A novel about weight, an exhibition about famine

Always, my punisher has taunted me with put-downs, insisting that “great” can’t ever apply to me or my life, either. It hadn’t stolen my sense of accomplishment and contentment. It was beyond time for it to kill off my delight and return me to the shadows. Throughout, as I moved from photograph to photograph and sat in the small dark of the film room, the hammer of my heart urged me to rejoice in being alive and in my successes, and to believe that I can be all that I dare to be. Since my flying return to Ireland, I’ve revelled and rejoiced much too much for my punisher’s liking. His identity and specific circumstances are unknown and it’s only in our imagination that we can bring him to light. The Weight of Him review: Sometimes heavy-handed examination of teen suicide The exhibition chronicles the Irish Potato Famine (1845-52) through a short, harrowing film and tens of fascinating if chilling photographs accompanied by informative display panels. I’m not quite sure what pulled me through those wide glass doors and into the exhibition during my brief return from San Francisco to Ireland and amidst a dizzying week of writers’ festivals, book signings, TV and radio interviews, and my novel’s launch party. When I exited the exhibition, the lover of history in me felt satisfied. For decades, my punisher has sliced at me. It’s as if something inside the exhibition somehow finished it off. It hadn’t succeeded in making me feel the all too familiar press of guilt and anxiety. The tour raised studs on my skin and felt especially disconcerting because my mind has been so full of various things fat over the past decade – 10 years spent writing my first novel about a man who is almost 30 stone and his startling quest to better the world. Most remarkable, I walked away from the exhibition having thwarted my punisher. Much more could have been done to alleviate the Irish Potato Famine – a catastrophe that claimed the lives of one million men, women and children to starvation and related diseases, and another million to emigration – but prejudice, greed and politics compounded the staggering devastation. A part that has always dreamed and always wanted more – despite how much the punisher filled me with doubt and fear and self-loathing. An entire nation ravaged by systemic bigotry, poverty, unemployment, disease …

How do I love Phil Collins? Let me count the ways …

Well, I don’t need to tell you, but the zeitgeist was wrong. He also “acted” in the film Buster as the eponymous great train robber and for the soundtrack he sang the melodic baby-boomer throwback A Groovy Kind of Love. Drummer Phil Collins, guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboard and guitarist Tony Banks, singer Peter Gabriel, and drummer Steve Hackett of Genesis, 1972. and, also, I’ll admit it, by the fact that Another Day in Paradise is a terrible, terrible song (ironically a sort of “tax” for the ears). “No!” they scream. He wasn’t averse to pretending his drum sticks were a microphone in the video for the jaunty but existentially troubling Invisible Touch (“A meditation on intangibility” according to music critic Patrick Bateman) or engaging in some rough housing with his silver-throated namesake Philip Bailey in their ironically titled Easy Lover (she doesn’t sound “easy” at all; even at this stage Phil knew that love was pain). Eric Clapton, Chris De Burgh, Dire Straits – these were my jams. “F*ck that. It’s a generational crisis, of course. There weren’t hordes of young folk donning V-neck sleeveless jumpers and slacks and aping male-pattern baldness in those days, but the soulful Sussudio sticksman touched me nonetheless. Phil Collins with US singer Leslie Odom Jr. (Incidentally, if you want to read some erotic fan fiction about Phil, go here:  philrotica.wordpress.com/tag/erotica). Phil Collins is made up of simple geometric shapes. I like to think that from his secluded eyrie Phil watched his renaissance with his little button eyes (lowercase ‘o’s) widening and that a smile (a sideways bracket symbol like this one:) broke out upon his perfectly circular face. He basically looks like an old baby. No!” at the news that Phil Collins is cool now (I should probably stop ringing them in the middle of the night to tell them). As the new millennium dawned, Phil, in seclusion with his synths, paint pots and memories, was rediscovered. But the most important thing about Phil Collins was that the man undeniably knew his way around a musical hook – just listen to epic poptacularity of Against All Odds or the delightful, lyrical gibberising of Sussudio (what does ‘Sussudio’ even mean? No!” This is the problem with cool. Phil may have a gift for melody but saying words convincingly eluded him. By the end of the 1980s “Phil” and “Collins” were becoming bywords for 1980s pop …

