Brian Cushen reading The Chat Show Host

The Chat Show Host

by Brian Cushen

Mario de Salvador was compeering a talk show on the local TV station.  It was a live show with an audience, something similar to any talk show.  The show went on air late at night (clapping).  This particular night he had a mixture of talent on the show.  He had a singer, a dancer, a comedian and an artist.

His first interviewee was the singer whose name was Maria Rosa.  She sang arias from the operas which went down a treat with the audience. After she sang he interviewed her.  Now the country where this show is taking place is under military rule and there is censorship.  In the course of the conversation she lets slip that her songs even though they are from operas she has put her own words to them.  Mario asks Maria Rosa is she not afraid of what may happen to her?  She says she is not afraid.  She has a family to support. 

The next person Mario interviews is Sasha the dancer. Every question he asks her she answers with a question.  Mario is exasperated and asks her to do a classical dance. Sasha obliges but instead of doing a classical dance she performs a strip tease.  Mario is enthralled at her dance.  The audience love it.

The next person Mario interviews is Vincenzo the comedian.  Vincenzo has made a living outside his country and came back owing to the situation in his family as his father is ill.  Vincenzo is his usual self and every time Mario asks a question Vincenzo retorts with a joke.

The last person Mario interviews is Michala, the artist.  He has painted a number of pictures of animals and people.  Michala didn't beat around the bush when asked questions.  He answered them.  That made Mario think.  The country that his show is in is in a dictatorship.

When all of a sudden the police and army arrest all four people.  Mario is protesting his innocence.  He didn't know that the other three people were trying to overthrow the state.  Sasha and Maria Rosa are given hard labour.  Vincenzo and Michala along with Mario were sent to the Archipelago never to know freedom until the regime was overthrown many years later.

When it was overthrown Sasha and Maria entered politics.  Mario went back as a chat show host.  Vincenzo and Michala were remarried. Sasha married Vincenzo's son.  Vincenzo died in prison.

 

Recorded at Kevin Street Library Creative Writing Group, facilitated by Orla Ní hAonigh.
Sound effects by David McKeever

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