Review // The Passion of The Playboy Riots at The Hen and Chickens Theatre

The Passion of The Playboy Riots Cast

The Passion of The Playboy Riots Cast

Review // The Passion of The Playboy Riots at The Hen and Chickens Theatre

2016, the centenary of the 1916 Rising, saw a spike in Irish historical plays here in London. Now in 2017, Neil Weatherall’s ‘The Passion of The Playboy Riots’ has been given the space it deserves to get noticed.

Running in The Hen and Chickens Theatre in Highbury, the play is set backstage at The Abbey Theatre and is centred around conversations between W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and Padraig Pearse.
Starting on opening night of W.B Yeats’ Cathleen Ní Houlihan of 1902, we move to 1907 and J.M Synge’s Playboy of the Western World and finally to 1926 and Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars.

A young Pearse is introduced, a barrister, trying to get Yeats to use some of his scripts. This is at a time when Yeats himself is surrounded by self doubt. As the play goes on through time, we see the relationship develop, with Pearse’s initial respect for Yeats changing into heated debate between the two about the future of Ireland. Yeats wanted theatre to spark a change in Ireland.

If you don’t know much about this era of history, Yeats quotes from the corn laws and this will get you up to speed with the background.

The staging is simple but works in this setting, using the dark curtain behind them as the curtain backstage at The Abbey, occasionally listening to the goings on that stage. Totally meta. Justin McKenna and Loclann O’Grady look remarkably like Pearse and Yeats which definitely adds to the piece. McKenna is particularly good, showing the changing in Pearse from the young barrister to future revolutionary. Cath Humphrys is very much at home as Lady Gregory.

At 50 minutes long, the script packs a lot in and it never droops. It also features some very witty one liners. And almost..almost does a Mrs Doyle, here, with whiskey. It is an Irish thing no matter what anyone says.

I really enjoyed the angle this piece took. We’ve seen films made set behind the scenes when making films. The Passion of the Playboy Riots takes that idea to the stage. A bigger stage and budget would take this to the next level.

This production is intelligent, witty, and educational. Got an hour to spare? Go check it out.

The Passion of The Playboy Riots runs at the Hen and Chickens in Highbury until July 8th.

Thanks to the director of the play, Neil Weatherall, for inviting me to the show.

The London Ear on RTÉ 2XM // Show 153 with The Cast of Everything Between Us

Everything Between Us - David Ireland

Everything Between Us - David IrelandWhat a glorious week it has been. Hope the sun was shining on you wherever you are. On this week’s show I speak to the lead actors from Everything Between Us.

Everything Between Us at the Finborough Theatre

I caught up with Katrina McKeever and Lynsey-Anne Moffat from the cast of David Ireland’s Everything Between Us to chat about the play currently running in the Finborough Theatre in LOndon.

Both actors are from Northern Ireland and this is the premier of Everything Between Us in London. It was written by David Ireland, who is a playwright and actor. David is originally from Belfast.

You can find out more about the play here



The London Ear // Show 153 May 13 2016 // Playlist

1. Dansu: Lost in the City
2. All We Are: Human
3. Beth Ditto: Fire
4. Rob Corcoran: Sake of a Song
5. Swedish Railway Orchestra: Time
6. Marlene Enright: Alchemy
7. Interview with Katrina Mckeever and Lynsey Ann Moffat Everything Between Us
8. Rory Lavelle: All These Horrors
10. Conor Mason: Follow
11. Gentlemen: Corner of Your Eye
12. Elaine Mai feat Miss Elanyeous: Praise in the Cliche

Listen On Demand to The London Ear

Thanks for listening, The London Ear broadcast on DAB radio, Saorview and outside Ireland you can listen online.You can listen to the show again on the RTE player. The show is broadcast every Saturday at 1300.

Don’t forget to check out the RTE 2XM website. You can keep up with me here.

Check out The London Ear on Facebook and Twitter

The London Ear on RTE 2XM // Show 130 with Abe Tarrush and Martin McNamara

The London Ear RTE 2XM nessymon

The London Ear on RTE 2XM nessymon

On The London Ear this week I was delighted to be joined by with film maker and photographer Abe Tarrush and playwright Martin McNamara who chats about In The Shadow Or In The Shelter Festival.

Abe Tarrush speaks about his short film ‘The Proposal’

Nessy and Abe Tarrush - nessymon

I’ve known Abe Tarrush a few years now and I was delighted to be able to catch up with him while he was in London. Abe was passing through following the screening of ‘The Proposal’ at the inaugural Exit 6 Film Festival in Basingstoke.

We had a great chat and I enjoyed hearing Abe chat about the process of filmmaking and hearing about having his short screened at a festival.

You can keep up with Abe on Twitter

Martin McNamara speaks about ‘In The Shadow or In The Shelter Festival’

Martin McNamara nessymon.comMartin McNamara is a journalist and radio producer who has worked on ‘The Parting Glass’, a documentary presented by Fintan O’Toole on the Celtic Tiger. Martin also produced and presented ‘From Inside: The Guildford Four’ a documentary about the Guildford Four.

As a playwright, his first full length play, The Magic Hour, was produced at the Brockley Jack in 2013 and his first film script, The Shy Russian, is under option with Future Films USA.

Martin joined me to chat about ‘In The Shadow or In The Shelter Festival’. It’s a series of six one hour plays which tell the story of Irish immigrants to the UK from 1916 until today. Martin’s play ‘Traitors, Cads & Cowards’ runs as part of the festival.

In Shadow and In Shelter Festival - nessymonThe festival runs in the Lion and the Unicorn Theatre and then moves to River to Colour House Theatre from October 21st to 23rd.

You can get tickets for the Lion and Unicorn Theatre here and River to Colour House Theatre Here

You can keep up with the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

The London Ear on RTE 2XM // Show 130 // October 08 2016

1. Wallis Bird: Control
2. Divine Comedy: How Can You Leave Me on My Own
3. Chat with Abe Tarrush
4. Benjamin Francis Leftwich: Kicking Roses
5. The Twigs: These Words
6. The Four of Us: Sugar Island
7. Chat with Martin McNamara
8. Placebo: Jesus’ Son
9. Two Door Cinema Club: Gameshow
10. The Japanese House: Face Like Thunder
11. James Darkin: Chase

Listen Again

Thanks for listening, The London Ear broadcast on DAB radio, Saorview and outside Ireland you can listen online.You can listen to the show again on the RTE player. The show is broadcast every Saturday at 1300.

Don’t forget to check out the RTE 2XM website. You can keep up with me here.

Check out The London Ear on Facebook and Twitter

Photo of Martin from his website

The London Ear on RTE 2XM // Show 127 with Lauryn Gaffney and Sharon Sexton

The London Ear RTE 2XM nessymon

The London Ear Show 127 nessymon

On this week’s show I was delighted to be joined by two ladies involved in the Camden Fringe in London this week. Both productions are running at the London Irish Centre.

Lauryn Gaffney speaks about Big Shot The Musical

Big Shot The Musical nessymonFirst guest on the show today was Lauryn Gaffney from Dublin, who wrote and is now directing Big Shot The Musical. For someone who is just 23, Lauryn has achieved a fantastic amount.

You can find out about Big Shot The Musical here and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Lauryn is also writing songs for other people. You can keep up to date with here on Twitter.

Sharon Sexton speaks about Somewhere Under The Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Show

Somewhere Under The Rainbow nessymonSharon Sexton was a previous guest on The London Ear and this time was here to tell us about ‘Somewhere Under The Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Story’.

Sharon is a founder of Biscuits for Breakfast, a London based Irish Theatre Company who are also seeking submissions to be a part of the first London Irish Short Play Festival. You can find out all the details on the Biscuits for Breakfast website.

You can find out more about Somewhere Under the Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Story on Twitter and follow Biscuits for Breakfast on Facebook.

The London Ear Show 127 August 13 2016 // Playlist

Here’s what happened on Show 127:

1. Wild Beasts: Big Cat
2. M83 feat Mai Lan: Go!
3. Music from Big Shot The Musical: What’s a Man to do?
4. Chat with Lauryn Gaffney from Big Shot The Musical
5. Music from Big Shot The Musical: Coffee Shop Song
6. Benjamin Francis Leftwich: Summer
7. Daniel Woolhouse: Map of the Moon
8. Robyn: Dancing On My Own
9. Chat with Sharon Sexton from Somewhere Under the Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Story
10. Liza Minnelli and Pet Shop Boys: Losing My Mind
11. Caan: Changes
12. George The Poet: What do you reckon?

Listen Again

Thanks for listening, The London Ear broadcast on DAB radio, Saorview and outside Ireland you can listen online.You can listen to the show again on the RTE player. The show is broadcast every Saturday at 1300.

Don’t forget to check out the RTE 2XM website. You can keep up with me here.