Silent Grace and silenced women’s voices

Eileen shares a cell with a young outsider, Aine, and though they have different political viewpoints, a deep bond of friendship is formed. The distributor from before got involved again. I rang up TV3 and spoke to their acquisitions team. The situation changed; TV3 acquisitions now wanted the film, which they had always liked. It offered change where no change seemed possible. They had done an instant broadcast with my previous film Beyond The Fire and indeed they were open. I was lucky enough to attract the superb acting talent of Orla Brady to play Eileen, along with the class acts of Cara Seymour, Cathleen Bradley, Dawn Bradfield, Carol Scanlan, Conor Mullen and Patrick Bergin. I felt in rhythm and encouraged by them. The tipping point had finally arrived. Hope when everything seemed hopeless. Our eyes are not used to images of women confined in shit-smeared cells, or protesting women prisoners entering a state of starvation. The terrain broadens to become human, not just masculine. It was hard to keep going, but I knew the story of Silent Grace would not be complete until there was a wee bit of justice. As he actually owned the rights, I needed him. especially with the topic of women being man-washed from history.” Oscar nominated director-producer Andre Singer loved it as a humanist political film, “a brilliant evocation”. She highlighted the exclusion of women and women’s voices from Troubles films or hunger strike films, and Silent Grace was again mentioned and in detail. So I contacted all the UK and Irish broadcasters but they all said no, though were complimentary about it. As did Cara Seymour. I noticed we weren’t being mentioned anymore when people wrote about the hunger strike films. But I couldn’t manage to close the conversation with a concrete acquisition, though the conversation continued. Let’s not let ourselves or each other be written out of history. Our stories are valuable. Silent Grace gives a fresh perspective. I also had extinguished any internal sense of being secondary. I noticed we weren’t being mentioned anymore when people wrote about the hunger strike films. Step in. There is enough space for all of humanity in the story-telling circle. I wanted to write that into the narrative arc of the film. It also adds layers of complexity to the dirty protest/hunger strike narrative when some of the women are mothers or leaders. Then the …

Sebastian Barry wins Independent Bookshop Week Book Award

An exclusive Philip Pullman essay, Imaginary Friends, will only available for sale in independent bookshops. Cork singer songwriter John Spillane, who tutors the Festival’s song writing workshop, will close the week with an evening of song and story in the intimate setting of Ma Murphy’s. westcorkliteraryfestival.ie CILIP has announced the 2017 Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals: the Man Booker of the children’s publishing world. Writing workshops will be given by by Alissa Nutting, Vona Groarke, Lara Marlowe, Dave Lordan, Jan Carson, Dean Bakopoulos, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Phoebe Smith. Highlights include a keynote talk from modernist scholar Wim Van Mierlo (Loughborough University) entitled “Literary Heritage and the Archive,” a paper by Sam Slote of TCD on James Joyce’s editing of his own work, a presentation from archivists at the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC) and a panel featuring researchers on the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project. More details available at dublinliteraryarchives.com Words Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of its National Mentoring Programme – the first of a broad range of initiatives for writers rolling out in 2017 and 2018. Rarely staged outside its home at the Irish Arts Centre in New York, Muldoon’s Picnic will be on tour from August 26th till September 3rd, with dates in Navan (26 Aug), Galway (29 Aug), Cork (31 Aug), Carrick-on-Shannon (1 Sep), Belfast (2 Sep) and Dublin (3 Sep). The IBW Bookshop Crawl is coming to Dublin on June 24th, the challenge being to visit as many bookshops on one day as you can. On each night of the tour Muldoon and his house band Rogue Oliphant (including Cait O’Riordan of The Pogues, Chris Harford and Ray Kubian) will be joined by special literary and musical guests, including Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Paul Brady, Lisa Dwan, Anne Enright, Martin Hayes, Jennifer Johnston, Michael Longley, The Lost Brothers, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Patrick McCabe, Lisa McInerney, Sinéad Morrissey, Paul Murray, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Declan O’Rourke, Camille O’Sullivan, and Duke Special. Coincidentally, Monday marks the start of Refugee Week in the UK. Tickets €12. Either way, it’s a great night out! wordsireland.ie Words Ireland is also piloting the Venues Initiative that will see a number of literature curators work with regional venues to stage more literature events. The deadline for applications is July 10th. dalkeycastle.com The Literary Archives in the Digital Age conference in Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub (7th-8th July) …

