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A Rollercoaster Ride – My Radio Project Nears Fruition

Bridget Walshe Walshearts
Bridget Walshe Walshearts

I wrote a radio play. I think it’s damn good. Well, I would, wouldn’t I?

It’s set on a lighthouse perched on a rock in the sea. She’s called Lady Invincible and the title of the drama.

So what is it about?

As I wrote on one of the links: (Lady Invincible is) … a radio play that celebrates a heroic lifestyle which no longer exists; and the people that have marched through the passage of time for whom the lighthouse was their everything.

It is a multi-layered play with keepers and ghosts, and history and danger. No-one lives on a lighthouse any more.

The last manned lighthouse in the British Isles, North Foreland in Kent, survived until 1998 when it, too, was automated.This is what the Principal Keeper had to say after 33 years in the lightouse service: “I had no idea I would be closing the door of the last manned lighthouse in the British Isles.To me a lighthouse was meant to be lived in. It was part of working life. And ships passing, day or night, knew there was somebody there, looking at them.”

Baily Lighthouse, Howth, Co. Dublin is the last manned lighthouse in Ireland. You can read about its fascinating history here

Throughout the years, lighthouses have witnessed the departure of armies and adventurers; migrants; and shipwrecks of storm or war; they have saved uncountable lives and witnessed uncountable deaths; the keepers have borne the ravages of the sea and endured the endless isolation.
Lady Invincible is no different. She is due to be automated and her keepers are at a loss about what to do with themselves. They have a plan though but couldn’t foresee the trouble that was about to hit them.

What am I doing with the play?

First part:
Well, I am going to record it so that I can produce 2,000 CD’s and digital downloads for sale with all proceeds going to the charity Irish Dogs for the Disabled. I have six wonderful professional actors who are giving their time and their voice to the project on 20th November. Big problem is finding the funds so I have activated a crowdfunder in the name of GoFundMe and make daily updates. If I can reach 1,780 people who are all willing to donate €1 the target will be met. I have started to receive donations for which I’m very grateful and it’s from dear friends. Their support and others have encouraged me to continue when sometimes I feel like just throwing up my hands and forgetting about it.

Second part:
The actors will do a costumed live performance which will be aired on Concert Window at 8 pm GMT on 20 November To watch the show costs just $1. I’m hoping it will generate funds as well as the CD. Pauline and Margaret at Witch’s Hill hope to offer live streaming of the show for a small sum to include refreshments. There will be a raffle or a silent auction for the original artwork by the International artist Brigid Walshe, and other big prizes like having a pet portrait painted by one of our other local talented artists.

On the rollercoaster

assistance dog
Beautiful assistance dog Emma

But the project is up and running and it’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride. It’s been twelve months in the making and there’s still a lot to do for the final day. I have sounds to collect – the sea, the wind, a foghorn, marching feet – to mix with the voices and make it come alive to listeners. All of this is a huge learning cycle and I don’t want to cock it up. I want to be as professional as the actors and not let them or anyone else down.

Both Concert Window (ticket) and GoFundMe (donation) encourage rewards or tips for set amounts of money so I have been actively working on that. Doing this kind of ‘begging’ is something I am not totally comfortable with but that’s an argument for another blog. But if you’re feeling generous a €1 donation or ticket purchase would be very much appreciated.

If you want to know more about the actors and read my updates there are two online sites you can visit:

The site has a moving image of a swollen sea that makes you feel as though you’re on that lighthouse. Don’t get seasick now.

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