Next Up

Next up: I will be featuring in the short films Dark & Stormy and Belfast Caliber 9.

23 Aug 2011

Bruiser Graduate Academy

This past week I have been in rehearsals with Bruiser Theatre Company as part of the Bruiser Graduate Academy. The week has been intense but as the show takes shape, it is clear that it's going to be incredible for the showcase on Thursday.

The main aspect of the showcase is an ensemble performance of the farcical satire, "Out of the Flying Pan" by David Campton in the Brian Friel Theatre. Among the fantastic ten-strong cast are Natalie Murphy, Philip Rafferty, Kim Moylan, Roger Dane, Shannon Hegarty, Mary McGurk, Richard Priestly, Paula Guzzanti and Caroline Brennan. I had worked with Caroline in Lunch last year, with Philip in Hope and Roger, briefly, in Incident at Vichy, but it's the first time I've worked with everyone else. The play is being directed by Lisa May with the assistance of Bruiser's Musical Director, Ross Anderson.

Further to the play, the showcase will involve each actor performing a monologue, which we were honing today with Matthew Reeve who travelled from England. He is heavily involved in the audition process with many drama schools, most notably Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, so it was hugely beneficial hearing about the audition process from the other side of the table.

Matthew was one of several visitors from the professional theatre world who were invited to discuss professional theatre with us. Emma McCabe, who is setting up McCabe Artist Management, discussed the process of acquiring an agent. Three actors, Chris Pat Simpson, Doireann McKenna and Cat Barter, came to discuss their various paths into working professionally and the photographer Neil Harrison was brought in to do a head shot session with each of us.

Overall, the academy has been a great insight into the workings of a professional theatre company, and for me personally allowed me to work with some brilliant actors and people, as well as forge new contacts. The showcase will knock the audience flat, so I can't wait to get on!

Update 24 August 2011: Some of the names in the above piece were erroneous, but have been corrected, thanks to the help of Stephen Beggs, who was also on hand to discuss tax issues during the academy.

6 Sep 2010

Pictures from the Edinburgh Festival

Here are some of the pictures of us performing Steven Berkoff's Lunch at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - a show which those who seen it described as "the best two-hander I have seen at the festival."

[caption id="attachment_304" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="James McAnespy onstage in Stephen Berkoff's Lunch"][/caption][caption id="attachment_303" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="James McAnespy and Caroline Brennan onstage in Stephen Berkoff's Lunch"][/caption][caption id="attachment_302" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="James McAnespy and Caroline Brennan onstage in Stephen Berkoff's Lunch"][/caption][caption id="attachment_301" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="James McAnespy and Caroline Brennan doing street performances of Stephen Berkoff's Lunch"][/caption][caption id="attachment_300" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="James McAnespy and Caroline Brennan onstage in Stephen Berkoff's Lunch"][/caption]James McAnespy and Caroline Brennan onstage in Stephen Berkoff's Lunch

3 Aug 2010

Press Release: MAGNETIC Theatre Company to play at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Belfast's Magnetic Theatre Company are gearing up to perform their debut show, Steven Berkoff's Lunch, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Produced by impresario David Mann and starring up-and-coming actors Caroline Brennan from Castlewellan and James McAnespy from Omagh, the play is an exploration into relationship between two people who meet on a beach during their lunch break, through Berkoff's acerbic eyes.

James McAnespy has told how he looks forward to the challenge of taking Berkoff to the stage.

"Berkoff's work is designed to challenge the audience, so the performances have to match the pitch and tone of the source material, or else the impact will be lost.

"His writing is never simple - every word has its own significance, which creates many layers of character and subplot.

"That is why this play has been the biggest challenge of my career so far.

"This will be my first time at the Fringe, so I'm thrilled to be able to experience it from both sides of the 'fourth wall'."

The play is being performed from the 23-29 August in the GRV at 3pm. Tickets, priced at £5 can be purchased at the door.

James can be contacted further via, or via his web site

25 Jul 2010

Rehearsals in full swing for Incident at Vichy and Lunch

Currently rehearsals for my current shows, Incident at Vichy and Lunch, are motoring ahead at full pelt, with two rehearsals of each a week keeping me on my toes.
This period of gestation is one of the most exciting parts of being in a play, when the project really starts to take shape, and you are really getting to grips with the characters and interacting for the first time with your fellow cast members.
With ...Vichy today we set down a very solid opening ten minutes, with Vincent Tsang, Sam Mahadeo, Brian Kennedy, Tom Dart, Jack Geary, Glenn Hamill, Denis McAlinden and Andy Grey all putting in great performances in front of director Adrian Cooke, who seemed suitably impressed.
In our rehearsals for Lunch, myself and Caroline Brennan are biting our way into a very dense piece of drama, under the direction of Richard Sloane, with admirable results.
It's difficult juggling two pieces of drama, but I am confident I will be able to keep it under control, and it's certainly better than having nothing to be preparing for.

8 Jul 2010

I am performing at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in Steven Berkoff’s Lunch

I have successfully auditioned for a part in a performance of Steven Berkoff's play, Lunch. It is with an ambitious new theatre group, Magnetic Theatre Company.

Produced by David Mann, they have booked a slot at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is a great opportunity to get more publicity, and perform to a whole new audience.

I am playing opposite Caroline Brennan, who is a fellow member of Fringe Benefits, and more than capable as a co-lead.

The play is a post-modern take on sexual relationships, with an uncompromising tone exploring the base underbelly of sex. It is definitely a challenging piece, and definitely expands my dramatic range.

This is an exciting project to be part of, and should open many doors for me.