We have been rehearsing like a good thing for the past two weeks to get Aladdin ready for its run (around) at The Marketplace Theatre, Armagh.
My annual opportunity to sing and dance.
We will be performing thirty seven shows in total and it will run from the 2nd - 24th December.
Your kids will love it. And I dare say you will too.
The Hen Do
Rehearsals start for Diona Doherty and GBL Productions 'The Hen Do' in only a small handful of days.
That means it is time to blow the dust off the accents and get ready for a barrel full of bangin' beats.
The show will play the Grand Opera House in Belfast for a week and then it'll be hitting up a load of the best venues that the North of the island has to offer.
This summer I got to head down to the scenic Russborough House in the garden of Ireland to challenge people.
The Green Living Challenge to be specific.
I love challenging others and not having to do the challenges myself so as I can keep up the illusion that if anyone saw me do the challenges they would be so disheartened by the incredible level I am at that they wouldn't even try.
A wonderful weekend was had and I even saw Bewitched. From a distance. Quite a distance.
Gonna be working with Tinderbox Theatre Company to bring feverish carnal comedy 'Something Different' to life.
This play will be showing at The MAC from the 21st - 25th March.
'Something Different' will explore the modern relationship. The potential for everything to go horribly wrong. Or horribly right.
This Crimbo at Armagh's Market Place Theatre, YOU shall go to the ball!
True Story...... Panto is back!
'Cinderella' is the Pantomime of choice for 2022 and this year I get to the play the Dame. I am mad excited about this... But only if Debra Hill agrees to do my make-up... Otherwise, it will be.... I don't even want to think about it... Debra. Do the right thing.
The very sensibly priced tickets are on sale now. With special offers on the preview shows. You can book tickets at visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre
3rd - 24th Dec = EPIC in Armagh.
What an unreal time I got to have at this Summer's Comedy Carnival.
I only managed to see two of the countless comedians on show and they were very good.
But for me the weekend was all about hanging with the stilt walkers, the jugglers, the statues and the messers. And having the type of craic you can only have pretending to fall down a stairs dressed up as a jockey sat on a very small horse.
Turning Pirate continue to lead the way to my mind in terms of caring for the Artist.
I've long been an admirer of the Ads that the Irish National Lottery put together.
The one with the water slides is pure joy.
And so I was only delighted when I got to be involved in a Lotto Ad.
I got to play a pretend Doctor who has made a clever machine that tells when people are fibbing or not.
The Ad highlights that ninety percent of lottery sales go back into the community.
A very very enjoyable couple of days filming were had at Kite Studios, Co. Wicklow.
This was filmed many moons ago but is finally ready for a screening.
Said screening will take place at Belfast's QFT on Saturday 15th January.
Created by Pedro Rebelo and directed by Patrick J O' Reilly, Sounding Conflict is an experimental short film with a metaphorical and physical wall that serves as sonic and choreographic material around which two characters cyclically confront and enact conflict scenarios.
I'm one of those characters. Joe Loane is the other one. Pair of characters.
Replay Theatre Companies 'Curtains' kicks off this weekend at both Stendhal Festival and EastSide Arts Festival.
It has been a terrific rehearsal period. Loads of laughter. Sweet sweet playful creative laughter.
We're at Stendhal on the 13th & 14th. And then C.S. Lewis Square on the 15th.
In front of a live audience. For the first time in a long time. Cannot wait.
It's gonna be great.
I was delighted to be part of the first ever Reimagine Arts Festival.
There was loads of cool stuff..... Art, Poetry, Music, Tai Chi, Forest Bathing! Hold on and I'll run you a bath with some branches in it.
For my part, I got to present three super fast drama workshops. Games galore and tongue twisters aplenty. Top craic.
Well done to all involved, especially Eoín & Cathal.
St. Patrick's Day came early for me as I got to work on 'MacCarnysons', a film by Tumble Circus.
The fortnight's filming was an absolute treat and being in the presence of so many strong and skilled Circus performers was a wonderful reminder that I have more chance of becoming a Professional Footballer than performing acrobatics.
'MacCarnysons' is Written and Directed by Ken Fanning and will be out in March.
Crimbo with Brassneck
I had the wonderful pleasure of filming 'A bELFast Christmas' with both Brassneck Theatre Company and Brassneck Youth.
