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Classic comedy never goes out of fashion

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TV Watch with Dave O’Connell

Perhaps it was the death of one of the finest television comedy actors of all time, Roger Lloyd-Pack, that got the old nostalgia juices flowing – but more likely it was the realisation that classic comedy isn’t down to sophisticated technology. It’s all about timing.

Dawn French’s tribute to her old Vicar of Dibley colleague was short, and in keeping with the man himself,  it wasn’t showy, luvvy or full of gushing tributes – it was all about the man we first knew as Trigger in Only Fools and Horses and more latterly as Owen in The Vicar of Dibley.

So instead of other people’s views of him, we saw him in action to remember him for ourselves – before the BBC followed it with an airing of the very first episode of Only Fools, a half-hour of pure gold that will never lose its magic.

There’s a scene from Only Fools and Horses that involves David Jason as Del Boy and Roger Lloyd-Pack as Trigger and it has regularly been voted the greatest comic moment of all time on the box.

Almost everyone has seen it, but if you’ve watched it a thousand times, it still would take some doing not to laugh out loud.

It’s the scene where our heroes are hanging out in a posh bistro and Del thinks he’s on a winner with the ladies at a neighbouring table.

Del’s been leaning against the counter but looking in the other direction, and as he tells Trigger to play it cool, he hasn’t noticed that the barmaid has lifted the bar hatch to collect glasses – so when he leans his elbow back where the counter used to be, he gently topples to the floor without even trying to break his fall.

Jason’s timing is extraordinary, but so is the vacant reaction from Trigger who doesn’t know where his fellow Casanova has disappeared to, until a dishevelled Del Boy dusts himself off and heads for the exit.

Trigger was a regular right from the first episode – he first appears as a regular in the Nag’s Head where the reason for his nickname is revealed (he has a head like a horse) and the long-running gag, that sees him forever insist that Rodney is actually Dave, begins.

For a man who was highly articulate and opinionated in real life, he was equally gormless in the Vicar of Dibley – but the common connection in both comedies was that they relied on great acting and terrific scripts.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

CITY TRIBUNE

Maeve named as Film Fleadh programmer

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Maeve McGrath.

Limerick woman Maeve McGrath has been named as the new Director of Programming for Galway Film Fleadh, taking over from Will Fitzgerald. She will be responsible for curating this year’s festival, which will run from July 11-16.

She previously worked as artistic director of Kerry International Film Festival, producer at Carlow Arts Festival and joint short film programmer at Dublin International Film Festival.

Maeve is involved with  Limerick’s artist-led, community-focused facility, The GAFF where she recently curated a community audio/visual project, Tiny Little Histories, and produced TravFest, a Traveller wellness festival as part of Guth na Mincéirí.

She has a Master’s in Media Studies from Limerick’s Mary I/UL, graduating in 2015 with the thesis, Irish Short Film: The Road To Oscar.

“The Fleadh has a very special place on the film festival circuit, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be part of the team that will programme the 35th edition,” she stated.

“I forward to being part of the continued growth of the Galway Film Fleadh and supporting the development of emerging and established filmmakers.”

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mystery of Wolfe Tone’s death

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Leader of the 1798 Rebellion Theobald Wolfe Tone.

Historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan will be at the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday next, February 2, with The Murder of Wolfe Tone, the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1798 Rebellion and the man who is regarded as the founding father of Irish republicanism.

In this audio-visual show featuring hundreds of images, shocking new research and a vast array of songs, Paddy works to unravel the secrets and lies around what happened that fateful week in Dublin’s Provost’s Prison in November 1798 when 35-year-old Tone was found dead in his cell.

Tickets for The Murder of Wolfe Tone, which starts at 8pm are €20/18, plus a €1 booking charge. They are available at tht.ie, 091-569777 and at the Town Hall Theatre Box Office.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Funnyman Neil brings latest show to Athenry

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Neil Delamere

Comedian Neil Delamere will bring his new show, Delamerium, to the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Saturday, February 18.

Audiences can expect hilarious stories, wry observations and quick-witted improvisation as Neil tries to makes sense of the world around him.

Neil is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene today, well-known to audiences for his regular television appearances on RTÉ and BBC, as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours.

His shows have received stellar reviews and resulted in several platinum-selling DVDs, while Neil has also written and presented comedy documentaries including programmes on the Vikings and St Patrick which won IFTA and Celtic Media awards.

He also presented a series on heroes from Ireland’s past, Holding out for a Hero, on RTÉ 2.

He’s a regular on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular panel show, The Blame Game, as well as being a panellist on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and has featured on BBC 4’s The News Quiz.

According to the Irish Times, ‘no TV camera could accurately measure the lightning speed of Delamere’s wit’, while the Scotsman awarded him five stars during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, stating: ‘You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gifted comic at the Fringe.’

He continues to tour at home and abroad and audiences can catch his latest show, Delamerium, on February 18 in Athenry.

Tickets for Delamerium are available from the hotel or at ticketsolve.ie

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