Mime artist Thom McGinty on being The Diceman and the hazards of street performance.

Street performer Thom McGinty, better known as The Diceman is a well known face on Grafton Street in Dublin. For anyone unfamiliar with his antics 'The Late Late Show’ has made of short film of The Diceman in action on Grafton Street, recorded on the morning of 11 December 1986.

He studied theatre in Glasgow and then came into contact with the mime artist Lindsey Kemp. However it is his experience as a life model that has has given him ability to remain still for prolong periods of time.

Born and raised in Scotland Thom McGinty has family connections to Donegal and Wicklow where he spent many summer holidays. A decade ago he moved to live in Dublin.

I probably sound like an advert for Bord Fáilte , I love the place, love the country.

Thom McGinty’s performance used to see him standing still on Grafton Street, but An Garda Síochána asked him to move as he was causing blockages on the street,

I thought my act was destroyed.

He would prefer to be still but necessity forced him back to the drawing board and he came up a means of integrating movement into his performance in a way that suits him.

Thom McGinty entertains, but can also terrify young and old with his many personas which include Dracula and Mary Magdalene. Some people react to him in a good natured fashion, although many feel the need to prod him. Others have more extreme reactions. In the past spectators have hit, kicked, spat at and poured cups of coffee on him. He has even had his heels burned with cigarettes and,

I’ve been set on fire twice, once in Limerick and once in Dublin.

For protection, The Diceman has enlisted the help of a minder, ‘Muscles Murphy’ who is sitting in ‘The Late Late Show’ audience.

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 12 December 1986. The presenter is Gay Byrne.

Thom McGinty, The Diceman