The Saturday night show with James Young was first broadcast here in 1972. In those days the road to stardom did not come via the X factor, but from treading the boards on the local stage. Jimmys stage career was so successful it paved the way for him to do BBC radio and eventually television. The show had few resources and little money, and the house they used in the wee street actually belonged to a woman worker in the Arts theatre who lived close to the BBC. The house owner gave the crew to Youngs’ show her front door key and they made good use of her facilities while she was at work.
Tonight the BBC broadcast an evening with our Jimmy, performed by William CAulfield in Belfasts Grand Opera House a few months back. William Caulfield, from Lurgan in County Armagh brings Our Jimmy back to life to the delight of local audiences. Theres nothing the Northern Irish like more than to laugh at themselves, and Williams’ ad lib humour is so like that of our Jimmy it will almost bring you back in time.
For anyone interested in live theatre, Give my head some peace will be in the Opera house in January. Later in the new year two excellent new plays are coming one each to the Opera house and Waterfront Hall. One by Brian Friel called The Home Place
It is the summer of 1878, a time of unrest and the early days of the Home Rule movement. The fateful events of The Home Place, a new play by Brian Friel, take place over a single day at The Lodge in Ballybeg, the Donegal home of the Gores, a planter family.
The Gores, father and son, are both in love with Margaret, their housekeeper. All three pursue a hopeful dream of freedom from their history and heritage and the ‘awful burden’ of the big house. The situation quickly unravels, accelerated by Gore’s cousin Richard, who unwittingly insults and inflames the local population during an already volatile time.
The other play I mentioned is in the Waterfront Hall called the Chronicles of Long Kesh
This powerful, but humorous story is told through the eyes of several characters, including three IRA men, two loyalists, two prison officers and a rich assortment of patriots, chancers, leaders, wives, escapers and hypochondriacs!
Belfast could give London a run for its money when it comes to good shows!!