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The Power of Wow: A Public Consultation/Scratch

February 10 x

I am thrilled to invite you ALL to a work-in-progress showing of our new work THE POWER of WOW as part of JOY & DISSENT Festival at Hackney Showroom on March 28th at 7.30pm.

Following my (continuous but ongoing) failure to represent ANYONE in the Eurovision I am now planning a not cynical at all reinvention. But I need your input! Think of it as a public consultation, so I can really get a feel of what you like.

Tickets are only £6 and you can book here.

THE WEDDING

THE WEDDING

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Brown Paper Bag Suit

January 5 x

‘The land-sharks come down to meet us […] They drugged my beer; and, next I knowed, I were sick and drunk out in a lane, in a suit of brown paper.’

‘A workman’s all brown paper suit is quoted at about 15 cents, while a blue all paper suit is more expensive, 55 cents being the asking price.’

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XNTHONY does the awkward artist 2016 round up blog post

January 5 x x

My eyes roll when I see the plethora of artists and performers publicly rounding up their year online for all of us to see. Of course I see the usefulness but since I didn’t get any arts council funding this year I’m pretty free to leave out any mention of success, increased public engagement (of which there was plenty) and self-evaluation. Instead I will keep this largely of a personal nature since I know how many of you are invested in my life and my success. I say that with tongue firmly in cheek/check. This is for me a chance to consider the year (I’m going back on what I said I wouldn’t do). It’s been a quietly massive year for me. No big buzz shit, it was more a sleeper success year. I’m coming up behind you. Boo.

Mainly this year I walk away with this main success – I gave up smoking. I was smoking heavily. It affected my energy, and as my work begun to get booked up more and more, and realising Bowie (who hadn’t really been an idol of mine, but I adored his final album) had apparently died having smoked a packet every day, I said bye bye ciggies. And with that ended my frequent anxiety and heavy chests. These symptoms had become a permanent aspect of my adult life. I’d even gotten counselling. I had methods in place to avoid panic. Not to say I’m cured of whatever trauma I’ve been enduring (lol) but the anxiety has passed over. Quit smoking guys. It ain’t good for you.

Then the shows began. We started with a quiet bang at Quarter Block Party in Cork. We commenced a tour in April which then kept on going which seems never ending. And that’s fab. During the tour we visiting The Glory (a place fast becoming a fave of mine), Prague Fringe Festival, IYAF in Kingston (total baes) and many other exciting places.

Probably the most important place we visited for me personally was my home town Roscommon. In 2015 Roscommon remained the only area to vote against marriage equality in Ireland. Bringing my campy, queer, aggressively fun work to this space was naturally a big deal for me. We feared it wouldn’t sell. We feared people would be a bit awks. We were of course completely wrong, they loved it. And it sold out. AND some lovely older lady smacked my bum in the middle of it all. Yay! Roscommon people remain my favourite people. I’m a bit of obsessed with them really. You’re going to be hearing a lot from them in 2017. I hope.

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The amazing arts organisation Limewharf welcomed me in their arms (big thanks to Tam and Emma) giving me a space and a home in London. London is a hard place. I had considered leaving. But their invaluable support has made me feel a sense of belonging I haven’t felt in years. To survive in London you need a community. There are many here very eager to present themselves for your attention but they generally aren’t for me. I’ve always been a bit of a loner in a group (as much as I love to socialise, I inevitably creep away to spend time on my own) but Limewharf with their community driven support feels like an anchor rather than a clique. They do amazing work to support artists of all walks. It’s selfless support. It just doesn’t come like that in the real world. So I am very lucky.

Depression / or feeling down a lot / feeling trauma

Oh the naughty word. I never really talk about this. I don’t know if I really should. I’m always a bit awkward about publicising that sort of stuff. But maybe it’d make it easier for me though. I’m happy to say that I seem to be coming out of a pretty tough period. A 18 month period. A swings and roundabouts period. I’m grateful the shows and whatnot have taken off because without that I would probably sink into my bed permanently. It’s all down to relationships and not loving yourself, and the affects of that mindset makes waves throughout your life until you are brave enough to say NA HAW HONEY. I’m trying to keep mindful, focused, clear and I’ve gotten better at binding that madness together, though occasionally I can feel it unravel before me, but my strategies exist. Mindfulness is useful. So is not drinking. So is not being too hard on yourself.

