Normal People

During filming of the surprisingly realistic schools GAA match in one of the early episodes, director of the show Lenny Abrahamson and the lead male actor Paul Mescal had devised a move which would leave the fictitious Sligo native one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper. Mescal’s character Connell would score the winning goal and be the hero of the hour in his school.

The only problem was that the opposing goalkeeper pulled off two amazing saves to ruin the narrative and prolong the filming process. The Oscar-winning director eventually had to have a word with him, which is why in the take that made it into the show, he looks rather flat-footed as the ball flies past him.

He is Adam O’Connor from Blanchardstown and Gaelic Football isn’t even his first sport. But he was the centre of attention this week when previously unused footage of these outtakes was released by Abrahamson, showing off his prowess to the world.

One of Connell’s friends is played by young Sligo actor Killian Filan who was a pretty decent piano student for a while. Another of his classmates in school is played by Maedhbh Maxwell who was among the regular cast of performers in the first few Teenage Theme Nights. Even the new superstar Mescal himself was described during the week as the type of guy who you’d call a credit to his parents.

All fairly normal stuff, you’d have to say.

And when every day we hear people expressing their desire for things to ‘return to normal’, it’s like normal is having a long overdue day in the sun.

So today, let’s hear it for being normal.

For not denying your instincts and saving the ball even when you shouldn’t, for following your dream to be an actor and getting a break, for doing your parents proud, and indeed for everyone who is keeping the show on the road at the moment by doing normal things day after-day after day.

Here’s to all the normal people.