May 27, 2015
Thanks to Mark Stanley from Punch Lion for giving us this superb insight into our recent 'Focus On ... Your Funny Bone' comedy workshops in May with 5th & 6th Class pupils.
Draíocht invited 5th and 6th class students to comedy workshops hosted by Punch Lion which would incorporate two art exhibitions currently on show. ‘Focus on ….Your Funny Bone’ integrated the ‘look and respond’ of the primary curriculum. Overall, the aim of the workshops was to awaken creativity, facilitate thoughts and opinions and introduce humour.
The two exhibitions with different styles, themes and colours challenged the students to express themselves and feel comfortable. The ground floor exhibition by Sally-Anne Kelly comprises of clay masks and photographs of the clay masks in pools of water. On the first floor, Helen MacMahons exhibition is an engaging mix of science and art. This was the start of the workshop for the students - it was a time to free their minds and develop an opinion.
Peter O’Byrne and Danny Kehoe were the two facilitators for these workshops. Trained actors and comedians. They have tricks up their sleeves for the students - “If you want to be funny. Don’t try to be funny”, Danny advised. Art and comedy have the same aim - be creative, express yourself and be true. The students were firstly asked about their opinion of the exhibitions and their feelings about them. Opinions were supported by the facilitators and reminders were given to the value of each opinion. The initial exercises aimed at making the students comfortable and free their minds. Comedy is a valued genre in performance arts. The students eagerly discussed their favourite stand-up comedians and comedy films, recited their best joke and giggled at the ‘bad’ jokes from Danny and Peter.
A short time was allocated for these workshops and Peter and Danny quickly directed the students to challenge their comedy performance skills and the students enthusiastically played their parts. Teamwork, respect, individuality and silliness were all encouraged. Creativity is important for children’s development. Comedy and art are equally important disciplines allowing you to create and stimulate your mind. They are also subjective and we hope we conveyed that message to the students.
Charlie Chaplin had his own opinion - “I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose.”
Mark Stanley, Punch Lion
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January 9, 2015
STAND-UP COMEDIAN MAXINE JONES OFFERS AN ALTERNATIVE TO VALENTINE’S DAY
As Christmas cards make way for Valentine’s cards, the emphasis moves from having the ideal family to having an ideal partner.
This, more than ever, is the era of the individual. It is also an era where loneliness is endemic. Families are dispersed across the globe, separated by education, aspirations, perceptions. In the affluent West, the old village ties have long broken down. Neighbours are now mostly strangers.
The panacea to all this, the straw grasped at in the ocean of solitude? – a partner. A boyfriend or girlfriend who will make all the difference, who will recognise your worth - ‘We two shall be one.’
It’s a lot of pressure. All your emotional eggs in one basket. Culminating on February 14th in the purchase of a Valentine Card.
The restaurants are already considering their Valentine Specials, the rom-coms are ready for release.
But Valentine’s Day, like Christmas Day, perpetuates a fantasy, with as much validity as an emoticon. But we do it. And feel shame at being alone at Christmas or having no one to address a Valentine card to.
Branching out from our pockets of isolation, are the tentacles of the worldwide web, through which an increasing number of people are meeting their Valentines.
I’m of a generation that shudders at this thought, seeing it as reeking of desperation. Being so blatant about your expectations at the very point of contact seems to kill any of the thrill of the chase - those tentative first interactions tinged with tantalizing possibility.
My sons’ generation sees no such stigma and regularly uses Tinder. I’ve noticed in the comedy clubs where I ply my stand-up trade that when the MC asks couples in the audience how they met the answer is often ‘online’, with no attempt to evade this answer.
There is much more stigma attached to being on your own. When I attended comedy clubs more as an audience member than a performer I was picked on a couple of times by the MC for being on my own – mortifying.
The ‘natural’ way of meeting people, once you have left school and college behind, is the workplace. But shared workplaces are increasingly a thing of the past, with everyone doing their own thing in front of their own screen.
Social media cannot replicate the water cooler. Facebook and Twitter instead put us in a weird world where we share intimate thoughts and pictures with people we don’t know and where we are bombarded with enticements to buy into things – even if it’s just someone else’s ego.
And here comes my enticement to buy – even this blog entry cannot buck the trend.
On this Valentine’s Day, I shall be performing my stand-up show ‘Invisible Woman’ at Draiocht in Blanchardstown. And I won’t be asking who you came with and how you met!
Invisible Woman, Draiocht Blanchardstown, Sat 14 Feb, 8.15pm, Tickets: €12/€10
Booking: 01-885 2622 or online ... here ...
