Sunday, November 20, 2011

A kiss without a moustache...

... is like an egg without salt.

It's November and I'm growing a mo. It's Movember and you can join in by sponsoring me. Go to to donate, keep up to date on what's going on on my upper lip and find out more about this annual drive to fight the good fight and to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa, petition


Below is a petition to put pressure on World Leaders to act on famine in Somalia.  Please sign.  And spread the word.

We now have a date and venue for our fund-/awareness-raiser for the Horn of Africa -- ARTS FOR AFRICA, Saturday 20th August at Nuns Island Theatre, Galway.  Details as we get them.


Phone: 00353-87-287-9131

sent from my Samsung Galaxy S II

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Dau&apos;ud Ali," <>
Date: Jul 28, 2011 3:46 p.m.
Subject: Crisis
To: "John Rogers" <>

Dear John,

I am currently in Somalia with a relief organisation called Hijra, a partner of Oxfam, witnessing firsthand the heart breaking situation faced by nearly 12 million people, as the region suffers the consequences of one of the worst droughts in 60 years. Oxfam is doing all it can to provide clean lifesaving water to over 1.1 million people so far across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. But we are facing huge challenges and massive needs. We need to reach more people and can't do it alone.

Last week, the United Nations declared famine in two regions here in Somalia. The UN have said if we don't act now famine could spread to the whole of southern Somalia within two months. It is vital that world leaders take action to ensure all immediate needs are met and long term solutions delivered. Yet despite the urgency of the situation, many governments are responding too slowly with funds to meet the needs of people affected.  

You are one of more than 40,000 people who have signed ONE's petition calling on governments to do more. Thank you. But we now need your help again to spread the campaign to as many people as possible.

Please forward this petition on to people you know:

While there is an immediate need for emergency aid, leaders cannot drop the ball on long term solutions as has too often happened in the past. This is why we need your help to spread the petition far and wide - to put pressure on governments to ease the crisis now and to get back on track with their promises to make long term investments in food and farming in Africa. Please share the petition right now:

If enough of us speak out, we can help put pressure on leaders to act decisively – to stop starvation and its causes.

Thank you

Dau'ud Ali
Hijra  (partner organisation of Oxfam)


Thursday, March 10, 2011

'The Very Best of John Lennon' at the Town Hall Studio

I'm delighted to say that The Very Best of John Lennon has been accepted onto the inaugural Town Hall Studio Project in May 2011. We'll be in the Studio from May 10th to 14th. This is part of an exciting new project at the Studio that will see a different show for each week in May and will include post show discussions, upcoming show trailers and weekly wrap parties at the Town Hall Bar...

Read full post here.

My letter to the Irish Times editor

A chara,

Brian Cowen's mantra must surely be, Fianna Fáil before country always. In a report in yesterday's paper (Friday 4th March 2011) he was asked about the timing of the release of the the independent review of the Department of Finance’s performance form 1999 to 2008 and why it was only published after the election. He said, "it is a question of dealing with the general election and not allowing a manipulative approach be taken towards it." In other words, the review was withheld until after the election so as to save Fianna Fail from further damage. Such irony in his use of the phrase...

Read full post here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To govern

To govern is to choose between disadvantages. So read yesterday's Salthill Seapoint casino's quote-of-the-day. It's an apt quote (the internet attributes it to Charles De Gaulle) considering Friday's impending general election. Perhaps today's quote might read something like – “to vote is to choose between bad and worse.”

For the past few weeks, I've been hurling abuse at Fianna Fáil via Twitter, Facebook and the radio (I don't just scream at the wireless, sometimes I text in as well). Now I might have a higher than normal sense of self-importance (I actually expect someone might even be reading this blog) but I doubt my FF-abuse has done or will do much damage to the soldiers of destiny. Really I've been just venting. But I will get the opportunity come Friday to inflict some harm, however slight, by not giving Fianna Fáil a single preference.

Here's another quote-of-the-day – a wise man hates no-one – I read it once on a calendar. Hatred is stupid, dangerous and destructive. Most times it's the hater who gets hurt the most. Yet hate is also easy, seductive and (to me anyway) addictive. Boy do I love to hate. And man do I loathe Fianna Fáil. I hate them.

I blame Fianna Fáil for the mess we're currently in as a nation. They lost us our economic sovereignty. They have left us in an almost comical position – we the taxpayers have bailed out the banks and yet many of us same taxpayers are still in debt to those same banks. As far as I can tell, there really is no immediate alternative to our deal with the ECB/IMF. Therefore we will have to accept severe cutbacks as well as higher taxes in order to receive the ECB/IMF funding. I wish Sinn Féin and others were correct in their assertions that we can go it alone and tell the ECB/IMF to sod-off but Gerry Adams can't seem to tell us where the money will then come from to pay nurses, light streets, run buses and pay the countless other bills a nation has to pay. So it looks like we have no choice but to accept the harsh medicine that's coming our way. And that's what angers me the most – Fianna Fáil have left us with the choice between something bad and something worse.

