• It’s a bit early in the morning, but I woke up and couldn’t sleep. The ‘storm’ of your show is in my head. Last night was a most amazing theatrical event. ‘Gutz’ is fantastic! From the first moments to the last second, I was rivetted by the power of it. I know that this is a very special work. The story line with its mulpitle threads, humour, and serious messages is so cool. The singers blew me away with their power and talent. The drive and pace of your band was like pure electric going through all of us present. The dancers just created such delightful inner storylines and burlesque and poignant moments, that only dance can do. Please pass on my congratulations to every indivual involved. I have seen musicals and operas in London and in various cities and this is equal to any of them. I have the same feeling as on that night of Eurovision Song Contest, when Riverdance burst upon the scene – delight and amazement!

    Maurice Harron International Artist
    mauriceharron.com

    Maurice Harron
  • Musician David McGarrigle’s latest work ‘Gutz – The Musical’ had them on their feet twice at the Alley Theatre in Strabane last night and rightly so too. From the opening number to the final curtain, Gutz is a feast of great acting, impressive choreography and of course wonderfully colourful and catchy songs. The story itself follows the journey of small town girl Casey Carson, played by the feisty Christina McBeth, as she leaves her small home town for the first time to pursue a career in the finance district of a major city. There she encounters a cocktail of characters – from the shallow and money driven to the sweet and innocent – but who all, in one way or another, shape who she is and what she wants. A number of topics, including greed, deceit, sexism, bullying and even marriage infidelity, are explored in this, McGarrigle’s debut theatre piece. Despite the weighty subject matter though, he has managed to pull it off through a sterling cast, energetic dance routines and again, the soaring vocals of a whole range of talented singers. Prior to opening night, the director described it as a “musical for the punter”. He was under-selling it when he said that and by some considerable distance too. McGarrigle is not just a great musician but also a writer with amazing imagination and vision. And this is a technicolour spectacular that will having you singing, cheering, booing, laughing and singing again. Gutz, ladies and gentlemen, is a triumph.

    Conor Sharkey (Strabane Cronicle)
  • A Strabane musician has penned his first ever musical which will premiere in the town next week.Well known musician David Oliver has written Gutz which will run for three nights at the Alley Theatre next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. “I had a lot of songs that I had built up over the years so I decided to put them together and make them into a musical,” he said. David McGarrigle, better known now by his middle name David Oliver, has set Gutz in the New York financial district.

     “Four interns are all vying for a start,” he said.

    “Gutz looks at several issues including the strife and struggles of working in the financial world.

    “It’s all about life in New York city looking at harassment and gender issues.”
    David Oliver cut his teeth in the music industry first as a trumpet player and later out playing with his own ten piece band.
    “I did a lot of writing when out with the band,” he said.
    “So many songs had built up over the years.
    “I’m very happy with the musical. It’s going well. We’ve come a long way since I booked the theatre in February when the script was only half written.
    “But I think it wouldn’t matter if you had a year to prepare you’d still be fighting the clock.”
    Multi-tasking is something that David has had to get used to for this musical – writing and directing.
    “I’m very direct in how I’m presenting this,” said David. “It’s very pacey and has a lot of momentum. I think I’d describe it as edgy and gritty.”
    What’s David’s most pleased about with the musical is that it has very strong female roles.
    “A lot of shows I’ve seen such as Grease and Hairspray have very cliched roles,” he said. “But the females in this show have rolls that are very ballsy.”
    Gutz stars a number of local including Christina McBeth and Vicki Templeton.

    Erin Hutcheon (The Derry Journal)