Neil Jordan Riviera controversy: Writer or ‘showrunner’?

Last September, Variety described Jordan a showrunner on Riviera. Throughout Hollywood’s history, writers have found themselves ignored, abused and trampled upon. Produced by Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse, the film famously gathered an implausibly starry cast – John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole, Helen Mirren – around the sort of lubricious activities normally featured only in “specialist” fare. He or she may return for further episodes or series. In recent years, however, US television has moved further from the much touted “writer’s medium” of old. A horror film about a female mummy gets battered into a baffling action vehicle for a middle-aged movie star. It wasn’t Mortimer,” he said to me. We talk about Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. “They were changed, to my huge surprise and considerable upset,” he said. Thirty-five years ago, John Mortimer received enormous credit for adapting Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited for Granada television. The film bore the ambiguous credit: “Adapted from a screenplay by Gore Vidal.” But the writer still felt insufficient distance had been placed between him and the movie. Steinbeck ended up getting an Oscar nomination for a piece he wanted nothing to do with. “Am I annoyed with Paul McGuinness? We understand’. Is it time to drag out the old saw about the ambitious starlet who was so stupid she slept with the writer? He subsequently sued to have his name removed. I’m surprised, let me put it that way,” Jordan said of the former U2 manager. He or she has more power than the director. “I tell you a secret. The show is the most successful premiere on Sky Atlantic this year, achieving higher ratings than such international hit series as Billions and Big Little Lies. In a frank interview, he has suggested that the episodes he wrote with John Banville had been dumbed down and sexed up. We’ve done it. In 1944, John Steinbeck, later a Nobel Prize winner, was credited for the story of Alfred Hitchcock’s high-concept classic Lifeboat. “Making a show of the scale of Riviera is inevitably a team effort,” McGuinness told The Irish Times. I couldn’t be more proud of what we have all achieved.” Television is a peculiar business. A political man, Steinbeck objected to what he called “slurs against organised labour” and the inclusion of a “stock comedy Negro” that he hadn’t written. Russell T Davies famously reinvented Doctor Who in that role. There is a grand history …

Jennifer Johnston: a Big House guide, full of compassion but free of illusions

The world of this Big House is a world of emotional cruelty, like that of Molly Keane but without the reassuring charm of Keane’s wicked comic vision. In her novels she is usually prepared to depict their courageous maintenance of good behaviour with empathy and to acknowledge their marginality. I have very few illusions about the human breed, Mr Prendergast, or about my own deficiencies as a guide. The reader experiences a sickening sense of doom when all turns sour and the old man is wrongly accused of abusing the boy. We see the integrity of its representation of the emotional isolation of the Big House, direct, even shocking in this sparse, confident narrative. This decaying house in Co Wicklow, is a blighted one, the owner Mr Prendergast a widower estranged from his only daughter and limiting his social outings to playing the organ for the local Church of Ireland congregation. The novel takes an unexpected turn when a local boy Diarmid calls to the house looking for work and an unlikely connection is made between Prendergast and the young boy, a rare, even singular moment of emotional richness. Re-reading it today, 45 years later, the novel’s full impact remains intact. Mr Prendergast’s broken past, the memory of his long-dead brother Alexander, favourite son of his beautiful, cruel mother, and his recollections of his emotionally barren marriage, all somehow find a redemption in this unlikely friendship. As a result, her pared-down, precise style of narration allows her to chart the lives of the Anglo-Irish far into their decline and beyond, with clear-eyed precision, with unflinching honesty and, unexpectedly, with a hard-won compassion. Eibhear Walshe is senior lecturer in English at University College Cork. From the beginning, her novels display this unexpected quality and, not surprisingly, her first novel The Captains and the Kings, published in 1972, won her the first of her many literary awards and launched a career that continues to this day. In some ways, elements of the characterisation are a little limited, with the grasping parents of the boy and the servile vicar lacking depth, but there is a real energy in this honest, even harsh book. Writing in this newspaper, Adrienne Levy makes the point that “Johnston’s fiction reminds us of the indeterminacy of the past, and the dangers of idealising any one version of Ireland’s recent history, or our own family history”. However, the bleakness …

