Busking On Grafton Street 1983

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Dublin’s Grafton Street now free of traffic has become a stage to many performers including The Diceman.

The pedestrianisation of Grafton Street in Dublin has brought with it a number of performance artists keen to delight passers-by, including Little John Nee who performs as Charlie Chaplin and Thom McGinty better known as The Diceman.

Although street performance is against the law it does not put off artists such as 23 year old Little John Nee from Scotland.

The guards is very nice actually as individuals, it’s the law that’s wrong.

John plays as a variety of characters but as Charlie Chaplin, he has established himself as one of the most popular performers on Dublin’s Grafton Street.

John has always been a clown; the only difference is he now he does it to earn a living and

I make enough to get by.

He believes he is bringing a much needed bit of art to the streets of Dublin.

Also from Scotland, street performer, actor and self confessed born exhibitionist, Thom McGinty has become a familiar sight in Dublin. He performs as a living statue known as The Diceman.

Thom demonstrates some examples of his signature facial expressions which include a variety of winks and kisses.

Many people are convinced The Diceman is a real statue. Thom thinks his stillness seems to fixate and hypnotise people who seem unaware they are also standing still watching him. People often say,

Look at all those people standing, doing nothing, watching a guy standing doing nothing.

Dubliners react to The Diceman in different ways, most of them nice, some of them not so nice.

Sometimes they get nasty, you know, stick pins in me, bang plastic bags behind your ear, you know, tickle you, there a few other rude things I can’t mention.

This episode of ‘The Live Mike’ was broadcast on 25 March 1983. The reporter is Mike Murphy.