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Comedy Carnival play explores highs and lows of Singlehood

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Tales of the single life have struck a chord with Irish audiences.

Una McKevitt describes herself as “a bit of a lone wolf” when it comes to making theatre, so it seems only natural that the Dubliner has created the drama Singlehood, which will play Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on next Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25 as part of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival.

As the title suggests, it’s a piece that delves into the lives of singletons to reveal personal stories that are funny, raw and poignant.

“I’d had a lot of relationships over 10 years and hadn’t been single in that time. Coming out of the last one, I started thinking about that,” explains Una of the background to the piece.

That last relationship hadn’t been great for a while, she says, and the notion of singlehood became an increasing preoccupation. Una has a history of creating plays based on real-life stories, so with the help of a friend, she put out a Facebook appeal, asking people to tell their stories about being single.

Initially she cast a friend, a divorcee, to play various roles and she had thought the piece would evolve into a drama of stories from singletons she knew who would perform in it. But there wasn’t enough variety in that, so she teamed up with David Coffey (Dan & Becs, Fade Street) and they interviewed over 50 single men and women aged between 16-60.  These were from different backgrounds with different experiences. Singlehood ran at Project Arts Centre as part of the 2012 Dublin Theatre Festival.

Then she started getting actors to perform the stories, and the piece became even livelier, she says.

And it grew still further after she attended the Sugar Club in Leeson Street one night where she saw comedian and singer Aidan Strangeman, who had won the 2014 So You Think You’re Funny Award in Edinburgh. His songs, some of them about online dating, struck a chord and she decided to ask him to become involved.

“They are on the right side of cheeky but they have poignancy to them too,” she says.

Now Singlehood consists of three strands, Una explains.

“There are stories from people we don’t know, there are stories from the cast and there are the songs.”

Direction and use of stage lighting allows the audience to differentiate between the different stories.

The show has a cast of seven actors, including comedians Eric Lalor and PJ Gallagher, as well as one musician.

It’s presented by UMCK productions, the name under which Una operates, although she stresses that she doesn’t have her own theatre company – she can’t afford to. She is a small operation and that works best for her.

“I got into theatre pretty late in 2008 as a mature student, and I didn’t have a big peer group. It was a funny time to be getting into theatre,” she says, referring to the start of the recession.

Her documentary plays have received a great reaction and this current production of Singlehood has been funded by an Arts Council touring grant.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Stunning and David Kitt for free gigs in Ballinalsoe and Clifden

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The Stunning are playing Ballinasloe this Saturday night while David Kitt will be in Clifden next Friday, October 22.

The Stunning will take to the stage of Ballinasloe’s Town Hall Theatre this Saturday, October 16, night at 8pm to play hits such as including Brewing up a Storm, Half Past Two, Romeo’s on Fire, Heads are Gonna Roll and Brighten up my Life. Meanwhile David Kitt will be in Clifden next Friday, October 22, performing songs from his new album, 20.

These gigs are the fourth in the Ceol an tSamhraidh series of free live music events being presented by Galway County Council Art and Tourism Offices as part of the Government’s Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.

The Stunning were a force to be reckoned with in 1990s’ Ireland, when they played and toured continually, becoming one of the most successful homegrown bands ever. Their debut album, Paradise in The Picturehouse. spent five weeks at number one and became among the most popular Irish albums of all time. After seven years on the road, the band split. These days, the members still continue to pursue their own individual projects, but they also perform together regularly as the Stunning. And now that restrictions have eased, they’re ready for road.

Meanwhile, the Station House Theatre is the location for David Kitt’s debut Clifden show next weekend.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

John Behan – ‘blowing our hearts wide open’

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RTÉ's Bryan Dobson congratulates artist John Behan after officially opening his exhibition 'Shifting Ground' at the Kenny Gallery on Friday. Masks were worn for the event, only being removed for the speech and photographs. PHOTO: DEAN KELLY.

Shifting Ground, a new collection in bronze from sculptor John Behan, opened at the city’s Kenny Gallery last weekend, with RTÉs’ Bryan Dobson doing the honours and praising the artist’s work ethic and discipline as well as his talent.

The show reflects on Behan’s experience of living through the pandemic, while the renowned artist has also returned to his previous theme of Emigrants and created images inspired by the current refugee crisis, a subject he explored in his show, Migrants, which was shown in Kenny’s early in 2020, before Covid took hold.

John Behan has met and worked with refugees on various trips to Greece and Cyprus and their stories have found their way into his art alongside his Irish work, the Famine Ship, and Broighter Boat and Oar Boat series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Feast of Mozart for memorial concert

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Pianist Christian Blackshaw is renowned for his interpretation of Mozart's sonatas.

UK pianist Christian Blackshaw will give a recital of Mozart’s music next Friday, October 22, at the Emily Anderson Concert Hall, NUIG, starting at 8pm. The concert, in celebration of Anderson’s life and work, is being presented by Music for Galway and NUIG.

It will feature Mozart’s Fantasie in D minor, K.397; Rondo in D major, K. 485; Adagio in B minor, K.540; Sonata in F major, K.332; Sonata in C major, K.545; Sonata in C minor, K.457.

“It is nearly two years since we last presented a concert in this venue and we can’t wait to be back where MfG started 40 years ago,” says Chair of Music for Galway Anne Ó Maille, who describes the venue as the group’s “spiritual home”.

The multi-talented Emily Anderson (1891-1962) was reared in the quadrangle of NUIG. The daughter of Alexander Anderson, the president of what was then Queen’s College, she graduated from the college and went on become its first professor of German. She moved to England in 1918 and worked as a code-breaker for the British during WWII. As an academic, she went on to edit and translate the letters of Mozart and also of Beethoven.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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