A load of laughs

Catherine Clancy, Tom Lotty, Imelda Lotty, Martin Clancy, Margaret Lynch and Aoife May Clancy
Catherine Clancy, Tom Lotty, Imelda Lotty, Martin Clancy, Margaret Lynch and Aoife May Clancy

Kevin Hughes

THE world record attempt may have fallen short but almost 140 Charlie Chaplin look-a-likes under the one roof is still a pretty impressive sight.

The fourth Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival was held in Waterville over the weekend and the Guinness World Record attempt was just one of dozens of events staged during the four day event.

With trademark derby hat, over-sized suit and walking stick, the movie star's iconic tramp character could be found on every corner of the south Kerry village and there were laughs aplenty as comedy themed events dominated the weekend.

Festival co-chairperson Norma Moriarty, who shares the role with Mick O'Dwyer, said there were several highlights throughout the weekend and she pointed to a few that had them rolling in the aisles.

"Pat Shortt was just fantastic, a great showman, but we were also delighted with the comedy performance of our local man too, Bernard Casey from Portmagee, who was also on the same bill and he went down a treat," Norma said afterwards.

"Another highlight was Dan Kamin, the Chaplin expert who trained Robert Downey Jr for his Chaplin movie. He is incredibly well informed and his show was a real treat for Chaplin fans."

The festival centres around the comedy film shorts and on Saturday night the winners received 'Charlies' at a gala awards show hosted by Daithí O Sé. Amongst the victors were 'Breakfast Wine', based on a Kevin Barry book, which picked up best Irish film, and 'Until Death Do Us Part', an Argentinian work which won best student piece.

Other events included 1920s style afternoon tea event in the Bayview Hotel held by the South West Kerry Women's Association, acting workshops and music by Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, Big Generator, Alpha Q and the Lee Valley String Band, amongst others.

A special video presentation by locally based CR Videos labelled 'A celebration of local independent film making' was also popular with film fans.

"Crowds this year were similar enough to last year but it can be very weather dependent, really," Norma revealed.

"We had great weather for the first few days but, funnily enough, that doesn't help with the crowds. It is great for the street entertainment but if it's sunny people are near the beach and they can go in that direction, while if it's raining they will want to be inside, which actually suits us."

With the wet weather on Sunday afternoon there were big crowds at Fossett's Circus. As for the world record attempt, well numbers were just 100 short, so let's hope there's better luck next year - and maybe a little more rain!


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