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Neil turns torments into laughs for latest show

Judy Murphy

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Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Neil Delamere, who returns to the Town Hall Theatre next Thursday night, was most recently in Galway in October for the city’s annual comedy festival.

During that visit, the Offaly comedian performed a 20-minute piece as part of a group show. This time it will be a 75-minute long solo outing so there will be 55 minutes of new material from his current show, he explains.

“It’s called Smartbomb; really it should have been called Six People who think less of Me this Year, but that wouldn’t fit on the poster”.

Smartbomb consists of anecdotes from Neil’s own life about people who “got on my goat last year”.

These include a nurse he encountered when bringing his granny to hospital. Clearly, he says, there is a language that medics and nurses speak that is not common among the rest of us and it’s a bit disconcerting

“So when she told me: ‘Your granny will be radioactive for about six hours – any questions?’, you bet I had questions!”

But that’s the joy of comedy, he says.

“If something goes wrong for most people, they just get annoyed and that’s it. I get annoyed but then my brain wonders ‘could I turn that into five minutes’?’.

Neil’s approach to creating material depends on the medium he is writing for. If it’s for weekly television shows such as RTÉ’s The Panel or The Blame Game on BBC, then it has to be about topical issues and involves reading all the newspapers.

“You have to research and think,” he says.

If it’s for touring as a stand-up, his approach is different.

“You have to think about what will be relevant for six months, so you go back to the stuff we all have in common like schooldays or the boss.  . .the best stuff is personal.”

While Neil is always conscious of entertaining his audience – “I’m aware people are donating their night to us [comedians], when they could be doing other things, and they pay our wages” – when he is writing his shows, he begins with jokes he finds funny rather than trying to please other people. You have to, he says, because audiences are intuitive and will know if something genuinely interests and tickles you.

Neil fell into comedy, having graduated from DCU with a degree in computer programming. The moment he did his first gig he was hooked.

“I just knew if I could earn X amount of money doing it – and it was a small amount – I’d give up my job.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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