‘Considerably upset’ Neil Jordan disowns Riviera TV drama

“Sky Atlantic got involved because of these scripts. Jordan is listed as the show’s creator and co-writer alongside the Irish novelist John Banville, with executive producer credits going to the former U2 manager Paul McGuinness who initially had the idea for a glitzy drama set on the Côte d’Azur. The show is the most successful premiere on Sky Atlantic this year. “Am I annoyed with Paul McGuinness? “It was quite distressing for John and for myself, the way it proceeded.” When he told Sky Atlantic about his concerns, there was an attempt to address them, but Jordan took “a back seat” from then on. “The first two episodes that myself and John wrote were very dark and complex, and that’s what got everybody attracted to the project in the first place,” Jordan said. It was this pilot which grabbed the attention of Sky Atlantic. The box set, released this month, has already been downloaded by 5.3 million viewers. “All I can say is, good luck to them,” Jordan said from Spain, where he is working on a new film. In Riviera Stiles plays the second wife of a billionaire banker who dies in a yacht explosion. And it hasn’t been praised in the way one might expect of a Neil Jordan series. But he believes people have been misled about his involvement. It doesn’t look like a Neil Jordan series or feel like a Neil Jordan series. His response was that even that scoundrel wouldn’t have written some of that dialogue.” Jordan has no idea who rewrote the episodes. ‘I couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan McGuinness’s representatives responded with a statement: “Making a show of the scale of Riviera is inevitably a team effort. “They were changed, to my huge surprise and considerable upset. There were various sexual scenes introduced into the story and a lot of very expository dialogue. Is this the same John Banville who won the Booker prize?’ “The two episodes we wrote together were reworked by others, after I pulled out,” the director said.“I emailed John, wondering whether his doppleganger Benjamin Black had been up to some strange double tricks. “I can’t claim it’s mine. The series, available on Sky Atlantic and Now TV, has set a record for new box set downloads. That’s because, according to the director himself, it isn’t. “In my mind, there’s no reason why …

Body & Soul: sudden death was a ‘huge blow’ to festivalgoers

After the emotional fireworks of Bonobo it seemed more aloof, but this was a very finely marbled slab of techno. Sunday afternoon saw more bright sunshine break the clouds, with some showers forecast for the evening. Break Apart raised the emotional stakes, and in Cirrus Green had the kind of song that festivals are built for. The event has settled more comfortably into its larger size. In a statement on Saturday evening, after friends and family had been notified, the festival’s director, Avril Stanley, said: “We wish to extend our deepest condolences to them at this time. Pick of the musical bunch on Saturday was Bonobo’s stunning set on the Body & Soul stage. Walking into Body & Soul on the second of its three days, the festival felt better organised and more detailed. We will continue to work closely with the gardaí on their investigation in this matter. The journalist Emer McLysaght and the DJ Sally Cinnamon unloaded both barrels on a range of topics, from the Rose of Tralee to country’n’Irish music, while the comedian Alison Spittle took the opportunity to brilliantly grind some axes she’s been clinging to since childhood. Sunday day trippers arrived like reinforcement troops, to see Austra, Mykki Blanco and the intriguing Birdy Nam Nam close this year’s festival. Closing out the main stage was Pascal Arbez, aka the French electro DJ Vitalic. The entire festival seemed to have lined the hills to hear Simon Green and his band, and his pristine electro tunes were lent live warmth and groove by a brass and flute section. Crew and staff were warm and helpful; queues for facilities were nonexistent or manageable; hardly a corner of the festival hadn’t been decorated, accented or lit; and the crowd of 15,000 seemed a natural fit for the size of the site at Ballinlough Castle, in Co Westmeath. On Saturday night there was a masked ball that plenty of people rocked up to in veils, masks, top hats and tails – and hardly a cheek in the place hadn’t been smeared in glitter. News was slow to filter out to festivalgoers. He was treated on site by paramedics and an emergency-medicine consultant. An Garda Síochána is investigating, but the festival described it as a nonsuspicious sudden death. Photograph: Debbie Hickey/Getty The French act La Femme had already charmed the main stage with their stylish, angular psych-pop. Photograph: Debbie Hickey/Getty …

Naked attraction and dodgy therapy: What’s on TV this week?

Wrong. Meet Sudan, a Northern White Rhino who just happens to be the last male of his kind on the planet. In the first episode, Jean starts an illicit affair with a femme fatale who has broken her patient Sam’s heart, while Jean’s husband (played by Billy Crudup) suspects something is going on. Naked Attraction Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm The excellent Anna Richardson returns (despite much outrage and bemusement) with a new series of the ludicrous dating game show in which someone who’s fully dressed sizes up six naked people from the waist down, then chooses their favourite to go out on a full-clothed date to see if their naked instinct was correct. Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and The Rise of ISIS Wednesday, Nat Geo, 9pm Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sebastian Junger and Emmy-winner Nick Quested chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State. It’s a science programme, featuring genitals, on Channel 4 at 10pm on Thursday night. She plays Jean Holloway, a seemingly contented woman who helps her patients with their messed-up lives. Gypsy Netflix, from Friday You can trust your therapist with your darkest, dirtiest secrets – right? in this new 10-part Netflix original, Naomi Watts is a shrink who has no compunction about crossing the line. As she goes in search of more thrills through her patients’ lives, and the secrets and lies start to mount up, her own world starts to unravel, and the boundaries start to collapse around her. Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm Horny 43-year-old with fierce temper seeks two willing females to help prevent species becoming extinct. Because, who has the time any more? Yeah, sure. Portrait of a Gallery Tuesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm On June 14th, Enda Kenny performed his last official engagement as Taoiseach – reopening the Dargan and Milltown wings of the National Gallery of Ireland. NGI Director Sean Rainbird. His species has been all but annihilated by poachers, while the few Northern White Rhinos in captivity failed to breed. It’s billed as a “scientific” exploration of the power of “raw primitive attraction”. No time-wasters. With only Sudan and two females remaining, time is running out to save his species. Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos documents the desperate efforts of a team of zookeepers and conservationists to breed a new generation of Northern White Rhinos using …

