The poster used by Gemini Productions for Bonfire was in the style favoured by many managements in Dublin.
Its reserved and stately demeanour, however, disguised an explosive stage event. Dublin, then, was still an outwardly ‘moral’ society which – publicly – celebrated its clean living and wholesome piety. Aside from chronic alcoholism, that is… which quenched and sat upon terrible, hidden – suppressed – lusts. The writer of the play, Joe O’Donnell, had begun his campaign to ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ with an earlier play which was doing indifferent business, until the critics called it ‘disgusting and filthy’; after which it packed. In Bonfire O’Donnell was addressing the – by now – ordinary Dublin reality of divorce, unmarried people co-habiting, eccentric religiosity, homosexuality etc. that was beginning to be acknowledged by a stratum of sane, middle-class, Irish people. But, many of the reviewers were, still, desperately held-in – socially and emotionally frustrated… and this was especially true of a curious, eccentric poet-sports journalist. This man, in the face of a rapturous, uproariously successful first night of Bonfire led his fellow journalists in damning Joe’s play by describing it as – boring. There’s more about what happened in Are You Going to do That Little Jump? The Adventure Continues.