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Unspoken: Writing Satire with Gerry Stembridge

Writing.ie | Magazine | Interviews | Stage & Screen
gerry-stembridge

By Vanessa O'Loughlin

Limerick born Gerry Stembridge worked as a secondary school teacher for five years before deciding to give it all up to pursue his dream of working as a writer and director. To date he’s made films such as  Nora, Guiltrip and the hit romantic comedy About Adam as well as writing the script for Ordinary Decent Criminal. As a television producer he bought us Nitehawks and with the late Dermot Morgan he was the driving force behind the radio series Scrap Saturday. His satirical sketch show The State of Us was another hit.

Gerry Stembridge’s third novel Unspoken was launched this month, and was described in The Irish Times, as  ‘Set in the 1950s and 1960s, Unspoken is a cheerfully rambling tale, with an old-fashioned tone that focuses on five Limerick children – born on the same day in 1959 – and their families. Reading it is a little like watching Reeling in the Years ‘. 

For anyone who feels their work could benefit from Gerry’s vast expertise, he will be facilitating a Character Building workshop for the Mountains to the Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire Co. Dublin on Wednesday 7th & Thursday 8th September, from 2.00pm to 5.00pm each day. Writers must submit work to be selected by Gerry in order to get onto the workshop, so you will be getting much more than an ordinary workshop, but focused assistance from someone familair with your work.

Recently a crowd puller at the Listowel Writers’ Festival, Gerry chatted to Steven Byrne of Digivue about writing satire. This is an exclusive extract of Steven’s documentary that celebrates 40 years of Listowel.

Praise for Unspoken

UNSPOKEN – A tale of Ireland in the sixties. ‘Full of human warmth and social detail . . . . Unspoken is about the arrival of modernity, new Ireland versus old . . . [Stembridge] is reminding us that the larger moods of history begin in the small moods of individual moments. And he has done an excellent job of capturing both.’ IRISH TIMES

‘Gerry Stembridge is an outstanding, if somewhat unacknowledged, Irish artist . . . Anyone interested in Irish political history will find [Unspoken] utterly fascinating . . . If future volumes are as curious and intriguing as this one, they will be worth the wait.’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

‘Unspoken is an evocative and powerful novel. Stembridge demonstrates a particular talent for creating memorable scenes and portraits of characters, public and private, who were hungry to embrace the opportunities of 1960s Ireland but who also had to wrestle with inner turmoil in a country on the cusp of modernisation. As a social, cultural and political history of that decade, Unspoken is authentic, honest and utterly absorbing.’ DIARMAID FERRITER

Our thanks to Stephen at Digivue for the excellent and engaging video.

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