Gabriel Byrne brings Mannix Flynn's 'James X' to New York

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Gabriel Byrne brings Mannix Flynn's 'James X' to New York

Post by DaithiDublin » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:01 am

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn's semi-autobiographical play James X has just finished a run in New York. It was directed by Gabriel Byrne and produced by Liam Neeson.

Fora TV have uploaded an after show talk that is well worth a look. There is a link to it (it's free to view, not a bloody 'premium' program) in the description box of this short extract posted on YouTube.

The extract has Gabriel Byrne discussing Enda Kenny's statement about the Vatican. In the full video, the Q&A has some interesting points. I don't think it was a very big theatre, but it's nice to see the show playing over there and being taken seriously. I don't think it got the recognition it deserved over here. It got a great review in the New York Observer, and a good interview with Mannix on the the Leonard Lopate podcast.

I was working as a printer in 2002 when the play's first incarnation was staged here and I worked with Mannix on the printing of the program, which was simply a collection of official records kept of Mannix from his first offence (stealing a bicycle, I think), for which he was sent to Letterfrack where he was sexually abused by Christian Brothers. There was something of the chancer about him, but a very charming one and someone you can't help but have a grá for once you spend some time with him. I think he realised that a 'victim' in Ireland can't get half the attention or respect that an artist does.

After Letterfrack his subsequent delinquency saw him swallowed by the system that had created it. He's led a colourful and eventful life and I think he deserves more attention, both as an artist and now as a campaigner raising awareness of the impact of clerical child abuse on the individual. Apart from victim impact statements, his is the one of the few voices that take us beyond the tribunal proceedings and powerfully articulate how such abuse can lay waste to a child's future.

I read his 1983 autobiographical novel Nothing To Say many years before I met him and I think it ranks up there with the best of Irish writing. I can't help but wonder, if he'd had a chance to grow up without being buggered at the age of eleven by an ordained sadist, where his talent might have led him.
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

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(he obviously never went to Bray)
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Re: Gabriel Byrne brings Mannix Flynn's 'James X' to New York

Post by paolovf » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:09 pm

Great post Daithi with loads of good links. I found the Q&A particularly interesting.

I was unaware of Mr Flynn's story - he is an extraordinary man carrying out some great work. From the Q&A Mr Flynn says he still has his faith but it sounds like he would be supportive in establishing a Secular Education System.
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Re: Gabriel Byrne brings Mannix Flynn's 'James X' to New York

Post by Feardorcha » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:55 pm

Mannix is indeed a remarkable genius. He performed some of his stuff as lunchtime theatre a while ago. I went to see him in the Flowing Tide with a mutual friend of ours and as we entered Mannix, who was dressed as a Christian Brother at a blackboard, turned and in a flash flung the wooden duster at my companion with some force and roared "Brennan, you're late". Everyone in that room turned 12 years old.
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