Four fresh tracks you need to hear right now

Peaks is their intriguing debut single. The album’s lead single combines a sneery and a snarling vocal with a riffs so big and dumb it could be elected president of the United States. Ice Cream is the follow up to his 2016 single Tiger Lilly. QOTSA play the 3Arena in Dublin on November 24th. He plays support to UNKLE at the Roisin Dubh as part of the Galway Arts Festival on July 27th. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE The Way You Used to Do ★★★★ Matador When it was announced that Mark Ronson was producing Queens of the Stone Age’s forthcoming new album, Villains, fans of the veteran rockers might have feared the pop hitmaker would come in and upset what is by now a tried and trusted formula. THE KILLERS The Man ★★★ Island I’ve got gas in the tank,” boasts Brandon Flowers, on the lead single from The Killers’ Wonderful Wonderful album. So deep down, you just know he absolutely believes it. “Okay, okay, so there’s abundant evident, starting with the single cover art (depicting a child in an adult’s clothing), to suggest the singer’s tongue is at least partly in his cheek. SLOW PLACE LIKE HOME When I See You… Ice Cream ★★★ Strange Brew Rekkids Slow Place Like Home is the musical nom de guerre of Donegal electronica artist Keith Mannion. But he’s a rock star. It’s a dinky, unimposing and yet infuriatingly catchy track. “I’ve got money in the bank / I’ve got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man.” In other words, ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the Douchebag National Anthem. AGE Peaks ★★★ AGE are a Hackney-based “indie-electronic partnership”, consisting of Irishwoman Jenny Cosgrove and Australian Gavin Dwight. On this evidence, there is zero cause for concern. When I See You…

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling strike back in Netflix’s new ’80s-set drama Glow

“It’s porn you can watch with your kids!” enthuses Marc Maron, playing B-movie-director wash-up Sam Sylvia. Brie, who on Community and Mad Men was girlish, preppy and slightly cracked, is here more fraught and rangy (she trained extensively for the role). Like Orange is the New Black though (Jenji Kohan is a producer), this provides the show with a less interesting protagonist than its wider, diverse ensemble. “Finally!” Glow (Netflix, now streaming), Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s new comedy based on the real Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling phenomenon, doesn’t see the project as anything quite so high-minded or anywhere near as low. “They’re going to be wrestling with their own female stereotypes!” pitches the director of GLOW, a new entertainment for the huge-haired, aerobics-obsessed, coked-up 1980s America. The optimism of the new show is that Glow can be whatever they make it. The stereotypes with which these women wrestle are bundled into an amusingly goofy 1980s nostalgia, where Reagan-era chauvinism comes with back-combed hairdos and squeaky synthesizers, and second-wave feminism meets amped-up training montages. For Alison Brie’s protagonist, Ruth Wilder, that is a chance to create herself: a struggling actress in LA, she sees professional wrestling as a place where actresses might struggle more profitably. This, he continues, ought to endear it to female audiences, while its male appeal will be self-explanatory. Having betrayed her friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin), a former soap-opera actress recruited to be GLOW’s all-American star, Ruth may resist every call for a “cat fight”, yet the show keeps trailing that dynamic. What does it say, though, that one of Ruth’s nicknames, The Homewrecker, has been well earned? It’s an enjoyable confection about empowerment and the media, made more so by the fact that the real women of GLOW finally acquired the franchise, spurring a documentary and now this show. “Tits!” says another. “Blood!” calls one. Glow is available to stream on Netflix from Friday, June 23rd         “Storytelling, ladies,” he insists. Initially they resist the slurs, but popularity puts politics in a chokehold. In one rhetorical flourish, Sam asks his wrestlers what they give the audience. Like Brie, they discover the benefits of playing “the heel”, wrestling’s villain. Its fizzier irony, though, when Ruth becomes a comically taunting Soviet, an ultra-heel, is that only by regaining trust can she and Debbie play mortal enemies in the ring. Here, an Indian woman plays Beirut, …

