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Music, stories and comedy… all in one picnic basket

A BRIEF stint as a drug dealer in Ros na Rún may have caused something of an identity crisis for a performer with Clare roots and recently the Leaving Cert inspired him to shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Electric Picnic. So, what next for Aindrias De Staic?
Son of well-known Ennistymon man Eddie Stack, Aindrias is no stranger to story-telling or to music or indeed to comedy and he has cemented all three together in building his career as a performer.
Splitting his time between Melbourne and Galway, Aindrias has just returned from three weeks taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he won a coveted ThreeWeeks Editors’ Award for his show The Summer I Did the Leaving.

A media-shy Aindrias de Staic hides behind a copy of ThreeWeeks.“Basically, the show is about a young lad of 17 who finishes his Leaving Cert. Although intending to head to the West of Ireland to learn traditional Irish music, he ends up on a hectic journey from Glastonbury to London to Edinburgh but returns home to the West with new music in tow. There is a strong mackerel and salmon analogy through out,” Aindreas explains.This is not Aindreas’ first gig at the Fringe, he has taken part in it for the past three years and, although he was nominated for the Malcolm Hardee Award for alternative comedy last year, it was third time lucky for the Galway resident. This year, his show was among 10 chosen from 3,000 for an award by ThreeWeeks Editors.
“ThreeWeeks is a magazine and they like to honour shows that don’t fit into the bigger awards. My work falls between theatre, comedy and music and people like it but I couldn’t compete within a specific category,” says Aindreas.
“My father recorded a lot of the folklore in West and North Clare and, more recently, he has recorded an album with Martin Hayes so for us the idea of stories and music going together is nothing new, we have done it for years, for centuries even. I never thought of coming up with a show either, it just comes. I hear a story and I build around it. Luckily, ThreeWeeks recognise that and honour it,” he adds.
Of course, Aindrias is no stranger to winning awards. He won a best-actor award for a film he starred in.
“One of my ancestors, Tim Murphy from Kilfenora, went to Australia in the 1860s, my father told me about him, so I wrote a short film about me looking for my heritage and trying to find out more about him. It was said he made his fortune in the gold rush and then left it all to the Catholic Church who put up a Celtic cross in his honour. The film was about me looking for it. I won best-actor award for that film and it went on to screen internationally,” he said.
Indeed, this was not Aindrias’ acting debut. He also featured in RTÉ’s The Clinic and had a part in TG4 soap opera Ros na Rún.
“I played a drug dealer in Ros na Rún and of course in West Galway, you use your Irish name, so I went out Aindrias Stack and came home Aindrias De Staic and it sort of stuck as my stage name,” he recalls. 
After his intense 21-night run there, he then transferred the show into Irish and performed at last weekend’s Electric Picnic.
“I did the show as Gaeilge at the Electric Picnic. It went down brilliantly. It started slow enough but the crowd grew as it went on. A lot of the performances in the Gaeilge Beo tent are produced by Rossa [Ó Snodaigh] from Kila and I know him from touring with Kila in Australia,” Aindreas outlines.
Aindrias returns to Australia to perform at the Melbourne Fringe Festival at the end of September but before this Saturday afternoon a film about him, Shtax: A Homecoming, will be screened in Dingle.


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