Monday, August 13, 2012
Next stop Campbell's Tavern. Bringing down Velvet Revolution to the revered halls in Cloughanover. Friday and Saturday night. Doors open 7.45pm and the Play starts at 8. That's 17th and 18th of August and it's the ideal location. Just ten miles outside Galway, down the Headford Road, pass out the Steeltech Sheds and the Halting Site but if you're gone passed the Trading Post (Poasht?) you're gone to far - it's the immediate right before it. Drive in a bit and you'll see it handy enough right there. Thing being, most people know where it is anyway, so if you get lost, ask the first local you see and he'll go ".Oh, Campbells? Fine spot that. It's just around the corner, or up the hill, or wherever it is you need to go. We'vebeen doing a lot or rehearsing too. Imagine that. The Play is well out of the incubation phase and drawing the crowds. Added some new dialogue. Devised a system that can beat roulette. A way to know where the ball's gonna land every time and,according to our protagonist - Fyodor, "..It's almost perfect." It justdepends on your knowledge of advance maths and astronomy which is a basic requirement for most gamblers to succeed. So if ya wanna know how to beat the Casino's the next time you're in Vegas the best place to find out is with Truman Town next weekend. If you'd like to buy tickets you can do so by calling 087 9422942 or you can get them at Campbell's directly. See below for the fancy way of announcing Plays: Truman Town Theatre Present A Play by Mick Donnellann Velvet Revolution Campbell's Tavern, Cloughanover, August 17th and 18th. (Friday and Saturday night)
Thursday, June 7, 2012
It's been a busy year for Truman Town so far. Having just come off a tour of their fourth and most recent production - Velvet Revolution - the gang ventured straight down to Kerry for Listowel Writer's Week with their hit Play - Shortcut to Hallelujah. A side splitting comedy about Mayo playing Kerry in the All-Ireland, there was no doubt that the show would be a big success down there. Having just returned the gang's sights are now firmly set on the next major production - FIVE nights in Galway's Town Hall Theatre with Shortcut to Hallelujah. The Play rides on Truman Town's growing popularity and reputation for high quality theatre combined with unforgettable comedy. Their previous productions in the last twelve months include Sunday Morning Coming Down which went on a National Tour and sold out to rave reviews and standing ovations all over the country. Encouraged by this success, Donnellan and the gang went on to perform in the Galway Theatre Festival (2011) with their Play - Gun Metal Grey and once again received rapturous applause and standing ovations from a sell-out crowd. The Plays - written by Ballinrobe man Mick Donnellan - are hilarious yet dark anecdotes of small town Irish life. Raw and honest, yet beautifully lyrical there is no doubt that the Irish Theatre Magazine were on the mark when they said - "This is Powerful Theatre." Read on for more details about Shortcut to Hallelujah. "....and the curse was put on the team that said - Mayo will never win another All-Ireland until everyone on that team is dead..." About "...A fresh voice in Irish Writing...." Irish Theatre Magazine. Shortcut to Hallelujah is the hilarious drama set during the run up to the All-Ireland Football final. Mayo are playing Kerry and the clientele of Quinn's Bar, Ballinrobe, are certain the Sam McGuire is coming West at last. There's only one problem. Rumours begin to surface of a curse on the team. The last time time Mayo won they celebrated so loud that they upset a Traveller's funeral and it was decreed that they would never win another All-Ireland again until everyone on the team was dead. It's now over sixty years later and only one player remains alive. His name is Christy Hession and his health "...isn't great..." All eager ears are on the radio as everyone listens to the Death Notices in the hope that the curse might be lifted before the upcoming game! Meanwhile, young Chris McGuire is in a bitter dispute with local landgrabber, Black Tom Tully. The argument dates back to an incident with McGuire's father some years before. A land deal went wrong when Tully accused Old McGuire of refusing to buy his round of Brandy and the two men became sworn enemies ever after. Chris has inherited the quarrel and is adamant that Tom Tully won't get a "...blade of grass..." Eimear, played by the beautiful Kate McCarthy, is the tragic fiance of Chris. Despite her best efforts, she can't reconcile herself to a life in Ballinrobe, but her attempts to leave always prove more difficult than she imagined. The Play crescendos as the day of the big match arrives and nobody can say for certain what's going to happen. Will Christy Hession survive? Should the bookies take the curse into account when considering what odds to give Mayo? Or Kerry? And will Tom Tully succeed in wrestling the bitter land from Chris McGuire by force if his legal conniving fails? Perhaps we should ask Doc, the simpleton bachelor that's never without a sandwich or a sausage in his pocket, the one that always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and his only excuse being "...sure I'm only saying what everyone else is thinking anyway..."