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Laughter is the best medicine for comedian Phill Jupitus

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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.

CITY TRIBUNE

‘World in a Window’ – a unique perspective of lockdown life

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Helium Artist Chelsea Canavan, Galway-based artist and parent Yvonne Cullivan and her son at the launch of Helium Arts’ ‘Our World in a Window’ exhibition at Galway City Library. PHOTO: ANITA MURPHY.

A new exhibition, Our World in a Window, which is currently running in Galway City, focuses on the experiences of children who have been living with long-term health conditions during lockdown

Facilitated by Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health charity, the exhibition features animations and mechanised artwork produced by young people from across Ireland who took part in Helium’s remote programme ‘Distance Creates’.

Our World in a Window can be seen until August 4 at Galway City Library before it goes on tour to Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick and Longford.

Since last February, children aged 9-12 who are living with long-term health conditions have been exploring the world of animation, guided by Helium artist, Chelsea Canavan. From tinfoil and claymation characters to foam sculptures and hand-drawn illustrations, these young creators have brought their stories to life in unique and imaginative ways.

The origins of Our World in a Window date back to the beginning of Covid. That was when Helium Arts began adapting its usual in-person programmes, moving to digital and postal formats to allow vulnerable young people to be creative from the safety of their homes. The goal was to offer respite during a time of social distancing and to support the youngsters’ mental health, which is part of Helium’s brief.

In non-Covid times, Helium Arts supports sick children via arts-based projects in hospital, community and public settings. More than 5,000 children and their families have availed of its service since 2010.

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

126 Gallery fundraising for new studio spaces

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126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City

The artist-run 126 Gallery and Studios, based in St Bridget’s Place in Galway City, has established a satellite studio space on nearby Saint Francis Street, in response to members’ need for working spaces that are affordable, secure and easy to access. The new Barton Studios will host four studio spaces and the artists using them will have access to 126’s main facilities.

Submissions for Barton Studios and any further spaces are open to current members of 126, in recognition of those artists and creatives who have supported the members-run gallery over the past 16 years.

The group is currently raising money to fit out the studios and because normal methods such as table-quizzes and its ‘drink and draw’ nights are out of bounds, the 126 steering committee has turned to GoFundMe to try and raise €2,000, which is what they estimate it will cost.

If any extra money is raised, it will be used to subsidise the rest of costs for the studios to artists for the remainder of 2021. Some €1,800 would be needed to lower the rent to €50 per week for each artist. A breakdown of all costs will be posted on 126gallery.com and made available to donors.

Initially, the studios will have a communal computer, a private workspace with wi-fi, and access to all resources at 126’s main facility, just six minutes’ walk away. Active studio members will have free 126 membership.  The mission of 126 is to support its members to work and to access opportunities, supports, and spaces. With that in mind, the gallery team is available for one-to-one conversations to facilitate group engagement between both facilities, or with other organisations in Galway.

To contribute, go to www.gofundme.com/f/barton-studios-2021. For more information on how to get involved, email contactg126@gmail.com.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Film Fleadh enjoys its day in the sun

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Dónal Ó Héalaí and Fionnuala Flaherty in Foscadh with writer and director Seán Breathnach in the background. The film won Best Irish First Feature at the Fleadh.

The winner of Best Irish Film at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, which closed on Sunday night, was Here Before, a psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland. The feature debut of Belfast television writer and filmmaker Stacey Gregg, it stars Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief.

The award for Best Irish First Feature went to Foscadh, an Irish language drama set in the mountains of North Conamara, based on characters from Donal Ryan’s novel, The Thing About December. This delayed coming-of-age story about a bereaved young man, an only child, who inherits the family farm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and stars Dónall Ó Héalai.

Pure Grit, directed by Kim Bartley, won best Irish documentary. It explores the male-dominated world of Native American bareback horse racing and the impact of a young woman, Sharmaine, who is determined to break the mould.

Galway Film Fleadh is an Oscar-Qualifying Festival in three categories: Best Fiction Short, Best Short Documentary and Best Animation Short.

The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short went to Saul & I, written and directed by Jon Beer.

The Best Short Documentary Award was won by Nothing to Declare, directed by Garrett Daly.

The James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short was won by Memento Mori, directed by Paul O’Flanagan, written by Paul O’Flanagan and Laura O’Flanagan.

The Fleadh’s Pitching Award for 2021 went to Athenry man Giles Brody for his teen caper, Top Marks.

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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