Riviera review: Cheap thrills in a glamorous world

The Lorrain painting, Banville and Jordan suggest, is a better fit: a depiction of lusty betrayal and wily revenge among the gods – the most leisured classes – which this family, “The House of Clios”, seems destined to play out. But how it has escaped the National Gallery of Ireland, where, in real life, it is on permanent exhibition, probably comes down to the conspiracy of three Irish men. But there it is again, somehow, hanging in the French villa of one of the passengers, Constantin Clios (Anthony LaPaglia) another billionaire. Life doesn’t imitate art, though, as Woody Allen said; it imitates bad television. Riviera, on the other hand, is most itself when a glamorous blonde emerges from a private jet, nestles into a limousine and is informed starkly of the death of her husband. Even the extravagant playgrounds of the world’s mega rich are not so well guarded that – with enough wicked intent – someone cannot sneak in and leave behind a sly joke. Riviera (Sky Atlantic, Thursday, 9pm), created by Neil Jordan, based on an idea by producer Paul McGuinness, and whose first episode is co-written by Jordan and novelist John Banville, is a thriller based on the art market. In London, the scion of an investment firm, Clios Bank, gives a coked-up, Gordon Gekko-style pitch, claiming: “Money desires nothing so much as to be itself.” It is “most itself” when accumulating in a Picasso, apparently. This is Julia Stiles, as an art curator (read: personal shopper) and younger second wife of a Russian oligarch, now thrust into the centre of a drama of uncommon plushness. It asks too much from Stiles, though, a fascinatingly flat actor, who must negotiate her way through family frictions (involving the entrancing Lena Olin as a ravenly first wife), art forgeries, police investigations and darting assassins, while sleuthing out her husband’s secret life and rotating through a wardrobe of unflattering outfits. So there it is, a 17th-century oil painting, Juno Confiding Io to the Care of Argus by Claude Lorrain, proudly displayed aboard the yacht of a Russian oligarch, shortly before the entire ship blows up, taking the passengers and the picture with it. How the painting has been duplicated is something that this extravagant thriller may well reveal. This is “the last unregulated great bazaar,” we are assured, but as its earliest minutes flitter between exclusive sanctums in the Côte …

The 1975 at Malahide Castle: here’s everything you need to know

Incredibly for such a commercially successful band, they have a mere two albums to their name, with last year’s unwisely-titled second (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of It) further strengthening their broad appeal. Seriously, the forecast is for 26 degrees people, dropping to a mere 22 by 9pm. Now? Formed in Manchester 15 years ago, The 1975 took some time releasing their debut. Pedestrians will not be permitted to enter through any other park gates. Or you can take Dublin Bus Routes 32 and 42, which also leave from the City Centre. How else to explain a date at Malahide Castle, with a capacity of 20,000? What time does everything kick off? Well, that DIY label licenses the band’s music through majors – Interscope in the US, Polydor in the UK. Alcohol will be available on site but you can’t bring your own, so make sure you’ve got ID handy. At time of writing, yes. Are tickets still available? Selfie sticks, mercifully, are among the venue’s list of banned items, alongside umbrellas, laser pens, air horns and anything else you can think of that might be bothersome to other gig goers. What’s the weather forecast? What about security? Tickets are €49 and seeing as Arcade Fire didn’t sell out the 20,000 capacity earlier in the week, we don’t expect The 1975 to get it over the line. The result is that The 1975 – fronted by Matt Healy – are very popular indeed. In 2013, the album was issued on their DIY label, Dirty Hit, because no major record company would sign them. God we’ve waited years to say this – Scorchio! Our best guess is that The 1975 will be on about the 8.30pm marks. Oh and if you are wondering who The 1975 are, no they are not as good as the E Street band and yes as soon as Bruce says he is coming back will let you know. Pedestrians will only be permitted into the grounds of Malahide Castle via Hogans Gate (near the Dart station). Space is limited and vehicles will only be permitted access via the back road entrance. Gates are due to open at 5pm. There is also a car park for ticketholders which opens at 4pm. Large backpacks won’t be allowed, but small bags measuring no bigger than a sheet of A4 paper …