Then there was XNTOPANTO

In July I had an idea to do a panto. It wasn’t a good idea. Then in August I had the same idea again just in a different way and this time it was good. This often happens. Ideas drop in and out until they are ready to play ball.

I teamed up with my producer David Doyle and thus the XNTOPANTO platform was born. We received a million bazillion applications. We had to make our way through a lot of talent. Ireland is exploding right now and we wanted to give those millions of explosions a stage. I know there’s a degree of ‘having notions’ attached to that but when speaking with the artists I would repeatedly say ‘we’re all taking a risk’ with the project and so we were. I’m thrilled with the platform we’ve developed (with a special thanks to Fringe Lab and Limewharf) and I am excited to fine tune the experience. Bringing artists together is important, especially doing so away from established streams.

The creativity bustling in London and Dublin are exciting but essentially very different beasts. I’m caught in between. Dublin with its obsession with form, finished-ness, belonging. London with unfinished-ness, DIY, disregard. Both tightly wound places. I feel unhappily/happily caught in the middle. I wish I knew where to position myself. But often when I take a moment I realise that belonging somewhere isn’t really all that important. The position on the outside is altogether far more exciting.

This year I learned not to expect too much of yourself. And also chill guys. We’re young. Mistakes are fun. Crucial. Hard. Nurturing.

Unexpect the expected

Amidst a tour of what felt like the world but was really just a bit of England, Ireland and Europe (actually that’s a lot), I had a lot of copping on to do. I was a bit ugly. I recommend touring for anyone who has notions of themselves. You’ll soon realise you’re a gorgeous, glittery speck. But that’s just it. You’re a speck. A nothing. With the tour came the shocking realisation, get this, THAT I WAS PROBABLY NOTHING IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS. And while that realisation turned me into a dick for a while (I got defensive soz) it’s actually ended up being quite freeing. It has the effect of freeing you up of the strange ties we feel to our groups, gangs or troupes. They are all great, sure, but I could see that for me to survive I needed to be making meaningful connections outside of my own world. If you were one of these connections then Thank You!

Also small tip – don’t expect to sell any tickets, when you do you’ll feel really good about yourself. The opposite just makes you stressed and feel worthless.

Amidst the tour, I married Tiffany (one of my main collaborators). This is part of a career change coming in 2017. I hope it’s a success. The project that is. The marriage is …well… we do what we do to get on don’t we?

2017

I hope to continue touring, I quite enjoy it now. I have a health craze focused project in the works, I’m developing my writing skills, writing more songs, learning the guitar, maybe do some clowning, start a podcast (advice plz!) and commence research for a new musically themed show about my hometown and my confirmation in 2002 (I am essentially still a catholic boy), see if my Tess of the D’Ubervilles meets Britney Spears music musical has legs, lose my belly, accept my age, continue to cut down drinking and any type of addiction (trying to…). I’m going to enjoy myself, enjoy failing, enjoy being outside of it all (still), and finally ask why every project I complete feels like another attempt to prove that I’m maybe useful to my audience, and maybe learn to use photoshop.

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HIT ME D’URBERVILLES ONE MORE TIME

December 30 x x

Intelligent, strikingly attractive, and distinguished by her deep moral sensitivity and passionate intensity, Tess is indisputably the central character of the novel that bears her name. But she is also more than a distinctive individual: Hardy makes her into somewhat of a mythic heroine. Her name, formally Theresa, recalls St. Teresa of Avila, another martyr whose vision of a higher reality cost her her life. Other characters often refer to Tess in mythical terms, as when Angel calls her a “Daughter of Nature” in Chapter XVIII, or refers to her by the Greek mythological names “Artemis” and “Demeter” in Chapter XX. The narrator himself sometimes describes Tess as more than an individual woman, but as something closer to a mythical incarnation of womanhood. In Chapter XIV, he says that her eyes are “neither black nor blue nor grey nor violet; rather all these shades together,” like “an almost standard woman.” Tess’s story may thus be a “standard” story, representing a deeper and larger experience than that of a single individual. In part, Tess represents the changing role of the agricultural workers in England in the late nineteenth century. Possessing an education that her unschooled parents lack, since she has passed the Sixth Standard of the National Schools, Tess does not quite fit into the folk culture of her predecessors, but financial constraints keep her from rising to a higher station in life. She belongs in that higher world, however, as we discover on the first page of the novel with the news that the Durbeyfields are the surviving members of the noble and ancient family of the d’Urbervilles. There is aristocracy in Tess’s blood, visible in her graceful beauty—yet she is forced to work as a farmhand and milkmaid. When she tries to express her joy by singing lower-class folk ballads at the beginning of the third part of the novel, they do not satisfy her—she seems not quite comfortable with those popular songs. But, on the other hand, her diction, while more polished than her mother’s, is not quite up to the level of Alec’s or Angel’s. She is in between, both socially and culturally.