! After huge success with their previous original Plays such as Sunday Morning Coming Down and Gun Metal Grey, Truman Town have produced their best work to date. Guaranteed to have you in tears of side-splitting laughter with unforgettable quotes, characters and all out comedy, Shortcut to Hallelujah is tipped to be the most talked about Play of the Summer. "...Sufficient laughter to bring tears...." Irish Theatre Magazine about Sunday Morning Coming Down. Truman Town Theatre Presents - Following the phenomenal tour of Sunday Morning Coming Down and Gun Metal Grey.... Shortcut to Hallelujah For a FIVE night run @ Town Hall, Theatre, Galway. June 26th until June 30th Doors open 7.30 Bookings can be made by calling (091) 569777 or http://tht.ie/1425/Shortcut-To-Hallelujah Media Contact: Mick Donnellan (087) 9422942 Mickdonnellan@hotmail.com "....I only dhrink it ta hide the truth - one way into this world, and one way out. Me and you, we don't belong anywhere else..." Chris Mcguire - played by Cathal Leonard - in Shortcut to Hallelujah. "....bring back Willie-Joe...." Doc, Played by P.J. Moore in Shortcut to Hallelujah. Cast include - P.J. Moore, Cathal Leonard, Mike O'Connor, Sean O'Maille, Kate McCarthy, Darren Killeen, Jerry Fitzgerald, Conor McDonagh Flynn, Michelle Henson and Gerry Howard. History of Truman Town and Mick Donnellan and the influence of MIKE DISKIN I started writing myself in 2004 after I completed the M.A in Writing in 2004. Following that I wrote a novel which was immediately picked up by an agent. While I was waiting for a breakthrough in the fiction I traveled the world for about three years during which time I wrote a Play called - Sunday Morning Coming Down. I sent that to Druid and they got interested in doing it for the New Writer's Programme. We worked on it for about nine months and had a public reading with Druid for the Arts Festival in July 2009. It was a tremendous success. It sold out and was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. I worked on it for a few more months with Druid but in the end they decided not to bring it to a full production. I was living in Canada at the time and decided to return there and pursue my writing career across the water. Having returned to Vancouver, I connected with some other writers and we decided to set up a Newspaper. It was called Urban Pie and became a big success over there. I worked as the Arts and Entertainment Editor and reviewed countless Plays, Restaurants, Bars, Bands and Artists. I also worked with an Irish Newspaper out there called the Celtic Connection. I ran a series of articles that welcomed Irish Immigrants to Canada. Gave them a profile on what they were qualified to do, what kind of work they were looking for, why they came to Canada, how long they intended to stay etc...following that, we made sure the article and details were sent to every potential employer in Vancouver to ensure that any Irish people that came to us were almost guaranteed to be set up with a job. By now it was 20011 and my Visa was about to expire so I decided to come home for a while. I returned in August and immediately tested the drama market to see if there was anyone interested in dong my Play -Sunday Morning Coming Down - while I was home. I got some initial interest from company in Dublin - The New Theatre - but after some differences with the director I decided it wasn't best for the Play to go ahead. At about this time, I was approached by a production company in Galway. They were preparing an application for the RTE Storyland competition and they needed a writer to work on four episodes of a web series. I took the project on and also took part in some of the casting and production side of things. I was amazed at the talent around Galway and the potential to make serious films and theatre on acceptable budgets. It was then I decided to produce Sunday Morning Coming Down myself. I went into Mike Diskin in the Town Hall and he agreed that the Play might be worth putting on. He gave a five night slot in the Town Hall Studio and said "...Don't come back to me again without a cast..." The auditions went great. I got very lucky with some of the best actors in the city. Some of them were also set designers and drama teachers and between us we put together a great