First Yeats summer school programme discovered

The programme was on sale for €175 but a discount was negotiated. This year’s International Summer School will run from July 20th to 27th and feature a reading by Colm Tóibín, lectures on themes such as “Nationalism versus Cosmopolitanism” by Yeats scholar Prof Ronan McDonald from the University of New South Wales and a poetry workshop by Colette Bryce. As well as Prof Clarke, notable visiting academics included Frank Kermode; TR Henn, who was then president of one of Cambridge University’s most eminent colleges, St. “It’s particularly gratifying to know that it belonged to Professor David Clarke, some of whose books were bequeathed to the Yeats Society and we have them on display in Sligo,” said Enright. Michael Keohane, a former president of the Yeats Society in Sligo, found the programme and recognised its significance. Nicholas Allen, Prof of English and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia and distinguished Yeats scholar and author Terence Brown will also be contributing. It included the ticket price (£9), details of accommodation at Sligo Grammar School as well as at “approved private houses” and a note about Sligo’s many attractions including quiet sandy beaches, sea angling and golf at Rosses Point. The programme will now be put on display at the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo. The summer school is suitable for all ages and backgrounds, for people who are interested in Yeats and Irish literature. Chair of the 2017 International School Damien Brennan said: “We already have students coming from Russia, Estonia, Tunisia, Romania and all across the United States. The only known surviving programme from the first Yeats Summer School in 1960 has been discovered in near-perfect condition in the Ulysses Rare Books store in Dublin. The only known surviving programme from the very first Yeats Summer School. Catharine’s, and a Sligo native; Prof AN Jeffares, head of English literature at the University of Leeds – at the time the foremost Yeats expert. We have some places left; applicants can check www.yeatssociety.com for information.” Photographs: Julien Behal The brochure sheds fascinating light on the event and a long forgotten Ireland. The eight-page booklet, with an image of Thomas Sturge Moore’s unicorn on the cover, is seen as significant as it describes the aims and aspirations of the summer school from its inception21 years after the death of WB Yeats. We are delighted that this …

Travellers’ tales and the oral tradition

The phone call came last June bank holiday, while I was sitting in the Listowel Arms, during Writers’ Week, redrafting a scene from a new novel in progress. My own work has benefitted greatly from my experience of working with this particular generous group of individuals, who taught me much about the gifts of instinctive storytelling: the freshness, the musicality of idiom, the freedom to follow one’s own particular style and interests without a critical voice intruding. James Anthony McDonagh and Tracey Reilly These pivotal events in my life share, at their heart, my major preoccupation as a writer and artist: a desire to give voice to the marginalised and dispossessed, individuals who exist on the fringes of mainstream society. There was to be no corralling of instincts, this much I knew, and I set out to create an atmosphere of trust and openness so that the participants could tell their stories in their own unique way. The oral medium has a beauty all of its own: disembodied voices bringing to life an array of experiences, mediated through their own melodies, cadences and inflections. I brought in visual prompts, such as postcards to spark the imagination, which, as it turned out, needed little to ignite it. I remember being distinctly thrilled at this news, especially as the previous few months had felt like a professional, creative stalemate. Working with the oral, rather than written, method of storytelling has its own richness and texture. As my background is performing in, and writing for the theatre, I felt instinctively suited to working with a group whose primary means of storytelling is oral. To find about more information about Irish Writers Centre residencies for writers click here Much has changed since then: Irish Travellers were formally recognised as a distinct ethnic group in March, a long-cherished and campaigned-for wish, and my own debut novel, Harvesting, about the impact of sex trafficking on two teenage girls in Dublin, was published last month. I wanted to approach the project with an open mind, to respond to the particular group’s own concerns and desires, alongside a guiding principle of expressing personal stories and reflections through the prism of “giving voice”. Many of the Travellers used to be tinsmiths, palmists and storytellers. I also brought in examples of poetry and read them aloud, inspiring members to create snapshots of images, which resulted in a collective spoken-word poem, …

How fake news led pope to bless England’s Irish invasion

Dermot MacCarthy, king of Desmond, hurried to do homage, took an oath (of feudal fealty or simple loyalty), gave hostages, and promised to hold his kingdom for Henry II, under royal tribute. The bishops came meekly to a council run by Henry’s programme manager, Ralf of Llandaff. Reformers established large dioceses, with bishops, archbishops and a primate, in three great national synods – Cashel (1101), Ráith Bressail (1101), Kells (1152). There was a down side. They passed two remarkable resolutions; first, that the Irish church should be as much under the power of the king as the English church; and second, they granted the kingdom of Ireland, in writing, to Henry and his heirs forever. They would reform the morals of the laity, especially on marriage law. The reformers’ plan for the sexual morals of the laity was loud-mouthed and uncritical. … and are well pleased to agree to that, to extend the boundaries of the Church, restrain vice, correct morals, implant virtues, increase the Christian religion, you may enter that island … has been made known to Us. The Irish Church looked back to seven centuries of Christianity and a golden age of literature and art. So did Domhnall Mór O’Brien, king of Thomond. This embittered Canterbury. …We command … Anselm of Canterbury was told that in Ireland “men exchange their wives for the wives of others as freely and publicly as a man might exchange his horse for a horse”. Bernard’s work was read all over Europe. But its powerful ancient monastic churches, towns rather than simple monasteries, were immensely rich, powerful and cultivated – Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Cork, Glendalough etc. He wrote to the Irish bishops: “With what shocking abuses the Irish people are infected and how, lapsed from the fear of God and reverence for the Christian faith … A reformed papacy pushed a tight new order, ruled by powerful bishops, with the pope at their head as monarch. Henry II, king of England, held council in 1155 – his brother William, the archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishop of London and others – to discuss his plan to invade Ireland. Ralf of Llandaff delivered these resolutions to pope Alexander III. Within them were different kinds of monasteries. Their great schools taught Latin, Irish, theology, philosophy, law, grammar, metrics, chronology, literature in Latin and Irish; their scriptoria produced exquisite illuminated manuscripts; their workshops did fine metal …

