rd.
A bus was organized to bring everybody from County Cavan to Dublin and back again afterwards. I wasn't able to join those on the bus since I had to be in Dublin that day anyway for private reasons, but I joined the group about half an hour before the play started in a pub across the street from the theatre.
The play was laugh out loud funny, very well acted and held a few cautionary notes for those of us running bookclubs.
The story, without wanting to give anything away, centers around what happens one night when a bookclub meets in a private home where drink flows freely and for the first time ever, the husbands of the members are invited as well.
The woman in charge of the bookclub takes the whole thing very seriously. The books discussed (To the Lighthouse by Virginia Wolff and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee) are serious fiction and to be treated as such. Members should give their general opinion first, one after the other, followed by a in dept discussion. However, it's not the books that cause the controversies but rather the relationships between those present.
As the alcohol levels rise, so do the repercussions and it's anybodies guess where it all might end.
Like I said, it was very funny. On several occasions I found myself laughing until I had tears in my eyes. And the play proved that there is a lot to be said for having the meetings in the library, where the strongest beverage served is coffee. Having said that, the one husband that is a member of my bookclub has so far managed to not cause any problems for the rest of us.
Because I didn't travel back with the rest of the group I don't know how much everybody else enjoyed the play, but I'm sure I'll find out coming Tuesday when my bookclub is meeting again. It makes me wonder though what we will find ourselves talking about; will it be the play or will it be A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the book we read this month. Or maybe I should just follow the example of the woman in the play, put my foot down and insist that we, seriously, talk about the book, with personal impressions first please...