Alleycat Al Visits With Celtic Harpist & Storyteller Patrick Ball

Alleycat Al Visits With Celtic Harpist & Storyteller Patrick Ball

WILLITS COMMUNITY THEATRE·SUNDAY, 11 MARCH 2018
Hello folks, Alleycat Al here. Understand me, I do not travel well–but some things are worth the risk and time, like the chance for a fresh Alaskan salmon fillet. I had the opportunity to mosey down to Sebastopol and enjoy a nice sit down with the Irishman, Patrick Ball, who I heard over the cat-vine had just returned from Alaska. Did we ever hope for some salmon? Hello?
Alleycat Al: You look a little nervous. Are you okay with talking to an alleycat?
Patrick: It’s my first time. Plus, I don’t usually talk to cats anyway because they don’t listen to what I have to say.
Alleycat Al: No worry. I’ll listen.
Patrick: It’s why I have dogs.
Alleycat Al: Okay, I’m listening. So tell us about your show. Always a sellout. Anything about our Willits theatre that particularly pleases you? (Hint—hint).
Patrick: Actually, long before Alleycat Al was a dream in his father’s eye…
Alleycat Al: Oh was I ever.
Patrick: I used to come up to Willits. I was eight years old the first time and we drove out the dusty dirt road to Emandal Farms, to ride horses, feed the animals and go fishing. It was very beautiful.
Alleycat Al: Oh, so you’re a really big fisherman? (Hint-hint).
Patrick: Let’s just say it was a favorite childhood memory coming up here and I still have fond feelings for Willits.
Alleycat Al: So I hear you just got back from Alaska.
Patrick: I thought we were going to talk about my show?
Alleycat Al: Yeah, okay. But did you bring back any salmon?
Patrick: Sad to say, no.
Alleycat Al: Not even some jerky?
Patrick: Sorry, but no. I did get to see the start of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. Did you know that the sled dogs are not big huskies like one would expect, but smaller dogs, and scruffy.
Alleycat Al: Scruffy? Look, I’d rather not talk about dogs. How about a word on what you particularly like about our audiences at the WCT playhouse.
Patrick: They’re always quite truly a wonderful audience, and everything’s made better by the venue itself. The configuration of your theatre is welcoming and comforting. I can look everyone in the eye. It certainly allows for an immediacy and intimacy.
Alleycat Al: So what about this show in particular is it that our audience will want to look forward to?
Patrick: Yeats. My show draws on the poetry of Robert Yeats, our Nobel-prize winning poet. The show came about through a fellowship I received from the National University of Ireland to study at its campus in Galway. I’ve been digging about in their Yeats archive and special collection. It turns out he was a rather complex man. So I use his poetry, but my show is also about this elderly Irish couple that’s been living in the States. The husband is having memory problems and so his wife decides to bring him back to Ireland, where it might help with his lapses. He used to have Yeats memorized.
Alleycat Al: That’s commendable.
Patrick: We’ll be taking the Willits audience on a Yeats country tour, in western Ireland, where the husband and wife re-discover his poetry. You have to understand, Yeats wrote his poetry to be spoken out loud and that’s precisely where I go with it, for its great beauty and power to come through.
Alleycat Al: Sounds spectacular. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Patrick: Yes, while I’m in Willits, I’ll be stopping at the Goodwill at the south end of town, too look for something good.
Alleycat Al: My man!

 

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