Six of the best films to see on the big screen this weekend

TWICE SHY ★★★★ Directed by Tom Ryan. 12A cert, lim release, 105 min A cautious but rigorous examination of the pressures that led to the death of Whitney Houston: the $100 million lawsuit her father took against her from his deathbed; the drug addiction; the codependency that she and Bonny Brown slid into. Connors is great. But Twice Shy, as the Nenagh-born director has noted in an interview with The Irish Times, is not “an abortion movie”. Set in Darndale, Cardboard Gangsters has admirable kinetic sweep and a keen sense for the absurdities of city life. Car-crash gawpers may quibble that Broomfield has (respectfully) avoided footage of the final years, but this remains a quietly devastating portrait of a magnificently loud talent. TB Review/Trailer CARDBOARD GANGSTERS ★★★★ Directed by Mark O’Connor. But it is so enjoyable on a scene-by-scene basis that it proves hard to care. It wouldn’t take much for Wonder Woman to become the best film in the DC Extended Universe to date. Barras has a habit of holding group shots longer than expected to press home the increasing closeness of the kids. Sure enough, it knocks Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice into a cocked cowl. 18 cert, gen release, 92 min O’Connor, a young Dubliner of some invention, delivers his most complete film yet with this story of a small-time hoodlum (Connors) seeking to take a few steps up the ladder. The picture does lack story and structure. The picture’s baffling swerves do nothing to deflate its final emotional payoff. Starring Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Bobby Brown, Robyn Crawford. It’s funny, lively and unpretentious. The subsequent death of her daughter Bobbi Kristina adds an awful coda. Only a jerk would complain about it painting to rosy a picture of such scenarios. Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya. The film is a beautifully balanced, visual marvel. What we have is a beautiful fable that plays out in an environment that is so effectively realised the viewers feels he has lived there for days. Starring Shane Murray Corcoran, Iseult Casey, Ardal O’Hanlon, Paul Ronan, Pat Shortt. Sadly, Wonder Woman does still end in the usual boring super-punch-up. Starring: John Connors, Fionn Walton, Jimmy Smallhorne, Kierston Wareing. DC Review/Trailer WONDER WOMAN ★★★ Directed by Patty Jenkins. He gives them round, expressive eyes, framed by reddened rims …