Thus, Tess is a symbol of unclear and unstable notions of class in nineteenth-century Britain, where old family lines retained their earlier glamour, but where cold economic realities made sheer wealth more important than inner nobility. Beyond her social symbolism, Tess represents fallen humanity in a religious sense, as the frequent biblical allusions in the novel remind us. Just as Tess’s clan was once glorious and powerful but is now sadly diminished, so too did the early glory of the first humans, Adam and Eve, fade with their expulsion from Eden, making humans sad shadows of what they once were.

Tess thus represents what is known in Christian theology as original sin, the degraded state in which all humans live, even when—like Tess herself after killing Prince or succumbing to Alec—they are not wholly or directly responsible for the sins for which they are punished. This torment represents the most universal side of Tess: she is the myth of the human who suffers for crimes that are not her own and lives a life more degraded than she deserves.

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XNTO & HUGH COONEY do TOTALLY DUBLIN

December 10 x x x x

Madcap and twisted XNTHONY meets another complete nutter, the fantastic HUGH COONEY. Together they become fabulous cover girls for the XMAS edition of TOTALLY DUBLIN.

Check out the complete interview here. Photos by Dan Dennison. Direction by Lauren Kavanagh. Words by Seamas O’Reilly. Drama by XNTHONY & HUGH COONEY. Obvs.

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In 2015 Pop Star XNTHONY set out for Eurovision glory. Armed with as many fizzy pop songs as he could muster, he and his backing singers, The Penny Slots, took Ireland by storm and really believed they were on the cusp of representing Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016.

Except they weren’t…

But no matter. XNTHONY and The Penny Slots are making another comeback equipped with a whole host of potential songs. They’re ready to convince you to support them at the Eurovision… when they get there… eventually.

“Genuinely hilarious” – The Irish Times

“This show is Stunning” – Meg.ie

Created by Anthony Keigher. Developed with Tiffany Murphy & Hannah Fisher.
Dramaturgy by Tiffany Murphy.
Produced by David Doyle.
Costume by BOUGIE @ #CUTABITCH (with costume between 2015-2016 by Connor Dalton).
Programme Design by Lorraine Monagle.

Creative Direction by Anthony Keigher.

For our touring pack or to ask a question just click the contact button above. #DOUZE continues to tour in 2016/2017.

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XNTHONY SPEAKS TO MASC.LIFE

November 21 x x x

Fun, honest and insightful interview between XNTHONY & Stephen Moloney of MASC.LIFE.

‘Speaking with Xnthony is demanding. He is frequently interrupted by his own interjections – a throwaway remark, an aside, a footnote, a mutter, an exclamation, an indeterminable sound – many of which seem like ideas, or the bases for ideas, which find brief expression before being stored away for the future. Or maybe they are immediately forgotten and replaced. Sitting face to face with him is to be confronted by somebody frothing and foaming with ideas, schemes, and plans ["as long as I have a filter, everything is good"]. For this, speaking with Xnthony is energising. Undoubtedly, he is provocative – for the sake of it or not, I do not know – and seems to enjoy seeking out reactions. However, like the art he makes, and the art he is, Xnthony is compelling – you can’t look away and, even if you could, you probably wouldn’t want to.’

Check out the rest here.

XNTHONY has plenty more interviews available online. Like here, here, and here!

XNTHONY has also appeared umpteen times on BROADSHEET.IE. To view, just click here.

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REVIEWS

November 21 x x