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One-man show celebrates legendary Oliver Reed

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It’s hard to argue with Rob Crouch’s assessment that the late actor, Oliver Reed, was no ordinary drunkard.

A movie star before there really was such a thing, Reed, who died in 1999, was perhaps best known for wrestling naked with Alan Bates in the 1969 film, Women in Love, and best loved for his portrayal of burglar Bill Sykes in Carol Reed’s film Oliver!

Renowned as much for his binge drinking and drunken antics as he was for his acting, the legendary Reed once boasted of drinking over 100 pints of beer on a two-day bender before his wedding. He is also said to have once consumed four cases of wine at one sitting, followed by a bottle of Channel No 5 perfume as a chaser. No – no ordinary drunk.

It’s unsurprising that a monologue play about Reed’s life, then, is set in a pub. Oliver Reed – Wild Thing is set in a watering hole in Malta, in 1999, the year he died while filming Gladiator, and Crouch, who plays Reed, is holding court, sinking pints and regaling the other patrons (the audience) with tales of his life.

Sure couldn’t we just go to any Galway pub to find a drunk reminiscing on old times? Crouch, co-author (with Mike Davis) and performer of the one-man show, agrees but says Reed’s life was like no other. “He wasn’t just any old pisshead that you’d meet down the pub who’d tell you their life story – he was a world-class pisshead,” says Crouch, adding that Reed mingled with the likes of Orson Wells, Lee Marvin and Alex Higgins.

Is there a danger of glorifying drink?

“It’s something we had to be wary of, certainly,” he says. “But the whole pisshead thing is slightly exaggerated. That was one of the many roles he played. He’d get tanked up and created mischief on TV chat shows but that was just one part of him . . . a lot of it was about selling newspapers and he played up to that but he wasn’t always drunk.”

Anyway, says Crouch, Reed was a ‘sociable drunk’.

“He didn’t need a whiskey on his cornflakes before leaving the house – he was sociable. He was happiest when he was drinking and it perhaps glorifies drinking but he was not necessarily happiest when drunk, if you get the distinction? It glamorises it if that’s what you want but you’ll see what drink did to him.”

It’s difficult being alone on stage and holding the audience’s attention for 90 minutes, says Crouch, but given the rave reviews the show has received since opening in the Edinburgh Fringe last year, he nails it.
“It is a real challenge” because he has to interchange into so many different characters, from early Reed, to actor Reed, to sober Reed, to drunk Reed.

Reed’s son, Mark, has seen the show, and it was a bit scary for Crouch, the first time he came. “The way I approached it was it’s just another character and I didn’t really think of [Reed] as a real person . . . but then it hit me he had family and friends who are still alive who love him.”

Mark Reed was “very pleased” with the show, finding it an “accurate and honest portrayal of the sort of complex person he was”. What better a recommendation?

Oliver Reed – Wild Thing visits the Town Hall Theatre next Thursday, May 2 at 8pm as part of a 21-night Irish tour. Tickets are €18/€16 from www.tht.ie or (091) 569777.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Ceramic artist who found her creative home in Galway

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Tatiana Dobos...creative space in Galway.

A ceramic artist who made her home in Galway a decade ago is one of twelve creative pioneers to feature in a new series of abstract short films available for viewing on the TG4 Player.

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach is a season of twelve commissioned abstract short films featuring artists and creatives – among them Moldovan born Galway-based ceramic artist Tatiana Dobos.

Tatiana was born in 1982 in Bujor, and studied all kinds of ‘numbers’ till she was 27, when she discovered clay accidentally while doing sculpture in an art studio.

She describes it as being like arriving home for the first time. She had to quit my job, erase everything she studied and start her forever journey with clay which, since then, is a constant learning and discovering process.

She came to Ireland in 2010, and Galway felt like home from the first walk on its streets.

“Ten years later I can say that Galway is the true and only home to me,” she says.

“My studio is located in Knocknacarra, very close to the sea where I cycle almost every day for refreshing swims, and also close to Barna Woods, a place for reflection and reconnection. It feels really inspiring to be so close to Connemara and Burren, places that invite to rediscovering oneself,” she adds.

From her little studio, Tatiana creates ceramic artworks inspired by human emotions.

She seeks to materialize in her works the mechanisms of the inner battles, at the same time exploring the anatomy of the aftermath.

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.

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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

Land, Sea and Mind at heart of Kinvara show

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Some of the works from a new exhibition by Patrick Kenneally, set for the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara

An exhibition of new work by artist Patrick Kenneally opens at the KAVA Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara, on Saturday week and runs until Sunday, August 8, from 10am to 4pm daily.

Of Land, Sea and Mind is a new series of oil paintings by the artist which is inspired by the mind’s adaptation and reaction to the restrictions placed on the mind and body by lockdowns over the past year.

“As an artist, being in and with the landscape is a vital stimulation for the creative process. You listen to the silence and vastness of the Burren. You take in the salty air of the Atlantic breeze,” he explained.

“The mind, without the direct stimulation of the environment you are so used to being in, will stitch you a new patchwork of colours, compositions and perspectives based on memory, thoughts and feelings. These “mindscapes” allow me to revisit the places that are restricted to me,” he added.

The paintings are a reflection of the self in isolation; a boat on the horizon, a windswept tree in the Burren, a single cloud in the sky, a rolling wave. The self is not present in the landscape but is present with the landscape.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway-made box office hit returns home to Film Fleadh

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Galway hit…a scene from Two by Two Overboard!

A Galway-made animation movie which outshone the big-budget studios at the box office is making a homecoming of sorts this weekend – in the open air.

Two by Two Overboard!, produced in Galway by Moetion Films, was the number one film at the UK box office in November 2020.

The film has also proved a big hit at home with top three spots in all Irish cinema during Christmas 2020.

This weekend, Galway audiences will be treated to a special showing during the Galway Film Fleadh on Saturday at noon, in the specially constructed open-air cinema located in Father Burke Park.

Distributed by eOne Entertainment, the film opened in multiple locations across the UK in late October 2020 – but now as restrictions ease, it is set for release in France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Estonia and elsehwere.

Made in 3D animation, the film tells the story of young Nestrian Finny and his best mate Leah, a Grymp, who accidently fall off Noah’s ark and are swept out to sea.

Adrift on a flood, the two misfit castaways struggle to reunite an unorthodox family, out-run a volcano, and negotiate a peace deal on a creaking Ark.

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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