Harry Potter turns 20 today, 450 million copies later

– PA Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, a two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Rowling, opened on July 30th 2016. Harry Potter fans around the world will today celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first book about The Boy Who Lived. They were followed by Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, The Order Of The Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows. The Pottermore, the online home of Harry Potter, recently announced a Wizarding World Book Club, allowing fans to revisit their favourite books and discuss them online. In honour of the 20-year anniversary, an exhibition celebrating the magic of Harry Potter will open at the British Library on October 20th, while Rowling’s publisher Bloomsbury will release four new editions of the book, one for each house at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The covers feature the crest for each house and inside are fact files, character profiles and illustrations. It has also led to a major movie franchise, a sold-out theatre production and multiple theme parks, as well as a booming memorabilia market. Author JK Rowling had the idea for the stories about a young wizard and his friends and teachers at a school for magic while on a train journey and wrote the first book in a small cafe in Edinburgh. The first film, which propelled stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint to global fame, was released in 2001 and the franchise wrapped up in 2011. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was first published on June 26th, 1997 and has since sold more than 450 million copies worldwide in 79 languages. Rowling’s follow-up to The Philosopher’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, was published the following year in 1998, while Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban was published in 1999. The cafe, the Elephant House, has since become a tourist attraction for fans of the series.

An t-éan beag agus eachtra an uafáis

Féileacán álainn i mbéal an éin ghleoite. Briseann an dúchas trí shúile an éin. Shíl mé go mb’fhéidir go n-éalódh an féileacán. Is cuí an cur síos a dhéanann Éin (An Gúm) air: “…éiríonn an eitilt aici spadhrúil nuair a théann sí sa tóir ar fheithidí san aer”. Dá áille an t-éan, dá lú é, baineann contúirt leis don neach atá níos lú arís agus chomh hálainn leis. póm Is minic a bhíonn an ghlasóg shráide le feiceáil sa ghairdín. Agus feithidí? Bhí sé san fhaopach i ngob na glasóige agus na peitil bheaga sin de sciatháin sin aige ag bualadh leo. Chonaic mé an ghlasóg shráide an lá faoi dheireadh agus peitil bheaga bhuí ina gob aici. Aithníonn tú gan stró é ar na dathanna agus ar an eireaball chaol sin aici, eireaball a bíos ag drumadóireacht leis agus í ar talamh. Is minic a chonaic mé sin agus is minic a rinne mé iontas de chumas an éin aclaí seo. Níorbh fhiú an iarracht, ámh. Bhí na peitil seo ag bogadh; bhí siad beo. Nó sin a shíl mé. Éan beag álainn atá sa ghlasóg shráide agus, oiread chéanna le mórán éan eile, itheann sí rudaí atá níos lú ná í féin, dá áille iad. Tháinig suaimhneas ar na sciatháin sa deireadh agus d’alp an ghlasóg shráide siar é; d’amharc thart arís agus lean sí léi ar a turas. Féileacán a bhí ann! Nach cuma faoi fheithidí? Ach… Bhí greim an fhir bháite ag gob na glasóige air.

Six things to watch on TV this week

Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos documents the desperate efforts of a team of zookeepers and conservationists to breed a new generation of Northern White Rhinos using cutting-edge animal fertility techniques. Naked Attraction Thursday, Channel 4, 10pm The excellent Anna Richardson returns (despite much outrage and bemusement) with a new series of the ludicrous dating game show in which someone who’s fully dressed sizes up six naked people from the waist down, then chooses their favourite to go out on a full-clothed date to see if their naked instinct was correct. Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and The Rise of ISIS Wednesday, Nat Geo, 9pm Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sebastian Junger and Emmy-winner Nick Quested chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State. With only Sudan and two females remaining, time is running out to save his species. Gypsy Netflix, from Friday You can trust your therapist with your darkest, dirtiest secrets – right? Working from nearly 1,000 hours of footage – much of it shot on camera phones supplied to families living at the front line of the conflict – they capture the Syrian war’s carnage, its political and social consequences, and the human toll, while painting an alarming picture of the West’s role in the creation of Isis. Yeah, sure. in this new 10-part Netflix original, Naomi Watts is a shrink who has no compunction about crossing the line. Meet Sudan, a Northern White Rhino who just happens to be the last male of his kind on the planet. It marked the finish of a colossal six-year project, costing nearly €30 million, to restore and rebuild the dilapidated wings, and re-hang the collections of paintings, many of which had become damaged in the damp, badly maintained old buildings. Portrait of a Gallery Tuesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm On June 14th, Enda Kenny performed his last official engagement as Taoiseach – reopening the Dargan and Milltown wings of the National Gallery of Ireland. No time-wasters. Because, who has the time any more? Wrong. His species has been all but annihilated by poachers, while the few Northern White Rhinos in captivity failed to breed. It’s billed as a “scientific” exploration of the power of “raw primitive attraction”. She plays Jean Holloway, a seemingly contented woman who helps her patients with their messed-up lives. In the first episode, Jean starts an illicit affair with a …

