Coming to the Town Hall in 2011

PIANIST BARRY Douglas, illusionist Keith Barry, comedian Des Bishop, singer Johnny McEvoy, and classic plays by Tennessee Williams, Brian Friel, and Shakespeare all feature in the Town Hall’s programme over the coming months.

Keith Barry brings his mind-bending brand of mentalist magic to the Black Box on January 14 and 15 with his smash-hit show The Asylum. This is Barry’s most outrageous, controversial and downright funniest show ever and has been hailed by the critics as his best live work to date.

It sold a record 20,000 tickets during its run at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last summer and seems sure to be a sell-out success at the Black Box also.

Music For Galway can be relied on to dispel the winter gloom with their Amongst Friends chamber music festival, featuring world-renowned Irish pianist Barry Douglas.

Douglas will be joined by Galway’s ConTempo Quartet and cellist extraordinaire Eugen Mantu in a delightful weekend programme of quintets, quartets, and solo pieces featuring works by Brahms, Schubert, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, and Bach.

The mini-festival runs from Friday January 21 to Sunday 23.

Comedian Des Bishop brings his widely-acclaimed show My Dad Was Nearly James Bond to the venue from February 10 to 12. This is a deeply personal tale of Bishop’s father who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Inspired by his father's illness, the impact it has had on his family and their sense of humour in dealing with it, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond champions the real heroics of fatherhood by challenging common regrets and the ridiculous ideals of manhood that real, un-slick, men try to live up to.

The innate inspiration and dexterity behind this show guarantees an unforgettable and touching comedy experience. Other notable comics in the Town Hall programme include Jason Byrne (January 27 ) and Neil Delamere (January 28 ).

Moving on to theatre, an early highpoint is Fidget Feet’s staging of the Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, from January 20 to 22. Directed by Gavin Marshall (ex-Royal Shakespeare Company ), this is a show is full of aerial acrobatics, fantastic ski dance scenes, brilliant set, great music and wonderful costumes that is sure to captivate young and old.

Enterprising Galway company Theatrecorp take to the stage from February 15 to 19 with Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. One of the greatest plays ever written by an American writer, The Glass Menagerie is based on Williams’ guilt-ridden attempt to flee his own mother in order to claim his artistic destiny.

A son longs to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother worries about the future prospects of his lame, shy, sister. As the family works hard to survive, the mother struggles to free herself of a dependent daughter and make her face reality, while she herself uses her own fantasies of a glamorous past in the Deep South to keep her own reality bearable.

Her son meanwhile tries desperately to keep his own dreams alive. Theatrecorp’s production is directed by Max Hafler and features Maria McDermottroe, Sean O’Meallaigh, and Ionia Ní Chroinin.

Other classics to feature are Gulliver’s Travels in a lively, freewheeling adaptation by Wonderland Productions/Mermaid Arts Centre (March 23 and 24 ); Brian Friel’s The Loves of Cass Maguire from Compantas Lir (March 25 and 26 ); and Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Second Age (March 29 to April 1 ) which is directed by NUI, Galway graduate Aoife Spillane Hinks.

There are also plenty of new and recent plays in the programme, including Decadent Theatre’s revival of John McManus’s hit Galway Arts Festival comedy The Quare Land, with Des Keogh and Frank O’Sullivan (March 21 and 22 ).

Cavan’s Ramor Theatre Company bring the uproarious comedy The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down (February 25 and 26 ) and there is a string of intriguing works lined up for the Town Hall studio, including Wrong Curtain’s Cíosa le Gear, Sorcas Quircas’s Momo’s Dream, and Wildebeest Theatre Company’s A Different Animal.

Aficionados of ballet will be looking forward to the visit of Monica Loughman’s Irish Youth Russian Ballet Company (February 20 ) with Giselle while Irish Modern Dance bring John Scott’s much-praised Actions to the venue on January 29.

Music events include An Evening of Nostalgia with Johnny McEvoy (February 4 ), Scottish singer Isla Grant (February 9 ), Galway’s own bluegrass combo The Molly Hicks (March 18 ) and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Through The Half Door (March 18 and 19 ).

Film fans can look forward to the best in European cinema and independent American film with a series of screenings each Sunday by the Galway Film Society. Full details will be in Galway Advertiser in January.

Full details of the Town Hall programme, as well as how to buy tickets, can be viewed on or by phoning 091-569777.


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