Tall tale of the not so incredible 'ulk
Grimes & McKee are well known for bringing a Christmas show to Belfast and next week sees the duo take their comic tale of fictional GAA club St Mungo's Luganulk to the city for a two-night run. Conor Grimes talks to Brian Campbell
T HE entertaining documentary Next Goal Wins, released earlier this year, told the story of American Samoa's national football team and their horrific record of losing 30 matches in a row and scoring just two goals in 17 years.
The new live show from comic duo Conor Grimes and Alan McKee has a similar theme, being based on the Co Armagh Gaelic football team Mullaghbrack, who didn't win for six-and-a-half years.
The show, St Mungo's Luganulk, which has been touring GAA clubs across the north and enjoying full houses for a couple of months now, gets a two-date Belfast run next week - at the Wellington Park Hotel.
While Grimes & McKee are known for putting on a comedy Christmas show in Belfast - everywhere from the Grand Opera House and the Errigle Inn to the Lyric Theatre and the Elmwood Hall - Conor Grimes explains that they almost missed out on putting on a festive show in the big smoke. "We got bookings from three clubs in Co Derry to perform the show between Christmas and New Year and we're doing a show in the Maginn's superpub in Castlewellan this weekend," he explains. "So all of that had scuppered any plans for doing a Christmas show in Belfast. But then we looked at the Welly Park and they have a fantastic room in there and now we're now doing two nights. "I think December 22 and 23 are two really good nights to go out. Christmas Eve Eve is a belter of a night to go out."
The show is about St Mungo's, rooted to the bottom of Division 4 and dubbed "the worst Gaelic football team in Ireland".
Things start to turn around when Barry Maguire returns home from the big city and gets a colourful bunch of lads together and somehow inspires the team to an All-Ireland Final. "It's a Dirty Dozen-type thing, because they're looking for men to play for them and two of them are Polish. It's an unlikely bunch," says Grimes. "It's a wee bit like The History of the Troubles [According To My Da - the hugely successful comedy play Grimes and McKee penned with Martin Lynch] in terms of people everywhere we go saying to us, 'Can we give you the names of some of the local characters to add in?' but it's a piece of theatre and it's entirely fictional. "Joe Brolly gets a mention, though.
And we've asked Joe to come along to see it in Belfast."
He explains how he and McKee came up with the idea for the story. "The Collegeland [GAA] club in Co Armagh were doing a Strictly Come Dancing night and I was asked to do a wee video. So I did one where I pretended to be a dance teacher from Russia and it went down well. "Then I got a phone call from the club's chairman to say he loved it and asked if myself and Alan would do a GAA show for them. "I kind of said, 'It's not that simple.
It's a great idea, but we'd need a couple more clubs to be interested in it and then we could maybe do it.' So a seed was planted. "Then a cousin of mine is married to very good Gaelic footballer who played for Mullaghbrack - outside Portadown. This guy left the club
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