GUSTO with Billy Magra Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd April @ 7.45 pm.
Book now at projectartscentre.ie – Venue Project Arts Centre, Essex Street, Dublin 2
“Fascinating storyteller … go see him” (Tommy Tiernan )
“Extremely funny, most imaginative,” (The Irish Times)
The personal and comic story of how one Old Age Pioneer of Irish rock and comedy survived a stutter, and a life of sex, drugs and Irish dancing whilst living with Bob, rejecting U2 and waking up an award-winning divorced orphan.
In the late 1970’s Billy McGrath organised the 1st ever tour of local Irish bands with housemate Bob Geldof; managed Stagalee and The Atrix plus rejected an offer from U2 to be their Irish agent. In the early 1980s, he juggled a successful day career in music PR with nights as Ireland’s No.1 ‘alternative’ comedian performing on the Late Late Show; investing in Ireland’s 1st comedy clubs plus opening for Status Quo, Warren Zevon, Paul Brady, and The Flying Pickets who asked him to tour the UK with them in 1984. But instead he accepted the offer to train as a TV producer/director with RTE and over the decades established his reputation as one of Ireland’s creative trailblazers winning awards and later audiences across the globe with his company Sideline Productions.
In between he managed PR for the Galway Arts Festival (1991/92); won the National Entertainment Award for Comedy (1992); co-managed Ireland’s 1st stand-up superstar Sean Hughes and directed videos for Italia 90’s ‘Put ‘Em Under Pressure’; Clannad’s ‘Harry Game’ and The Pogues ‘Fairytale from New York’ (LIVE). His feature film Citizens of Boomtown (the story of The Boomtown Rats) premiered at the 2020 Dublin Film Festival and was broadcast worldwide.
But GUSTO also explores a personal journey. During his school days, Billy suffered from a serious stutter but he overcame it to become an award-winning student debater and actor playing leading roles in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot; Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story and Cathal Black’s short film His’n’Hers. He also battled with a rollercoaster private life and dealing with death, a failed marriage and single parenthood with a comic lens was a lifeline.
During lockdown Billy graduated in 2021 with a 1st Class Hons MA in Screenwriting from the National Film School (IADT), and also decided to write a one-man show. Not for fame or fortune but to explore the age-old question …..What do you want to be when you grow up? In our 3rd Act we all may have 20/30 more years to live. An ex-League of Ireland soccer player with UCD, Billy has hung up his boots and won’t be climbing the Himalayas soon but instead GUSTO will debunk the belief that 3rd Actors should bury their dreams or become invisible. So he’s strapping on the comedy guns again, this time firing real bullets angry at how society often downplays the role and influence of today’s ‘senior’ citizens.
‘We grew up in the swinging 60s and rebellious 70s! It’s time for RAGE ACTION!’.
Note – GUSTO is driven by a slide show with personal stories (some makey-uppies) and a comic narrative. Adult children are encouraged to bring their parents.
GUSTO with Billy Magra in The Cube 7.45 pm Tuesday 18th to Saturday 22nd April. Book now at projectartscentre.ie