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  • Guest post: Cutting edge Cavan town

    August 16, 2011 @ 5:42 pm | by Laurence Mackin


    Pop quiz: Where is the most vibrant and multifaceted arts event taking place this week? More than likely, the answer is Cavan town, this week hosting its second Fleadh. For far too many people, the words Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann conjure images of duelling fiddlers, marching bands and moppet-haired dancers, but anyone who experienced last year’s extraordinary festival in Cavan will testify that the Fleadh is about a lot more than mere dancing competitions and ubiquitous trad sessions – it’s a unique sort of week that celebrates not just Irish music and dance, but also finds room for the visual arts, drama and even a lecture series. If you can make it along over the next few days, you won’t be disappointed.

    At the heart of the town’s burgeoning arts scene is the Gonzo Theatre, and founder Philip Doherty is adding hugely to the Fleadh vibe with his hilarious play Fleadh Town, running in the Gonzo’s space above the Imperial Bar on Main Street this week.

    It’s a rambunctious, gloriously profane piece of work, with six actors playing more than 60 characters in a series of ratatat vignettes. What at first feels like a series of well-observed sketches about the run-up to last year’s Fleadh gradually coalesces into a sprawling, interlinked and intricately constructed portrait of a small community coping with a big, big event landing on its door step.

    It’s wildly ambitious – think Short Cuts meets Judd Apatow meets Conversations on a Homecoming – and while it’s occasionally hit and miss, it’s no more so than the average Will Ferrell vehicle, say.

    Between the ingenious plotting, razor-sharp writing and extraordinarily energetic performances from the six actors, this is an impressive achievement, topped off with a trippy, hysterical video cameo from Cavan’s accordion hero Martin Donohue. Confirmation that Philip Doherty is a talent worth keeping an eye on. Check out the trailer for a taste of the Fleadh.

  • The Ballads of John and Yoko

    December 17, 2010 @ 8:20 am | by admin

    Daragh Downes here with your third installment from The Ticket Album Club. To mark the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, we gave our four guests a copy of Double Fantasy (Stripped Down), a radical new mix of the 1980 album which Yoko Ono has commissioned from original producer Jack Douglas.

    Our December Album Clubbers were:

    -Iconic singer-songwriter and friend of The Beatles, Donovan
    -Union of Students in Ireland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Officer, Siobhan McGuire
    -Irish Times columnist and author, Fintan O’Toole
    -Church of Ireland curate for Rathfarnham, Dublin, Rev. Anne Taylor. (more…)

  • Enter Paul, Pursued by an Album Club

    October 22, 2010 @ 7:30 am | by admin

    Daragh Downes here. My thanks to Laurence Mackin for his kind invitation to guest post here on the new Ticket Album Club, which kicks off in today’s issue of The Ticket.

    Each month we will be asking a small group of people from different walks of life to take one key release and really live with it for several weeks. They then come into us and share their first, second and eleventh impressions of the album. Is it a grower? A shrinker? Or just a plain old stinker?

    For our first Album Club we gave copies of the new Interpol record to:

    -Pursued by a Bear’s own Laurence Mackin
    -Dublin student Nike Olumide
    -Recruitment specialist Theresa Black
    -Undertones frontman & top indie/alternative DJ Paul McLoone. (more…)

  • Atwood: Should she stay or should she go?

    February 18, 2009 @ 3:38 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Margaret Atwood might have started a cavalcade of trouble for the inaugural Emirates Airline (is there anything they don’t sponsor?) International Festival of Literature, which is due to take place in Dubai from February 26th to March 1st. Atwood has pulled out of a planned appearance at the festival after one novelist was blacklisted for potentially offending “cultural sensitivities”.

    Geraldine Bedell was due to launch her rom-com The Gulf Between Us (geddit?), at the festival, but the organisers got cold feet, due to the novel’s setting, its themes - which explore Islam and the Iraq war – and one particular character, a gay sheikh with an English boyfriend. The book has been blacklisted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    Other authors are now said to be considering their options, in the wake of Atwood’s withdrawal. (more…)

  • Guest post: Buffalo Collision

    January 28, 2009 @ 12:17 pm | by Fiona McCann

    There are lots of jazz goodies on the horizon. Tonight sees Buffalo Collision stampede through the Sugar Club and I for one will be there with jazz-bells on. I have not heard a single thing they’ve done, but I’ve read a few reviews around the place and it sounds very experimental and very good indeed. Two of the members are Bad Plus-ers as a day job, Ethan Iverson on piano and Dave King on drums, and are also two of the most dynamic and grooving players you could hope to see live, so even if things do get a touch free, I have no doubt that King and Iverson will ground the whole thing with their oh so rock and roll chops. The final pieces in the puzzle are New York legends Tim Berne on saxophone and Hank Roberts on cello, which sounds like a very tasty musical proposition indeed. I have somewhat raved about this gig so if it’s not any good there will be a lot of people giving me disgruntled looks from across the room. However, I’m confident it will be nothing but brilliant so gruntled looks only please. Tickets are still available at €20, and Note Productions are doing a four tickets for the price of five deal when you buy through tickets.ie with the promo code note091. The band will also be playing at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork on Thursday, with tickets €18/16. It’s time to see out this miserable January in style, folks.

    Next month sees the Douze Points festival (February 11th-14th) bringing the best emerging jazz talent to Dublin’s Project Arts Centre. On the bill are Audiofeeling, Hyperactive Kid, Albatrosh, Curios, Zapp String Quartet, Emile Parisien, Paavo and plenty of others. Well be blogging more about this soonish, but for the moment check out www.12points.ie after you’ve bought your Buffalo tickets. And feel free to let us know what you thought of the gig.  – Laurence Mackin.

  • Guest post: Tea with Graham Rawle

    January 27, 2009 @ 10:45 am | by Fiona McCann


    The lovely people at Monster Truck Gallery Studios are taking part in the Barry’s Tea With series, and they’ve invited illustrator and collage artist Graham Rawle over to Dublin for a cuppa at the Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place on Thursday at 6.30 p.m. Potter along to the gallery and you’ll have the chance to discuss all things artistic and perhaps not so artistic over a quare strong brew. This is a brilliant idea: you have Rawle, an inventive and clearly unhinged artist (in the best possible sense), the elegant setting of the RHA, and a cup of tea in hand to make sure you don’t get any ideas above your (tea) station. And it’s free.


  • Guest post: Tyson’s midweek knockout

    December 11, 2008 @ 10:27 am | by Fiona McCann


    By Laurence Mackin: Artist Keith Tyson and the Guardian caused a bit of a stir this week when Tyson offered 5,000 free downloadable works via the paper’s culture blog. The images are made up of unique combinations of red, black and green (inspired by Tyson’s mild obsession with gambling and roulette), with each person getting a different combination and only one download per IP address. I got mine (above) but only after bouncing between several browsers and clicking furiously like an art-crazed madman (predictably the artist’s web-hosting team were not prepared for the demand and were deluged with demands). Still, the results were enough to calm me down almost immediately.


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