Actor and performer Ged Graham is appearing in a new musical called ‘Ireland’s Call’, which arrives in the UK in March. I spoke to him about his involvement with the show and also chatted to him about his career, so far…
Tell me about Ireland’s Call and what the audience can expect from this new show.
It’s set after the second world war, following the story of Irish attempting to emigrate to Ireland. The essence of the story is set around Sean and Cora, Sean wants to start a new life and travels to New York while Cora is at home no wanting to leave her family. The show features favourite Irish songs such as Irish Rover and Danny Boy as well as original material too. I play the narrator and also three brothers, Patrick, Seamus and Bengi.
So as you’re playing multiple roles, is that challenging?
A huge challenge, I’m currently in the middle of my own personal rehearsal, trying to give each of the brothers a different personality. The narrator itself is a challenging role as I’m responsible for telling the story and hoping that the audience follow it.
Is it too early to ask if you have a favourite moment from the show, yet?
It is early days, but I feel that the song Through The Eyes of An Irishman which is used for the wedding scene is a particularly poignant moment.
How long have you been performing and have you wanted held the ambition to perform since you were a child?
I’ve been performing semi-professionally and professionally since the age of 14. I’ve taken a month out here and there but otherwise I’ve been performing for around 40 years. I clearly remember being 4 years of age and always trying to find a way of entertaining. I was born in Ireland and everyone in our family would do a party piece.
As an actor I find the hardest part is going on to my Spotlight account to update my playing age, I’ve just changed from playing Dads to playing Granddads! Although there’s a whole new set of roles and opportunities, now, although I was more like Dame Judi Dench, aging gracefully into each role, I’ve aged disgracefully!
Are there any performers who have influenced you or that you hold in high esteem?
Milo O’Shea who was in Barbarella as well as Al Pacino, Tom Courtenay. I moved from Dublin to Manchester and grew up watching Coronation Street and also lots of gritty northern dramas, they were very influential.
What would you say to encourage potential audience members to come and see Ireland’s Call?
It’s individual stories linking together to make a show that connects with the audience on various levels. There’s great dancing, great music, a Romeo and Juliet story in places and a good Irish night out! Even husbands that are dragged along and don’t really want to come will find something to connect with!
Here’s a trailer if you need any further persuading!