This week’s ”Stage” piece is an interview with Pantagleize Theatre co-founder Violet O’Valle and managing director Richard Blake about their current production And All His Songs Were Sad… It’s a “play with music” about the 18 year relationship between Irish songwriter Sean McCarthy and Peggy Sweeney, the singer who made him famous throughout Ireland with her sparkling interpretations of his songs.
Their collaboration was so intense, many people wanted to know: Was there any funny business going on? Blake and O’Valle insist that whether or not there was, it was almost beside the point. (Since when is sex beside the point? Remember, I said almost). The more intriguing thing about their “artistic friendship” was – she seemed to be the artist, while he was her muse. That’s an interesting reversal of the typical singer-songwriter arrangement.
You can get Sweeney’s versions of McCarthy’s somber, lyrical songs on iTunes. Here’s a video of her interpretation of McCarthy’s ”Shanagolden” – ignore the crappy production values and drink in her strong, clear, rich voice. For an even more melancholy dose of McCarthy, check out Sweeney’s interpretation of ”In Shame, Love, In Shame.”