Another reason I despise Fianna Fáil is their ongoing refusal to truly accept their responsibility for this disaster. Cowen (remember him? He's our Taoiseach still) when he was ever asked about his party's unpopularity would answer that any party would be unpopular if they had to make the difficult choices his government were forced to make in order to save our economy from total annihilation. Martin as Fianna Fáil leader has continued this line since taking over. It galls me to hear it. It entirely misses the vital, salient and simple point that it was Fianna Fáil who caused the financial mess in the first place. Theirs is the party who were in power for almost fifteen years and it was Fianna Fáil ministers for finance and taoisigh who had political control of and responsibility for our economic policy. It was Fianna Fáil who slept while our regulators slept while the banks ran out of control. It was Fianna Fáil who allowed our economy to become almost entirely dependent on construction. It was Fianna Fáil who ignored the voices who called out, stop the madness. Were Fianna Fáil the only ones to make mistakes? No. Were Fianna Fáil the only party to be in power throughout all of this recklessness and waste? Yes. Have Fianna Fáil accepted the blame? Never. Whenever a Fianna Fáil member or spokesperson is actually forced to acknowledge these causes of our economic ruin, he or she invariably cites the downturn in the world economy and nimbly sidesteps Fianna Fáil culpability.

A paraphrased quote – I'm trying real hard Ringo not to hate.

I hate Fianna Fáil but it is not good to hate. It's bad for my soul. So I will try not to hate. I will try to tolerate. I will try and acknowledge that not all of Fianna Fáil is to blame and Fianna Fáil is not to blame for all. Finally I will try and not get angry with those fellow citizens who will, despite all that's happened, vote Fianna Fáil come Friday.

But I will not be one of them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreams of Love

This week I'm stage managing Side-Show Productions's Dreams of Love. I recommend you check it out.

Side-Show Productions presents

Dreams of Love

Town Hall Studio, Galway; 8:30pm, Thur 24 to Sat 26 Feb;

Tickets €10/8


The Very Best of John Lennon was very, very good

I was delighted at the response we got to The Very Best of John Lennon. Thank you everyone who came along to support us at the Project, all at TheatreClub and the Project for giving us the opportunity to perform and a big thanks from me to Waterdonkey for inviting me along in the first place.

Fingers crossed that TVBOJL will return soon to a stage near you so if you missed out last week... watch this space.

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Different Animal

Hi all,

see below for info on an award winning play, A Different Animal, coming to the studio next week. I haven't seen it myself but I'll be heading along.



Won, Best Female Actress
Special Mention, Writing
Nominated, Best Production
Limerick Unfringed Festival 2011

Wildebeest Theatre presents

A Different Animal

by Meadhbh Haicéid

February 10th – 12th, 8.30pm

Town Hall Studio, Galway

Tickets: €10/€8

A Different Animal is a new play written by Meadhbh Haicéid, and directed by Ciarda Bytyqi-Tobin. A young woman receives the strangest of visitors with the blue light of dusk. A bottle of wine is opened. Awkwardness turns to passionate fluency. Dusk lingers, unnaturally. And in the growing intimacy, something darker also stirs. Are they really who they say they are? Are they even who they think they are? And what, or who, will remain when dawn steals in?

Written by Meadhbh Haicéid, directed by Ciarda Bytyqi-Tobin, and performed by Marie Boylan and Crissie O’Donovan. Design by Liam Quinn.

Wildebeest is a new Limerick-based theatre company with four core members; Priscilla Nic Chonmara, Meadhbh Haicéid, Marie Boylan and Liam Quinn. Three of these four young, experienced theatre practitioners first met through Limerick Youth Theatre some years ago. More recently, they have rejoined forces owing to a shared interest in creating new work fixed firmly in the present, looking to the future and aware of the past. A Different Animal is the company’s second production. Wildebeest Theatre Company’s first show, The Real World (written & directed by Meadhbh Haicéid), explored the darker side of the border between reality and fantasy through the displacement of two well-known characters from children’s literature. It was performed in the Backloft, Dublin, as part of the Summer Solstice Festival 2010, in Kelly’s Bar & Lounge, Galway, as part of the Lunchtime Theatre Series, and in the Theatre Tent of last summer’s Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival.

The company are excited to present a new show fresh from Limerick Unfringed, 2011.

