Tag Archives: 2010

The Madness of Men

A friend wrote me a letter the other day (yes an actual letter, in an envelope not an email and written with ink not electronic letters) and mentioned that he loves reading my blog and keeping up to date with all the plays I’ve been to in Dublin. So then I felt guilty about not writing my blog lately and promised myself I’d publish something…..that was a week ago…..I’m such a lazy ass!

In my defence, I do have a new love. My new love has been distracting me from lots of things including my lovely friends and housemates, distracting me from my favourite tv programs and also from reading. My new love consists of the first three series of Mad Men. It’s just so bloody addictive. Every evening I just want to hide myself away from the world and find out who Don Draper is wooing now. I’m into the fourth episode of Season Three and I really need to get my hands of Season 4 soon.

Anyways, I did get to a few shows at the Theatre Festival after – I was at The Silver Tassie, Una Santa Oscura and also B for Baby, which I will post reviews of while dreaming of Don Draper making a creative pitch.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some Seasame Street Mad Men fun:

 

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565+ Review

Following on from Victor and Gord, which received a favourable reception from reviewers, Úna McKevitt’s latest production as part of the Project Arts Centre’ Project Catalyst is heart-warming and emotive but doesn’t sit well alongside its fellow Ulster Bank Theatre Festival productions.

The play consists of Marie O’Rourke telling the story of her life, her abusive husband, her sunshine daughter, the untidiness of her home, how she would love to meet her deceased father again and most of all her love for theatre. O’Rourke’s narrative is written from the heart, but because it is so scripted, the performance is at times too forced. There is stiffness between what is a moving, true story and its performance, as O’Rourke recites rather than tells her story. It seems that perhaps O’Rourke has told this story too many times – she gears herself up for each punch-line and pulls faces as if she has practiced them in front of the mirror.

Her story is beautiful, immensely emotional and humorous in parts, but I think perhaps the production is over produced. I think the presence and occasional prompt from the stage manager Duncan helped, as the play would otherwise have been a linear monologue which I don’t think O’Rourke could have carried on her own.

I think that all the audience could easily identify with parts of O’Rourke’s narrative, especially her descriptions of her experiences in theatre attendance, however I think that perhaps it would have been better suited to the Fringe Festival as a work still in progress rather than the full on Theatre Festival. Just as Medea was described by some as a Theatre Festival production ill placed in the Fringe line up, 565+ suffers from a bad choice by the Ulster Bank Theatre Festival to include a production that I don’t think was ready for it.

Finished its run unfortunately.

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Adventures in Web Browsing

I’ve spotted a few interesting bits and pieces around the interweb over the last few days – some newsy bits, others just interesting so I thought I’d just shove em all together to share them with y’all (I work with someone from Alabama so it’s starting to rub off – HIGH FIVE!!).

First off all is the very sad news of the passing on Ken Monaghan. Ken was the last surviving nephew of James Joyce and was a true Joycean. He was a founding member of the James Joyce Centre and built it up to become internationally recognised as a centre in Dublin City for all things Joycean, it also became the home of Bloomsday in Dublin.

In recent years, despite Ken’s ill health he remained part of the Centre’s extended family and this year continued his tradition of reading from Wandering Rocks during the Bloomsday readings in Meeting House Square. He truly was a great face for the Joyce family in Dublin and I know that many people across the world remember receiving a very warm welcome from Ken during their visits to the Centre. He will be truly missed by the Joycean community and I’m surely fondly remembered. More info on Ken here and also you can sign the Centre’s online book of condolences on their Facebook page.

Next up, some news from home! Limerick is embracing this year’s Culture Night with some wonderful events. In particular, the newly and fabulously revamped Milk Market, complete with an all weather roof is hosting a Sing Out and Raise the Roof for Fun event. According to the Milk Market website, the event will involve:

“Shoppers, stall holders, passers-by and you will be encouraged to join in Limerick’s Culture Night Choir, led by musical director Liz Powell, to ‘Raise the Roof’. No previous experience is necessary, it’s all just a bit of fun!

There will be two sessions on Friday, September 24th. One at 5.00pm and one at 6.00pm.

Can’t sing? Come along anyway, you’ll enjoy the sessions…

…..and for the hungry and thirsty, Peter Ward of Country Choice is offering a hot plate of delicious food with a glass of wine for €10.”

Looks like a lot of fun and I love the fact that many venues and organisations are embracing Culture Night as a chance to get the community involved with their activities rather than just opening the venue up for free. The Night after all is really about getting the public involved with culture rather than a touristy event. I’m disappointed that I’ll be stuck in my car driving home when the event is on, but no doubt I’ll be in the market the following morning to pick up some goodies! More info on Culture Night events around Ireland here.

And finally, I just spotted this article on the Irish Times website. Ireland is a country steeped in state censorship history, but it looks like family can also play a part in censorship too. The poet Rita Ann Higgins had planned on publishing a book of poetry but had to cancel the publication and destroy the initial print run when her brother voiced upset at references to a child hood event. It seems odd that Higgins has gone to the press over this, saying “I’ve never had a cross word with Joe. The irony is that he had asked me to write something on the occasion of an honorary doctorate which he received some years ago from NUI Galway for his work in business.”

I would imagine this was something they should have discussed during the draft stages but I guess it just demonstrates how difficult it can be having a sibling as a writer. I remember attending a talk by an Irish writer who commented that her mother and family were often nervous around her as they were afraid of becoming characters in her work. I think it’s probably quite difficult to not draw on your own personal experiences when you’re writing. It’s a pity she had to lose out on so much money wasted on the initial print run, hopefully she will be able to raise the money for the edited edition.

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