|Little John Nee 'Sparkplug'|
Waterford is a hive of activity in October during the Imagine Festival. The impressive range of events take place in venues around the in the smaller spaces of the South Eastern capital. The was an invasion of eminent trad folk from Clare with members of the Cotter clan , virtuoso fidlder Maeve Donnelly and scholarly concertina player Tim Collins all in town as part of the John Dwyer Trad weekend. On Saturday night Little John Nee brought his latest theatrical invention to the bijou theatrical space of the Central Hall Waterford. The set was an intriguing cornucopia of bric a brac , pallets and the accoutrements of a vintage car mechanic. To the forefront were a consort of ukuleles and various other musical instruments. This is the third of Little John's shows that I have seen. His collaboration with Raymond Keane of Barabas in Johnny Patterson, The Singing Irish Clown produced a memorable theatrical experience that had a particular resonance to audiences in Ennis where I saw it. The Derry Boat mined the experience of Northern migration to Scotland . Yet again the the versatile and unusual artist drew us in to the beguiling world of a character on the margins of society inviting us to empathise with a skillful blend of humour, pathos and melody. Before loading up his van and heading West, Little John spoke to me about his latest creation, Sparkplug, You can hear that interview here
|Little John Nee at Red Kettle HQ|
listen to ‘Little John Nee’ on Audioboo
On the night he performed all the parts himself using the eclectic range of instruments and loop pedals to set up an inventive aural backdrop of ostinatos adding to the melodramatic effect. You can here a version of the show with other actors playing some of the parts in this RTE Drama podcast http://www.rte.ie/drama/radio/genres-comedy-sparkplug.html
To paraphrase the author, there is no better way to spend a Saturday night than in the company of a Rockabilly Conceptual Artist . Have a listen and see what you think.
Related posts http://cathydesmond.blogspot.ie/2013/02/the-happy-prince-donegal-oscar.html