Miscellaneous celebrities turn Thursday into Sunday
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:It was a chocolate-box mix of writers and musicians who took part in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany Live event to a full house at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Thursday evening.
The host for the evening, Aonghus McAnally, looking dapper in a waistcoat and bow tie, was waiting in the foyer for his mother, the actor Ronnie Masterson, to arrive. Masterson has been filming with Saoirse Ronan on Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, set for release next year.
The novelist Belinda McKeon was home for Christmas from New York, where she teaches creative writing at Barnard College. She is spending the holidays between Leitrim and Longford with her husband, the writer Aenghus Woods. She is working on her second novel, about a “complicated friendship”; her 2011 debut, Solace, won the Bord Gáis Irish Book of the Year Award.
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin attended with his partner, Helen Phelan, also an academic and musician from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, in Limerick; he joined the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the piano during the evening. They both recently returned from sabbaticals at Notre Dame University, in Indiana, where Ó Súilleabháin was working on a composition for the DeBartolo Performing Arts Centre at the university .
Catherine Foley, the former Irish Times journalist, is working on a documentary for TG4 with her sister RoseAnn Foley about Irish tenor Frank Patterson.
The short-story writer Mary Costello also contributed a piece to the evening. She is looking forward to a BBC radio programme of her stories in February; the actors Niamh Cusack and Bríd Brennan are already on board as readers.
The writer Paul Howard performed, too; he and his wife, Mary, who he says has “no hesitation in telling me when I’m being a little too Ross”, will be celebrating their third wedding anniversary this New Year’s. Howard’s show, Anglo: The Musical, goes to the Olympia in Dublin for a four-week run in the new year.
Who we spotted: the singers Declan O’Rourke and Mary Coughlan; Anthony Long, general manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; the poet Eavan Boland; the actor Katie O’Kelly, daughter of the actor Donal O’Kelly, whose joint show Joyced! goes on tour next year.