‘Please make this stop’: The really terrible play you won’t want to miss

Self-production isn’t, he admits, the usual course for newbie actors, but he and co-writers Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields were members of a sketch troupe called Mischief Theatre, and Lewis had worked, as a teenager, with Michael Green, the author of the hilarious Art of Coarse Acting. An amateur. There are now four different productions happening simultaneously including ones in the West End and Broadway. There’s a big grandfather clock on stage. The first one-act version of the play was performed, Lewis tells me, on front of 12 people. “I watched the other production and just didn’t know how they did that without hurting her,” she says. It’s called The Murder at Haversham Manor and it is terrible. Invariably, his tights will fall down. We build it up really slowly and the safety routines are really, really precise.” Preparing for their roles also involved being inoculated against embarrassment. “Every audience is different,” says Kirton. “I was playing a dead body on a trolley behind some doors and there was silence on stage and I did the natural thing – I sat up and looked around.” “I was also doing a production of Frankenstein,” says Mortell. The audience thought it was hilarious but I was like ‘Noooo!’ He’s now my husband,” she adds. Lewis was, in the early days, a newly-graduated actor from Lamda (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) hoping “to prove we could put on a show and have it work”. It looks like violence and destruction but it’s just the illusion of violence and destruction. They keep accidentally breaking the fourth wall or blanking their lines or forgetting that their characters are meant to be dead. She was lying on the floor and I thought it had fallen on top of her.” “I survived,” says Mortell, lest I’m in doubt. Is biological knowledge useful for acting? Afterwards, I attempt to confront two of the actors, Sandra Wilkinson and Max Bennett, only to find they are actually named Meg Mortell and Alastair Kirton. “There have been few people who have walked out saying, ‘This is just atrocious, I can’t stay and watch this car crash!’” says Mortell. It’s actually named The Play That Goes Wrong and it has its origins, Mortell tells me, as an independent production staged above the Old Red Lion pub in Islington seven years ago. For actors, being in a play that’s deliberately …

Once upon a pair of wheels: Edgar Wright on Baby Driver

Onwards and upwards. Scott Pilgrim. Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez and Jon Hamm in a scene from ‘Baby Driver’ “I met a few ex-cons in Los Angeles. That scene when you see all the cop cars fan out? And that’s fair. It’s amazing. But only the top 10 per cent of the clever clogs community could – we’re guessing – describe exactly where you were sitting during a 30-minute interview from four years ago. I wanted it to feel authentic.” How does an English director go about meeting bank robbers? “I had been listening to the John Spencer Blues Explosion album Orange. The idea of requiring a perfect getaway track was finessed after Wright encountered a real life bank robber. There’s nobody in the world who doesn’t connect with music in some way.” “Funnily enough, I never had a Walkman as a kid,” says Wright. Baby Driver repeatedly puts a pedal to the metal in order to pay off a debt to criminal kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey), a job that brings him into contact with such undesirable fellows as the increasingly unhinged Buddy (Jon Hamm) and the entirely psychotic Bats (Jamie Foxx). Jon Hamm made the point that you don’t really have to act when you’re travelling down the freeway at 100mph. And over the years, I started to wonder what that car chase was about. There’s no easy shot in a car chase film. Since then, Wright has written The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, has racked up production credits on Son of Rambow, Attack the Block and Sightseers, and featured in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Land of the Dead and Sing. “We’ve met before. There’s nobody in the world who doesn’t connect with music in some way. Marvel ever had”. And one of the robbers said: ‘This is a bad omen. But it did rather leave fans pining for Wright’s original script (co-written with Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish), a script Joss Whedon described as “the best… For World’s End. So that wound up in the movie.” Because I’m a middle class English kid from Somerset making an American crime film. And I think he’s right.” – Baby Driver opens on June 28th Indeed, the writer-director behind the Cornetto Trilogy – Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End – has lost little of …

Can Colin Trevorrow survive The Book of Henry’s critical mauling?