Samhradh an ghrá agus na mbláthanna

Lean an ceirnín seo Penny Lane. I bPáirc de hÍde, in aice an Serpentine, shuíomar síos i measc bhuíon hipithe a bhí gléasta in éadaí dathannacha, bláthanna ina gcuid gruaige agus iad ag damhsa do thionlacan giotáir. In ionad Chogadh Vítneam na laethanta sin tá cogaí ar siúl gan srian anois san Iaráic, sa tSiria, san Afganastáin, sa tSomáile agus tíortha eile gan trácht ar ainghníomha ISIS. Chuir mé airgead i leataobh agus thug mé féin agus mo chailín cuairt ar Shráid Charnaby mar ar cheannaigh mé clóca sícideileach agus cóta dubh PVC. Maireann ‘Samhradh an Ghrá’ agus ‘Cumhacht na mBláthanna,’ fós i mo chuimhne; albam coincheapa na mBeatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Nights in White Satin leis na Moody Blues agus, dár ndóigh, máistreacht Jimi Hendrix ar an ngiotár leictreach! Bhí ré na Mods beagnach thart an samhradh sin, áfach, agus, faoi anáil mo chailín Shasanaigh, níorbh fhada go raibh malairt stíle agam. Bhí an samhradh sin ar cheann des na samhraí ba bhrothallaí dá raibh i gcuntas agus bhí an teocht an-ard go deo. Is beag ceacht a foghlaimíodh ó shin i leith. Tar éis seachtaine sa mhonarcha tháinig mé isteach gan dua ar an obair leadránach: ag briseadh amach boscaí cairtchláir agus iad á gcarnadh roimh sheoladh go dtí an crios iompair. Chonacthas an Ceathrar Clúiteach in éadaí síoda sícideileacha agus croimbéal chrú chapaill an duine orthu. Nuair a shroich mé baile an samhradh sin bhí mé chomh postúil le cat siopa ag déanamh mustair sa halla rince áitiúil agus mo chlóca sícideileach orm. Ba léir go raibh siad ar na ribí de bharr marijuana a thógáil ach bhí gach uile dhuine acu go síochánta grámhar. Díreach tar éis domsa an Ardteist a chríochnú, d’imigh mé thar lear go Londain chun obair shamhraidh a aimsiú i monarcha bhoscaí cairtchláir. Is maith is cuimhin liom cathair mhór Londan go luath maidin Dhomhnaigh nuair a bhí formhór na ndaoine ina gcodladh go sámh agus mé féin ag iarraidh mo bhealach a dhéanamh go dtí Ealing Common. Bhí callaire sa mhonarcha ar a mbíodh ceol á chraoladh agus chomh luath agus a chuala mé féin agus mo chompánaigh chogaidh na Beatles, d’éiríomar as an obair ar feadh tamaillín agus sheas faoin gcallaire fad a chan John Lennon na focail:There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done/Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung… Tamall ina dhiaidh sin …

Peadar agus Lenin

Ba leis na daoine sin í, arb iad an chathair iad nuair ba láidre an lá agus ba laige í an oíche. Iad seo ar scáth ghlóire Pheadair Mhóir, an tImpire nó an Tsár lofa ar theastaigh fuinneog farraige uaidh i dtreo na hEorpa. D’iompaigh an bhliain níos lú ná seachtain ó shin, agus tá na comharthaí le feiscint go soiléir, an broc ag ullmhú le dul faoi, an mathún bán ag faire na gcnoc oighir. D’fhiafraigh Shakespeare, nó carachtar dá chuid in Corialanus: “What is the city but the people?” Ní chuirfinn bréag ar an mbard, is fíor, ach is smut den fhírinne é. Ní hí cathair Pheadair na Róimhe atá i gceist agam leis seo ach St Petersburg na Rúise, a bhfuil aithne ag cuid againn air mar Leningrad, agus a mbíodh Petrograd, leis, uirthi ar eagla na heagla. Is inchuimhnte go mór casadh na bliana in áiteanna eile, áfach. Tá fós thar a bheith láidir mar dheasghnátha sna tíortha Lochlannacha. Fairis sin, na milliúin eile a fuair bás nuair a bhí faoi léigear ag an nGearmáin agus ag an bhFionlainn sa chogadh mór barbartha cheana. Ní hiad na clocha féin, ná na foirgnimh atá ag caint leat, ach gach ar tharla riamh ann. Go deimhin, d’fhéadfadh coiscéimeanna na ndaoine mothú sin na n-iomad taibhsí a mhúchadh. I rith an lae fhada sin agus le linn na hoíche gile ba dhóigh leat nár bhain an chathair leis an bPeadar barbartha a chuir á déanamh, ná leis an deachtóir eile Lenin a thug a ainm don áit ar feadh tamaill ach an oiread. Duine ar bith a shiúil na sráideanna i gcathair mhór ar bith i gcoim na hoíche, nó a chodail lasmuigh i gcúinne dorais, beidh a fhios aige go bhfuil pearsantacht na háite sin ina brat mórthimpeall air. Ní móide go raibh dream ar bith i dtuaisceart an domhain nár dhein comóradh de shaghas éigin nuair a bhí an ghrian ar a bior in airde láin. Anois is arís, iad ag liúirigh lena raibh de ghuth fanta acu, ‘Píotar, Píotar, Píotar!’ mar ghairm chomóradh na cathrach. Bhíodh ár gcuid féin againn idir thinte cnámh agus ar lean iad sa scrobarnach, ach d’imigh sin, agus d’imigh sin. Ach ná bímis míbhuíoch fad is atá daoine amuigh ansin ag tabhairt aire dúinn, na neacha is fearr eolas i gceannas orainn, na saineolaithe is gaoismhire amuigh ag léamh na nduilleog …

