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The Ascent of Manford

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Comedian Jason Manford plays two shows at the Galway Comedy Carnival

by Olaf Tyaransen

Jason Manford has more than 200,000 Twitter followers, but they haven’t heard anything from him in a while. As we speak, the 34-year-old Salford comedian has just finished a month-long social media fast in aid of his chosen charity, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (raising a total of 16,000 euro).

“Yeah, I did a Twitter and Facebook fast,” he says. “It went marvellously. It was tough, actually, tougher than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t realise quite how much news and current affairs that I actually got from social media, which was quite interesting. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think many people read newspapers anymore. I tend to get my stuff from people posting links to it, the things that everyone is talking about. So, yeah, quite interesting, but I don’t know what’s going on [now] at all!”

Presumably he’s binging now?

“Ha, no, not really,” he laughs. “I’ve done a bit but nothing major, just sort of said that I was back. I feel like I went cold turkey. It was really tough for a few days, but then it got easier.”

Given his Irish roots, the award-winning comedian and TV presenter is looking forward to appearing at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival in Galway.

“I love Ireland,” he enthuses. “My grandparents are from Dublin and a couple of uncles from Limerick. So there’s a bit of Irish floating about. I love playing there.

I’m there most years in Dublin for the Vodafone Comedy Festival and I often holiday in the west of Ireland, in Galway. Good times.”

The last time Manford played Galway, at the Comedy Club in the Roisin Dubh, he apparently distinguished himself by being the first comedian to not swear once on stage during his act.

“No, I don’t think I did actually,” he concedes. “I might do this time!”

So it’s not a policy, then?

“No, it’s not. Well, it depends, really. What I always do with swearing is [only] if it adds something. You don’t swear for no reason.”

Perhaps the cleanliness of his mouth to the fact that he does so much TV. show regular and has presented such ITV’s Show me The Funny and A Does he prefer TV to live performance?

“Oh no, no, the other way around,” “With live, it’s just you. You wrote it, you edit it, you direct it, you produce it. There’s no Ofcom telling you what to say or what to do. It means that when it goes really well, it’s all you, it goes badly, well then it’s also all you – live.”

When was the last time he died on stage?

“Oh, god… I’d say about 10 or 11 years ago. It was a corporate awards show for Mercedes or someone – midnight and they’d been drinking since ten o’clock that morning I think they were looking for someone a bit more Bernard  Manning and they get my gentle brand of humour.

What kind of show will Manford be bringing to Galway?

“I think it’ll be a version of my last tour which finished in December which I never brought to Galway. I did a show called First World Problems and performed to about 400,000 people across 280 dates, so I think  it’ll be a version of that, really. I’m on with some other comics, as well. What’s good about the Galway festival, what I’ve heard from people who have played before, is that it’s kind of like a comedian’s holiday, so you come over, have a nice time, meet up with a load of mates who you haven’t seen for ages because you’re always touring separately and play a couple of gigs while you’re there, so I’m looking forward to just being around and getting involved.”

Do comedians tend to hang out together generally?

“We do at festivals and stuff, yeah. Obviously you’ll bump into one another at various events and what-not. John Bishop is one of my best friends, I had dinner with Sarah Millican and her husband last week… you hang out with your work friends, don’t you?”

What has been the highpoint of his career?

“I was nominated for the Perrier award in Edinburgh many years ago now, about 10 years ago. That was a big thing. I don’t know. I guess, as you grow older, you find new things to be excited about. Doing the Royal Variety Show was a big deal for someone who works in the entertainment industry in Britain. Playing to 12,000 people in the arena in Manchester, my hometown, was a big deal. Having a TV show with your own name on it is always good. There’s been lots of things, really. I did a show called Ordinary Lies, a drama for BBC One that aired last year which was very exciting. Touring with The Producers in Dublin and Belfast and various other places, saying the words that Mel Brooks wrote, was quite a thing, also.”

Does Jason Manford have a motto in life?

“I have various ones, really,” he muses. “I have proper ones like sage advice, I like to say that your horizons should become your middle ground so that each time you hit the thing you’re aiming for, aim for something else. I always say to new comics, don’t compare yourself to other comics. ‘Why’s he or she doing that? I’m funnier than that…’. There’s always going to be a Michael McIntyre and a Peter Kay and a Lee Evans.

