Most profound apologies to those who might have come looking for news recently…I’ve been off gallivanting with shows…but i have plenty news now to make up for it. In May I was elected to Aosdána. http://aosdana.artscouncil.ie/ . In July my book of haiku “The Apocalypse came on a Friday” arrived from the printers. It can be purchased online from Kennys http://www.kennys.ie/the-apocalypse-came-on-a-friday.html and will be launched in Dublin at The Ark on 28th September. The show “Ribbons with Laura Sheeran sold out at the Galway Theatre Festival and we hope to bring it back in 2017.
Summer gallivanting included an exotic odyssey up the Barrow River over three days on a barge as Sparkplug Callaghan and the Spanners of Good Fortune as part of Carlow Arts Festival
I also had the great honour in July to perform for academics from eighty-four countries at the International Society of Humour Studies Conference in Trinity College Dublin, I was more than chuffed that the 2016 conference week events had the title “The World Brings Fools Together” named after my song from the show commissioned and produced by Barabbas Theatre Co.”Johnny Patterson The Singing Irish Clown”
I had some especially magical shows with “Small Halls and Potholes” at The Town Hall Studio Galway and at Ennis Arts Festival; this has me hankering for more of the same.
The sun is shining in the West of Ireland and I’m busy working with Laura Sheeran on our new show “Ribbons” which will premiere at the Town Hall Theatre 28th-30th April as part of the Galway Theatre Festival. It is beyond a privilege; it’s pure good fun and creative delight. The show takes as it’s starting point some events from my memoir series and is supported by an Arts Council Project Award. I hope to post some updates here and share the rehearsal process as we progress, i am full of notions and working with one of the most inspiring artists I know I feel a great show coming on,
Summer was busy. My highlights were two projects at the Earagail Arts Festival. “She Knit the Roof” was a site specific theatre show brainchild of Producer/Dramaturg Róise Goan, directed by Caitríona McLaughlin. I designed the sound and composed five new songs for the show that truth be told I am very fond of, this is in no small part due to the fact that they were performed beautifully by Lorna Mc Laughlin (The Henry Girls) & Megan Mhic Ruaurí ( Clann Mhic Ruaurí).It was also a delight to spend time working with the designer Lian Bell and lighting designer Sarah Jane Sheils and to meet and work with playwright Darren Murphy who created video sequences and sound clips. http://www.eaf.ie/events/she-knit-the-roof/
The other highlight was a series of shows with The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra “Highly Strung Around The Delta” where in all humility I have to say we tore it up, it was the greatest fun and left me rearing to go at it. I promise you this band is incredibly good, and our shows are turning out to be very special so if you ever get a chance come along..
On Sunday 15th June I had the honour and indeed pure delight to perform at Áras an Uachtaráin when the President hosted a Bloomsday Garden Party. I was set up at the door to the Walled Garden and the most magical musical improvisations occurred. So wide was my smile that my face nearly cracked entirely when Liam Ó Maonlaí joined in and brought the music to a whole other place. I am still feeling the good of it. So good was the time I had that I have decided to include this show in my touring repertoire under the title “emporium of everyday magic”
The memoir series @ the Town Hall Studio comes to an end with two shows this Friday and Saturday 15th/16th May. Chronologically “The Galway Years” comes after this but we chose to start with “The Galway Years” in February hoping that the local interest would carry through to the subsequent shows. Indeed the shows gathered momentum and the same audience returned to follow the adventure resulting in sell out shows and many being turned away. I am going to be sad to finish this series but plans are afoot and I will keep you updated here. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.
Thanks to P.J. Clerkin for digging out this photo from Theberton St. 1979. There’s a story behind the building of that wishing well and you can hear all about it at The Town Hall Studio Theatre on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd May, it looks like its going to sell out like the others in the memoir series so better book rapid if you want to go. The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra had a beautiful gig and a wonderful time in Napoli, thanks to Davide Mastropaulo and everyone involved at Porto Petraio, we hope to have a video clip from the show where we premiered a new song “Highly Strung in Napoli” I had a crazy week on returning performing at four “Kitchen Sessions” with Sarah Clancy and Elaine Feeney as part of the Cuirt International Festival of Literature, I also performed at the opening which was great fun. Friday night it was “Small Halls and Potholes” in the new Village Theatre Carrabane near Loughrea, it was perfect.
Contributo concerto | 10 euro
(12 euro per i non soci)
Calato in pieno mood di musiche dal mondo, di intrecci e sinergie tra diverse culture e tradizioni, l’happening mensile live di Aprile a Porto Petraio ha il profumo d’Irlanda. Il pubblico, infatti, resterà sospeso tra scenografie ‘country’ e sonorità d’oltremanica.
Il progetto che Little John Nee, autore, drammaturgo, musicista e interprete sui generis, propone con i suoi musicisti è un’antologia dei vari spettacoli teatrali cui ha dato vita negli anni. Recentemente questa selezione di lavori ha trovato posto nel cd “Songs from the Lough Swilly Delta”, mix di comici blues e tormentate ballads, registrato con The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra presso i prestigiosi “Attica Studios” nel Donegal (Irlanda), sotto la supervisione di Tommy McLaughlin della nota irish folk band dei Villagers. L’intento è stato quello di raccogliere varie delle interpretazioni presenti negli
spettacoli teatrali e dei relativi personaggi, che Little John Nee ha creato, portandoli in giro per l’Europa.
Un’anteprima per Napoli e l’Italia, dunque, una data in esclusiva, quella che Train De Vie propone alla sua platea sabato 18 aprile a Porto Petraio: melodie e ritmiche surreali, con intermezzi ‘brechtiani’, invenzioni ‘rurali’, verve ironica e agrodolce, in bilico tra sonorità blues, country, blugrass, vaghi influssi della tradizione musicale irlandese, echi popolari in un pout pourri di ballads, alcune più morbide, altre più sostenute. Ciò nel solco di una linea cantautoriale appena tracciata, reminiscenze vintage, delicata energia, potente armonia, lungo una vera e propria narrazione sonora, che ha fatto dell’interpretazione teatrale ‘on stage’ una delle sue cifre.
L’impatto che le canzoni avevano sul pubblico durante gli spettacoli teatrali, infatti, ha condotto Little John Nee a questo progetto di scelta e sintesi di vari tra i brani all’interno dei suoi show di maggior successo. Ballate famose in tutta l’Irlanda, tratte da “The Derry Boat”, “The Mental”, “Rural Electric”, “Sparkplug”, “Dead Rooster Blues”, prendono vita sul palco grazie a riff di chitarra, al blues punky della cigar box guitar e al caleidoscopio sonoro dei clarinetti in una trama musicale originale e autentica, che vira da toni sublimi ed evocativi, quasi poetici, ad altri ruvidi e veri, ai limiti della durezza.
Surreali commedie rurali dalle cadenze blues si alternano a liriche disamine della vita campestre nella più profonda contea del Donegal. Il tutto scortato dall’ottima performance degli strumentisti di “The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra”, il cui talento versatile e l’interplay sul palco sono ben rodati e innegabili.
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We had the honor of being invited to Áras an Uachtaráin on the 10th March to present the President with a copy of Ollie Jenning’s radio documentary “The Galway Years” based on a live recording of my theatre show of the same name. We brought some guests and had afternoon tea in the state drawing room.