Ludovico Einaudi: The man behind the most popular classical works in a generation

Everywhere. It was a really nice way to collaborate.” As we wrap up, he leaves me with one last visual from his Arctic experience which particularly stuck with him, as he looked out across the frozen landscape. And that aspect of my music, that it is connected with folk and popular music, perhaps that is what makes it more accessible.” So does he still listen to such an eclectic range of modern music? Taken altogether, these different languages started to create my own musical background, to form my musical vocabulary. “There are a lot of very technically gifted musicians, great recordings and performing artists, but I miss something in inspiration right now. “It was incredible,” he says, “like playing in a theatre for the gods. “For my fingers they had me play and then stop only for five minutes because it was just too cold to go on,” says the pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi. On top of all that, I was wearing my concert jacket. He adopts a mildly embarrassed air when asked to reflect on it. I had never seen such a beautiful and astonishing environment, with nothing around for miles – but there was a single beautiful little seal popping out from the water – and there and then, she was the only listener that I had alive.” Ludovico Einaudi plays Dublin’s 3Arena on July 15th A darling of the contemporary classical scene, the past few years have seen Einaudi cross over to mainstream success with greater effect than any similar artist in decades. Maybe it is true that the quantity itself is overwhelming. In conversation, Einaudi is soft-spoken and understated, and usually in immaculate tailoring and designer specs. Anchored with his trademark piano pieces – plaintive, strolling melodies that run the gamut from bittersweet melancholy to proggy bombast – he also showcases a wider array of differing elements less common to those more famous works. ” At least appearances were preserved. “I was just discussing this with a young friend the other day – it’s an interesting moment right now. Even if you’re not familiar with the name – Ludo, to his friends – you’ve likely heard his work. His daintily sparse piano compositions have become the most popular classical works in a generation, and have been used on enough ads and film scores to enter the popular consciousness entirely subliminally. Body and Soul stage times …

Aosdána elected committee split over Arts Council row on grants

Aosdána receives €2.7 million a year in public funding, almost all of which goes on cnuas grants. Artist Vivienne Roche, composer Jane O’Leary and writer Eilís Ní Dhuibhne resigned from the committee, the toscaireacht, over how the group of State-funded artists dealt with the Arts Council’s plans to change the payment of the cnuas grant, a €17,180 annual stipend paid to 145 of its 246 members. Ms Roche said in her March 18th letter that there was one toscaireacht meeting since Aosdána received the council’s draft discussion document in November that proposed changing the definition for those eligible for funding from “full-time practicing artist” to “working artists engaged in productive practice.” Offer of mediation She strongly felt that Aosdána should have accepted an offer of mediation with the Arts Council without prior demands, including a proposal to set aside the council’s discussion document, as a way of settling the dispute. The organisation and the Arts Council have been embroiled in a stand-off over the proposed changes. One of three members who resigned from the elected committee of Aosdána said she felt she had been unable to put forward her views on the committee about the arts body’s row with the Arts Council. Relationship had deteriorated She said that she regretted that the relationship between the toscaireacht and the Arts Council had “deteriorated to a point where even the mediation on the table is in question”. Correspondence sent by Ms FitzGerald on behalf of toscaireacht “as a majority decision but without holding a meeting to air our views and collectively weigh up the consequences of any actions” was, she said, “an improper and unproductive way to proceed.” Ms Roche declined to comment on her letter yesterday. The council’s plans have stirred controversy in the arts world and divided opinion on the organisation’s representative committee. In her resignation letter to the committee’s chairwoman Mary FitzGerald, Ms Roche was critical that meetings had not been held on the issue and that she had been “unable to put forward my apparently minority views in the proper forum of toscaireacht meetings, where decisions are also recorded”. She argued in a “dissent” document that informed and face-to-face meetings with the Arts Council were “by far the more preferable opening gambit rather than starting with an all-out confrontation”.

