Near FM, Ireland, 3 April 2012
Set in and around Black Monday of 1987, this ingenious verse-drama contrasted
the fortunes of a bowler hat (Michael Sharp) and a greasy cap (Peter Prior), worn by a stockbroker and a down-and-out. The
two enjoyed contrasting fortunes: the bowler hat was made at a bespoke hatters, and proudly displayed its quality, as its
wearer visited the City and made piles of money. The cap spent most of its time in and around dustbins, as its wearer searched
for scraps - food, cigarettes, and the like.
However in 1987 everything changed: the stockbroker lost all his money, and the bowler
hat had to contemplate a new life on the margins. Once-immovable social distinctions had collapsed: the cap and the bowler
hat now competed for the same space. The bowler hat looked to have ended its shelf-life - despite its quality - but resurfaced
at the end in different form, attesting to its resilience.
The action was linked by a voice (Lisa Deacon), which not only functioned as a narrator,
but also acted as an interviewer, finding out about the bowler hat and the cap's contrasting fortunes.
While ostensibly taking place twenty-five years ago, Black Monday commented
on the current financial turmoil - not only in the City, but in every European market. In the end the result might be the
same: the wheeler-dealer might be reduced to a beggar. The director of this ingeniously written production was Declan Cahill.