Irish Singer Tommy Fleming
Tommy talks about his roll in the musical Paddy.
Popular Sligo Singer Tommy Fleming tours the U.K. from the 9th to the twenty-second of November in his acclaimed musical drama ''Paddy the musical'' now venues in box office numbers on our website Irish radio. Now for decades Irish emigrants played a vital role in Britain and construction roads bridges railways and in nursing now Paddy The Musical portrays their contribution and the toll on individuals Patrick Murphy is the lead character role played by Tommy Fleming he leaves home for London in 1964.Successes trials and tribulations are followed an Paddy the shovel Kennedy who has been in London for generations reflects on his own life and advises young Patrick to avoid the pitfalls.
Now to tell us more unpleased as they are very good afternoon Tommy Fleming. How you doing / how are you Jerry, not bad at all. Tommy nice to speak with you again, now Tommy actually Paddy The Musical is a social history of though there have been a books and documentaries but Irish exiles there the story brought to the stage makes it very accessible and coming to U.K. cities you're reaching those who were experienced immigration or heard accounts from fathers and uncles as in your own case. Do you feel this gives a ring of truth to it all absolutely doesn't mean we put with the stage initially two years ago and you know looking at the script and looking at the whole storyline it's it completely rang true for me and hence the reason I took the role and taking the lead in this was not some was not an easy decision.
Because it was, it's a huge power to do, but it tells a great story and like there isn't you know, there isn't a railway there's an immortal way there isn't a high-rise an office block that hasn't got the sweat of an Irishman honours in England and another, the song Paddy of course was originally written by Jerry Carney. indeed it was yeah Jerry, great songwriter and from there we kind of put the week jealous the rest official together to bring music in to us and then we wrote the meet with us 12 more sound forest right now I understand when this project could start your visuals was actually not to appear but you're invited to do so when the critics an audience reaction in Ireland has that certainly justified the decision you sellouts including at the board. Gosh energy theatre and Dublin are you joined at the the combination of acting yonder together with the singing. I mean, in fact years ago and I just kind of I couldn't keep both so too I'm always been a singer, actor not an actress singer. So when I took the role I tossed look as I do it for a while and that'll be it had to be good.
I didn't think it would get the reaction at first be perfectly honest with ya. and the reaction has been massive and the reviews have been masters and I've been very proud to get the reviews i got. Indeed Daniel O'Donnell writing in the Sunday world as actually said it's everything you could ask for in an evening of theatre. Who else is involved in the directing in the production the wider calendar in the show why the cast there's nine because nine members of the cast are they ared Gacy School of Acting an actual fantastic actor Michelle Ali who is the former lead singer of the down and another great actor is Jerry Carney who plays Paddy, the shovels Honeyman to this telecast it's a great Miss Brennan with another great young lad who plays a deep character Frank and it's working with them, is kind of it's funny, because I've been so used to kind of it just work in the Tommy Fleming and working on stage and then the lead man.
I'm in the role and all of that I know I've got nine cast around me, which are fantastic that's excellent admitting moving to the storyline your character Paddy leaves to settle in London which was the experience of many. Now challenges were hard work, for little pay, and poor housing. Now the motivational to send money home, it was important to you that you're giving that a platform to acknowledge the important contribution of the Irish diaspora during these hard times. Absolutely, I mean I used to remember, I always said that there's the household at home in Ireland that hasn't cashed I've that doesn't know Paddy that it is related to a Paddy and what I mean by Paddy by the Mendez went over and built Britain went over and tried to make a big big life because the BET didn't work out and they ended up on tough times, and they became are we not with what we now know at the Forgotten Irish. And it's a serious tribute to those men and women that's worked their fingers to the bone to make a life for themselves.
And it's just some some of them it didn't work out for the bottom and each know we've had a great feedback from those who saw the play in Ireland. In fact Catherine Hallinan from that Mayo we were so taken with it she's actually bringing family members to the Watford performance for example and also the critic on the Irish Independent capture sentiments well by saying Paddy is passionately performed for those who suffer the loss of her family in Britain, before a facebook and skype will resonate deeply and each few people even back then, I had telephones to keep in touch they're leading to immense loneliness needless to say.
Absolutely, I make you to think it's a very smokes much smaller world today then it was back then because you know and maybe a phone call might have been a bit look it's very look if you got the phone call one week and that's what does very Catholic deeds under now well now you've got skype viber facebook twitter you've got everything, so you know, even if you do like for example it takes exactly the same time today to get to Sydney from Dublin as it does to get from Mayo to London in 1964 wow that is but a circle putting it in perspective non-display know and it's amazing actually. Sorry I forgot now that but it's amazing because I just part of that the other day 'cause there, about six weeks ago I flew over to Sydney to do a PR trip which I arrived on left on the fight eat and arrived on the Sunday did my PR on the Monday and was then I left on the Wednesday and I was home on Friday.
Right, amazing, amazing changes in the world, not despite the serious subject matter people go to the theatre to be entertained and that Paddy the musical here. I believe doesn't disappoint as well as the narrative. you've that song some of which were will play over the coming weeks know where your so there's also where some humour in there you're not sweeping the harsh reality of social issues of the day under the carpet. But it's fair to say that there are a few like moments, along the way there's a lot of light moments and there's a lot of great funny lines in it that are you know, even to this day and how many performances I've done at the show and I still find them funny and i still find certain parts of it's very funny. And there's a lot of emotion there's a lot of laughter, there's a lot of Tears there's a lot of angst, there's a lot of anger and it covers the gauntlet of every emotion we have. Right that sounds superb know you were busy November Tommy. I'll have to say with it say you're opening in Warrington on the month of November further appearances a Reddish, Telford, Lincoln stock board Colin Bedworth and culminating at the walk from Coliseum 22nd of November tickets are selling fast. Tommy do you enjoy being on stage and connecting with audiences ? I do, as a singer I do, as an actor is very different, because I'm not fair as Tommy's living in there as Patrick Murphy, it's a very different thing and I still get the balls I'm literally after last Monday I finished my US tour and I was home and Tuesdays though that was four weeks of traveling all around the US.
Which we finished in San Francisco and I was on my own as a Tommy Fleming trip and now I kind of jump back into the role of Patrick Murphy as the actor to do the U.K. tour. And it's jumping from one to the other can be difficult for this supposed as I was there I mean him and 25 years this year I do and I still haven't last the flare heard you know that's absolutely excellent now would feature some of the tracks from it Paddy the fool that I lost goodbye my old friend and also where edge work you've got a new album you've got a Duet us with that Vince Gill Leah seemed country singer Vince Gill and a version of ''what a wonderful world'' from my new album year from the I brother Bret 25th anniversary almost it was released yesterday. actually um called stories and it's kind of 25 years of songs that I recorded, five new songs and one of those was I got a call from , I met Ben many years ago we got to know each other. And I did back a vocalist often different albums from and he rhyming Eastwood went towards us and I designer could use on the album absolutely and it's been it's been a huge air player in Ireland at the moment, thanks.
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