Body & Soul: Great music and talk at a friendly festival devastated by a death

Body & Soul: the Wonderlust stage hosted Irish Times talks. The newly expanded Food on Board area, across a small stone bridge and down some grassy laneways, was a colourful garden ringed by food stalls and a Veuve Clicquot champagne bar – a luxury refuge from the wider, wilder festival. It was a hoot from start to finish. Pick of the musical bunch on Saturday was Bonobo’s stunning set on the Body & Soul stage. You could spend the weekend at Body & Soul and easily miss one of its best bits. The journalist Emer McLysaght and the DJ Sally Cinnamon unloaded both barrels on a range of topics, from the Rose of Tralee to country’n’Irish music, while the comedian Alison Spittle took the opportunity to brilliantly grind some axes she’s been clinging to since childhood. Walking into Body & Soul on the second of its three days, the festival felt better organised and more detailed. The band slipped into it almost unnoticed midset before unleashing its full payload to thrilling effect. On Saturday night there was a masked ball that plenty of people rocked up to in veils, masks, top hats and tails – and hardly a cheek in the place hadn’t been smeared in glitter. Photograph: Debbie Hickey/Getty The Irish Times Women’s Podcast kicked things off with a powerful panel discussion on shame, and how it has been used against women. The entire festival seemed to have lined the hills to hear Simon Green and his band, and his pristine electro tunes were lent live warmth and groove by a brass and flute section. News was slow to filter out to festivalgoers. The team at Body & Soul are absolutely devastated by the news.” It was the first death in the eight years of the festival. So Saturday’s incident, when a man died after being taken to the medical tent by medical staff, came as a huge blow. Sunday afternoon saw more bright sunshine break the clouds, with some showers forecast for the evening. Crew and staff were warm and helpful; queues for facilities were nonexistent or manageable; hardly a corner of the festival hadn’t been decorated, accented or lit; and the crowd of 15,000 seemed a natural fit for the size of the site at Ballinlough Castle, in Co Westmeath. After the emotional fireworks of Bonobo it seemed more aloof, but this was a very finely marbled …

Not everyone murders people in their sleep

Both Lying in Wait, and my forthcoming novel Skin Deep are mostly set in the 1980s. I believe that killing another human being out of anger or frustration or jealousy must cause a fracture in one’s emotional structure. We each apply our imagination to the page and some of us are lucky enough to get published. We are the ones looking over our shoulders, making sure that we have our keys in our hands, texting each other to make sure we got home safely. The vast majority of them manage to overcome these obstacles and move on to live fulfilling lives. What makes them tick and how they deal with the horror of what they have done. Writing is not and never has been a competition between the sexes. They are talking to themselves (and the reader). The relief when I wake from those nightmares is immense. What a wonderful world. If there is a difference between the way men and women write, I’m afraid I don’t see it. I grew up in that decade and it was a time of great threat. He also held my brothers and sisters at knifepoint one night, so I grew up with a general feeling of insecurity, as if nobody could really be safe. I used to work on RTÉ’s Fair City and one day in a story meeting, we were discussing a character who had just killed somebody and I insisted that he must be extremely distressed and I said aloud “You know the way when you dream you’ve murdered somebody and you wake up in the horrors?” Everyone just stared at me and that was when I realised that not everyone murders people in their sleep. Malcolm MacArthur murdered a nurse Bridie Gargan, who was innocently sunbathing in the middle of the day in the Phoenix Park. Liz Nugent’s debut novel ‘Unravelling Oliver’ was an ‘Irish Times’ bestseller and a Simon Mayo book club pick. Her latest book, ‘Lying in Wait’ was an ‘Irish Times’ and ‘Sunday Times’ bestseller as well as a ‘Richard and Judy’ pick. These choices are made out of desperation and have far-reaching and devastating consequences for those around them. Maybe Tana French and Alex Barclay opened the doors for the rest of us, and as writer Jane Casey says, women are more attuned to threat. I thought I was going to be killed. I was a …

Corbyn chants, T-shirts and sculptures: Jeremania hits Glastonbury

We’re just going to go with the flow, just go and see who’s giving the good vibe.” Guardian We’ve seen musicians playing with Corbyn necklaces, and everywhere you walk you hear people break out into Jeremy Corbyn chants. And it’s such a different vibe from last year. The festival, they said, had always been on their bucket list. Even bands from abroad have been giving him a shout-out, as they’ve clearly heard everyone going, ‘Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Corbyn,’ and they’re joining in.” In the dance area Shangri-La on Thursday, the New York brass band were leading the crowds in the ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ chant, and the giant sand sculpture near the Park Stage was of Corbyn riding on the back of a fox and chasing Theresa May through fields of wheat. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire Ed Balls was stopped for selfies every five minutes and met with shrieks of delight, to the bemusement of his wife, Yvette Cooper Indeed, it seems that this year politicians are the new rock stars. Je-rem-y Cor-byn.” Glastonbury this year may boast appearances from the biggest acts in the world, Ed Sheeran and Radiohead among them, but judging by the T-shirts, flags and impromptu musical outbursts, the man of the hour is the Labour party’s 68-year-old leader. With everything that’s going on, we should be coming together like this more than ever. “I’m wearing it because Corbyn has put Labour back to where it should have been,” he said. The former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, enjoying his first Glastonbury, was stopped for selfies every five minutes as he walked around Shangri-La and was met with shrieks of delight and songs everywhere he went, to the bemusement of his wife, Yvette Cooper, who hasn’t been to Glastonbury for 30 years. The political antics continued into Friday, when a man dressed as May in a full red suit and wig was chased through the crowd at the bandstand by eight foxes, to riotous cheers. “I’ve been so overwhelmed by the spirit of this festival, it’s definitely something the world needs right now,” said Wright. The chorus started at 10pm on Thursday in the dark sweaty depths of the Glastonbury silent disco. Andrew Myors, who is 30, and Matt Foncette, who is 32, said they had been among those singing the Corbyn when one of the DJs played The White Stripes’ track Seven Nation Army – the backing …