“There’s always going to be someone more successful than you, so don’t worry about it. Just crack on and enjoy yourself and if you’re doing better now than you were doing six months ago, then you’re doing alright.”

Jason plays The Roisin Dubh Wed 21st Oct and The Spiegeltent,Eyre Square on Thurs 22nd Oct. for more details and for tickets see www.vodafonecomedycarnival.com 

CITY TRIBUNE

Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

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Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

The Tunes in the Church concert series returns to Galway after a two-year break. The award-winning, series held in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, will run for the next two weeks, taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

The concerts will feature some of Galway’s finest musicians, singers and dancers, with two musicians and a dancer performing each night. During the interval, there will be a short historical tour of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, which celebrated 700 years in existence in 2020.

Tunes in the Church began in 2010, set up by Kerry musician and Galway resident Cormac Begley, who wanted a way of presenting traditional music that was family-friendly and respected the tradition. It is an acoustic, authentic, personal and interactive representation of Irish music, song and dance.

Interaction between the audience and performers is central to the experience, Cormac explains, with relaxed, natural, conversation being a feature of all the concerts.

Tunes in the Church provides a respectful and family-friendly setting for the listener and creates a platform where leading exponents of traditional music can showcase their talents. For more information and to book go to www.tunesinthechurch.com

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CITY TRIBUNE

Magic of the musicals at Town Hall Theatre

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Cast members of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Declan J Gardiner (Sebastian) and Michael Cooney (Chef Louis), at a launch in the Connacht Hotel this week. Declan is also choreographer for the musical. PHOTO JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

A new stage adaptation of the popular Disney musical The Little Mermaid, based on the much-loved story by Hans Christian Andersen, will be presented at the city’s Town Hall Theatre from next Wednesday, August 10, to Sunday, August 10.

It’s from Twin Productions, Brian and Seán Power, who are delighted to be back staging a summer musical after an absence of more than two years.

Ariel (Aisling Carroll / Aoibhe Ryan) is a beautiful mermaid with a glorious voice who lives in an enchanted undersea realm with her six  mer-sisters and her father, King Triton (Darren Shine), ruler of this underwater kingdom. She should be happy, but this spirited, headstrong teenager wants what she can’t have – to live on dry land. When she falls in love with the handsome Prince Eric (Keith Hanley), Ariel becomes totally determined to gain land-legs. But the only way she can do this is by defying her furious father and bargaining with the sea witch, Ursula (Amy Hehir).

Trading her voice is the price Ariel must pay to grow legs and gain entry onto dry land. With the help of her little fish friend, Flounder (Cameron Heneghan), the seagull, Scuttle (Luke Dennigan) and officious court composer, the crab Sebastian (Declan J Gardiner), Ariel must wordlessly gain Prince Eric’s love within three days – or lose her soul to the witch.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Exhibitions and workshops make for crafty August

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Sandra King of Irish Fibre Crafters in Ardrahan.

Several events are taking place across County Galway for August Craft Month, which celebrates craft on the island of Ireland.

Local makers such as Catherine O’Connor, Sue Donnellan and Bernie Dignam are among the craft-workers taking part.

Bofin Weaves is the title of a free exhibition being held in the Inishbofin Community Centre this Sunday, August 7, featuring the work of Catherine O’Connor.

It will showcase handwoven items made on a rigid heddle loom. These looms and their accessories will also be on display, as will photographs of Inishbofin and information on the island which inspired Catherine’s crafts. There will also be a brief history of textile crafts on the island and Catherine will be available to answer questions.

Irish Fibre Crafters, the Square in Ardrahan is the venue for a show entitled Handwoven on the island…inspired by the island. Crafting with Irish Fibre runs from Tuesday, August 16, to Friday, August 26, and admission is free.

People can experience the crafts of hand-spinning, natural dyeing, weaving, needle-felting and wet-felting, with demonstrations by makers Sandra King and Sandra Marschall.

Crafts that are made using Irish wool and Irish alpaca fibres will be on show, and visitors will have a chance to try the craft of their choice.

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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