Watch: Arcade Fire play new track Creature Comfort at secret gig in Whelan’s

Thank you Dublin. Dance party at whelan's @whelanslive— win butler (@DJWindows98) June 14, 2017 They announced the album during a surprise set at Primavera Sound in Spain on June 2nd, two days before their headline set at the festival. That hour-long gig featured several new songs with the band playing on a specially made 360-degree stage. The band marched into the venue foyer to surprise fans with more music and also handed out water to gig-goers. Last Thursday (June 8), they also played an impromptu jam session after their performance at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. The audience members also included competition winners after the band, using their Everything Now Content Division Twitter account, had revealed earlier that day that they had placed boxes of promotional Creature Comfort Cereal at locations around Dublin city centre. The boxes also included a CD single of Creature Comfort, which is taken from the band’s forthcoming fifth album, Everything Now. Fans who found the cereal got admittance to the Whelan’s show, although the venue was open to all last night. The boxes appeared in stores on Mary Street, Henry Street and Grafton Street, including other locations. The band has been treating fans to a number of secret and intimate performances as they build towards the July 28th release of Everything Now. Is it your lucky day? #CreatureComfort pic.twitter.com/wukPetLBYS— Everything Now (@EverythingNowCo) June 14, 2017 Stay sipping and surfin #CreatureComfort pic.twitter.com/tMnSrEovJJ— Everything Now (@EverythingNowCo) June 14, 2017 pic.twitter.com/0eWidCPnih— Everything Now (@EverythingNowCo) June 14, 2017 Yum #CreatureComfort pic.twitter.com/D9NBdaJ1Kx— Everything Now (@EverythingNowCo) June 14, 2017 The Canadian band took to the stage in the city centre venue at around 12.30am, about two hours after performing to around 35,000 people in Malahide. Frontman Win Butler then took to the DJ box to give an hour-long DJ set that included a host of Afrobeat, pop and disco tunes, including Don’t You Want Me by The Human League, Don’t Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston, and tracks by Fela Kuti and Magic System. Arcade Fire gave a secret acoustic performance of new song Creature Comfort at Whelan’s in Dublin last night, shortly after coming off stage following their huge show at Malahide Castle. Whelan’s was about three-quarters full when the six-piece arrived on stage, joined for the one-song performance by touring members Tiwill Duprate, Stuart Bogie and Sarah Neufeld. Those at the venue had largely heard about the set through social …

James Joyce in a dozen great quotations

I hope Best-Loved Joyce gives a few more people a taste of Joyce’s brilliance, a brilliance that I once did everything I could to avoid. Finnegans Wake We were always loyal to lost causes, the professor said. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man One by one they were all becoming shades. I wanted real adventure to happen to myself. Ulysses And You’ll miss me more as the narrowing weeks wing by: Someday duly, oneday truly, twosday newly, till whensday. he cried. In my final year, I even signed up for a course on Mills and Boon romances in order to avoid lectures on Ulysses – it’s a shameful thing to admit you picked Barbara Cartland over James Joyce. He consistently worked despite setbacks and the rewards of him living boldly mean we now have the gift of his words. However, Joyce’s work wasn’t what you’d call “bite size”. I focused on quotes that a reader could enjoy in a couple of minutes, be it seated on a train or cosy in bed before sleep. His courage to continue writing, even after the first Dubliners print run was destroyed. His work has been shortlisted for the Maeve Binchy Award and the Sky Arts Futures Fund, and long-listed for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines Short Story Competition. Ulysses No God for Ireland! Thirteen years ago, while studying English literature in University College Cork, there were modules on Joyce’s work but they might as well have been courses on the life cycle of pond amoeba. His short fiction has been published in a number of journals, featured on RTÉ Radio, and he has read at many festivals and universities in Ireland, China, Spain and the USA. Till relatively recently, I have had a fraught history with James Joyce. Thankfully, by my mid-twenties, I began to fight against this inertia. As it turned out, first impressions were wrong; there was lots of material. he cried. Longest way round is the shortest way home. Dublin-based writer Jamie O’Connell teaches in University College Dublin and works for Gill Books. We have had too much God in Ireland. The following would be some of my personal favourites from Joyce’s writing: A father, Stephen said, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary evil. Maya Angelou, the late American poet, when asked what was the most important virtue of all, said: “Courage is the most important of …