Glastonbury highlights: from Corbyn chants to Ed Sheeran via grime

Expect drag queens, disco and champagne. BBC Two kicks off at 5.30pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday. Radiohead at Glastonbury: a slow creep towards transcendence Corbyn chants, T-shirts and sculptures: Jeremania hits Glastonbury NYC Downlow official 10th birthday party, Block9, 2.30am The best and most debauched late-night spot at Glastonbury celebrates its 10th birthday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley Ed Sheeran, Pyramid Stage, 9.45pm The nicest man in music takes his chart-topping acoustic strummings to the Pyramid Stage as the Glastonbury grand finale. Guardian BBC radio is also broadcasting from the festival. BBC Four joins in at 7pm on both days. John McDonnell, Left Field, 1pm The British shadow chancellor, and Corbyn’s close ally, will be part of a panel, chaired by John Harris of the Guardian, discussing the flaws in the UK’s democratic system. Yanis Varoufakis and Elif Safak, Left Field, 1.30pm It is sure to be a lively discussion between Varoufakis, the popular former Greek finance minister, and the Turkish author as they take on the issues of secularism and free speech. Barry Gibb, Pyramid Stage, 4.45pm Feel the Saturday Night Fever as Barry Gibb brings all the disco you will ever need to the Sunday legends slot. Sunday Mykki Blanco, Pussy Parlure, 12.30am Blanco brings fearless, sardonic, emotive queer rap to the Pussy Parlure. Katy Perry, Pyramid Stage, 6pm One of the world’s biggest stars is likely to put on a grade-A stadium-pop extravaganza when she performs on the Pyramid Stage. Kiefer Sutherland, Avalon, 4.50pm Most know him as the rule-breaking secret agent Jack Bauer in 24, but the actor will be showcasing his country-music talents in the afternoon. Solange, West Holts, 8.30pm So much more than Beyoncé’s little sister, Solange released one of the most powerful and sophisticated albums of last year, with songs musing on race and mental health. The BBC has buckets of Glastonbury coverage, as usual. Ed Sheeran: the nicest man in music is on the Pyramid Stage as Glastonbury’s grand finale. Expect the biggest chants of the festival as the crowds inevitably launch into Oh Jeremy Corbyn. Saturday Jeremy Corbyn, Pyramid Stage, 4pm In one of the most hotly anticipated moments of the festival, Corbyn will introduce the outspoken political hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, who have given their backing to the British Labour Party leader. Grime powerhouses, Other Stage, 10.15pm The grime collective Boy Better Know, featuring some of the UK’s best …

Radiohead at Glastonbury: a slow creep towards transcendence

If you can’t see the stage itself, what’s actually going on up there remains something of a mystery, not a state of affairs much improved by Thom Yorke’s unique approach to between-song chat: a Derek and Clive-ish rumination on ley lines, some stylised laughter, a suggestion that Theresa May “shut the door on [her] way out” and a mumble about “useless politicians” that provokes an inevitable chorus of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” to the tune of Seven Nation Army from the crowd. It’s hard not to be struck by the breadth of what Radiohead can do – from 2+2 = 5’s experimental pulse to the straightforward loveliness of Street Spirit (Face Out)’s melody to the epic prog rock of Paranoid Android. The band’s set starts out in remarkably low-key style, the screens either side of the stage turned off, the band playing a lambent piano ballad It has an oddly alienating effect. Guardian The band’s set starts out in remarkably low-key style, the screens either side of the stage turned off, the band playing a lambent piano ballad. The set achieves vertical takeoff during a thrilling version of ‘Idioteque’ But the people who leave have made a mistake. Not even a gorgeous version of Pyramid Song or Everything in Its Right Place seems to placate them: in certain areas, at least, the crowd starts to thin out. When the screens do come on, they’re showing a pretty abstract interpretation of what’s actually happening on stage: images of Radiohead’s members overlaid with each other, static interference and computer graphics. The early leavers have made a mistake. But there’s also the sense that the less committed members of the audience are becoming a bit restive. Given Radiohead’s famously fractious relationship with their first big hit – and its almost complete lack of resemblance to the music they went on to make – the performance of Creep is greeted with something approaching astonished delight. Likewise, the music offers what you might call the full gamut of the Radiohead experience: tracks from OK Computer – Lucky, Let Down, the impossibly sombre Exit Music (For a Film) – interspersed with more abstract latter-day material: it’s hard to think of another band that can fill stadiums playing songs as angular and uncommercial as the propulsive clatter of 15 Step and Myxomatosis. Finally, they play Karma Police: when the song ends Yorke stays on stage, playing another burst …

