Arts Column 07.08.14

Conor Malone


Conor Malone

Arts Column 07.08.14
This week’s highlights include Gasyard Feile in Derry with great comedy from David McSavage, Kevin McAleer and Andrew Maxwell, as well as a fantastic musical, Little Shop of Horrors, at the Balor.

This week’s highlights include Gasyard Feile in Derry with great comedy from David McSavage, Kevin McAleer and Andrew Maxwell, as well as a fantastic musical, Little Shop of Horrors, at the Balor.

Tonight is the opening night of Gasyard Feile 14 – Derry’s biggest community arts festival runs to the 16th of August at various locations around the Maiden City. As well as talks, readings, debates and film screenings there’s two great comedy nights lined up. David McSavage and Kevin McAleer on Tuesday August 12th and Andrew Maxwell on Wednesday August 13th.

Also in Derry, Take the Floor (Saturday August 9th at The Millennium Forum) features 60 of the world’s leading Irish dancers and music by Beoga.

Elsewhere, Little Shop Of Horrors opened last night at The Balor, Ballybofey and continues its run there til Sunday.

Andrew Maxwell

One of my very favourite Irish comedians, Andrew Maxwel,l has gigs in Derry and Letterkenny next week. He plays at the Gasyard Feile in Derry on Wednesday 13th and in An Grianan, Letterkenny the following night (Thursday 14th).

As well as being very, very funny, Andrew is also quite thought provoking. Beneath the humour there’s some pretty canny analysis of the world we live in today. He’s not afraid to be political or controversial with his humour. The Banana Kingdom show enjoyed a sell out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, playing to over 10,000 people. In fact, he’s sold out all his Edinburgh shows since 2005.

It’s only a couple of months since Andrew was last in Donegal He didn’t manage to squeeze in a visit to Letterkenny on that tour so he’s making up for it this week. He was in top form at The Balor a couple of months ago so, judging by that, Letterkenny and Derry comedy fans are in for a treat.

Andrew Maxwell plays The Community Marquee at Gasyard Feile next Wednesday August 13th with tickets only £8. He’s also at An Grianan, Letterkenny on Thursday 14th – tickets for this one are €20 (4 for €70) and are available at An Grianan 0749120777 or online at

Gasyard Feile

The aforementioned Andrew Maxwell Derry gig is part of the Gasyard Feile, Derry’s biggest community arts and cultural festival. As well as Andrews gig on the Wednesday, there’s a very tasty looking comedy double header the night before (Tuesday August 12th) with David McSavage and Kevin McAleer. As with the Andrew Maxwell Derry gig, the tickets for this are insanely cheap at just £8.

In addition to the comedy portion of the Feile programme there’s also a series of discussions, debates, readings, film screenings and arts and crafts workshops. It comes to a close with the Feile Finale – an open air concert at Gasyard Park on August 16th featuring Best Boy Grip, Glenn Rosborough, Ports (formerly known as Little Bear), the Clameens and The Wood Burning Savages.

For more on what’s going on in Derry for the Gasyard Feile, take a look on their facebook pabe

Little Shop Of Horrors

Musical comedy Little Shop Of Horrors opened here at the Balor last night and what a show it’s turning out to be. Director JC Bonar and his cast have really delivered. The set looks fantastic, the live band sound great and the plant (voiced by Highland Radio’s Donal Kavanagh) is worth the price of admission alone. It’s shaping up to be one of the best, most fun musicals we’ve staged at The Balor.

Little Shop Of Horrors was originally conceived as a 1960 low budget Roger Corman movie. It was then made into a stage version which enjoyed a very successful 5 year Broadway run in the ‘80’s and also spawned a 1986 Frank Oz directed feature film starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.

The popular comedy tells the story of Seymour, a hapless love struck florist whose luck begins to change when he comes across a mysterious talking plant. But, as Seymours business thrives, people begin to mysteriously disappear from the neighbourhood and his plant seems to have developed a worrying taste for human flesh.

As well as a great storyline and fantastic puppetry, the stage show is full of great music in the style of early ‘60’s rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop and Motown performed by a cracking live band.Little Shop Of Horrors can be seen at 8pm nightly at The Balor, Ballybofey until Sunday August 10th. Admission is €15 (€10 concession, €40 for a family of 4) and you can book at the Balor Box Office on 0749131840 or online at

Blood Brothers Bother

We’ve unfortunately had to postpone Blood Brothers, our second big in-house August production, scheduled for August 19th to August 23rd here at The Balor. It’s due to personal circumstances affecting members of the production team. The show will be rescheduled for some time in the New Year, possibly March.In the meantime, full refunds for anybody who’s booked are available from the Box Office. We’ll be in touch or you can contact the Balor on 0749131840.