A MUSICIAN and a former television scriptwriter have teamed up to write a musical about a tragic homeless entertainer.
‘Cobblestonesam’ is based on the life of an elderly homeless entertainer in Temple Bar, who returned home to Ireland penniless in the 1970s after years of unsuccessfully pursuing his dreams in the United States.
Bill Monks, who lives in Macken Street and who previously worked as a script writer for the RTE soap opera ‘Fair City, and full time musician Dave Rooney, who is from the North Circular Road, wrote the musical.
The central character in the play is based on a real life down and out, who travelled to Hollywood in an attempt to make his fame and fortune. He was then tragically forced to return to the streets begging when he came home to Dublin and continued to do so until he died in his 80s last year.
The musical also features a song called ‘Millionaire’ that draws on the fact that the homeless character often spoke to Dave about a former girlfriend who he was in love with that made him feel like a millionaire.
Dave also wrote the song ‘Millionaire’ and has released it on his album entitled ‘The Entertainer’.
He explained that he came up with the idea for the play after he learned recently of the death late last year of the real life character upon whose life the musical is based.
Dave, who works as a full time musician in several pubs in Temple Bar befriended the homeless man, who told him his whole life story.
“He was talking about the fact that he went away when he was a kid and how he later had a girlfriend,” Dave recalled. “He was talking about how things had changed in Dublin years ago and how much nicer people were. He wanted to be an actor.
“Then late last year I was asking some of the other homeless guys in the area had they seen him and they told me he had passed away. I decided to write a song entitled Millionaire about him, which was the whole catalyst for the project.
“I have had people coming up to me in Temple Bar crying after hearing the song. The whole thing about being in love and then travelling to America is a very Irish experience. But to come back and end up on the street singing and tap dancing and getting money from punters going by is a very sad story.”
In addition, Dave said the play will provide audiences with a dramatised version of a real-life Irish character.
“When I talk to tourists they always ask where can they hear about real Dubliners and real people. A lot of the time they hear stories about the stereotype of what Ireland is. I think this play brings something real and authentic to them.”
‘Cobblestonesam’ will start in the Merchant’s Arch Bar and Restaurant on Wellington Quay, on September 10 and will run weekly Monday to Thursday from 12.30 to 2.30pm. Tickets cost €12.50 for adults and €10 for senior citizens and students.
For more information see www.cobblestonesam.com