Ardal O’Hanlon

CriticismNotes


Life
1965- ; b. Carrickmacross 8 Oct., 1965; son of Rory O’Hanlon, Fianna Fáil TD (between 1997-2007), and grandson of one of Michael Collins’ “12 Apostles”; educ. Blackrock College, Dublin; grad. Communication Studies, NIHE (now DCU); fnd. with others International Comedy Cellar at International Bar, Wicklow St., Dublin; won Hackney Empire New Act Award, 1994; presented The Stand Up Show; based in London since the 1990s (‘It didn't go down particularly well at home’);
 
played Fr. Dougal Maguire, a gormless priest and second character to Dermot Moran in the success TV comedy Father Ted by Moran and Arthur Matthews (dir. Graham Linehan), 1995-98; played Comic Relief in 1995; appeared in Big Bad World (ITV, 1999-2001); a novel, The Talk of the Town (1998), a teenage-novel about Patrick Scully and friends; played George Sunday (“Thermoman”) in My Hero, 2000-06; wrote and presented Leagues Apart (RTE 2006), on football rivalries, and So You Want to be A Taoiseach? (2007); minor film appearances incl. Butcher's Boy and Dr. Who;
 
appeared opposite Naomi Campbellin Skins, and formed relationship with her mother; played title role of Val Falvey, TD (RTE, 2009); involved in spat with Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole over a Gate play in 2011; on tour in Australia, April 2011; m. Melanie, with three children incl. a dg., Emma; lives in St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire; he has an address at Cowper Rd., Rathmines, Dublin; O’Hanlon contributed to writers’ comments on the election of Donald Trump as President in the USA, 2016 (Irish Times, 10 Nov. 2016).

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Works
The Talk of the Town (London: Sceptre 1998), 244pp. [publ. in USA as Knick Knack Paddy Whack]

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Criticism
Deirdre Falvey, interview with Ardal O’Hanlan (Irish Times, 16 May 1998), dealing in part with accusations of plagiarising The Butcher Boy; Luke O’Neill, ‘Life's a laugh with Ardal O’Hanlon’, interview with staff writer, in Irish Echo (9 April 2011) - online; accessed 30.07.2011.

There is an Ardal O’Hanlon website entitled Ardal’s Folly
at myhome.iolfree.ie/~iamappalled/
 
... currently front page only - uses Flash - looks good but doesn’t seem to work [30.07.2011].

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Commentary
Brian Boyd, review The Talk of the Town, in The Irish Times (6 June 1998): Patrick Scully is a child prodigy gone bad, who degenerates into mild psychosis and, taunted by his siblings and barely tolerated by friends, weaves his way to a sorry end; ‘there is a parallel text which works as a potted social history of the 1980s, all Smithwicks, Spandau Ballet, and silly haircuts, and his rogues gallery of acquaintances [who] leave school, lose their virginities, drink themselves comatose […]’; reviewer judges the ending weak but the body of the novel a ‘skillful and thoughtful work that will shake, rattle and roll the reader into submission.’

Brian Boyd, interview with Ardal O’Hanlon, The Irish Times [Weekend], 26 May 2001, p.6: ‘tells […] why he no longer feels trapped inside a gormless priest’s body’ (ref. to Father Ted); b. Monaghan; filmed half-hour special for Comedy Central station; British stand-up tour at time of writing; presents ITV’s comedy re-run series featuring thirty-something Big Bad World and My Hero on comic genius; plays Waterford Theatre., Kilkenny, 3 June 2001 and Dublin’s Vicar St.

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Notes
Carnage?: An adverse review of God of Carnage by Yazmina Reza (orig. in French), staged at the Gate Theatre appeared in The Irish Times under the heading as ‘One of the crassest pieces of theatre I have ever seen’ (12 Feb. 2011), and earned a riposte from Ardal O’Hanlon, one of the cast, who accuses him of being morally tone deaf in taking the play as ‘a lovely package with lots of laughs’ and writes that the play is ‘a savage satire on the vacuous middle-classes’ (IT, 15 Feb. 2011). The spat attracted the attention of Irish Echo (Australia): ‘Last month, O’Toole described God Of Carnage, a play O'Hanlon was in, as ‘one of the crassest pieces of theatre I've ever seen’. O’Hanlon’s written riposte soon went viral on Twitter and O'Toole was left miffed. It was “a bit of craic,” says the comic, gleefully.’ (See interview article with O'Hanlon [with photo-port.], then embarking on an Australian tour, at Irish Echo - online; accessed 30.07.2011.) See also Mick Heaney, ‘Everyone’s a Critic’ [on internet influence], in The Irish Times, Weekend Review, who remarks on ‘the recent lively exchange between the actor Ardal O’Hanlon and the Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole over a negative assessment of the Gate Theatre’s production of God of Carnage [which] spilled over from the letters page on to Twitter and sites such as Broadsheet.ie’, adding: ‘In the process, all nuance was lost; on the internet the critic has no control over the narrative.’ (p.8.)

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