TV Watch with Dave O’Connell
If you met Jeremy Sloane in your local pub, you’d suddenly remember that you had to go home and wash what’s left of your hair – because he’s the sort of hapless, hopeless character who could suck out of you all of your will to live.
And yet this anti-hero of sorts is understandably a big hit with satellite viewers, who are tuning into Mr Sloane on Sky Atlantic in their droves.
The creation of Shaun of the Dead star Nick Frost, this comedy is set in a suburb of Watford at the end of the swinging sixties – a swing which Sloane appears to have missed in its entirety, given that he looks more like a relic from the war years.
He’s full of figure, wears heavy black spectacles and a mac; he could be mistaken for a boring civil servant every day of the week, but it reality his life is falling apart at the seams.
His wife Janet (played by the wonderful Olivia Coleman, star of just about everything these days – from Broadchurch to Rev to Twenty Twelve – has left him and he’s just just lost his job.
His social life revolves around the pub every night with his three best mates from childhood, Ross (Peter Serafinowicz), Reggie (Brendan Patricks) and Beans (Lawry Lewin), who have as much sympathy for his plight as Manchester City fans had for David Moyes.
Sloane is also a dreamer and he truly wants to make his life better, even if it keeps dragging him back into the mire.
He subscribes to ‘self-help’ cassettes – the big old eight-track things that arrive in brown paper from the US – and he even imagines the start of a new life with a flirty American he meets in the hardware store, who has a problem with her u-bend under the sink.
Sloane’s happier days are depicted in flashback – his first encounter with Janet on the Tube, their wedding day, happier times in the office with his old buddy Beans who is still living at home with his mother.
Nick Frost brings a wonderful quiet quality to the role – Sloane is clearly a man who’s down on his luck and caught in a negative spiral, but he’s sympathetically played by an actor whose television appearances have been massively reduced by his big screen successes.
One man who television appearances would normally be nil at this time of the year managed to create a whole lot of headlines of his own last week with a debut appearance on BBC’s Question Time.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Maeve named as Film Fleadh programmer
Limerick woman Maeve McGrath has been named as the new Director of Programming for Galway Film Fleadh, taking over from Will Fitzgerald. She will be responsible for curating this year’s festival, which will run from July 11-16.
She previously worked as artistic director of Kerry International Film Festival, producer at Carlow Arts Festival and joint short film programmer at Dublin International Film Festival.
Maeve is involved with Limerick’s artist-led, community-focused facility, The GAFF where she recently curated a community audio/visual project, Tiny Little Histories, and produced TravFest, a Traveller wellness festival as part of Guth na Mincéirí.
She has a Master’s in Media Studies from Limerick’s Mary I/UL, graduating in 2015 with the thesis, Irish Short Film: The Road To Oscar.
“The Fleadh has a very special place on the film festival circuit, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be part of the team that will programme the 35th edition,” she stated.
“I forward to being part of the continued growth of the Galway Film Fleadh and supporting the development of emerging and established filmmakers.”
Mystery of Wolfe Tone’s death
Historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan will be at the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday next, February 2, with The Murder of Wolfe Tone, the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1798 Rebellion and the man who is regarded as the founding father of Irish republicanism.
In this audio-visual show featuring hundreds of images, shocking new research and a vast array of songs, Paddy works to unravel the secrets and lies around what happened that fateful week in Dublin’s Provost’s Prison in November 1798 when 35-year-old Tone was found dead in his cell.
Tickets for The Murder of Wolfe Tone, which starts at 8pm are €20/18, plus a €1 booking charge. They are available at tht.ie, 091-569777 and at the Town Hall Theatre Box Office.
Funnyman Neil brings latest show to Athenry
Comedian Neil Delamere will bring his new show, Delamerium, to the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Saturday, February 18.
Audiences can expect hilarious stories, wry observations and quick-witted improvisation as Neil tries to makes sense of the world around him.
Neil is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene today, well-known to audiences for his regular television appearances on RTÉ and BBC, as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours.
His shows have received stellar reviews and resulted in several platinum-selling DVDs, while Neil has also written and presented comedy documentaries including programmes on the Vikings and St Patrick which won IFTA and Celtic Media awards.
He also presented a series on heroes from Ireland’s past, Holding out for a Hero, on RTÉ 2.
He’s a regular on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular panel show, The Blame Game, as well as being a panellist on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and has featured on BBC 4’s The News Quiz.
According to the Irish Times, ‘no TV camera could accurately measure the lightning speed of Delamere’s wit’, while the Scotsman awarded him five stars during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, stating: ‘You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gifted comic at the Fringe.’
He continues to tour at home and abroad and audiences can catch his latest show, Delamerium, on February 18 in Athenry.
Tickets for Delamerium are available from the hotel or at ticketsolve.ie