Santa has gone missing and Mistlejoe McJingles has to find him, fix his sleigh and get him back to the North Pole before Christmas morning. No pressure. Throw in a Wicked Witch (Christina Nelson) & an immovable Fairy (Debra Hill) and you've got a proper challenge / super film on yer hands / screens.
Tune in at 6pm, 20th December on Brassneck's Facebook page. Yes!
The Hen Do
Well I never.
'The Hen Do' began it's tour this week and so far the reaction has been off the charts.
The show is having a similar effect on audience members as laughing gas might.
So much to look forward to with many venues still to tour and a full week at Belfast's Grand Opera House.
If you are a fan of laughing your head off then I fully recommend joining us on our nightly trip to Ibiza.
The craic was had.... In spades.
Absolutely loved returning to host 'Fundrum' this year.
The year of the BUBBLE MACHINE.
What a steller line up of acts and activities. Kids and parents were leaving the tent with smiles so big it looked like they had slept with coat hangers in their mouths.
I'm counting the days till next year.
I finally got off the island!
After almost four years I got to travel to Paris with Simon O' Neill and Robbie Ryan to play the role of Anthony in Simon's latest short 'Bien Cuit'.
An absolute thrill to be filming in Paris. Up by the Sacre Couer and down by the Seine, it was a rock 'n' roll three day shoot and I can't wait to see the finished product.
Massive shout out to all the deadly French Actors / Players involved.
The above photograph was taken by the wonderful Maryna.
Panto is wrapped for this year at The Marketplace Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh.
Over fourteen thousand people turned out to witness the tremendous fun that was 'Cinderella'.
I got to play the Dame for the very first time and it was even more fun than I thought it would be. Thanks a millo to the wonderful audiences of Armagh for being top craic merchants.
And now. REST.
Dispensary Of Death
DOD has won an oul award.
Best Short Film at the Requiem Film Festival in Montreal.
Excellent news for the wonder that is Simon O' Neill.
And to celebrate.... I'm going to watch if for the fifty eight time.
Fundrum. Dundrum should forever be known as it!
I had the pleasure of MC'ing the weekend part of this new family festival.
The quality of the acts was off the charts, including Jack Wise, The Irish National Clown Orchestra of Ireland & Dino Live!
There was lovely Yoga and the standard fo the Face Painting would have made Da Vinci proud.
If it is on again next year (it really should be)...... Go!
Ring Of Steel
Four locations. Twelve hours. Seventy one artists, crew, production team and volunteers. And just the seven hundred and fifty conversations had.
'Drawing The Ring Of Steel' was an epic day focused on listening, learning and recording the memories that the people of Belfast (and beyond) have of the security cordon that was installed in Belfast city centre fifty years ago.
One of the questions asked of passers by was "How would you feel if the security cordon was reinstated?" Safe to say no one was keen.
Me first project of 2022 will see me taking part in Tinderbox Theatre Companies Connections Through Culture
It's a five day intensive (good luck knees!) programme in collaboration with B-Floor Theatre Company in Bangkok.
The project will focus on cultural exchange, movement, physical theatre technique and creative provocations for presentation. All the Performers involved will be working at the same time. Although half in Belfast and half in Bangkok. Virtual collaboration.
You can't say fairer than that.
This Man Is An Island
During one of the stinky lockdowns I got to make an audio story with my very sound and skilled friend Larry McGowan.
It's called 'This Man Is An Island' and it is available to listen to for the month of July on The Civic Theatre's website.
We'd be thrilled if at least one of your ears tuned in.
HUGE thanks to The Civic for hosting us. Absolute Legends. Dotes. And Legends.
I've spent a week researching and developing with Replay Theatre Company.
I've been in quality company and all efforts are geared toward an outdoor show as part of the EastSide Arts Festival.
An actual show! With an actual audience!
Excuse me while I wipe the drool from the side of my mouth.
The show is called 'Curtains' and it is going to be top fun.
A bELFast Christmas
Brassneck's 'A bELFast Christmas' went down a treat.
If you haven't had a chance to see it and don't mind watching Christmas films in January then feel free to check it out at the Brassneck Films youtube page.
Presenting the World's first ever Craictivity Book!
As far as I know.
Thanks to Aoife's Clown Doctors I got to make fourteen Clown Docs into their very own activity / colouring page.