‘Brexit is going to be a land of milk and honey. Or the apocalypse’

But there are some channels where you find overt sexism dressed up as a bit of banter. Five years ago he was a deadly clown in Conor McMahon’s Stitches. It’s going to be a land of milk and honey and Brexit is going to bring untold riches. “I can’t stand that horrible old cliché: ‘I never vote because they’re all the same.’ They’re so far apart now nobody can say that. If I wrote all this down there’d be enough for a small book. “I am going to be working on that for six months,” he says. Fearless review: no case is too big, no detail too small Putin to Oliver Stone: ‘I’m not a woman so I don’t have bad days’ Press watchdog says government may need to regulate social media “I’ll have to watch what I say because I got in trouble for talking about that,” he says before saying plenty. I have to dance. ” Bizarrely, Noble’s career in film has been confined almost solely to Irish horror. And I love horror. Has since excelled as Clementine Churchill in Into the Storm and Hubert in Albert Nobbs. The Geordie comedian famously improvises his sets from a few basic notions. Ha ha.” The son of teachers, Ross Noble turned to performance at about the same time that he was diagnosed with dyslexia. With his long, drooping face and dark, exotic colouring, he catches the attention before he speaks a word. Being in the moment is important.” The act is, on the evidence of a personal encounter with Ross, an extension of his day-to-day life. “To be fair, I think that since the BBC changed the rules to include more women they have got more diverse. Charlie Hunnam What a strange trip it’s been. We’ll see.” FIVE GREAT GEORDIE ACTORS Bill Travers Actually from Sunderland. “Some people will write that down. Ross Noble likes to talk. Have I Got News for You and QI aside, Noble tended to stay away from that circuit. Mind you, Australia does have a tendency to burst into flame. The momentum can take him almost anywhere. Wind him up and let him go. Mind you, it’s by possibly the greatest living comedy writer. That’s great. I’d better be careful… Has been married to Emma Thompson since 2003. Then he became a hulk in King Arthur and Pacific Rim. He does it for a living, …

Royal Blood: ‘Do everything ironically: wear gold jackets and drink Champagne’

“But I think we exhausted that method, so this one was kind of the opposite – it was really like anything goes and the music comes first, the aesthetic and the set-up comes second. We just thought, Well, no one listens to this any more; it definitely felt like it was an underground thing. We definitely didn’t want to rip ourselves off.” He’s right about the groovier numbers, including She’s Creeping and Look Like You Know. And also, probably just having really good beards, or something. That and good shoes. Royal Blood play the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 26th And also, yes, I guess I would admit that I did like the idea that, given the world at the moment, that’s a fairly relevant question. And you do everything ironically, but in complete secret: wear gold jackets and drink Champagne.” “It’s the world’s most public in-joke,” adds Kerr, the bassist, vocalist and writer, musing on their journey over the last four years. But it doesn’t take that long; after being in a studio for two or three weeks and you get an idea rolling, suddenly the conversation is all about the song: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?’ or ‘Would this work better?’ We’ve never worried ‘What will they think?’ ” Although recording for the album took place in Brussels, Nashville and Los Angeles, going back to their hometown was the key to unlocking their creativity. That’s pretty freaky, when you think about it.” How Did We Get So Dark? “I think we followed that both subconsciously and consciously. There’s also the small matter of How Did We Get So Dark? It’s licensed us to be creative for a living, which is something I thought we’d never be able to do. So maybe it was just being the odd-ones-out and there being a lack of catchy rock tunes around. But weirdly, it stayed very true to the Royal Blood sound because through that experimentation we just realised that if you add the wrong ingredient to our band, it just dilutes it so it becomes like anything else.” The darkness The title, meanwhile, “felt like a stone that was killing a shitload of birds. It wasn’t that it wasn’t a joy to make, but we definitely put a lot of hard work into it. “There’s something about English people, where they will tell you if they don’t …