WATCH ... a snippet of Maxine in action ...
October 12, 2012
We caught up with actor Charles Ross who is just about to embark on an Irish Tour with his show 'One-Man Star Wars Trilogy', coming to Draiocht on Thursday 18 October, 8pm, Tickets: 18/14e conc ...
Charles will be supported on the night by banker-turned-comedian Aidan Killian and costumed characters in the foyer beforehand for photos!
Charles's One Man Star Wars Trilogy takes fans on a whirlwind adventure through a film franchise that has preoccupied the imaginations of so many children around the world, where he single-handedly plays all the characters, sings the music, flies the ships, fights the battles and condenses the plots into just sixty minutes!
Q. When did you first become interested in Star Wars?
A. When I was a child, I lived on a farm in Prince George, a northern part of Canada. We had long winters where it would drop down to maybe -40C and it was very cold for seven or eight months of the year. Because of that, you spent a lot of time indoors and we had no television reception, so you had to watch what you had on video on your VCR. We only had three movies - The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields, Shogun and Star Wars - so nine times out of ten, I ended up watching Star Wars. A lot of times, it would just be on as background noise, and I would think that a lot of it has gone into my head through osmosis and become committed to my memory. And what do you do with that useless piece of information? That was something no one should do to themselves unless you intend to do something positive with it eventually – and so I have!
Q. How did you come to turn your knowledge of Star Wars into a one-man show?
A. I’ve got a degree in theatre with an acting specialisation, but actors are often out of work, so I wanted to do my own one-man show to get a bit of autonomy in my career. One-Man Star Wars Trilogy started life as a comedy sketch, but then my director TJ Dawe and I turned it into a one-hour piece. It went down really well when I performed it at a fringe event in Toronto – and everything’s gone on from there.
Q. How many times have you seen the Star Wars films now?
A. No idea, but I’ve probably seen the first film in the hundreds and the other two films in the Trilogy, probably less than a hundred. The new films I’ve seen maybe half a dozen times.
Q. Which is your favourite character to perform?
A. The Emperor, because he’s such a rotten bastard and Iain McDiarmid who played him is such a fantastic actor.
Q. And which is the most difficult character?
A. Yoda, because the pitch of my voice is different to that of Frank Oz, who did his voice.
Q. Has George Lucas seen your show?
A. Not to my knowledge, but I am officially licensed by LucasFilm – otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to do the show! – and I was hired to perform at the official fan conventions Celebration III and IV in the US and Celebration Europe in London, so I assume that the people whose opinion he trusts think it is something he would enjoy.
Q. How far have you toured the show?
A. Everywhere from Canada and North America to the UK, Dubai and Australasia. I’ve even performed the show while backpacking around Turkey! There are Star Wars fans everywhere.
Q. Do you have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy the show?
A. No, but it’s probably worth hiring the DVD’s out before you come to see it, because the better you know the films, the more you’ll enjoy it. If you haven’t seen the films at all, it will be a bit like watching a game of cricket when you don’t know the rules!
Q. Do you have another ‘trilogy’ show planned for the future?
A. I have already created a One-Man Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and I’m sure I’ll do another addition to this whole Star Wars thing at some point, although this time I’m definitely going to seek out the rights first! I’ve also a one-man show which is much more autobiographical.
One-Man Star Wars™ Trilogy, written by Ross and directed by TJ Dawe, has toured the world since January 2001, delighting audiences as far afield as Dubai and Sydney. It has been performed off-Broadway in New York and in London’s West End, at several official Star Wars Celebration events, Glastonbury Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and numerous theatres around the globe. Now Ross is taking his hilarious show on its first ever tour of Ireland. Whether you’re a committed Star Wars fan or simply want to enjoy a fast-paced, side-splitting evening that’s out of this world, make sure you don’t miss it!
One Man Star Wars™ Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All ‘Star Wars’ elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.
Suitable for ages 7+
Supported on the night by banker-turned-comedian Aidan Killian ...
Watch a video snippet here ...
BOOK TICKETS ONLINE NOW ... OR PHONE BOX OFFICE ON 01-8852622
December 6, 2010
20 Tickets have just been returned for Des Bishops show tomorrow night, Tuesday 7 December, 8pm. Please phone Box Office asap on 01-8852622
May 28, 2010
Just got confirmation that Eleanor Tiernan is supporting Dermot Whelan tonight! Talk about two for the price of one! Only 10 tickets left people! Tel: 8852622. Tickets 16 euro / 14 euro concession.