Pursued by a Bear »

  • Another day, another arts festival

    June 30, 2010 @ 11:17 am | by Fiona McCann

    Apologies for the momentary absence from this blog, but rest assured, the bear still didn’t catch up. I’ve been whiling my time away at Simon Cowell sightings, and reading Marilynn Robinson’s Home which won the Orange prize last year and was shortlisted for this year’s Impac award. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the programme for the Kilkenny Arts Festival has been launched, with all manner of goodies to choose from, including music from Tindersticks, Adrian Crowley and a fascinating double bill at St Canice’s from Calcutta slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya and his brother Subashish on Indian percussion, followed by cellist Vincent Segal and Malian kora player, Ballake Sissoko. Indeed! Not to mention a literary line-up that includes John Banville, Hugo Hamilton and Paul Durcan, and a discussion on Irish feminism with Nell McCafferty and Margaret MacCurtain. I could go on, but I’ll save myself the valuable cyberspace and direct you here for the rest of the programme, reminding you only that the whole thing runs from August 6th to 15th. As you were, then.

  • Dalkey Book Festival

    June 18, 2010 @ 12:44 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Dalkey is drawing on its wealth of local literary talent this weekend in the first ever Dalkey Book Festival. The three-day event kicks off today with Michael James Ford’s performance of The Happy Prince, and promises all sorts of local legends, including Robert Fisk, John Connolly, Maeve Binchy, Conor McPherson and Joseph O’Connor. Tonight there’s some nods to nostalgia with a discussion of Italia ’90 and the role of football in culture, featuring Eamon Dunphy, Des Cahill and Declan Lynch. Tomorrow Lynch pops up again with John Connolly talking about the ten crime novels to read before you die, while Mark Little will be holding forth on ‘The Wisdom in the Crowd: How to deliver your message online.’  There’ll be children’s storytelling, wine tasting, current affairs and a DJ set from Ross O’Carroll Kelly creator Paul Howard, and the ubiquitous David McWilliams’ will be chairing a discussion on how local communities fight back. An apposite subject, considering this new and determinedly local festival. For more information, click here.

  • The glorious game

    June 14, 2010 @ 12:37 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Have come over all World Cup feverish of late, making it complicated to crowbar some artsy culture into my crowded sporting life. Yet surely we can describe Messi’s magic as art in some fashion? And sport, after all, qualifies as culture to all but the stingiest of categorists.

    Well, when at a loss for an artsy angle, there’s always the choons: what think you all of Shakira’s offering for this World Cup ?

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    And how does it compare to this?

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    Tears to the eyes, dear readers. Tears to the eyes.

  • Le weekend

    June 11, 2010 @ 3:48 pm | by Fiona McCann

    It’s been such a flurry of artsness of late, it’s hard to keep track. Listowel, Flatlake, Dublin Writers Festival, and what have you. Recovered yet? Because there’s plenty more ahead, at least if the Offset2010 line-up is anything to go by. And if you’re on the lowkey this weekend, but still looking for something to lift and move you, then go see Ken Wardrop’s His & Hers. It’s gorgeous.

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  • The Importance of Being Mrs Bartlett

    June 10, 2010 @ 3:43 pm | by Fiona McCann

    I attended the glitzorama opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest on Tuesday, and spotted not only Coco from Fame in the row across from me, but sitting pretty in a box in the upper corner of my eye was none other than the living doll himself, Sir Cliff Richard. It was all a perfect ‘sleb-spotting setting for a Wildean drama about ridiculous social mores, though even the ripples Sir Cliff caused by his mere appearance were nothing compared to the tidal waves of anticipation for Lady Bracknell - a.k.a. Stockard Channing – to take the stage. Alas, as Peter Crawley put it in today’s Irish Times, “her aura precedes her, but in the flesh she seems muted, less acid, adequate in the role without relishing it”.  While there were moments of particularly well-timed facial expressions, Channing did not command the stage as La Bracknell really ought to, her voice failing to project on a level with her fellow cast members, which was particularly irksome for those, unlike Sir Cilff and his ilk, seated in the cheaper seats. The two Rorys – Keenan and Nolan – acquitted themselves admirably as the competing Earnests of the title, but the real star of the show turned out to be Eleanor Methven, whose comic turn as Ms Prism brought fresh humour to even the most familiar lines. If anyone saw her in Strandline last year, in which she scared the living daylights out of me at least, they’d be staggered at the transformation. Highlights: Miss Prism, Merriman’s moment on rollerskates, and those delightful, head-swamping hats.

  • The ignominy

    June 8, 2010 @ 10:00 am | by Fiona McCann

    What a foolish notion: to take on the scribes in a scrabble game. For a word-by-word account of what happened, click here. All I’m saying is, if it weren’t for David Mitchell . . .

  • What you missed in the park

    June 4, 2010 @ 5:11 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Guest post: There are very few civilised people in this world who can watch a silent movie without wondering, Singin’ in the Rain-style, what the characters sound like. Sure, they all look very composed, but what do they sound like? Then again, who cares? On a balmy summer evening (who, a few short years ago, could ever envisage a summer evening spent outdoors without heavy-duty raingear?) in Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin, over 2,000 people congregated in the park to watch Murnau’s Faust, to a soundtrack composed and performed by 3epkano.

    For my part, I brought a bottle of Prosecco (no glasses) and a small box of sweets; my neighbours brought a blanket, which they shared in exchange for a lemon mousse truffle. People sipped drinks out of plastic cups (the clever things), chatted, met old friends – “Jesus, but everyone’s here tonight” – and watched a classic film on a big screen, until 12.30am. Really, what else are summer evenings for? Next up, Shakespeare in the Park on June 29th . . .

  • Parklife

    June 3, 2010 @ 11:32 am | by Fiona McCann

    The sun is shining. Which means that the long-anticipated Cinema in the Park, cancelled last month when clouds gathered in advance of the movie-watchers, is back tonight in Fitzwilliam Square, with a live soundtrack provided by the exceptional 3epkano. Rock up at twilight (9.45 p.m. ish) and you’ll get FW Murnau’s Faust with live music in what promise to be balmy conditions. Entrance fee remains €5 for which you get free tea courtesy of Barry’s. Bring something warm and something to sit on, and get cozy with Faust in Fitzwilliam Park. More information here.

  • I painted my toenails for you

    June 2, 2010 @ 11:36 am | by Fiona McCann

    The lengths this young woman has gone to – one worries about how irked she’ll be if her violence of feeling is not returned. The object of her amorous affection is responsible for her new light blue underwear after all. Well, that’s love for you, Lena style. And it stole the show at the Eurovision, as well as the crown. So is this a sign that the faded glory of this annual contest is returning to its former bright and shininess again? Can Lena save us from the eternal euro-ballad? Did the people of Europe get it right in picking this as the evening’s winner?

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  • Dublin Writers’ Festival

    June 1, 2010 @ 4:20 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Get yizzer bewks out, ladeez and gents. It’s that Dublin Writers Festival time of year again, and kicking proceedings off tonight we have Booker prize winner Ian McEwan talking climate changes with Steward Brand, of Whole Earth fame. Brand believes that cities can be green and that nuclear power could save the climate, while McEwan’s last book, Solar, is being called his “climat change” novel.

    For a taste of where Brand may be coming from, check out his Ted talk . . .

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