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

Entertainment

Pret-a-Porter is ready to go

Avatar

Published

on

Comedian Al Porter plays Comedy Carnival Galway

by Olaf Tyaransen

Despite his relative youth, the inimitable Al Porter is most probably Ireland’s most suave, polished and sartorially conscious comedian. He looks as though he’s stepped directly out of a 1950’s time warp. You could practically examine your reflection in his heavily Bryllcreamed hair, and he’s rarely spotted out of an immaculately tailored three-piece suit.

On this occasion, however, the flamboyantly gay 22 year-old is also sporting a pair of muddied wellies. It’s the bleary-eyed Sunday morning of Electric Picnic and the Tallaght-born comic has just come offstage in the Leviathan tent, where he was co-hosting an event with Miriam O’Callaghan. During the show, he told both Miriam and the stuffed tent about his father’s reaction to his son’s homosexuality.

“My da said to all of his mates in the pub, ‘Jaysus, young Al is going around giving fella blow-jobs!” he confided to a rapt audience. “He told them, ‘I’ll tell yiz, lads, he didn’t get it from me….and he didn’t get it from his mother either!’”

Needless to say, the Leviathan event wasn’t being broadcast live.

“Shall we do the interview in my filthy caravan?” he asks afterwards. “It’ll be a lot quieter there.”

It transpires that said caravan is actually quite clean and tidy. Unashamedly flirtatious and direct, he obviously meant a different kind of ‘filthy’.

Needless to say, Porter – passport name Alan Kavanagh – isn’t shy. But when did he first come out…as a comedian?

“It was when I was 19!” he laughs. “I dropped out of college – English, Literature & Philosophy in Trinity. I was terrible.”

He proceeds to tell me in his mile-a-minute motor-mouth fashion just exactly how terrible he was. Sadly, there’s no space here to recount the tale of when he first slept with a priest (at a Papal convention in Rome), got stoned with a nun (who later stalked him), and various other youthful indiscretions besides.

“Trinity was awful,” he says. “I despised it. I did four months and was kicked out of lectures. I never used to bring books and they would get annoyed. I was listening and I remember one lecturer hating me; ‘You’re not listening because you’re not taking notes’, and I thought, ‘Bollocks to that’. So I started bringing my laptop and sitting much closer to him and he thought that it meant that I was suddenly engaging.”

Of course, this wasn’t the case. “I was actually opening up my word processor and I’d put the font really large and write running commentary on what he was doing so that everybody behind me could see it. He might be going, ‘And Parmenides would say that change truly exists…’, and I’d be writing, ‘Yeah, you should change your underwear, you dirty bollocks!’ and people were laughing. I was only 18 or 19.”

Having observed the local talent and figured he could do better, he did his first ever stand-up show in Captain America’s of Tallaght about three years ago. “I’d only ever seen [stand-up] comedy on the television; Michael McIntyre, Billy Connolly, Lee Evans – big fuckin’ huge theatre arena comics, so that’s what I thought comedy was. I went to this stand-up night by accident – I was going to be drinking anyway – and they had local comedians up.

“I didn’t know them then, I know them now. Guys called Simon O’Keefe and Willy White, a guy from Ballymun, doing jokes about Tallaght; girls getting pregnant, what it’s like to be a lad on the southside of Dublin. I was going, ‘Jesus’, because Michael McIntyre is talking about walking his kids in the park in London, or Billy Connolly is talking about the miners. I didn’t know there was comedy about my area so I said to the guy, ‘Can I do it?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, next week’.”

That gig went well enough for him to continue. “People were like, ‘Good man, fair fucking play to ya!’. A lot of guys from Tallaght who did drugs or sold drugs or were involved in gangs would drink with us, if not in that pub then some other pubs, and they were always supportive, going, ‘Fair play to you! I love what you’re doing!’.

So I didi my set, 20 minutes instead of five or 10, got off stage and got 20 euro. I would have paid them 100 euro to do it. It was the biggest rush of my life.”

Fast forward three years and Porter – now almost ubiquitous on Irish radio and TV – is one of the hottest names in contemporary Irish comedy. So much so that he recently signed to one of the UK’s biggest talent agencies. More than one knowing pundit has already declared him to be the ‘new Graham Norton’.

“I haven’t met Graham, but I have an association,” he laughs. “I’m one away! Pat Egan, the promoter who always brought over Billy Connolly and introduced me to him – he brought over Liza Minelli one time and Lee Evans in the early, early years – Pat knows Graham quite well.

On my Vicar Street show I received a bouquet of flowers, huge bouquet. I got loads of nice gifts, in fairness. Fiona Looney gave me a signed Frankie Howard picture, which was really nice. I knew her from writing pantos. Big bouquet of flowers came and I looked at it and thought,‘That’s mad…’ and there was a card saying, ‘Love, luck and laughter – Graham Norton, London’.”

He’s sadly aware that it could have been that incorrigible bastard Karl Spain – with whom he shared a house during the Edinburgh festival – who sent it. “Yeah, I wouldn’t put it past him,” he laughs. “I am also aware that that could be any arsehole, but it was still nice to get it. There remains the possibility that he heard about it because even when I was over in Edinburgh, some of the off-the-curve people were saying, ‘No, we’re pretty sure he’s heard about you’, because, y’know, we Google ourselves. People in stand-up Google ourselves, even Graham I would say, isn’t averse to the odd Google.

