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‘Irish Everyman’ is hero of Peter’s debut play

Judy Murphy

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Peter Gowen as the orphaned Pakie in The Chronicles of Oggle. The actor also wrote the one-man play.

He is best known as an actor whose credits include Love/Hate and The Butcher Boy – now Peter Gowen is touring Ireland his own one-man show, The Chronicles of Oggle.

The Cork actor will visit Galway on Thursday next, April 9, with this hilarious and heartbreaking drama of small towns and even smaller minds, which premiered in his native Youghal in April 2013 and subsequently played Cork’s Everyman Theatre.  The play has just been published by Bloomsbury in London and this tour celebrates that event.

Peter is no stranger to Galway, having lived here for periods during the 1990s, when he worked with Druid Theatre, and in the early 2000s when he appeared in Trad by Mark Doherty which was commissioned by Galway Arts Festival and went on to tour festivals from Edinburgh to Adelaide.

“It’s a comedy but it points towards darker things,” says Peter of The Chronicles of Oggle, which looks the life and history of an imaginary town through the eyes of orphan boy Pakie.

He may not be the brightest boy on the block, but Pakie knows plenty about the history of his own town, from the Vikings and Walter Raleigh to the not-always Christian actions of the Christian Brothers.

He knows lots of secrets too, although whether his fellow residents want him to expose these secrets is another matter.

“I wanted to write about being a child in an orphanage in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s, how neglected and badly socialised these children were,” says Peter.

That was his first idea for the play. The second one, which also found its way into the script, is the ‘second coming’ of Jesus. But this time it’s a completely powerless and disadvantaged Jesus, without the ability to work miracles.

“He is a person who is odd because of neglect but is someone who can generate love, so a Jesus-like character is present,” says Peter of Pakie.

The actor, who now lives in London, grew up in Youghal during the 1960s and ‘70s, so he is familiar with both the era and the place.

“Every boy of my age and generation used to think, ‘if there’s a second coming, am I going to be Jesus?’ he says with a laugh, “and this boy is the same.”

The initial production of The Chronicles of Oggle in 2013 was directed by Donal Gallagher of Asylum Productions, who has reprised his role this time out. It was funded by Cork County Council and the Everyman. Some of the action was based on events from Peter’s life and those of his friends, including incidents concerning the Christian Brothers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Reeling in the years to celebrate iconic album

Judy Murphy

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Pearse Doherty, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Johnny Donnelly, Davy Carton and Leo Moran on stage at the Warwick, for the album’s back cover. PHOTOS: FRANK MILLER.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Galway City was on a creative roll, with the Arts Festival and theatre groups such as Druid, Punchbag, Na Fánaithe and Macnas expanding our creative horizons in all directions.

Down in the Quays Bar – then very much a local pub renowned for the calibre of its music sessions – a group from Tuam was creating waves and attracting fans, including Mike Scott of the Waterboys.

That group was the Saw Doctors, “all the way from Tuam”, and Mike Scott had encountered the lads when his band was in Spiddal, making the album Fisherman’s Blues.

They ended up supporting the Waterboys on a tour of Ireland and the UK and, in 1989, Mike Scott produced their debut single, N17, in Dublin’s Windmill Lane. Leo and Davy’s song about youth and emigration captured the experience of so many young people at that time – but it didn’t capture the public imagination. After a few radio plays, it faded away quietly.

“As a teenager, you’d have a dream of having a hit single,” recalls Leo Moran of that debut release. “But when you are writing songs, you become a bit more practical. And we were older and were gone beyond pop-star dreams.”

Their aim was simple.

“Our ambition was to put out a single.”

The group, then made up of Davy, Leo, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Pearse Doherty and Johnny Donnelly, had to earn a living too, and that wasn’t always easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Legendary trio for live Town Hall concert

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Máirtín O'Connor who will be joining forces with Frankie Gavin and Johnny Duhan for the concert on July 3.

Fans of quality music who have been pining for live gigs can look forward to Saturday, July 3, when Frankie Gavin, Máirtín O’Connor and Johnny Duhan will be on stage at the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm, for a one-off concert, Part of a Tribe.  The venue will have a limited capacity of 50 people and the concert will also be livestreamed.

Each of the three will perform solo works and collaborate on well-known instrumental pieces.

Tunes will include The Road West, The Queen of Sheba, The Belfast Hornpipe, Thomond Bridge, Joe Cooley’s Reels, and songs like The Voyage, Don’t Give up til it’s Over and The Beacon.

Part of a Tribe comes from the title of a song that the three musicians recorded with the cream of Galway’s folk and traditional musical community some years ago for St Vincent de Paul. Its theme of co-operation and team spirit is especially relevant as the country moves out of the shadow of Covid-19.

The concert will last 70 minutes and there will be no interval and no bar.

The maximum number of tickets that can be purchased per person is four. They cost €25 for the in-person event. Online tickets are €15/Online household €20.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Cowgirl’ love song that hits all the right notes

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The Raines, from left, Yvonne Tiernan, Ruth Dillon and Juliana Erkkonen.

The wonderfully titled Love is sublime (til it draws out its gun) is the latest single from Galway based folk-Americana trio, The Raines. Launched on Friday, it went straight to number one on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts in Ireland and number 12 in the overall charts.

It follows their debut single, 2020’s Bare Feet on Grass, which also reached number one in the iTunes singer-songwriter Chart and was Song of the Week on RTE.ie’s culture section, with over one million impacts on Irish radio.

The Raines are Ruth Dillon, Juliana Erkkonen and Yvonne Tiernan, all terrific performers in their own right.

Ruth (vocals, guitar, ukulele) who toured and recorded with Dolores Keane, is a former member of The Molly Hicks, and has three solo albums of her own. Juliana (fiddle and vocals) has been at the forefront of Ireland’s Americana musical scene and released seven albums with various groups, including one solo album.

Yvonne Tiernan (vocals and ukulele) has toured as lead singer with ‘The Chieftains’.

This up-tempo summer single again showcases the beauty of their vocal harmonies, strings and their overall rapport.

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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