Meadhbh Haicéid is a graduate of the MA in Drama & Theatre Studies, NUIG (2008). She is a founding member of Wildebeest Theatre Company, with whom she wrote and directed The Real World, ’10. She received the Jerome Hynes Memorial Award ’08 for short play The Fourth Wall. Another short, Making Babies, was included in Múscailt ’08, produced by Fregoli Theatre Company (Galway) and included in ‘Slice’, a showcase of new work in Theatre 503, London, ’09. To the Back of Beyond, a play for children, was awarded second place in an international competition run by ‘Imaginosity’, ’09. Meadhbh is also a founding member of Waterdonkey Theatre Company (Galway), with whom she has devised, directed and performed.

Ciarda Bytyqi-Tobin is a graduate of Theatre Studies in TCD and the MA in UCC. Since graduating Ciarda has directed a number of productions including; Stories, Lysistrata, The Beggars Opera & Romeo & Juliet (Limerick Youth Theatre), Midnight Court, Dracula, 100, Up From Their Knees & The Women (Teaspach), The Vagina Monologues (V-Day Ireland), The Midsummer Midnight Court & Walking Away (Adapt Services), rehearsed readings of Blood Wedding (Bottom Dog) and Dancing with the Devil (Siamsa Tire), Homo Fuge, Faustus, Suvi & Inverno & Duet (Amalgamotion) as well as making part of amalagmotion's series of interactive performance/installation pieces including; Propose, Thinksmith, Senseinsevin and Read to me, her play Fisherman’s Son was produced as part of The Theatre Hub. She has also curated for Mamuska Limerick and as part of Spirit Store project 09 and exhibited as part of the Art at Work project through Roscommon Arts Office. This is her first time working with Wildebeest Theatre Company.

Marie Boylan has a B.A. Hons Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Credits include: ‘The Beggars Opera’, ‘In Rear View’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (The Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick), ‘The Trojan Women’, ‘Low in the Dark’, ‘The Government’ ‘Inspector’, ‘Exit the King’, ‘Oh What a Lovely War!’ (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin) ‘Once a Catholic’, ‘Edenstown’, ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ (Players Theatre, Dublin), ‘Fish Sandy with Lovely Interludes’ (Project Cube, Dublin), ‘Elegies for Angels’, ‘Punks and Raging Queens’, ‘The Spelling of Coynes’ (The Loft Venue, Limerick) Marie won Best Supporting Actress (ISDA) for My Mother Said I Never Should, in 2007. She has also featured as ‘Sandra’ on RTE’s Killinaskully.

Crissy O’ Donovan has a BA Drama and Theatre from the University of Wales and continued her training at New York Film Academy NY. Credits include ‘Doris’, ‘My Mother Said...’ (Aberystwyth Arts Centre, UK) ‘Banshees’ (Cardiff Millenium Centre) ‘Dr Watson’, ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ (Spanish Tour), ‘Ann and Barry’ (Talking Shop - AbsolutFringe 09). ‘Kelly’, ‘Project Dating’ (Scarlet Exchange, The New Theatre) ‘Clara’, Conditioned (Morton-Media, Axis Theatre). ‘Ysabell’, Mort (Mimesis TheatreCo, Players Theatre) ‘Alma’, Strike!, (Strike Productions, Samuel Beckett Theatre), ‘Helen’, ‘Chaos Theory’ (The New Theatre). Crissy is one half of Mimesis Theatre Company.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Real John Lennon

One of the videos the director gave me to watch is a documentary called the The Real John Lennon and it's very good. Have a look.

The Real John Lennon

If you have any thoughts on this or on Lennon himself, I'll be glad to have them. Just add them below as comments or email me here.




Hmmm... now that I've watched more of this, I have to say that it's only ok rather than very good. It's an interesting biography of the man but there is no attempt at any investigation into Lennon's music and art. And it is very very biased against Yoko. I wonder was she asked to be involved.

The Very Best of John Lennon

Project Arts Centre, Dublin; 7pm, 15 Feb 2011;

Tickets €10


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bertie says bye!

Ouch. The old Bert doesn't come out too well on this one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Upgrading my website

Hi all. I am currently in the process of giving my website a facelift. I've integrated my twitter feed and blog and I'll soon have videos and photos. I'm having fun (because I'm a bit of a geek) and I hope you will enjoy the look and content. If you're reading this, I thank you for walking the dog.

The Very Best of John Lennon

Well Suantraí's latest production is on hold because I've been invited by Waterdonkey Theatre to join them in their brand new production The Very Best of John Lennon. Click here for more details. I hope to post videos and more from the process so keep an eye out!