Hennesy New Irish Writing winning poems: June 2017

The strap tightens and you feel your pulse swell like nights out on too much whiskey or carrying something heavy down the stairs. A pause goes by filled with expectation and sure enough a sting pricks the vein, the needle’s freight shortening your breath. Your breath covers my lips with its clammy kiss. The same could be said of our hearts under the sky’s evening fire, the drama it creates in secret kingdoms. You’ve your eyes closed pretending to be asleep and so have I but soon I’m drifting in the sweet undertow, reconstructing the memory of your face. Here We lie face to face on the bed not saying anything because what are words but a prelude to silence. She sighs and tuts, apologises, mops where blood had spilled down your elbow onto the gurney. The Scan She takes your arm so easily, lifts it wing-like away from your side, the loose wrist hers if only for a second. You stare at the ceiling’s holes and tell her not to worry. This is love, even if the term has lost all meaning in the wake of American TV shows who use it as a crutch. Kevin Graham’s poems have appeared in ‘Poetry Ireland Review’, ‘The Stinging Fly’, ‘Oxford Poetry’ and on RTÉ Radio’s ‘Arena’ and ‘Sunday Miscellany’. He’s working on a first collection. I want to tell you about the beauty of the universe, how pain is woven into the fabric of existence but my voice idles when you tap your fingers on my jaw and ask me to wake and gradually I see the ocean of your eyes floating above me as if I’m an old man struggling to remember my name and you’re sitting there waiting for me to make some kind of sign or gesture that says this is why we’re here. She injects the dye and something changes, your heart a floodgate, no longer crimson. Our rosy noses are tip to tip as in The Creation of Adam suspended forever, forever almost touching.

The Bodhi Tree: a poem by Eoin Devereux

As well as numerous academic books and articles, he has published short fiction and poetry in journals such as Wordlegs, the Bohemyth, Number Eleven and Boyne Berries. He lectured on David Bowie and Pierrot at the 2017 UL Frank McCourt Summer School in Creative Writing at New York University His short story Mrs Flood was published by Number Eleven Magazine in late 2016. We weren’t that surprised When Paddy Brassil pointed it out to us For he had a weather eye for such things A hazel tree sprouting in the left-hand corner Of our trim suburban tablecloth garden And, for all our weeding and trimming Spraying and mowing We’d never noticed it Paddy knew: How to read clouds Why a clamour of rooks would swoop in the evening air How there’d be a hard winter Where the best wild mushrooms were He minded our tree, as if it were his own In early spring, he heralded its new catkins In summer, he peered through the green cloaked branches To see if the house-sparrows had fashioned a home In autumn, he harvested its tanned fruits, one by one He knew: That we live just once That there is no such thing as heaven That we all return To the earth To begin the cycle again Eoin Devereux is a professor at the University of Limerick.

Books of the month for children: A boy refugee and the experience of change

The King of the Sky works well as both a stand-alone story and a starting point for discussing important political issues of migration. While mum and dad take a postprandial nap, he wanders into the woods where he meets an apple-eating hedgehog, a blueberry-snuffling owl, and a carrot-crunching rabbit. nothing was the same”. Endorsed by Amnesty International, King of the Sky tells the story of a young refugee who finds himself drawn to an old man who keeps racing pigeons. The site of her fear is now her home. “I Only want fish”, he insists stubbornly. Adult art-lovers will relish the opportunity to steal a glance at Leonora Carrington’s The Milk of Dreams (New York Review Children’s Collection, £11.99, 5+), a surreal collection of symbolic stories and eccentric characters, like John, who has a pair of wings for ears that take flight one day long with his head, or Jeremy, who feeds his couch until it outgrows him. As the pair track the birds’ journey across Europe, the boy finds a way to make sense of his own situation, gently revealing the idea of home as a site of self-invention. When her 17-year-old sister, Sukie, disappears during an air-raid one night, Olive and her brother Cliff are evacuated to the Devonshire coast, where a begrudging lighthouse-keeper takes them in. A little girl’s life is turned upside down when her family move house: “new town, new school… Richard Smythe’s illustrations feature fabulous cut-out collage pictures and the animal characters, with their quizzical expressions and rolling eyes, are particularly appealing. With a little bit of peer support, Dozy Bear finds himself turning into quite the omnivorous eater. Nothing makes sense to 12-year-old Olive anymore, the protagonist of Emma Carroll’s gripping historical drama, Letters from the Lighthouse (Faber and Faber, £6.99, 10+). On her journeys to and from school, the girl’s environment slowly becomes familiar, and Fawcett creates a visual journey for the reader as her illustrations gradually shed their grey hue and become suffused with colour. Written by Katie Blackburn, it follows the adventures of fussy foodie Dozy Bear, who sets off into the forest looking for something to eat after refusing the family feast. Less well-known are her fictional picture-books, which often feature animals in their natural habitats, although King of the Sky (Walker Books, £12.99, 4+), Davies’ second collaboration with illustrator Laura Carlin, has a humanitarian rather than an ecological …