The ‘one and done’ formula isn’t an equal opportunities assist. “That’s part of the job. You’re ready. And I feel like all of us have been given tremendous amounts of creative freedom. “If you’re going to make art you are opening yourself up to intense criticism,” he tells me. Photograph: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage Meanwhile, that same summer, Colin Trevorrow demonstrated the brilliance of the ‘one and done’ system with a four-quadrant sensation. “But there are no Cinderella stories. Gilroy, who wrote several Bourne films and the Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton, was initially paid $200,000 a week to whip the film into shape. “Be proud of everything you paint, even if Mom doesn’t put it on the fridge,” he tweeted last Thursday. Trank disavowed the final cut in a Tweet that was quickly deleted. His first film, Monsters, cost just $500,000; his second was the 2014 reboot of Godzilla, the $529.1 million grossing cornerstone of Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse. Before I sold my first screenplay there was ten years of crushing, mind-numbing rejection. So there was a phone call. As studios become reliant on fewer and more expensive products, control has tightened to a degree not witnessed since the Golden Age petered out during the mid-1950s. Next month, his rather costlier sophomore feature, Spider-Man: Homecoming, web-slings into multiplexes with boffo monetary expectations attached. Many critics have noted that studios are far less keen to play fairy godmother to women or minorities. Rumours of partying, erratic behaviour and studio interference dogged the production. You need to be able to make a lot of decisions and communicate your vision to hundreds of people. That enviable leg-up has proved enormously frustrating for those filmmakers that are, perhaps, accustomed to a greater degree of control on set. Historically, the phrase ‘one and done’ used to refer to those filmmakers who made a stone cold classic – say Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, Saul Bass’ Phase IV, or Barbara Loden’s Wanda – only to never direct another picture. You get your moment. Just ask Gareth Edwards. Of course I’m honoured to be able to do that. Come in and talk to us and tell us how you feel about Jurassic Park. Two months into the dinosaur film’s profitable run, Trevorrow was announced as the director of Star Wars Episode IX. Trevorrow, a former teenage opera star, scored a Netflix hit with Safety Not Guaranteed in 2012. But …

New Game of Thrones trailer sees violence reign supreme

Cersei is seen alive and well after blowing the Sept in King’s Landing to bits and ordering the torture of Septa Unella in the last episode of the previous season. Not a whole pile of specifics there, but the final montage of angry dragons, fleets of ships and armies launching flaming arrows, storming gates and running through fire tells us one thing: this ain’t gonna be pretty. It ends with Sansa’s warning: “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives”. George RR Martin signs up for new Game Of Thrones spin-offs The shows that changed television forever ‘I was born to rule.’ Daenerys Targaryan as Simon Coveney Might he be with his brother Bran Stark, who had ventured north of the wall to learn from the three-eyed raven? Game of Thrones Season 7 will air on Sky Atlantic on July 17th. There is nothing quite like the sound of Petyr Baelish hissing in Sansa Stark’s ear to make the hair stand on the back of your neck (not in a good way), which is how the trailer starts. Always. The gates of the Wall open and we see Jon Snow – whose lovely hair is all crusty with ice – looking perished with a few mates. We then see that Daenerys Targaryen has made it as far as the table at Dragonstone (where Stannis and the Red Lady used to concont their mad plans), Arya is riding a horse and Tyrion looks contemplative on a mountain. Epic battles, the destruction of cities and the loss of countless lives is inevitable in this season. In your mind” – which is really sod all good to those of us hoping for some clues – or even full sentences. Moving on. Fight every battle, everywhere. He tells her “don’t fight in the North, or the South. The latest trailer for the seventh season of Game of Thrones teases us with impending blood shed and barbarity.

Body & Soul 2017: Driving directions and last-minute information

Spread that sunblock. Travel through Delvin, turning right on to the N51. In terms of directions, if you are coming from Mullingar, take the N52 towards Delvin. If you are coming from the M3/N3/N52 or Clonmellon direction, take the M3/N3 North past the toll plazas to the N3 Kells roundabout. We’re also dying to see the stunning brick Funicular Folly built by architect Rae Moore, along with Connor McGrath and Create CNC and their team deep in the woods around the Walled Garden. Bolster your liver. One-day tickets are available only for Sunday. The event is strictly over-20s and photo ID will be requested. Dean has already picked a selection of six fine acts to see this year, though we’d add Icelandic musician Jófríður Ákadóttir, aka JFDR, to the list. Check out Dean Van Nguyen’s guide to the best acts to see. Weekend tickets were still on sale at time of writing, but have typically sold out as the festival opens. Follow this road and then turn left at Crowenstown National School on to the L5525. From there, turn left at Crowenstown National School on to the L5525. Children under 12 go free. Crack that can. Bus tickets to the festival can be bought on the coaches for €25 in advance or €30 return with Marathon Coach Travel. Prep your ears. So here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re heading to Ballinlough Castle. You will soon be all up in the festival’s grille. Decant drinks into plastic before you arrive, as no glass is permitted on site. In terms of provisions, punters can bring 24 cans or one bottle of spirits or three bottles of wine on site. Drivers who arrive with full cars might even get a Green VIP pack from the organisers. Elsewhere on irishtimes.com, you’ll find Louise Bruton’s guide to your last-minute festival essentials, to keep you smoothly motoring over the whole weekend. Gird your loins. They leave from Custom House Quay; look for the temporary bus sign with the Marathon Coach Travel logo. In the village, continue on the N52 into Delvin, before turning left on to the N51 in the village. The good news is that the festival operates a free-flow policy, meaning you can bring alcohol from camp sites into the arenas. Exclusive: Body and Soul stage times revealed Body & Soul: Six acts not to miss Festival shopping: …

