GREAT MASTER / small boy
In GREAT MASTER / small boy (2021, Fair Acre Press), Liz Lefroy, who has always been in love with music, explores the relationship between Ludwig van Beethoven and motherhood as she travels with her son, a Beethoven-devotee, from the sheer impetus of his birth, across his teenage years and Europe, to Bonn and Vienna.
Adulthood / Childhood; Greatness / Despair; Baroque / Classical; Mother / Son; Life / Death: these are not so much contrasts as counterpoints which weave melodies of joy, love, humour, and tragedy through the narratives of this sequence. The central character of the poems is not so much Beethoven as music itself: a hollowed space, a refuge, place of hope / which shows us all our losses.
Liz is well-known for her inspiring readings, and has previously been chosen to perform alongside Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dhaker, Don Paterson, Jackie Kay, Kathleen Jamie, and Andrew McMillan. At this event, she will read Great Master / Small Time in full for the first time since its publication.
“This collection of poems is almost as much about Vienna as it is about Beethoven. By recognising that Beethoven was moulded by the city in which he spent his entire adult life, Liz Lefroy not only manages to avoid the many cliches about Beethoven, but succeeds in creating a truer reflection of him in her poetry.” John Suchet
MUSIC FOR DOGS
Music for Dogs, a black comedy written by prize-winning Irish poet and playwright Paula Meehan, is set on Dublin’s Burrow Beach during the early 2000s, when Ireland was going through the height of the Celtic Tiger years. A woman, Jane MacDonald, is recording a message for her estranged brothers and sisters, telling them how she made the fortune she is leaving them, but not before also telling them exactly what she thinks of them. In a script that modulates beautifully between comedy and tragedy (described as “moving and bloody funny”) Janey holds nothing back and though her story is a sad one, ultimately her humanity and zest for life are what remain with the audience.
‘Music for Dogs is absolutely riveting… The script is so poetic… Carol Caffrey is brilliant.’ Janice Forsyth Show, BBC Radio Scotland, Edinburgh Festival, 2015