In a nation that can be positively acidic towards new talent is it any wonder that those not in like Flynn skedaddle across the pond in search of love and affection? Thankfully some come back to the tribe to show what they have learned. Donnacadh O Brian is one such director who through his bi national company, Natural Shocks, brings Leo Butler’s The Early Bird to the Project Arts Centre. Featuring real life husband and wife Catherine Cuasack and Alex Palmer, The Early Bird is about a couple at possibly the darkest moment in their relationship, breaking point, a state provoked by the disappearance of their child. “It really shows how in moments like this we are really two individuals,” O Briain says. “ As much as they are in a relationship, even though this child was shared, is actually a private trauma.”

Read the rest of this entry »

In a world soiled with Lady Gaga’s fecal matter it’s hardly surprising that Christin Aguilera is being viewed as an also ran. Both blond and brash, it’s no wonder so many hacks have lumped them together. In a world where your only as good as the sales of your latest competitors release this was a battle Aguilera was never going to win.

It’s one she shouldn’t have even embroiled herself in.

For while not the musical masterpiece it promised to be when the list of collaborators was released(M.I.A, Ladytron, Goldfrapp, Sia, Santigold) it is a successful stab at fusing Aguilera’s pop sensibilities through an electronic socket that only misfires when she dabbles in the mediocre euro pop her adversary has cocked her leg all over. Above all else it is a terrifically fun record that really shouldn’t be taken to seriously. Full of cheeky chants, bouncing beats and lyrics that show that Aguilera is fully in tune with how she is viewed and is willing to take the piss out of her persona.

Read the rest of this entry »

Psychic City

June 13, 2010

On the Monopoly board of life I miss the get out of jail free card that came with being a child. Where curiosity in the unknown was rewarded rather than slapped down by the cold, arthritic hand of scientific certainty. When a wardrobe could realistically contain a lion and a witch and not just some mouldy Ugg boots and the ghost of your heterosexuality. Where monsters could lurk under your bed and fairies left cash under you pillow like hungry, winged junkies hot for their next tooth enamel high.

Nowadays expect a slagging if you show an interest in the existence of any force that is considered outside the realm of science. Even though the most eminent scientists throughout the ages were practicing astrologers, the discipline is now with the crystal ball brigade tied in the minds of the public. When I told my father I was writing this piece he told me to nail them to a wall. Instead I’m letting them tell you in their own words what their professions are about.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Rose of Tralee

June 13, 2010

Photographs by Jeff Harvey

Beneath the overcast sky the streets of Portlaoise are filled with farmers’ tans. Babies cry in buggies while teenagers with camera phones leer from the crowd.

Old men hang about outside the pub, feigning indifference as we cruise past at a leisurely 10mph, while mammies jog along side us, camera in hand, breaking through the docile hoi polloi observing the passing commotion.

I’m in the front seat of a Triumph Herald 1964 with the Manchester and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Roses Dee O’Reilly, 25, and Roisin Norton, 22, sitting behind. We’re doing a loop of the town as part of a Vintage Car Parade, the highlight of the Gordon Bennett Classic Road Festival, which this year has teamed up with the Rose of Tralee regional finals to showcase Co Laois.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two words. Elanor Methven. Quite frankly the only reason worth forking out however much it is to go see Rough Magic’s The Importance Of Being Earnest at the Gaiety theatre. It’s not a bad production but given the calibre of the cast one can’t help feeling that it is merely perfunctory and works rigidly to the guidelines that can make Irish theatre such a weak brew.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bookworms Review

June 13, 2010

As the house lights go down and the stage lights come up a hush falls across the Abbey Theatre. Marion O Dwyer apears  as Ann, a middle aged, polyester avalanche, shattering the silence as she lurches from one extreme to the next. She’s the hostess with the mostess , throwing open the doors of her extravagant home to her book club who tonight, for the first time, are permitting men to attend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cirque Du Legume Review

June 13, 2010

I was always told not to play with my food as a child. A pity, since by the looks of Cirque Du Legume, the fabulous two person show which ran for the last fortnight at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre there is much fun to be had. I spoke earlier in the week about reliving the theatre experiences of my youth while watching the 39 Steps, where four actors used minimal props and costumes to bring to life 250 characters and a cinematic plot. Well here two clowns use nothing but a box of veggies, a chair and their wonderfully expressive faces to gift me with the most delightful 45 minutes theatre I have sat through this year.

I’m not going to ruin-or even try make sense- of what they do. It would be pointless. The whole thing is just superbly silly and worthy of virgin eyes. But I shall tick all the old boxes, putting extra weight behind my pen, as I actually shed tears of joy, felt my face ache with laughter and, at one point, nearly flew off my chair when I kicked the floor during a fit of the giggles. Its not what they do but how they do it and Jamie Carswell and Nancy Trotter are so dam likable, so endearing and so committed to their ludicrous notion it was all I could do from getting off of my chair and sitting before them  like an Indian( of the cowboy & variety) to be closer to the action.

They are both leCoq trained, an international school of theatre which emphasises body, movement and space which explains how they can make the simplest objects come alive and a largely adult audience chortle with childlike glee( that little laugh that makes some of us brood for babies and others tie knots in their tubes) and while i didn’t have to courage to get up of my feet myself I urge you to deliver the standing ovation these two performers and their director Pablo Ibarluzea richly deserve.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: