Six days of Spike celebrations planned

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A writer, artist, musician, comedian and actor, Spike Milligan had strong Sligo connections.

His namesake “Spike Sligo”, a comedy and mental health centred group, are bringing many of these disciplines to the fore in a weekend festival featuring music, comedy, talks, workshops, art and outdoors events.

The mainstay of this Bright Side of Life Festival, running from April 7 to 12, will be comedy. Headline act, Richard Herring, is oft referred to as “The King Of Edinburgh” for his prolific and positive

performances. Richard will be doing a live podcast and staging his acclaimed new show “The Lord Of The Dance Settee” over the course of the festival. Other comedy highlights include:

– Abandoman’s genius hip-hop improv stylings, designed to make jaws drop and minds boggle

– The camp brilliance of The Lords Of Strut, with both a children’s show and a definitely-not-for-children show. CHAOS!

– Spike Sligo favourites, Niamh Marron, Christian Talbot, Allison Spittle, Ursula Burns and Robbie Bonham and many more.

– The perfectly placed tribute to the dangers of teen obsession and the internet which is Sophie Hagen’s fabulous “Sophie Hagen Loves Westlife” show.

– The super-charged, long-locked lothario of screen and stage that is Aindrias De Staic and his show “The Man From Moogaga”.

In collaboration with Sligo Jazz Project the Spike festival will see big name jazz outfits like The David Lyttle band, Pigfoot, The Brian Priestley Quartet and Nick Pynn and Daisy Grant perform in a variety of settings.

Some of Sligo’s finest local talent will be showcased in a Gala “Bright Side Of Life” concert featuring Eddie Lee, Kieran Quinn and friends and also the privilege of witnessing Spike’s daughter Jane Milligan performing some previously unheard songs by her father only recently unearthed.

Artist-in-residence for the festival, Tracey Moberly, will be running an Art-Athon of workshops from the 7th to the 11th, tackling two different disciplines a day for a total of ten artistic endeavours.

Spike Sligo have a strong connection to mental health and one of the core themes of the Bright Side Of Life festival is to highlight mental health issues in the community, with several specific events like

– Christian Talbot’s “Cheaper Than Therapy” show.

– Helen McNulty’s one woman show “YUCK!” (see separate article).

– The personal testimony panel event “I Told You I Was Ill”, featuring well known personalities discussing their own personal experiences with mental health issues.

– The Rennafix Thrill to Chill day, featuring outdoor activities, adventure sports, comedy, music and cinema in a beautiful Sligo countryside location.

As always, Spike Sligo are committed to contributing a 10% tithe to each of their affiliated local charities, Sligo Rape Crisis Centre and Rennafix.

Weekend festival passes which grants you access to the entire festival (bar the TV workshop) are now available for just €70. Alternatively, ticket prices range from €5 to €20 (and several are free) and can be bought on the door, or booked in advance. For booking information visit www.spikesligo.com/tickets

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