“I’d say he’s seen these hits; every review, ‘New Graham Norton’, ‘Graham Norton should watch out’… so he might be going, ‘Who’s the bloke? I’ll give him a nod’, or it could have been Karl Spain just sending me them for the craic.

“Or it could be a guy called Norton-London with a double-barrelled surname, but it was a nice gesture and I keep the card at home but my mam puts it out when guests come around. She just puts it in front of other shit and I go, ‘Mam, it looks like Graham Norton sent me a teapot!’. It’s not good!’”

Even if it was Karl Spain who sent the flowers, it’ll be forgiven. They’re currently working together on a Christmas panto.

“We’re doing a show called Freezin’, as opposed to Frozen, which we’re writing together. We’re writing lots of stupid jokes. ‘Reindeer?’ – ‘No, just cloudy’. All this kind of stuff. ‘Oh, it’s freezing out’ – ‘Well, then put it back in’. I like all that old Lily Savage-esque humour.”

With so much going on, where does Al Porter see himself in a year’s time?

“Well, I’m probably going to be away more in the UK than I am at the moment,” he says, after a pause. “In a year, I’m going to be more in the UK as there’s stuff lined up. Certainly, all the clubs, as many as I can do. I haven’t done that many. I really want to get into the Comedy Store, and that should be possible with the new agency.

There is, possibly, some television opportunities that I’m not supposed to talk about, but I will, more than likely, stay on radio in Ireland, but next year there won’t be a fortnight when I’m not in the UK.”

Al appears in the Spiegeltent, Eyre Square on Wed Oct 21st and Thurs Oct 22nd.

He performs his solo show, “Al Porter Is Yours” at Town Hall Theatre on Friday Oct 23rd with special guests Totally Wired.

CITY TRIBUNE

Anne’s Roses of Hope for Médecins Sans Frontières

Avatar

Published

on

Kinvara artist Anne Korff has launched an initiative to support the work of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

It’s a new book, Roses of Hope – Meditations, which contains a selection of six reproductions of her artwork, 25×25 cm in size, ring-bound and with a hanging attachment, ready to display on a wall.

Roses of Hope – Meditations was created as a series of paintings during the pandemic in 2020-21. Throughout this period of solitude and isolation, Anne wanted to share her artwork as a way of providing support, inspiration and nourishment for the soul. Each painting is a meditation using energy, colour and shape to bring hope and solace.

According to the Irish Times’ art critic Aidan Dunne, ‘Anne Korff’s paintings vividly reflect her experience of the refugee crisis . . . in a space of what feels like infinite loss, flickers of hope appear’.

Anne, who studied Fine Art in Berlin moved to Ireland in 1977. A decade later, inspired by her passion for history and archaeology she set up her own publishing company, Tír Eolas. Her publications include beautifully illustrated guides and maps of the Burren, south Galway, Lough Corrib, The Shannon Valley, as well as The Book of the Burren.

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

Film Fleadh’s invitation to pitch a script

Avatar

Published

on

Submissions are now open for the annual Film Fleadh Script Pitching Competition, which will be held next month as part of the online festival.

The competition focuses on the crucial role of good writing in the audio-visual sector and has provided many writers with an opportunity to get Entrants should submit a 500-word written pitch (from beginning to end with no cliff-hangers!) and applications are welcome from writers of any skill level. Any genre of feature drama, documentary or animation will be considered.  Finalists will be chosen to pitch their idea live online as an ‘Elevator Pitch’ of 90 seconds to a virtual panel of industry judges and an audience. The winner will be announced at the Fleadh’s online awards ceremony and will receive a prize of €3,000.

In addition to the money and the opportunity to pitch to industry professionals, there are other benefits to taking part. These includes opening the door to producers; writers having their project optioned by producers; being invited on mentorships to hone their craft; bolstering their confidence and giving them their first opportunity to win over an audience. For the winner, the money can allow them the time to develop and expand their pitch into a full film script.

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

Innovation and tradition at heart of Brú Theatre’s new programme

Avatar

Published

on

Martha and Ronald Sayers and Melissa Gillespie, right, during rehearsals for ‘Ar Ais Aris’ overlooking Galway Bay off Grattan Road. The immersive virtual reality experience takes place from June 11-20 in Gaeltacht communities along the Atlantic coast. PHOTO JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Brú Theatre Company has become an integral part of Galway’s arts scene since it was founded three years ago by Artistic Director James Riordan and Producer Jill Murray. Focusing on new writing, mask theatre, live music and dance, this innovative, talented company has won over audiences and critics alike.

Brú has now launched its programme for the remainder of 2021 with a mix of work that includes virtual reality performances, two stage shows and a physical theatre school.

“From drag to keening, it’s going to be great,” according to James Riordan who is ready for the next challenge.

“The support we have got from audiences and organisations alike in the past year has spurred us forwards, and I can’t wait to share all the shows, songs and stories we’ve been cooking up over the last year.”

From the beginning, Brú has produced bilingual work across a range of genres and that’s the case with Ar Ais Arís, an Irish language, immersive Virtual Reality experience which is touring Gaeltacht areas from Donegal to Cork from this Friday, June 11 until Sunday, June 20.

The show will site audiences by the sea before transporting them to Connemara’s mountain tops and far-away piers as it explores emigration, displacement and the poetic body, all via virtual performances. Inspired by Irish language writers including Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Pádraic Ó Conaire and Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Ar Ais Arís was originally commissioned by NUI Galway and Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. It’s being presented as part of Brightening Air/Coiscéim Coiligh, a countrywide series of arts events supported by the Arts Council. Tickets are available from www.brutheatre.com

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