PRESS RELEASE: GAA needs to make sure that the grass roots of the Association are maintained, says playwright James McAnespy

Playwright James McAnespy has said that the GAA needs to make sure that it doesn’t squander the opportunity to bolster the strength of the Association’s grass roots following this month’s positive financial report.

“The GAA has done a remarkable job clearing the debt on Croke Park and now it needs to continue that good work down through the levels to maintain the community spirit that is inherent in the GAA.” he said.
“The GAA is experiencing the effects of emigration - look at the success London had last year. I’ve heard stories where clubs can’t even get a fifteen man senior team out on the pitch, and the bulk of the Fintona Pearses team I played an U-14 county final with tog out for clubs in Australia.”

The rivalries that fester between local clubs is the focus of his latest rip-roaring comedy, C.L.G., which premiers in the White Bear Theatre in London in April. 

“I just thought it would be funny to lock two rival GAA members in a changing room, and let them slug out the verbals,” he said. “They have to decide on a neutral venue for their first championship clash in 9 years, and as we all know, there’s nothing more unpalatable than giving up an inch to your nearest neighbour!”

The play is the first part of a comedy double bill that also includes Sitting Up for Michael, which set at a contemporary wake house in Clogher in his native county Tyrone on a wintery January night, and is a snapshot of the custom that’s still observed in rural areas.

“Irish wakes are a very unique form of mourning,” McAnespy said. “If the person that died had a good long life, it allows the mourners to celebrate their life with fond and often funny memories, as well as providing a platform for people to offer their condolences.”

C.L.G./Sitting Up for Michael Double Bill is playing in the White Bear Theatre in Kennington from April 8-27.  Tickets are now on sale at www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk and www.kingsfool.net priced at £14/£10. No online booking fee applies.