TV Watch with Denise McNamara
Wouldn’t you just love to be in the commissioning department of Channel Four?
They really do give the thumbs-up to the maddest shows, concepts that just shouldn’t work but somehow or another do, the madder they are the better they are to watch.
The idea of a TV show consisting entirely of watching people watching TV was something which was popularised by The Royle Family. The sitcom featured a family who barely did anything other than watch the box – the granny’s wake will surely go down as the best in TV history.
The sitcom inspired Stephen Lambert – responsible for some of reality TVs most watched programmes, such as Secret Millionaire and Wife Swap – to create Gogglebox, the latest Channel Four hit.
Characters from The Royle Family narrate the show, which brings you into the living room of 14 families around the UK as they sit on the sofa, put the feet up and drink tea – or in the case of the poshies, sip champers, G&Ts and bucketloads of wine – tuning in and out of the last seven days of programmes.
These have been billed as Britain’s most opinionated viewers. There are heated discussions over minutae, debates about the nonsensical story lines of soaps. News programmes often incite the most vitriolic comments, particularly when politicians are featured. It’s a real snapshot of what the people of the nation are feeling.
What makes it really good telly is the spontaneity of it all. Clearly these people feel very much at home despite the cameras and are not afraid to say the first thing on their minds.
Apparently the producers have a team of editors who work 15-hour days sifting through the footage and TV clips to put out a very topical show.
Of the households that are filmed, there are a few real gems. My personal favourites: the hairdressers, the poshies and the retired teachers.
Hairdressers Chris Steed and best friend Stephen Webb from Brighton appear like a lifelong couple such is their easy familiarity. Last week they had some wonderfully bitchy comments about the Kangaroo Dundee man in the Australian outback who is has created a little pouch for joeys in his bed.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Comedian Shane for city show
Shane Clifford, who has been described by podcaster and comedian Blindboy as ‘The best comedian in Ireland, hands down’, will be at the city’s Town Hall Studio next Thursday, December 1, at 8.30pm to perform his new show, AW Class.
It’s being presented by the Lisa Richards Agency who are promising loads of laughter as Tralee man Shane tries and fails to get to grips with rugby fans, posh dogs, sinister yoghurt and retail breakdowns.
Shane who previously worked in Tesco, was 30 when he did his first stand-up show about six years ago. That was after he had quit his job, gone travelling and decided, on a whim, to upload some silly videos to the internet. He dealt with issues such as mental health and masculinity in an original and funny way in these videos and has since gone on to gain a reputation as an original voice on the Irish comedy scene, playing festivals and venues including Whelan’s.
Tickets €15, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Theatre box office.
INO present Donizetti comedy at Town Hall
Irish National Opera will return to Galway next Thursday, December 1, to present Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm.
Donizetti’s sparkling operatic comedy is an intergenerational tug-of-war about love and money. It features Don Pasquale, a grumpy old bachelor; Ernesto, his good-looking young heir; and Norina, an attractive young widow.
This unorthodox love triangle is the basis for a hilarious and touching show that offers an entertaining slant on the threat of being disinherited, a mock marriage and a spendthrift wife.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles, it’s conducted by Teresa Riveiro Böhm and directed by Orpha Phelan, with Graeme Danby as Don Pasquale and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Norina.
Tickets for Don Pasquale are €30/€27, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Box Office.
Music festival set to return after a successful debut
Musicians, artists and DJs from more than 15 countries congregated in Galway City at the weekend to take part in the inaugural Songs From An Open Road (SFAOR).
Organisers Pádraic Boran and Pat Neary say the overwhelmingly positive reaction from audiences and participants alike augurs well for its future. They are hopeful it marks the beginning of a new international winter World Music festival in Galway.
There were a couple ‘firsts’ over the weekend. For many who attended the beautiful Loft @Seven in Bridge Street, it may well be a case of an ‘I was there’ moment, as an intimate but appreciative crowd saw a stupendous set from Indian futurist jazz percussionist Sarathy Koewar and his band. This was their Irish debut and also marked the beginning of a pioneering world tour from the burgeoning group. Pat and Pádraic are hopeful that this exciting talent will return to Ireland and Galway soon.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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