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

25 Nov 2011

King's Fool Productions Officially Launches (archive post)

This post was first published in November 2011, some subsequent editing, which is in italics, has taken place in February 2014.

So we are finally launched. It's been a hectic few months, but on Monday November 21st 2011 we officially launched King's Fool Productions.
A big thank you to all who came, and if you missed it, check out some of the photos by Neil Harrison.

To hold a mirror up to the world

Among the things that we went through was defining our company mission statement - To hold a mirror up to the World. What this means is that we will seek to reflect the real world through a variety of means; realistic dramas that offer a snapshot of life in 21st century Ireland; Satirical comedies, particularly about the law; farcical comedies with elements of physical performance.

We also announced our tour of Sitting Up for Michael in May and June 2012. We have dates set down in [Strule Arts Centre] Omagh on June 1st and [Alley Theatre] Strabane on June 8th, and we are in negotiations with venues in Belfast [Crescent Arts Centre] and throughout the province.

The play, set during an overnight sit up at a wake was previewed by Accidental Theatre in a rehearsed reading where it went down a storm with the crowd. The fantastic cast were directed by Helen Donnelly, who will be taking the reins for the full performance.

Goolie's Human Taxidermy

Our 2013 show will be a farcical comedy, Goolie's Human Taxidermy. Poor Letitia Goolie must come up with a novel way to return to the lifestyle she has become accustomed to. James is currently in the process of writing this, and the company is hoping to preview it at next year's Pick n Mix festival.

Untitled Ariel MacMillan Musical

In 2014, King's Fool will be embarking on it's first musical, about a Page 3 model who gets breast cancer - how will she cope when her world is torn apart. The sensitive, but comedic piece will involve a score from Marty Devine.