show. March 29th was the opening night and it sold out right away. The next day, a Wednesday, the word of mouth was so strong about the Play that the next four nights SOLD OUT to great demand. It as also reviewed by the Irish Theatre Magazine and you can read that review here. http://www.irishtheatremagazine.ie/Reviews/Current/Sunday-Morning-Coming-Down Demand soared after that first week. We decided to bring the Play on tour. Three weeks later we brought the Play to Lisloughrey Lodge in Cong, Co. Mayo. We converted the Ballroom into a theatre and sold out for two nights running to crowds of 180 each night. Following that Mike Diskin asked us back on to the Main Stage in Galway's Town Hall and again we received tremendous crowds. Over the next two months we toured the Play to Ballinrobe, Cork, Clare, Castlebar and eventually brought it back up to Dublin, to The New Theatre in Temple Bar, and put it on as our own independent Production. We sold out five nights and made a lasting impression in the Capital. It was also about that time that the results of the Storyland competition were announced. We won with our entry - Lucky Run. Beating 32 other film makers and screenwriters around the country. Shortcut to Hallelujah. During the tour, I continued to write. Mike had offered us another week long run in the Town Hall Studio and it important to have some new material ready. Shortcut to Hallelujah came about right after we finished in Dublin. We opened in August for six nights in the Studio and again, we Sold Out. There was a lot of demand for a new Play from myself and the company and no better subject matter to use that Mayo Football! About Shortcut to Hallelujah . Shortcut to Hallelujah is the hilarious drama set during the run up to the All-Ireland Football final. Mayo are playing Kerry and the clientele of Quinn's Bar, Ballinrobe, are certain the Sam McGuire is coming West at last. There's only one problem. Rumours begin to surface of a curse on the team. The last time time Mayo won they celebrated so loud that they upset a Traveller's funeral and it was decreed that they would never win another All-Ireland again until everyone on the team was dead. It's now over sixty years later and only one player remains alive. His name is Christy Hession and his health "...isn't great..." All eager ears are on the radio as everyone listens to the Death Notices in the hope that the curse might be lifted before the upcoming game! Meanwhile, young Chris McGuire is in a bitter dispute with local landgrabber, Black Tom Tully. The argument dates back to an incident with McGuire's father some years before. A land deal went wrong when Tully accused Old McGuire of refusing to buy his round of Brandy and the two men became sworn enemies ever after. Chris has inherited the quarrel and is adamant that Tom Tully won't get a "...blade of grass..." Eimear, played by the beautiful Kate McCarthy, is the tragic fiance of Chris. Despite her best efforts, she can't reconcile herself to a life in Ballinrobe, but her attempts to leave always prove more difficult than she imagined. The Play crescendos as the day of the big match arrives and nobody can say for certain what's going to happen. Will Christy Hession survive? Should the bookies take the curse into account when considering what odds to give Mayo? Or Kerry? And will Tom Tully succeed in wrestling the bitter land from Chris McGuire by force if his legal conniving fails? Perhaps we should ask Doc, the simpleton bachelor that's never without a sandwich or a sausage in his pocket, the one that always finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and his only excuse being "...sure I'm only saying what everyone else is thinking anyway..."! After huge success with their previous original Plays such as Sunday Morning Coming Down and Gun Metal Grey, Truman Town have produced their best work to date. Guaranteed to have you in tears of side-splitting laughter with unforgettable quotes, characters and all out comedy, Shortcut to Hallelujah is tipped to be the most talked about Play of the Summer. "...Sufficient laughter to bring tears...." Irish Theatre Magazine about Sunday Morning Coming Down. Gun Metal Grey Following that, we were invited to take part in the Galway Theatre Festival for which I wrote a third Play titled - Gun Metal Grey. That was in October of the same year once again, we sold out. Gun Metal Grey was the last installment of what we've come to term as a "loosely based trilogy....". It was also reviewed and it can read here. http://www.irishtheatremagazine.ie/Reviews/Current/Galway-Theatre-Festival About this time, I got talking to Mike Diskin some more about the future and the fact that we seemed to be on to something. He was a great man for advice and always eager to steer me and the company in the right direction. We agreed it was time for a major production. Something which would give the company a full run on a professional stage and show the world that we can achieve top class standards both as Artists and when drawing a crowd. This was when the June show was decided upon Mike backed up the company all the way until his unfortunate passing in March of this year. He made sure we wellcovered in the programme and always gave us full use of the Town Hall as well as helping us overcome any obstacles along the way (technical support, rehearsal space, advice...) Christmas passed. The year wore on. We performed Shortcut to Hallelujah in Castlebar and Listowel. Both shows were very well received and again, demand grew as more people were eager to see what they heard was a side splitting comedy. I had split ways with my fiction agent some time before. Now, with the success of producing my own shows, I decided to publish the book myself. It's a crime novel set in Galway and Ballinrobe. It was launched in February this year and it's selling very well. You can read more about that here. http://originalwriting.ie/bookshop/fiction/general-fiction/el-nino/ Velvet Revolution Following that, we put together a fourth and quite different production called Velvet Revolution. About Velvet Revolution is an exciting new Play from Truman Town Theatre. Having dazzled audiences in Kerry and Mayo, the drama is now set to make it's powerful debut in Galway. In typical fashion, the drama is dialogue based with lots of wit, sarcasm and black humour. Fyodor and Shelly are a young couple living in an undisclosed town in the rural Ireland. Shelly is the beautiful seductive blonde that torments the insecure Fyodor with her adulterous antics and behaviour. She constantly alludes to the men she met at the bar, her past lovers and the lack of excitement in her marriage by comparison. Fyodor plays the struggling writer, a victim to naive romance and artistic values, he uses gambling to escape what he believes are the torments of his tortured soul. We enter the Play at a point where Fyodor has lost an incredible amount of money and is now in the dangerous debt of loan shark, Kevin. Shelly has just returned home to announce that she met the same Kevin by chance and took the opportunity to invite him over for dinner! Fyodor is in turmoil over this, sure that it's a plot to kill him. The drama escalates as the time of Kevin's arrival draws closer. Fyodor is sure that there's more to Shelly's story but if so, she's doing anything but admit it. Instead she drinks large brandys, smokes a lot and berates him for his lack of talent, both as a writer and a gambler. At times dark, others hilarious, and often touching, Truman Town have produced one of their best works to date. Using only two actors, and a minimal set, the Play is a feast of tension, humour, suspense and ultimately a delightful illustration of the bizarre Irish psyche. From writer Mick Donnellan, that brought you Sell-out shows such as Sunday Morning Coming Down (Sold Out National Tour 2011) Shortcut to Hallelujah (Sold out tour of Connaught 2011) and Gun Metal Grey (Sold out Galway Theatre Festival 2011) This is a show to be hotly anticipated and not to be missed! This is the fourth Production from Truman Town Theatre. Their Play Shortcut to Hallelujah will take the Main Stage, Galway on June 26th for five nights until June 30th.That's right after Druidmurphy and just before the Volvo Ocean race. It's a big slot to fill, but the company feel ready. "...it seems to be a natural progression....we're already a professional outfit, so it's time to be doing big professional shows on a regular basis..." says Cathal Leonard, regular actor with the company. "....we've had great support from the Town Hall this last year, and particularly from Mike Diskin in there, and we're eager to meet that faith with a quality production...after we do Velvet Revolution in April we're going burying our dramatic heads into the June show and won't be emerging again except to rock the place on June 25th. Shortcut to Hallelujah..." You can also find more details about and bookings for Shortcut to Hallelujah here http://tht.ie/1425/Shortcut-To-Hallelujah Velvet Revolution Review - http://www.irishtheatremagazine.ie/Reviews/Current/Velvet-Revolution . You can keep up to date with Truman Town on any of the following links: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Truman-Town-Theatre/249660605073492 http://originalwriting.ie/bookshop/fiction/general-fiction/el-nino/
Friday, May 4, 2012
