Sunday, 22 June 2014

Continental Derry!

The city of Derry is awash with colour and festival fever at the present time. The 2014 Maritime Festival is underway. The city has come alive over the weekend and the people of the city and local areas are showcasing Derry at its best.
The Clipper yachts are due to arrive in Derry tomorrow morning. The Derry yacht is sure to be welcomed by thousands around 11am! The Derry crew have made history in being the first yacht to win a home race. Having left New York two weeks ago, the Derry Clipper finished the race ahead of the pack earlier today. What was always going to be a week of celebrations just got bigger and better, thanks to this win.
Along the quay this week, you will find a host of stalls, great music,

food and culture from all corners of the world. As you walk along the city streets at present you could be in any Mediterranean city. Such is the atmosphere and feel of Derry just now.
A huge variety of boats are docked along the quay and at the pontoon. There is definitely something for everyone at every turn.
The Clipper yachts will be arriving from tomorrow morning and they're sure to have a week of good Derry hospitality over the coming days.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Breda's Pilgrimage, The Word of Breda...a show not to be missed!

Last night saw Breda’s pilgrimage in Muff village, Co. Donegal! Breda Larkin is currently on a tour of Ireland with her one woman show, ‘The Word of Breda’. The show is taking her to every county in the country where she chooses one small town/village to perform. Muff was her chosen village in Donegal.
Breda and her twin sister Ella arrived in Muff on Monday night. Just over a week ago I had never heard of Breda Larkin, but on hearing of her impending visit I decided to make contact...we met on Monday night and had a lovely walk in Muff and the surrounding area. I got to know this young lady on our venture and she explained her reasoning for putting this show together. Larkin grew up in the countryside of Co. Galway on a farm. From a young age she knew she was different, but could never understand how. It wasn't until later years that she accepted this difference as her being ‘gay’. Breda was raised a Catholic and found it difficult in accepting and understanding her sexuality. But by her own admission, and many flawless efforts at meeting girls, she is now completely comfortable and happy in her own skin. She loves herself for who she is and what she is. On meeting Breda Larkin you can’t help but like her and admire her for taking this tour on board.

Travelling with Breda is her statue of the Virgin Mary. Mary is Larkin’s very own ‘moving statue’....she is moving with her all around Ireland. Although Larkin does not approve of the male hierarchy in the Catholic Church, she is clearly very fond of Our Lady, and never leaves home without her! The statue has been in her care since childhood.
Yesterday, Larkin spent the day in Muff village after travelling to Moville and Greencastle. She visited a number of the local businesses and talked to them about her show and her life. She is seeking how other gay people are living in small rural communities in Ireland.
I found Breda Larkin to be a very down to earth, confident person. Someone who believes in using her voice and standing up for what she believes in. Someone who found it difficult to ‘come out’ in Catholic Ireland. Someone who has fought with herself to be herself. And someone who is evidently content within herself.
Last night shortly after 10pm, ‘The Word of Breda’ got underway in the Squealing Pig lounge. The show was just under one hour long, and it was Breda’s story from birth to ‘coming out’. She told of her childhood and her wanting to be a boy. Her adolescence and not realising or understanding her sexuality. Her awakening into the world of being a lesbian, and her family and community reaction to such a revelation. The show was extremely funny, entertaining, moving and in many ways, very humbling. Breda used comedy, music, song and storytelling to relate her life story. We laughed, we listened, we wrote words (to which Breda sang later), and most of all we all learned a valuable lesson! This show is about Breda and her acknowledging and accepting her sexuality. But it’s also about so very much more. It’s about being who you are...who you want to be....and allowing yourself to be you. Society sometimes encourages us to be someone we’re not. Someone who must ‘fit in’. But life is for living and there’s only one shot at it. Breda Larkin’s story is about so much more than being GAY. Breda Larkin and her show ‘The Word of Breda’ tells us that we really are allowed to be ourselves. No one else can live our lives for us. So make the most of this time. BE YOU!

Larkin left Muff earlier today and is taking the show across the border in Northern Ireland over the coming days. If you are fortunate to be nearby, do pop along and see it. You won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Breda's Pilgrimage comes to Muff!

This coming Tuesday night, 17th June, will see a one off 'comedy show' at the Squealing Pig in Muff. Breda Larkin is the gal, and her show 'Breda's Pilgrimage' will provide a night with a difference in the village.
Lesbian Comic Larkin is bringing her 'one woman' show to every corner of Ireland. Instead of performing in the big cities, she has chosen the smaller towns and villages as her destination. She is doing one show in each of the 32 counties over the coming weeks. Muff is her chosen village in Donegal.
On her travels, she will spend two days in each location to get a feel for the LGBT community all over Ireland. She says she wants to 'meet gay people more, like families in the community. I also really want to find powerful women in each area. I want to highlight the stories of women in these places that you wouldn't necessarily know about'.
Larkin has performed 'The Word of Breda' in Dublin as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In the show she covers everything from coming out to being a kid in the sticks!!
So, if you want to find out a little more about Breda Larkin and see something a little different in Muff, come along to the Squealing Pig on Tuesday night for 9pm. There will be a cover charge of €8, or €5 concessionary. A great night is definitely in store.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Earagail Arts Festival 2014

The Earagail Arts Festival is a venue-based music and arts festival with eclectic and alternative music, visual arts, circus and theatre programmes alongside spoken word, film, family and children centred events. The festival brings inspiring performers to this captivating European frontier, showcasing artists from the area and providing opportunities for cultural exchange. EAF employs a range of venues from purpose built theatres and galleries, to village halls and outdoor venues created for the occasion, serviced by professional technical crew and production management. The level of genuine positive feedback from artists and audiences alike is testament to the festivals belief in ensuring the best quality experience for everyone.

Today saw the launch of the 2014 Earagail Arts Festival in Letterkennys An Grianan Theatre. A host of sponsors, funders and representatives from various groups attended the launch earlier this morning. Fidgit Feet Aerial Company gave an outdoor performance at 11am. As always they were spectacular. Music was provided by Paul Harrigan and musicians and Hughie McClean's Show band.
The EAF theatre staff were dressed in vintage attire representing the new drama due to be performed during the festival, The Fiesta. The Fiesta is remembering The Fiesta ballroom which was based in Letterkenny in days gone by!
This years festival runs from 12-26th July. Pick up a brochure now and see just what a jam packed festival it is gearing up to be. There's something for all the family and many events are free. Make your summer memorable in Donegal with Earagail Arts Festival!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

DENIZEN, A Verse Drama by Dave Duggan

DENIZEN by Dave Duggan was launched last Thursday night, May 29th, at the Central Library in Derry. 'This verse drama is a courtroom drama, in which the last republican dissident challenges himself to build a future without violence. The drama is a 'speech from the dock'. There is a chorus of guards and an audience of citizens.
There is a table of forensic evidence, which takes us through Denizen's life and actions. The contest of civil and international conflict, as well as the arguments Denizen faces personally and publicly, underpins this literary and dramatic work.'
Speaking at the launch on Friday night Paul McFadden explained that this drama 'deals with a subject which many of us would rather not explore. It is dramatic and it's challenging. It's disturbing and it's
provocative. It does everything a graphic drama should do'.
'In this verse drama, it is not just the protagonist who is challenged by the courtroom - we, the public are also challenged.' McFadden is clearly very impressed with this latest work of Duggan's and goes so far as to say that it is 'Duggan's most important work to date'.
DENIZEN is now available from all local bookshops and