Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Entertainment

Marvellous was simply magnificent television

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Marvellous ..... Toby Jones as Neil Baldwin, with the real-life Neil on set.

TV Watch with Dave O’Connell

Once in a blue moon, television unexpected throws up a rare gem of a drama – and the BBC Two managed that with Marvellous last week.

Quite simply, there will not be a better hour and a half of drama on the box this year.

Marvellous did many things because it was beautifully made, but most of all it actually achieved the impossible – it restored your faith in the world of professional football.

It told the true story of Neil Baldwin, a man who has what are commonly referred to as ‘learning difficulties’ who goes on to carve out a unique double role for him as an unpaid advisor to students at Keele University . . . and kit man for Stoke City FC.

It was the docu-drama style, the quality of the acting, but most of all, the stranger than fiction story that lifted the soul and produced 90 minutes of the most compulsive viewing you are ever likely to see.

Neil was played by acclaimed actor Toby Jones, but he also featured as himself, as though this was a series of flashbacks through his life.

And what a life – a man whose innocence shone through simply refused to see barriers and thus became a circus clown, inveigled his way into a lifelong role as a university mentor and then topped it off with his dream job at his beloved Stoke City.

Former Potters manager – and Manchester United and Scotland star of the past – Lou Macari also featured as himself but he was also portrayed with eerie accuracy by Tony Curran.

Macari gave Neil the role of kit-man after he found him waiting outside the club’s stadium all day. And it was Macari – who has famously described Neil as his best-ever signing – who made his dream come true by allowing him to come on as a substitute striker in a testimonial against Aston Villa.

If this sounds like the stuff of dreams – or indeed fantasy – then the story of Neil Baldwin is all of that.

And award-winning writer Peter Bowker joined with Julian Farino – best known as executive producer on the smash HBO hit Entourage – to do it every justice.

The wonder really is that they crammed it all into a documentary the length of a football match and yet it still captured all of the layers and drama of a wonderful man’s life story.

But he was also beautifully played by Toby Jones, who was equally convincing on the big screen in the recent past as Alfred Hitchcock.

He never overacted or resorted to cliché – and the dynamic between ‘Neil’ and his devoutly Christian, widowed, elderly mother, Mary (played by Gemma Jones) was wonderfully realistic.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

CITY TRIBUNE

Reeling in the years to celebrate iconic album

Judy Murphy

Published

on

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.

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.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Legendary trio for live Town Hall concert

Avatar

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

‘Cowgirl’ love song that hits all the right notes

Avatar

Published

on

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending