Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

October 11, 2015

A family portrait is not complete without all members of the clan being snapped. Tragically, for some families, this can require photographing a baby that is ‘not compatible with life’. Entering a hospital with the expectation of leaving with a new addition to their family tree, sometimes all they’re left with are memories when the baby passes on. Since memories fade, yet bonds do not, a global foundation, called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS), was set up to provide a helping hand to healing hearts.

Offering gentle and beautiful photography in a compassionate and sensitive manner, over 1,600 volunteer photographers operate worldwide, 22 of whom work within the Republic of Ireland. Many of these photographers have had no experience of child loss themselves; yet travel the length and breath of the country, all on their own dime, to help families on the worst days of their lives.

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The Wans Who Would Be King

October 11, 2015

The Queen is far from dead. Where once the troika of drag artists — Panti, Shirley and Veda — had the stage all to themselves, now if you look up in any gay bar in the country you’ll see spray-tanned legs, River Island frocks and perfectly applied make-up adorning a multitude of ‘baby’ drags, who’ve learned how to doll up via tutorials on YouTube and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

But girls who ‘man up’ haven’t cracked the mainstream market. Sure, the popstars Lady Gaga, Ciara, and Mariah Carey have all tried — and actresses Anne Hathaway and Kirsten Stewart ‘dragged down’ for Jenny Lewis’s video, ‘Just One of the Boys’. But female drag artists are not afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

There have been seven seasons of Drag Race in the US, and TruTv have started broadcasting season four in the UK and Ireland. And while there are 50 drag queens in Dublin, the number of ‘kings’ is limited to perhaps four who work regularly.

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Before many children know what gay means, they often use it as an insult. A play, starring one of the country’s top drag queens, is hoping to curb that, writes Caomhan Keane

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A quote attributed to James Joyce, “With language comes culture”, is a maxim the deaf community are hoping to impress on the public during ISL (Irish Sign Language) Awareness Week, which runs September 20-28.

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Nirbhaya

October 11, 2015

You might not recognise Poorna Jagannathan, but with supporting roles in HBO’s hotly anticipated ‘Criminal Justice’ and Season 3 of ‘House of Cards’, she’ll soon be a household name. First up is the Irish run of a play dear to her heart. Inspired by the infamous rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012, ‘Nirbhaya’ features the real-life testimonies of Indian women, including Poorna, who have been the victim of sexual abuse. She talks to Caomhan Keane
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Palliative Play

June 28, 2014

According to the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’, those who receive palliative care live longer than those who do not. Yet, for many, the thought of going near a hospice is akin to waving the white flag, a surrender to one’s illness and an invitation for death to come claim its prize.

This week WillFredd Theatre stages CARE at the Project Arts Centre, following a fictitious patient’s journey from entry to exit at the real life St Francis Hospice in Raheny, with whom they collaborated with on this show.

Full Article in the Irish Independent

From Camp to Lamp

June 27, 2014

It’s an hour before curtain in the Cork Opera House and everyone’s stirring in preparation for their first sell-out show of the season.

Interns peg it out of the venue, returning with supplies for the props that are still being built in the Half Moon Theatre — now a half-way house for the overflow from the theatre’s biggest money spinner.

Full Article from Irish Examiner, Monday December 16th

The reaction to Fintan O Toole’s recent article in the Irish Times, Abbey Confidential, has exposed a petty, reactionary and at times malicious side to many people working in the arts in Ireland. To read some of the responses online you would have thought the critic had strapped himself naked to a wrecking ball and smashed into the theatre just so as to upset those basking in the reported success of the Theatre of Memory Symposium.
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Following Many Roads

November 5, 2013

Most actors will relate to that awkward feeling one gets when their parents come to watch them perform. But for Shane O Reilly, the Child of Deaf Adults(CODA), it was only after he conceived his one man show Follow, that his own parents got to appreciate the true depth of his art. A series of vignettes inspired by incidents from O’Reilly’s own life- and others shared by members of Dublin’s Deaf Community, the show contains a brand new style that aims to communicate stories to both a deaf and hearing audience at the same time.
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The great joy of award show season is how arbitrary the whole process is. With the Irish Times Theatre Awards, three judges witnessed 150 plays and then whittled down a short list of four nominees per category (12 in total). The results will have culture vultures doing a little dance and pitching a little fit as they peck through the spoils but, like dogs with a bone, they’ll gnaw away at it, savouring the opportunity to indulge in any theatrical debate thrown their way.

Originally Published on entertainment.ie