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17 Apr 2014

★★★★★ Five star review in The Irish World!

Today's Irish World features a five star review for C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael in it's print edition. Obviously we are all delighted, and congratulations in particular must go to Sharron Byrne, Janette McManus and Fintan Dineen who were singled out for praise!

Here's the full article.

Make sure you don't miss out on this Five Star show! Book your tickets now!

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource.

10 Apr 2014

First review for C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael is in! ★★★★ Four stars from Remote Goat!

Our first review of C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael is in! Remote Goat has given our production 4 stars, and particularly commended the performances of Sharron Byrne as Frieda and Peter Dineen as Billy.

Sharron Byrne in her lauded performance as Frieda.
They particularly enjoyed the frantic pace and "very funny" writing in C.L.G., which has never been viewed by an audience before.

Peter Dineen's performance as Billy was singled out by Remote Goat
C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource

5 Apr 2014

C.L.G./Sitting Up For Michael 2014 - Interview with the cast and crew (video)

The cast and crew of C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael discuss the upcoming double bill.

C.L.G. 
Two members of rival GAA clubs have been locked in a room until they can decide on a neutral venue for their upcoming match. It'll be the first time the two teams will have met for nine years, and some old scores have been long to heal. Will the dastardly Sam trick his way to getting the venue he wants, or can the put-upon Lory hold fast? They'd need to hurry up though - Fair City will be on soon.

Sitting Up for Michael
Michael's died. Who's going to do the readings? Will there be a lock-in at Packie's? Why did he only get twenty Mass Cards? It's a wil' handlin' altogether. The family and friends of Michael Montague gather for the sit up on the eve of his funeral. Set in contemporary county Tyrone, James McAnespy's comedy explores themes of family, separation and hidden pasts. So don't open the brandy until tomorrow. Brian, Michael's stubborn son, bickers relentlessly with his sister Frieda who has just come down from Belfast and starts ruling the roost as usual. Their neighbour Doris offers her support and a hot pot of tea. Young Rory, who reaches for a drink a little too readily is there to see Joe, whose coming down on the University bus, with a girl he just met - but she's got more to hide than she's letting on.

The White Bear Theatre
138 Kennington Park Road London SE11 4DJ Tube: Kennington (Northern Line). Turn left out of the station along the main road and the White Bear is on the right hand side. Bus: 3, 59, 133, 155, 159, 414

Tickets: £14/£10 concession (no booking fee) available from http://ift.tt/QTGWPy or on door (subject to availability)
Web: www.kingsfool.net
Twitter: @kings_fool
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KingsFoolNI


C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource

4 Apr 2014

Why, as an actor, I will never put my name or face to a gambling company.

As an actor, sometimes you have to take a gig that doesn't quite reach the glamour of the Oscar nominated performance you have been dreaming about, but it pays and it means you can have a drink at the end of the month without worrying where the heating money comes from.
It's usually a corporate gig, or maybe a advertising stint for a junk food company, or worse, musical theatre!

Every so often though there are some jobs that are just too stomach-churning to be anathema to the very fibre of your being, and it is accepting these jobs that would be my only definition of 'selling out' - not just your professional credibility, but your very soul. And this is why I instructed my agent not to put me forward for gambling ads, or cash-for-gold etc companies.

I remember in my lifetime, gambling outlets looked seedier than porn shops. Now it's so mainstream, it's actually difficult to look down a street without seeing a betting shop.

29 Mar 2014

Sitting Up for Michael rehearsal photos

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers, James McAnespy
Janette McManus
Paul Christian Rogers, Peter Dineen, Fintan Dineen

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Emma Spence, Fintan Dineen, James McAnespy

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers

James McAnespy

The full cast of Sitting Up for Michael

The full cast of Sitting Up for Michael

Janette McManus, Paul Christian Rogers, Emma Spence, Sharron Byrne, James McAnespy

Director Alex Howarth

Emma Spence, Sharron Byrne

Janette McManus, James McAnespy, Sharron Byrne, Peter Dineen

Fintan Dineen, James McAnespy

Peter Dineen, James McAnespy

Paul Christian Rogers, James McAnespy, Peter Dineen, Sharron Byrne

Laura Duffy took these fantastic rehearsal pictures of Sitting Up for Michael, featuring our entire cast and director, Alex Howarth.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from TicketSource

18 Mar 2014

Meet the Cast & Crew: James McAnespy as Brian/Lory (also the writer!) [Edited]

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be profiling the cast and crew of the C.L.G. / Sitting up for Michael Double Bill.

Edit: Due to cast changes, James is now playing the role of Brian in Sitting Up for Michael. Stay tuned for updates on the beard he'll be donning for the role!


James McAnespy is the artistic director of King's Fool Productions, which he founded in Belfast in 2011. The company's first major project was the debut run of Sitting Up for Michael, which toured across the north of Ireland in 2012, playing to hugely appreciative audiences that averaged over 100 per night. He has not relocated himself and the company to London and will be reviving 'SUFM' with a brand new play, C.L.G., which debuts in the White Bear Theatre.
James McAnespy launching King's Fool Productions in 2011
As an actor, James has enjoyed the limelight as the lead role in a vast array of productions in Belfast. In 2010, his first major stage performance was the top billed role in the Irish premier of Arthur Miller's tense holocaust drama, Incident at Vichy. His performance attracted rave reviews, with The Virtual Methodist singling him out as "the stand-out performance."

He continued this rich vein of form through 2011, with lead roles in performances of Stumpergasse 31 (where he played a young Adolf Hitler) and Robots in Disguise, with TheatreWatch lauding "suave, spiteful little lucifer of a character [who] was horrifically believable".
He also made his screen debut in Éalú, playing the role of the true-life criminal Sean Bourke, who masterminded a communist prison break from Wormwood scrubs. Also that year, he debuted as the voice of UTV Weather's sponsors, Progressive Building Society, reaching half a million people on a nightly basis.


James McAnespy as Rory in the 2012 run of Sitting Up for Michael
In 2012, as well as acting in the hugely popular run of Sitting Up for Michael, he performed in The Odd Couple at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, and was co-lead in the premier of Dave Kinghan's claustrophobic art drama, Intervention at the Pick N Mix festival at Belfast's world-class MAC.

In 2013, he established himself in London and across Britain with his recurring role as Dougal in Laughlines' Father Ted tribute show, Ted & Co, selling out months ahead of production.

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

11 Mar 2014

Drafting away...



C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is debuting in the White Bear Theatre, London from April 8-27. Tickets are on sale now from www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk