Sunday World Newsletter
Sign up for the latest news and updates
David recounts his early dreams of being a performer, his family history, his first arrival to the US, and, of course, the moment that changed his life forever: being struck by lightning.
An actoe who ended up in a coma for six months after being hit by a bolt of lightning is now electrifying audiences with his new play having been one of the rare people to survive such an ordeal.
Award-winning Irish playwright and actor David Gilna from Swords, Co Dublin began this week headlining The Viking Theatre with his new play’ A Bolt From D’Blue’, which has been touring America for the last 12 months and wowing audiences.
In this powerful one-man show "A Bolt From D'Blue," David recounts his early dreams of being a performer, his family history, his first arrival to the US, and, of course, the moment that changed his life forever: being struck by lightning. He tells the humour and horror of this near-death experience, weaving the trauma of this life-changing event into a poignant and show
‘I’ve had an absolute blast touring America, reaching new audiences and performing in new venues over the last 12 months but nothing beats a hometown crowd. The Viking Theatre is a beautiful venue and community and I can’t wait to perform every night for the next three weeks,” explains David.
The Dubliner was aged just 18 and visiting Boston when he reached out to stop a ladder from falling, only for a fork of lightning to zap him from the heavens, sending 300,000 volts of electricity through his body.
David’s heart subsequently stopped, and it took him years to recover. But the experience also changed the course of his life in more positive ways.
“Your life can be taken away in seconds, our time here is so precious,” stresses the 36-year-old said.
After training as an actor, he had travelled to the States to chase the American dream.
“I always wanted to be an actor. I got into drama at the National Performing Arts School in Ringsend. We went on a J1 to Boston in 2004, and I got a call from my agent to say I had been cast in a film. I was on my way to LA!
“But just two hours later, on a sunny day in South Boston, I went to move a ladder from a balcony. There were kids playing next door and I was worried it would fall over.
“The moment I touched the ladder, the lightning hit. It sent me back eight feet, 300,000 volts into my body,” David said.
He describes waking up under medical supervision in a hospital in Florida lucky to be alive.
This award-winning play runs at the Viking Theatre in Clontarf until February 18.
“I’m delighted to meet and chat with the audience downstairs in the Sheds afterwards for a drink, as without an audience I wouldn’t have a career and what Irish playwright doesn’t enjoy a drink” smiles the inspiring thespian.