It’s been a very eventful summer. I spent most of July in a London heatwave rehearsing The Shawshank Redemption. I returned to Ireland to perform with the Hairy Bowsies at the Vodafone Comedy festival at the Iveagh gardens before heading to Edinburgh for a three and a half week run of The Shawshank. It was a steep learning curve appearing in my first ever play on such a big stage but I couldn’t have received more encouragement from the rest of the cast particularly Omid Djalili and Dad’s Army’s Ian Lavender. The cherry on the cake was receiving a five star review from The London Times. From the off we were performing to sell out houses and standing ovations but I have to say the most moving reaction was from the Irish audiences in The Gaiety when we did five shows in three days at the beginning of September. Doing the Shawshank meant turning down a part in Moone Boy and taking part in TV3’s Celebrity Apprentice because the dates clashed but I’m pretty sure I made the right decision.
I didn’t neglect my comedy however and had my busiest summer ever as far as festivals are concerned; The Westport Festival, Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs, The Iveagh Gardens’ Vodafone Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and The Electric Picnic. I’m also looking forward to playing the Galway Comedy Festival and The Halloween Howls in Portlaoise this October. I had to pull some gigs in America when the Shawshank was booked into The Gaiety but hopefully they can be moved to early 2014 now. I know The Shawshank Redemption will tour Ireland and the UK next year and rumour has it we will get to the West End also but I’ve no definite dates yet. Meanwhile I’m excited about The Hairy Bowsies playing The Laughter Lounge 17th – 19th October, a few Father Ted gigs in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow and a weekend in The Stand, Newcastle in November.