The book was a pleasure to draw and it is due to be circulated around both Crumlin Children's Hospital and Temple Street Hospital.
Fingers crossed it provides the children and some of the adults with a good laugh.
Wake The Giant
Fionn Mac Cumhaill was asleep for an awful long time. Under an oul sleeping spell. One that was woven on a magic harp by a twisted sprite. Not good.
We were trying to wake him. Meself (Finnegas the Druid) and Oonagh (his Wife) but to no avail. We needed the help of the good folk of Warrenpoint and they came up trumps again.
He woke. All was well.
Something tells me he won't be awake for too long though as he is a divil for the slumber. Great news is that if he falls into a deep sleep again, we'll have to all meet up and have a great few days again next year! Silver lining.....
I recently put together a new Animation Voicereel with the help of Legend McGowan.
I'm mad for a bit of Animation. I end up watching more of it nowadays due to the oul parenthood. And every time I'm taking in a show I can't help but think I would love to be voicing those characters.
So I sent the fresh reel out and about and got a shout back. From the truly tremendous Sixteen South. And I got to voice a character with them. And it was every bit as enjoyable as I thought it would be. And another and, I can't wait to see the finished product of the animation that I'm not mentioning the name of because I'm not sure if I'm supposed to or not.
Have a great day!
'Something Different' has well and truly opened at The MAC.
With two shows under our garters it has been and promises to continue to be a RIOT.
I'm so very grateful to everyone involved.
Massive props to Tinderbox Theatre Company and The MAC for taking a shot on a show crammed with counter culture.
We run till Saturday 25th March..... YES!
Footsteps In The Forest
This year I am off to the woods to play Pook the Pucca as part of 'Samhain'. Pook is half goat half man and is very excited about that.... and... everything.
This immersive Halloween experience is sold out but sure here is some info about it anyway.
This years Footsteps in the Forest offering will celebrate the Gaelic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Directed by writer, performer and Newry native, Rozlyn Sheridan, visitors will journey into the otherworld to experience the Celtic origins of Halloween.
A word of warning though.... David Quinn is involved. Forewarned is forearmed.
The Gap Year
Rehearsals for 'The Gap Year' are almost three weeks in and the show has been coming together real nice.
A little bit of something for everyone but me instinct is telling me that this show will be a 100% hit with the Mammies.
Hope to see yee there, you can grab a ticket at......
The Gap Year
I've just been cast for a bit of multi-rolling in Clare McMahon's new play 'The Gap Year'.
The play is a journey of craic, coffee shops and self discovery at sixty and will be directed by Benjamin Gould
It will play throughout September at The Lyric in Belfast.
Tickets are on sale.... Eh... Let me check... Now!
Dispensary Of Death
"Aches, pains and half-eaten brains!"
I got to play Kevin in Simon O' Neill & Gajardo Films latest short 'Dispensary Of Death'.
It was filmed over two days at Sweney's Pharmacy in Dublin 2021. Sweney's, tucked away on Lincoln Place, was made famous by the James Joyce novel Ulysses. Is it possible it will become even more famous after Simon's short horror screens at The London Horror Society & the Madrid Indie Film Festival?
Delighted and excited to be cast in Replay Theatre Companies 'The Untold Truth Of Captain Hook' in the role of Smee.
The show will be on at The MAC from the 10th December to the 1st January.
It is going to be great.
I'm not just saying that. It has already been on. And it was great then. I was told. By many people.
Looking forward to seeing yee there.
Hatch & Scratch
I'm a Hatcher & Scratcher for 2021.
The MAC will kindly be providing myself and a load of other local artists with support over the next twelve months.
There will be mentoring. There will be coaching. There will be workspace. Sweet sweet workspace. There will be a play written.
And part of that play will be performed at The MAC's Scratch Night next year.
2022. Bring it on!
BOOM! Back in a room for some sweet sweet R & D!
I got to get my fish on for two weeks of uber playful development with no less than ten wonderful improvisers, courtesy of Tinderbox Theatre Company.
It felt just as good as I thought it would.
I was delighted to get some extra Elf action as Papa Elf in one of FUEL's many Virtual Extravaganzas.
There was science and dancing and singing and magic and science and sorry I already said that, it's just it was so good I'm saying it again.
Good times. Great times.