Put Out The Light Review

March 31, 2010

There is a tendency in Ireland to hyperbolate when something even slightly deviating from the norm is presented to us. I won’t do Put Out The Light, which is written and directed by Paul Kennedy and anchored by an amiable George Seremba, the disservice of over hyping it. But it was nice, for once, to experience a theatre that lives and deals in the now without wrapping itself in the comforter of the past.

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George Seremba interview

March 31, 2010

George Seremba started acting long before he realized he wanted to be an actor. Raised in a predominantly female household in Uganda he used to dress up in his mothers clothes and act out whatever scenes came into his head. “Sometime it was my sister clothes, sometimes it was my fathers, but that is where the play acting began.” It’s stood him to good stead. In the past two years he has appeared in Playboy of The Westernworld and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (both for Jimmy Fay and both at the Abbey) and prior to that set housewives hearts a flutter as Gabriel, a stallholder, in Fair City.

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The 2010 ABSOLUT Gay Theatre Festival is back to tickle the city pink this May, running in a variety of venues between the 3rd and the 16th of that month. With performers coming from countries as far a field as South Africa, Israel and America-as well as the Netherlands and the UK- this unique arts festival aims to promote, commission and showcase new writing on gay related theatre and music.

Among the acts appearing at this years festival are Topping & Butch, who present their outrageous new show Filth-which despite being held in Break for the Border isn’t about that particular hell holes regular clientele- rather a sexy, wry and sharp look at what goes on between the sheets. They spoke to Caomhan Keane to give him an idea of what to expect during their five-night residency.

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Why Men Cheat

March 31, 2010

I have to admit I wasn’t terribly impressed by Why Men Cheat. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever and it was littered with cheap shots at easy, contemporary targets (Twink, AIB, Coldplay). I was very much alone. The near capacity New Theatre audience was in stitches at its hen night humor and I know, in my heart of hearts, that if my parents were there they would probably have left the venue on a gurney. So what was wrong with me?

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Gallagher’s Boxty House

March 26, 2010


When you think of traditional Italian grub it’s all pizzas, pastas and
olives. The yanks enjoy quarter pounders with cheese, the Brits do
fish and chips and the Japanese do a mean sushi. We do spuds and
Gallagher’s Boxty House in Temple Bar specialises in the traditional
potato pancakes associated with, but not often known by, the Irish.
Cooked on a griddle, these pancakes come with a range of fillings from
Irish Salmon with fresh & smoked cod (€16.95) to Gammon Steak
marinated in honey (€14.95). Generous and delicious portions of other
Irish delicacies can be found elsewhere on the menu including stews,
coddles and bacon and cabbage while the sticky toffee pudding (€6.50)
is the culinary equivalent of the happy ending.

Gallagher’s Boxty House

20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland.
9am-11pm
Tel:   +353 1 677 2762
Fax: +353 1 677 9723

Best Of Dublin

March 26, 2010

BEST MENS BOUTIQUE

“The White Shop”

George’s Street Arcade, 22 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2

(01) 6718866

Not ones for doing it by the book, this gorgeous little fashion boutique in the George’s Street Arcade doesn’t actually have a name but its plain white facade has earned it its epithet. Set up in 2006 by mature student Mandy Lau it has cornered the market for simple and elegant (mainly) men’s clothing. It caters to the economics of fashionable youngsters who want to buck the trend set by their Top Shop clad fashion Fuhrers. Stocked with the freshest Asian designers, hand picked during their bi-annual trips to Japan and South Korea, “The White Shop” also sells original designs by Lau’s business partner Janfee Lam. While Lau believes that the clothes they sell aren’t that outlandish, “The White Shop” is my first port of call when I want to twist my threads up an individual notch. Paired with Circus in the Powerscourt Shopping Centre it’s nice to know that at long last Dublin has given us an eclectic fashion home to call our own.

BEST CINEMA

The Lighthouse

Light House Cinema

Market Square

Smithfield

Dublin 7

01 879 7601

Any one sick of the block busting films, the snaking ques and the over priced and under stocked treats that currently come hand in hand (and pocket) with a visit to Cineworld will be delighted by the return of The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. During her 8-year tenure (from 88-96) at the old Curzon Cinema in Middle Abbey Street she popped the cherries of Irish viewers who had never before seen the works of Ang Lee and Pedro Almodavar on the silver screen. 12 years later the new owners are as committed to distributing independent world cinema in Ireland. There are 600 seats, in a variety of colors, spread out over 4 screens and a reasonably priced selection of goodies at the snack bar (popcorn for €2.50). The building is also home to an excellent, if currently under used, exhibition space.

BEST HOSTEL

Avalon House,

Budget Hostel

55 Aungier St

Dublin 2

Ireland

Phone: + 353-1-4750001

Fax: +353-1-4750303

Email: info@avalon-house.ie

One of Dublin’s oldest and largest hostels, Avalon are a dab hand at showing guests a good time in this the fairest of cities. With 300 beds, 60 rooms and experienced, well-traveled staff who have the defibrillators of Irish nightlife at their fingertips, it’s no wonder that the Avalon attracts a wide and diverse customer base. The only Irish hostel to be a member of Europe’s Famous Hostels, their in like Beverley Cooper Flynn with the countries finest tour providers and are in the process of slutting up their décor to bring it up to the “hip” reputation they project. If you like the limelight and can fill forty minutes here and there, their café is your stage.

BEST FURNISHING SHOP

Knobs and Knockers

19 Nassau St, Dublin, Co. Dublin

(01) 6710288.

What’s in a name? In my case, almost two broken legs and a serious concussion after I convulsed into traffic the first time I saw the moniker over this specialist ironmongers on Nassau Street. I’m not the only one. As well as renovating and restoring doors for some of the countries leading celebrities, store manager Des Cooney is inundated with requests from all over the word for t-shirts baring its name. But there’s more to the shop than just its title. Having fitted thousands of doors since the business started in 1972, Knobs and Knockers have developed a reputation for quality. It doesn’t come cheap. So while you may be able to run down to your local Woodies and purchase a blister packed door knob for a smidgen of the cost, you wont receive the product knowledge and peace of mind that comes from working with expert, experienced staff.

BEST MODE OF TRANSPORT

Docklands Ferry Taxi

Custom House Quay

Docklands

Dublin

+353 1 818 3300

Fax: +353 1 818 3399

Now I’m not a racist but…wouldn’t it be great if EVERY person who worked in public transport were a foreign national? From the sour pussed bus drivers to the town crying taxi men I’ve had it up to here with listening to the life woes and the dismissive sneers of people whose sole purpose in my life is to get me from A to B. Thankfully, thanks to the short distance involved, this is not something one has to worry about when riding the Liffey Ferry. The latest face on Dublin’s public transport horizon it ships residents of- and visitors to- the Docklands from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to North Wall Quay, 5 days a week, from seven am to pm. Tickets cost €2 single, €3 return and €10 for a book of ten and you can sign up to a text alert service which will keep you informed of any delays or changes that may occur. As anyone whose trawled the quays cursing the distance between bridges will tell you, the service is a welcome return after more then 20 years away.

For anyone who has ever pulled their hair out trying to satisfy the blood thirsty requirements of a carnivorous meat eater with the obnoxious demands of a vegetarian, the Epicurean Food Hall is a safe haven, catering to the majority of tastes. Located just off the Haypennny Bridge it features 11 different take out points under one roof with one buzz filled, if ever so slightly uncomfortable, communal dinning area. With Mediterranean, Pan Asian, and Mexican dishes all on supply, it really is a small world after all, at least in culinary terms. Most mains cost between €8 and €10.50 with some places offering all you can eat for €9.50.

Epicurean Food Hall,

Lr. Liffey St.,

Dublin 1.

10am-7pm

Juice Review

March 26, 2010

BEST BANANA PANCAKE

While the main courses only cater to the most vegetative of pallets (it is after all, a vegitarian restaurant) those with a sweet tooth will be richly rewarded by Juice’s desert selection. From the orange sorbet (€4.95) to the hazelnut & chocolate tart (€5.95), it’s a virtual cacophony of sweet delights. The sash and the scepter however are draped around the banana crepes (€6.50), gushing in a caramel sauce and weeping in banana ice cream. Paired with one of the most prominent people watching spots in the city and you have a desert that is both sweet on the tongue and on the eye.

73-83 South Great Georges Street Dublin 2

Mon-Sun 11.00 am till 11.00 pm.

Tel +353 1 475 7856

The Gravediggers

March 26, 2010

I was recently dragged down Baggot Street, kicking, screaming and cursing my colleagues for signing me up to one of those horrid 12 Pints of Christmas thingies. Stepping over the vomit laced dregs of society, making their annual trip out of the suburbs to whoop it up at their work Christmas dos, I wished desperately that I was wrapped up safe and sound in the comfort of my local boozer.

Free of the paradoxical drink promotions that give you bang for buck but leave you more than a little crooked when morning, like you, has broken. Free of the wretched rebel anthems that would sour the milk in ones tit and whose sentiment is seriously undermined by the fact its delivered by an 18 stone west Brit in a Manchester United jersey. And free of the underlying fear that in any given minute my night or my life can  be brought to an untimely end by any one of the cretins-or their sun hags- who seem determined to prove our Minister for Justice’s belief that we are incapable of enjoying a good night sensibly.

Devoid of a television set and any form of music, its the gift of the gab one is left with to build an evenings entertainment at John Kavanagh’s in Glasnevin aka The Gravediggers. Age 50 and over the majority of the locals can certainly spin a yarn and bring to life a Dublin not seen since the rare auld times. But plenty of young ones too frequent the Northsides oldest family run watering hole, renowned for its spectacular pint of the black stuff. At e4.13 its also one of the cheapest.

Its not the easiest place to find, tucked away off the beat in track  in the middle of a residential area. However it is well serviced by a number of different bus routes(40/A/B/C/D,140, 19/A, 83, 13/A). It’s situated next to the old entrance to the Glasnevin cemetery, and right behind the Botanic Gardens, giving you two further reasons to visit one of Dublin’s most salubrious suburbs. But if you bring the rugrats, bare in mind that you must have them of the premises by 7PM.

Featured in several Irish movies and advertisements( including My Left Foot and The Commitments) its a pub steeped in tradition. Its been in the Kavanagh family for six generations and the back lounge has managed to hold onto much of the rustic charm that made it a hit when it first opened its doors in 1833.With saloon doors, wooden tables and large benches its best visited on a Friday evening when its hopping with the after work crowd, though there are a steady stream of regulars who can be seen propping up the bar no matter when you drop by.

It gets its nickname by proxy of the workmen who used to bang their shovels off the wall when they wanted a pint-which they then shoved in through a hole in the wall, where a barman placed a jar of stout on them so they could take them with them when they  returned to work, bringing into existence that old Dublin colloquialism “Going for a jar”.

There isn’t a vast amount of choice when it comes to the alcohol (I was laughed at when I asked for a Tequila) and payment must be by cash only (no laser) but ironically the larger front lounge has a terrific tapas menu, written up daily on a blackboard. It’s only available Monday to Friday but it’s a refreshing alternative to the dull, flavourless pub grub offered by some of their local rivals.

And last, but by no means least, there is the terrific front green where on bright sunny days you can while away the hours sipping your pint and enjoying one of the finest front gardens offered by any pub in the city.

Its just far enough away from town and difficult enough to find to save it from being over run by the same hipsters who taint the Long Haul and other such establishments and with its mix of tourists and locals it’s a guaranteed good time, perfect to ease you into the weekends festivities.

The Gravediggers

1 Prospect Square , Glasnevin Telephone:

01 830 7978

The Tinkers Curse Review

March 25, 2010

Beauty and truth have been sadly lacking from most of the productions I have seen in my theatrical lifetime. Michael Harding’s The Tinkers Curse has both in spades. His one man show, which runs till April 3rd at the Bewley’s Cafe Theatre is one of the most rewarding, heart wrenching and ingénues pieces I’ve ever been exposed to, humbly delivered by an actor skilled in the art of telling a tale. His every nuance is rooted in his characters devastated reality, which he exposes without any bells and whistles, just straight up, honest to goodness story telling.

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