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Laughter is the best medicine for comedian Phill Jupitus

Dara Bradley

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Phill Jupitus....long association with Galway.

Comedian and Never Mind the Buzzcocks star, Phill Jupitus has a unique way of staying sane.

“Basically I do stand-up instead of paying for a therapist. It’s much more profitable for me,” he says.

Jupitus returns to the city for more ‘therapy’ on Sunday for performances in the Galway Comedy Festival, rebranded as the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, which starts today, and runs until Monday, October 27. As well as several stand-up shows, listeners to Galway Bay FM’s mid-morning magazine show, Galway Talks, can hear Jupitus next week as he stands in for Keith Finnegan for an hour a day.

A firm favourite with Galway audiences, the English funny man has been coming here for two decades, since his first gig in the former GPO nightclub in the late 1980s.

That was pre-Celtic Tiger Galway – the city has changed a whole pile since and so too has his stand-up style.

“When you do something as long as I’ve been doing it – I’ve been performing in one shape or another for over 30 years – naturally my style changes. When I was younger it was a lot more surreal, whimsical stuff, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s a lot more talking about life – the comic father . . . the things I talk about are sort of the common concerns of most fathers; fathers and daughters especially, and I think that’s why it resonates with the audience,” he says.

Jupitus is unmistakably English – his accent gives it away – but he says that is an asset abroad, rather than a hindrance.

“I used to do a lot in America, so I know a lot of American speech pattern. I did a gig in New York once, and for the first half of the week I used American speech patterns but then I switched and just did British for the second half of the week and it just went down better.

“I think an audience, particularly an audience overseas, likes to hear something different. And they like to hear indigenous speech pattern. If I hear an American comic say ‘pavement’, I’d be like ‘no, that sounds wrong in your mouth’. It’s always better to sort of stick to who you are.”

Last month, Jupitus did a gig in Sweden that ‘went down a treat’ with 400 Swedes, so he says, “the language barrier thing is a bit of a misnomer”. He says cultural barriers exist, however, as he recalls nearly being arrested for a risqué segment in the Middle East.

“I did a gig in Dubai, and I talked about my daughter, and the guy that organised the gig said after ‘you really sailed close to the wind there’. They really don’t like you talking about sex in the Gulf – genuinely, it was that close to calling the police. I said ‘what, really?’ and he was like ‘No seriously, culturally, you can’t’. You just have to be aware. But the essence of what we do – stand up comedy – is the exchange of ideas for laughter. The thing is, if you mitigate those ideas, and if you water them down, and if you try and tailor those ideas to the audience, or if you try and second guess your audience, I think you’re taking more of a gamble than just doing your own thing. I’d rather fail by being myself than fail trying to be what they want,” he says.

And that’s the thing about being a comedian – you can fall flat on stage, your jokes going down like lead balloons. Jupitus is aware of this – “stand-up is a very, very strange job” – but he doesn’t get nervous before taking to the stage.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Festival hosts rising star at epicentre of Irish hip hop

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Denise Chaila....live stream for Oranmore Arts Festival.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Afro-Diasporan musician/poet Denise Chaila should have been live in Oranmore this weekend – a real coup for the local Arts Festival to land one of the hottest names in the business – but the pandemic put paid to performances in person.

Adversity, however, can present opportunity – and instead the Limerick-based artist will headline Festival’s online event, Bean/She, on the festival’s official website this Friday at 8.30pm; the live stream will also include performances from Niamh Regan and Gráinne Conaty. It’s a show that offers a chance to hear parts of the tracklist from her upcoming mixtape Go Bravely ahead of its release later this year.

Denise Chaila is at the forefront of contemporary Irish hip-hop. Since the beginning of 2019, she has received critical and commercial success for her renowned live shows, frank lyricism and unique songwriting style.

The latest of her four singles, Holy Grail, is the debut track from Go Bravely – a title befitting the journey she has undertaken en route to national acclaim.

Although it wasn’t initially intended to portray any concrete message, the mixtape feels like the culmination of several years of growth.

“I found myself making things aimlessly for several months without any real intention to do anything with it,” Denise recalls.

“Through that process, I kind of planted my feet so much firmer into music that by the end of the recording process we turned around and were like ‘Oh, this is a fully body of work’ and I think releasing it as a body of work is the best thing to do for it.

“In this project, you’ll be able to see all of the aspects of me that I haven’t been able to share so far because there’s only so much you can do with a song or a few singles. I’m really anticipating how it will feel to allow people to see me as a three-dimensional person and not the snippet of me that was captured on Chaila or on Holy Grail.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Genre-defying show fuses music, words and dance

Judy Murphy

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Composer and multi-instrumentalist Liam Ó Maonlaí rehearsing for Óró. Photo: MARTIN MAGUIRE.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

“It’s like hunting more than farming,” says writer and director Darach Mac Con Iomaire about the creation of Óró…, a new production which he describes as “a fusion of dance, music and theatre”. It will receive its premiere at Gailearaí an Tismeáin, An Ceathrú Rua, next Monday.

Produced by Ealaín na Gaeltachta for Galway 2020, Óró… is a story of language, identity and survival, which was devised and will be performed by artists from Ireland, Scotland, the Basque Country, Cornwall and Friesland.

“It’s about people finding a home away from home, about language and the migrant experience,” says Darach. “About people being forced out and having to find their own space in the world. It might not be your place, but you find a space in it.”

And he stresses that “it’s not a play, it’s an experience”.

Irish participants in Óró… include musicians and composers Liam Ó Maonlaí and Maitiú Ó Casaide, contemporary dancer Sibéal Davitt, artist and designer Seán Ó Flaithearta, and actors Síle Nic Chonaonaigh and Diarmuid de Faoite.

Scottish singer Josie Duncan, Cornish poet and performer Taran Spalding-Jenkin, Basque actor Amaia Elizaran and Frisan painter and poet Anne Feddema are also involved.

“There’s music, song, contemporary dance, narrative and art – it’s not a play and nor is it a concert, it’s somewhere in between,” says its director.

“The space is a huge part of it,” Darach adds, referring to the former factory where it will be staged.

Darach, whose previous productions include the stage play Baoite and the TV series Corp agus Anam, is used to directing scripted shows but this is totally different – hence his hunting analogy.

“Just because you caught fish in a place before doesn’t mean you will again if you go back there,” he says of the tricky process of progressing a collaborative story.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Remote Control at Town Hall – new work for Culture Night

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Theatre-maker SJ Woods is one of the artists whose work will feature as part of Remote Control.

Brú Theatre, Galway Dance Project and the city’s Town Hall Theatre are joining forces to present Remote Control for Culture Night, next Friday, September 18. An evening of live performance, dance and music, showcasing the work of three Galway-based artists, it will start at 7pm in the Town Hall

The featured artists are dancer and choreographer Kristyn Fontanella; contemporary dancer Fionnuala Doyle Wade and theatre-maker and creative producer SJ Woods.

For the past three months, the three have been working remotely with experienced mentors to develop new projects. The mentors are dancer Oona Doherty, writer, director and teacher Louise Lowe; and UK dance company New Art Club.

It’s as part of Remote Control, a new scheme designed for artists in the early or middle stage of their careers. The aim is to help them find new ways of engaging with audiences, as well as offering them opportunities to create links with local arts organisations and develop relationships with professional mentors.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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