I can’t believe it’s been a year since the gigs in China. It’s been a very eventful year since, professionally and personally. I spent July 2013 rehearsing the stage version of The Shawshank Redemption in London in preparation for a three a month long run at the Edinburgh Festival. The reviews were amazing including five stars in the London Times. We then did a short last minute run in The Gaiety in Dublin. The audience reaction in Dublin was particularly moving. That was my first play and spending over two months with a cast and crew in such close proximity really brings you close to those people and I have to say there were a good few tears shed after the last night in The Gaiety particularly by Ian Lavender ( he is the luvvie to end all luvvies) but hopefully most of us will get back together for a UK tour next February followed by a run in The West End.

So far this year apart from the usual touring around the UK and Ireland I have beenbover to Toronto for a short stint where I met their controversial mayor Rob Ford.

Two weeks later I was in Moscow hanging out with our own controversial Dave McSavage. We did a couple of gigs together, one in Moscow and one in St Petersburg to a completely Russian audience. It was an amazing experience especially in Moscow where we had an interpereter and some of the audience were listening to him on head phones. It was a bit like playing at the UN I would imagine. In the four days in Russia there was a lot of eating and drinking; they seem to have an aftershow party every night even when there isn’t a show. What with the jet lag and one return flight from Moscow to St Petersburg thrown in, I was wrecked by the end of it. I recovered by mowing the lawn constantly for a week.

In the meantime a (very) short film I did with Paddy Courtney called Lean On Me has garnered very favourable comments from people such as Graham Linehan and Lenny Abrahamson. I believe it’s being developed into something else; probably an action packed buddy cop movie set in Mullingar during the Celtic Tiger years. Pat Shortt would have to be in it because Pat Shortt is in every Irish movie. This August/September I am doing some gigs in the US with Mundy of all people!

The mixture of comedy and music hosted by Andrew Stanley is already booked into venues in Boston, Kansas, San Francisco and Chicago. I’ve never been to any of those places before and so I’m really looking forward to it.