Check out The London Ear on Facebook and Twitter

The London Ear on RTÉ 2XM // Show 114 // Shane Dempsey, Director, the Non Stop Connolly Show

The London Ear on RTE 2XM Show 114

The London Ear on RTE 2XM Show 114

On this week’s episode, I was delighted to be able to chat to theatre director, Shane Dempsey, who is the man in charge of the Finborough Theatre production of The Non Stop Connolly Show. The full show is 14 hours long, yes, 14 hours. Mental! Shane tells all!

1. The London Ear Intro
2. Plutonic Dust: Eskimo Kiss
3. Mystery Jets: Bubblegum
4. Yeasayer: Silly Me
5. Barq: Gentle Kind of Lies
6. Kendrick Lemar: Untitled 06
7. Young Folk: First Sign of Morning
8. Chat with Shane Dempsey, Director of Non Stop Connolly Show (Part 1)
9. Alex Brabbins: Opening Music from Non Stop Connolly
10. Chat with Shane Dempsey, Director of Non Stop Connolly Show (Part 1)
11. Kiernan McMullan: I Stayed The Same
12. August Wells:Here in the Wild
13. Rosanango Family: Lights On
14. Mura Masa feat Bonzai: What If I Go?

Shane Dempsey - Theatre director
Theatre Director Shane Dempsey

Thanks for listening, The London Ear broadcast on DAB radio, Saorview and outside Ireland you can listen online.You can listen to the show again on the RTE player. The show is broadcast every Saturday at 1300.

Don’t forget to check out the RTE 2XM website. You can keep up with me here.

Check out The London Ear on Facebook and Twitter

You can follow Shane Dempsey on Twitter.

Don’t forget to check out the Non Stop Connolly Show at the Finborough Theatre. Check out the production on Twitter

You can also listen on mixcloud or in the widget below.

the-non-stop-connolly-show-main
The Non Stop Connolly Show

Review // The Commitments at The Palace Theatre, London

TheCommitments

TheCommitments

Tuesday June 9 2015 –  *Contains spoilers*

I’ve never read the book but I do remember the first time I saw the film. I saw it in Navan, Co. Meath in the Lyric Cinema on Brewers Hill. At the time, many people could relate to it in Ireland. Unemployment was rife, it was pre-mobile phones, if you didn’t see your mates, you could always meet them down on the dole queue on a Tuesday. Alan Parker’s 1991 film captured it perfectly.

That’s the way Ireland was and The Commitments, combined with a fantastic soundtrack, summed what everyone felt. We all wanted to escape. Fast forward, twenty four years, I live in London and I go to see the stage show in The Palace Theatre.

Director Jamie Lloyd does pack a punch with his production and once the curtain raises, the first reaction is Wow! The ‘Barrytown’ high rise flats aka Ballymun (5 minutes walk from where I lived in D11 in Dublin) is recreated on stage in different levels. Different parts of the flats pull out to reveal the Rabbite household and the local pub are cleverly pushed back to create the square in the centre of all the flats. The Rabbitte household is really well executed with the front room, stairs and Jimmy’s bedroom all on show.

You can’t beat a bit of Dublin humour and The Commitments provides that. It’s impossible to recreate everything from a book or film and at the beginning of the show, it feels a little rushed to get to a certain point in the story by a certain time. But this adds to the comic feel. The laughs are there as well as the ‘Say it once, say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud’ line. I’m always going to compare this to the film, there’s no way around it. It’s a little disappointing that the love triangle / square between Joey the Lips and the three Commitmentettes isn’t drawn out a little more. Unfortunately this leads to Joey not being the smarmy git he is in the 1991 film. The authenticity of Dublin life is kept intact. The stage show remains true to Dubspeak in all it’s fucking glory.

But The Commitments is all about the music and it doesn’t fail to disappoint, although a couple of the big songs from the film are placed at the end of the stage show. If you like your soul music, you’ll be in heaven. It’s loud, it’s in your face and the energy from the stage is just electric. Heaven knows how they managed to do it eight times a week. Denis Grindel excels as the slightly cocky band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte. Brian Gilligan commands the stage with his vocal performance as front man and nutter, Deco. However, it’s a pity The Commitmentettes don’t get more time to shine, they’ve bloody good voices.

Overall it’s a great night’s entertainment, the set is fantastic and I couldn’t help but laugh my bag off at the ‘Heroine Kills’ banner in the community centre, ‘The Hot Press journalist’ and ‘Eejit Records’. These people are speaking in my tongue. It’s Dublin through and through, a little rough round the edges but ye love it to bits.

*Keep an eye out for ticket deals, we got ours for £20 each and our seats we upgraded when we got to the theatre. Nice work!