Geneva Literary Aid Society

Standing ovation for “The Man in the Woman’s Shoes”

It is not too much of a stretch to say that a day in the life of Pat Farnon, a mute cobbler and Sligo bachelor, is as significant in its own way as a day in the life of Leopold Bloom or Ivan Denisovich.

Just ask anyone in the capacity audience last night in Geneva who was riveted by the way his creator, Mikel Murfi, brought him to life as GLAS made a long-awaited return to staging live theatre with a standing ovation for The Man in the Woman’s Shoes.

A lesser actor would have used a sountrack but Murfi himself fills the stage with the sounds of birds and beasts as the day begins on Pat Farnon’s small farm. We find Pat preparing to set out on a life-changing walk five miles into town in a pair of shoes he is breaking in for Kitsy Rainey, the irascible manager of the local Gaelic football team.

Pat brings a unique eye to bear on his surroundings and misses nothing in his kindly and humorous observations on the comings and goings of his friends and neighbours. He might not be able to talk but his internal monologue is wise, witty, and warm. And occasionally winningly daft!

This is a masterclass in acting and a beautiful tribute to the life and characters of Sligo town in October 1978 shortly after the death of John Paul I, who features in a hilarious riff on papal organ donation.

GLAS has rarely received such a flood of positive comments from an audience as we have been getting today, some of which we feature below. The pressure is on to bring Mikel Murfi back for the second and third instalments of this trilogy.

The evening raised CHF 7,000 for the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine to support in any way possible the displaced families of students who previously attended the Gaza School of Music which GLAS has been supporting since 2016.

Audience feedback

A very big thank you for bringing Mikel Murfi to Geneva yesterday. (And of course many thanks and congratulations to him.) He was absolutely brilliant. I’ve been going to the theatre for 60 years or so, and can’t remember a more stunning performance. I ovate standingly (?! but you know what I mean) very very rarely, but I did so whole-heartedly last night. I left Coudriers buzzing.

…another unforgettable evening! What a talent and what emotions: I enjoyed every second and feel privileged to have been with you guys at this special event.

Thank you so much for an amazingly entertaining evening tonight! It was a brilliant show 

That was a super performance last night. It must be 30 years since I heard anyone say “stand back and let the dog see the rabbit” Can’t wait for parts 2 and 3!

A great Irish play evening not to have been missed. Standing ovation well merited. Think we all have head talk perhaps in our DNA. His energy and theatricals were stupendous while themes are universal. GLAS live on. Best wishes in 2024.

The performance was brilliant, I enjoyed the evening.