Featured image by Colm Hogan
“Nee is a genius…mesmeric and hilarious” Irish Times
“A unique talent” Irish Theatre Magazine
“Little John Nee has become a representative Irish figure & commentator” Irish Times
Against a background of rising fascism, sometime in the near future, a disillusioned cabaret singer falls in love with the radios of our past…
Little John Nee is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading solo theatre performers, a writer and performer, whose style of storytelling theatre with music and song has won him international recognition. This exciting new production has been developed through FUEL – Druid’s Artist Residency Programme.
The narrator of Radio Rosario, Valve Hegarty, is a weekend cabaret singer living in Galway city who does jingles to pay the rent; a drudgery that weighs heavily on him. He has a hankering for something of substance and is drawn to 20th century valve radios – beautiful contraptions that shaped the events and the consciousness of the twentieth century. A chance meeting leads him to the site of the Connemara Marconi Wireless Station, built over 100 years ago. A soundscape of ghostly broadcasts begins. The music of a dance orchestra transforms Valve’s kitchen; vintage advertisements try to sell us products from the past; Franklin D. Roosevelt invites us to join him for one of his legendary fireside talks; Winston Churchill declares, “We shall fight on the beaches…”
In Radio Rosario, Little John Nee brings his mesmeric musical storytelling to another dimension through his collaboration with long time associate, musician, visual artist and director Laura Sheeran. They are joined by a multi-award winning team, including recording engineer and producer Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, SOAK), designer Triona Lillis (An Klondike), and lighting designer Sarah Jane Shiels (WillFredd Theatre).
Radio Rosario is about the hijacking of imagination for nefarious purpose, and the subsequent deficit in imagination to create a better world – a serious comedy about frustration and foreboding and the search for fulfillment, and an ode to “the magical wireless” / “that radio yoke”.
“i record audio for advertisements.
but really i’m a singer
if i don’t sing i grow sick” – Valve Hegarty, Radio Rosario
Venue: Mick Lally Theatre, Galway
Dates: 5th-9th September (Preview 4th September) Time: 8pm Tickets: €16/€14
To buy tickets: T: 091 568 660 / W: www.druid.ie/the-mick-lally-theatre/whats-on
Duration: Approx. 80 mins. No interval.
Co-Directed by Little John Nee and Laura Sheeran
Consultant Director: Raymond Keane
Written & performed by Little John Nee
Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels
Music and Sound Design: Tommy McLaughlin and Little John Nee
Set and Costume Design: Triona Lillis
Video art created by Laura Sheeran
Production Manager: Mike O’Halloran
Producer: Neasa O’Callaghan and Sharon O’Grady
Developed through FUEL – Druid’s Artist Residency Programme. Supported by The Mick Lally Theatre and An Grianán Theatre. Funded through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.
Little John Nee is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading solo theatre performers, a writer and performer based in Co. Galway, whose style of storytelling theatre with music and song has won him international recognition. In the early 1980s his performances as Charlie Chaplin saw him established as one of Grafton Street’s iconic street characters, before a move to Galway in 1986, when he joined the fledgling Macnas whom he performed with for many years. In the 90s Little John became convinced of the simple power of human communication. Since then he has developed and refined his unique style of musical storytelling with physical theatre, with works including The Derry Boat, The Mental and Rural Electric gaining rave reviews in Ireland, the UK and the US. He has also recently published a book of haiku, The Apocalypse came on a Friday. Little John Nee was the recipient of a Galway City and County Theatre Residency (2007-2008) and an Arts Council Theatre Artist Residency Award at the Town Hall Theatre (2013-2014).