El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn't been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino's wallet and then falls in love with her. She's the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. Her father named her El Niño because the night she was born there was a storm, and he said it signified the way she was to live her life. And right he was. She rocks Charlie's world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough chick ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps him up all night - right through to it's powerful finish. Noir by its definition suggests the dark side of life. The less colourful tinges of existence, but Donnellan illustrates the criminal underworld with an ease that's almost casual, striking always a tone of authenticity and truth. It's the test of a truly great novel if its events are always consistent with its setting and universe, and our author has achieved that here with commendable nonchalance. This is most evident in the character of Kramer and his gang of cocaine dealing psychopaths. Charlie used to be part of their crew but went his own way after a near death bout with alcoholism and some irreconcilable differences with the self-styled Escobar's. Now it's five years later and he's getting on with his life, trying to get away with El Niño, leave the country and start fresh once and for all. This is the crux of the story and Donnellan skillfully weaves the two narratives together. On one hand we have Charlie's fresh start and his new life, and on the other, his old demons back to haunt him and threaten to destroy everything he's been trying to build. Although a gripping thriller on the surface, the story also carries some strong social undertones. We witness the development of a young criminal. (Charlie) A man that spent his youth drinking heavy, robbing wallets and shops and post-offices to survive, and eventually becoming an alcoholic, only to turn it all around at the last possible moment. But we are left with the question - is it possible for him to succeed? Is the pull of the criminal world too strong? Are his old associates prepared to let him reform so easily? And does he even have a choice, or is he predestined to a criminal life, unable to conform, drawn to doing what he knows best? And can he stay sober? The doctors have warned him - one more bout and it's curtains. The answers to these questions are resolved with tragic consequences for all involved; and El Niño's storm leaves plenty of destruction in it's wake, knocking the reader out with it's phenomenal climax and it's cyclone ending. Perhaps the most exciting part of this publication is that it comes from the heart of Mayo. Set in Ballinrobe, then spanning to Galway and back again, Donnellan has taken the West of Ireland and firmly placed it on the crime writing map. With flavours of Dashiel Hammet and Micky Spillane, the author never loses sight of his own locality. The poetry of Ireland's West is always fresh on the page. Everything from the bustle of Galway city, to the curious streets of Ballinrobe bounces off the book with the kind of vivid imagery and poetic description worthy of the world's finest writers. Apparently, we have entered an explosive time for West of Ireland fiction and one not to be ignored by publishers and retailers alike. It's refreshing knowledge that we no longer need to look to Hollywood, or London or Dublin for quality writing. It's right here on our door step. And long may it last. The best place to get a copy of El Niño is here http://originalwriting.ie/bookshop/fiction/general-fiction/el-nino/ Mick Donnellan is also the Artistic Director of Truman Town Theatre. The company has been immensely successful in the last year with Donnellan's Plays - Sunday Morning Coming Down, Shortcut to Hallelujah, Gun Metal Grey and Velvet Revolution. His other writing success includes working with Druid Theatre in 2009 under the New Writer's Programme and most recently he he co-wrote - Lucky Run, the mini-crime series which won the RTE Storyland Competition in 2011. You can contact any time on email@example.com It's also available in Mayo at Martin Murphy's Ballinrobe, Martin Healy's Topaz Ballinrobe. Malachy Flanagan's shop in Kilmaine. Eugene Walsh's Centra, Kilamine. & In Galway @ Charlie Byrne's, Dubray books and The Bell, Book and Candle. It retails @ 12..99. (EURO)
Saturday, April 21, 2012
They changed the settings of the blog. Hard to know why people can't leave things the way they are. What's the craic with always messing things around. Reckon it's a marketing conspiracy, so you end up clicking and messing and smathering around where you weren't before. Just to get you going, wondering, maybe it needs a new template, or one of those things that help you earn money by the amount of people that read it. Nothing's real anymore, seems everything's built to break, fail and disappoint, an inherent lack of quaility. If cars were perfect, there'd be a lot less mechanics, if computers were secure, there'd be no need for anti-virus, if we cured cancer all the people that made cancer drugs would lose their jobs. Everthing's for sale on a personal level, whatever gets ya through the day, hey joe, I don't think the screen's on this phone's gonna last, and the battery ain't that good, screw 'em jack, they'll still buy it, seen it on the telly, wfe wants it, kids wannt it, Christmas coming, wrap it up and sell it good, then we come back next year with new improved handset, better screen, better battery, they'll have forgot all bout it, oh I don't know, Joe, it ain't right, right? What's right, jack, my wfe went to the hospital the other day, real sick, doctors said they can't see her, they're on holiday, some junior guy that didn't how to use a stethoscope, sent her home in pain, car broke down on the way, hit a hole on the road, knocked the shocks right out, I pay tax for them roads, jack, me too, Joe, and I'm gettin screwed, now I gotta pay a guy for shocks and my wife's hopsital bill and I gotta get it somewhere, and it's them new phones we're selling that's gonna pay, gotta get it somewhere, not like it's gonna rain money, huh, ok, Joe, I'll wrap it up, wrap it up Jack, it's christmas, gotta make the money, real good time for spenders, tough year ahead, we got water tax, home tax, septic tank tax, rising oil, someone's gotta feed the government, ya know, need to keep that government going, someone's gotta fix the mess we're in....
Monday, April 16, 2012
Big talk about a screenplay of El Nino. Hey, Mick, we should film this, how bout goin to RTE and tellin them you have it, then fillin out this form, find a producer, some actors, few million Euro and we're off, be sound, don't worry bout the rain, or the wind, or all the other stuff that makes a shite of outdoor scenes. Thing being, film craic takes millions, or so they say. On the other hand, there's an awful lottta talk about this camera, and this shooting style, and these microphones, and have you heard of the dslryxuppgmty programmers that work with an rtchyuingy laptop and make these new films called ghthelanfbt? Fuck's sake. wouldn't mind just goin out with a camera and shoot it and see what happens, the lighting's shite, so what? There's a homeless lad in the background having a piss against the van, he's an extra, why's the cops there, they're lookin for work, can't really hear it, you make it better so ya bollocks. What happened to plain old innovation? In moate here, lookin out the window at the dead sky and the coming rain and the laughin trees, trees always seem to be laughin up here, in a way that says - you're fucked now. They're like washed up gamblers watchin everyone make the mistakes they did and loving it. Come to think of it, seen a scarecrow outside earlier with a basketball for a head. might go and make a film of him, it's all art, man.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Got a letter from Meteor the phone company, to tell me not to worry, I might have heard Eircom's going bust, but it's not true. Which means they're going bust. Reckon it's the name - Eircom. What the hell sort of a name is that? Would you buy shares in it? Some people did and 'see above'. Eircom, sounds like the name of a Romanian dictator or some obscure filmaker that gets awarded oscars fifty years after he'd dead for shite films about piano players. Shtop, you ever see them lads that go to the races, or women, and they bet on horses cos they like the name? It's like, oh look there's a horse there called Eircom, looks a bit shabby doesn't it, weak on the legs, old, rusty, how bout that one there called - Mercedes, hmm...could be worth a fiver. Like if Eircom were called Mercedes, and Mercedes called Eircom we'd probably have a shite car and a phone company that's not goin bust. But it didn't work out that way, wonder why, cos there's clowns running it, I'd say. Clowns waiting for somethn to happen. Like the guy at the poker table that spends his whole time waiting for the magic hand, while all the time his chips are gettin worn down by the blinds til he has ta push in on a pair of threes and comes up against a house and boom - there she goes. Such are the swings. Such are the swings. Hasta luego. Used to be called Telecom Eireann, how cool is that. Sounds like a revolt against communists in the Ukraine. That's the kind of shtuff you need, wasn't a word about going bust then, and then they changed it for the lads in suits with irritable bowel syndrome and badly digested notions of Wall Street. Things always look better looking back, hope doesn't meant there's nothing ahead but more Eircom. It'll be a psychological condition ten years from now, he's got Eircom disease, what's that? Somethin to do with horses in the Ukraine I think. I'm not sure. Phone rang there anyway. Not too bad.