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Arts & Culture

Getting Gigli with it

CAVAN woman Derbhle Crotty (below) is no stranger to Clare. She loves the streets of Ennis and the history of The Old Ground hotel but most of all she loves to perform here. The actress takes to the Glór stage next week as Mona in Tom Murphy’s The Gigli Concert, directed by Garry Hynes. “It is not an understatement to say The Gigli Concert is one of the great plays of the 20th century and certainly one of the great Irish plays. There is eating and drinking in it. Every time I am backstage and I hear it, new layers are revealed to me. It touches me in different ways every night. I have seen two productions of it and I am very happy and privileged to be in this production. It has everything. It has great soul. It is operatic in its scale and it speaks very particularly to every individual that sees it. It is not aloof; it …

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Back in the showband days

ANY TV programme featuring former showbands trigger wonderful memories. All music lovers would concur that it is highly evocative, prompting precise, exact memories.People who danced to showbands are of a certain age now, so I’m happy to say I was too young to ever see one live. I say “happy” because we get a bit protective about our age as we get older, don’t we? Although I never actually saw a showband live, there was a TV show called The Showband Show, featuring a different band weekly. It was unmissable. Showbands performed cover versions of American and British hits, so it was a way of hearing The Top 20 in pre-MTV days. Although reluctant to criticise anyone, stuff like I Gave My Wedding DressAway gave showbands a seriously bad name. Derek Dean and The Freshmen, with the late, great Billy Brown, were world class. Their main hit, Papa Oom Mow Mow, a reworking of the original Rivington’s hit, could hold …

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Clarecastle date for the Young Tenors

THE hallowed aisles of Ss Peter and Paul’s Church, Clarecastle will reverberate to the sound of music but it won’t be to the vocals of the local church choir but rather Ireland’s Young Tenors, which includes local man Dean Power.Dean, one of the Young Tenors triumvirate, will be joined by Peter O’Donohue from Fanore and Ross Scanlon from Bray, County Wicklow, for the concert on Saturday, December 19. The musical director  for the evening is Mary Scarlett.The three tenors came together in 2006 to form Ireland’s Young Tenors, for the Irish dancing show Rhythm of the Dance. With the show, they have performed in Portugal, France, Spain and Palestine as well as all over Ireland. In 2008, they were asked to open the show for Rebecca Storm at the Storm by the Sea gala concert in Doonbeg. Such was the success of their performance that they were asked back for this year’s concert with Colm Wilkinson.  The three young tenors …

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Festive productions from Spancillhill group

SPANCILLHILL Drama group take to the stage again this Christmas with two comedic productions – Backwards going Forward and Money Talks.Both productions will be staged at Tulla Courthouse from December 18 to 20 at 8pm.New to the stage this year is the one-act comedy Money Talks, which tells the story of an average family living in the present economic climate.The busy Flanagan household is home to three generations of the Flanagan family. Some are fortunate enough to be employed, while more have been made redundant and now survive on the dole. Another member of the family must return home from London as a result of the recession. The Flanagans are lucky to still have Nana living with them and although well on in years, she does all in her power to keep things ticking over. Meanwhile, the second play, Backwards Going Forward, is a short comedy that tells the story of Casper’s maturity at birth and youthfulness in old age.Tickets …

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Lisdoonvarna students bring Bugsy Malone to life

  STUDENTS from Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna take to the stage at the Pavilion Theatre with their production of Bugsy Malone next week. This fast-moving musical features a large cast of male and female characters with dance troupes in great costumes, singing memorable songs. Bugsy Malone is a show for all ages.Bugsy Malone, played by Mark O Donnell, lives on the Lower East side of New York. He spends his life trying to keep on the straight and narrow. One day he bumps into Blousey Brown, played by Marie Carkill, who intends to become a famous singer. Bugsy falls for her and fills her with dreams of Hollywood and stardom. She finally gets her big break singing in Fat Stacetto’s (played by Kieran Thynne) speakeasy.Although the show portrays the lives of hoodlums and gangsters, not one bullet in fired in anger. Weapons include cream pies and splurge guns, so the students promise lots of sticky situations.The show takes place …

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Ennistymon premiere for North Clare film

FOLLOWING a successful preview at the Cork Film Festival, the North Clare-made film Seaside Stories premieres at the Courthouse Studios and Gallery in Ennistymon on Saturday.There will be two screenings on Saturday, one at 5pm and another at 7pm. The money raised will go to the Friends of Ennistymon Hospital, who play an important role in support of the day care services for the elderly in North Clare. The writer/director, Fergus Tighe ,will be at both screenings as will most of the actors including 11-year-old Fionn de Búrca of Kilcornan, who plays Locky, the boy at the centre of the film’s story. The film was made over the past three years from Gallivanting Media’s base at the Courthouse Gallery and Studios.In the film, Locky is a boy who has been flourishing since his mother, Anna, gave up drinking three years ago. When Anna’s old boyfriend Mick gets out of prison she falls back into her old ways of daytime drinking …

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Friends and family to fête Noel Hill

ON Sunday, December 20, Glór will play host to a special night of music for one of the greatest concertina players in Irish traditional music, Noel Hill.Musicians such as Matt Molloy, At The Racket, Seán Keane, Seamus Begley, Tim Eadie and Tony Linnane will be there on the night. “Obviously, it’s a great honour to have such great colleagues who are coming together for this concert, it’s a great privilege to have this night,” he says. Noel is hoping that his daughter, Aisling, will take to the stage on the night also following her stage debut at the final concert at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy this year.“Aisling is 17 years; she’s not only a great fiddler but a great concertina player as well. And she’s a mighty whistle player and uillean piper too. I hope she’ll be there by my side on the night,” he says.The concert itself has been talked about since last February and after his initial reluctance …

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