Dublin Pride 2017: The events not to miss this weekend

Saturday June 24th Teni Pride Breakfast: The Transgender Equality Network is hosting a breakfast from 10am the morning before the parade, in the Church cafe, Mary Street, Dublin 1. The official Pride afterparty is in Smithfield Square, while Pantibar is hosting a street party from 2pm. The theme this year is “finding your inner hero” and people are encouraged to dress up in their favourite superhero costume. The party includes food stalls, a family playground and the Pride shop. The event is free to attend and requires no pre-registration. For more information see www.dublinpride.ie Party in the Square: The official afterparty will be held in Smithfield square from 1pm to 7pm. The Dublin Pride parade begins at 2pm this Saturday, but there are plenty of other festival events to keep you occupied. If you fancy staying indoors, the George is holding its annual Pride afterparty, or Mother is taking over the Tivoli from 4pm. It’s hosted by Panti Bliss, and performers include Niamh Kavanagh and Brian Kennedy. The main event: The pre-parade rally kicks off from noon in St.   Thursday June 22nd Gaylí: The annual Pride ceilí (“gaylí”) returns this year to Pantibar, Capel Street Dublin 1. Sunday June 25th Hangover Acoustic Sessions: Hair of the dog is supposedly one of the best cures for a hangover, so if you’re feeling a little worse for wear after the night before, Street 66 on Parliament Street are hosting some acoustic sessions from 5pm. The festival has been running since Friday June 16th and closes after the parade. Following breakfast, Teni will head to the start of the parade route. Saturday night: The night out following the parade is probably more important than the parade itself, and there’s no shortage of choice. Featuring live sets from local musicians, admission is free or if you’re still going strong, Shirley Temple Bar’s Pride Bingo takes its usual slot in the George from 9pm. Friday June 23rd Pride warm-up with Veda: George performer, Veda Lady, pays a visit to Street 66, Parliament Street, Dublin 2, on Friday to host a pride warm up show. Admission is free. Along with Pixie Woo, they’ll be performing some 1980s classics from 9pm. If you feel like rehashing your days at the crossroads or learning a few new steps then head down from 9pm. The new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, is also planning to march in the main event …

The Crystal Maze: the best children’s programme ever made for adults

But such post-modern riffing is a staple of light entertainment now, so when Richard Ayoade does it, it feels studied and detached (O’Brien originally started doing his asides to camera as a way to amuse the crew; they were never meant for broadcast, the loveable nut). And so they were. As Ayoade notes, slightly wearily, “Society has accorded these people celebrity status.” Yes, Richard O’Brien’s breed of genuinely unhinged eccentricity has given way to something more arch. Yes, such is the lot of the worker in the era of late capitalism. The guests are frightened Strictly Come Dancer Ore Oduba, The Only Way is Essex star Lydia Bright, likeably nervous television presenter Alex Brooker, hyperactive dance-bunny Louie Spence, and Geordie Shore’s bright and sparkly Vicky Pattison. Compared to O’Brien’s sartorial madness, Ayoade’s bright red suits seem almost bank-managerial. These are all, as you’ve no doubt recognised, metaphors for the human condition. The contestants were then incarcerated in themed cells until they completed physical, psychological or intellectual puzzle, “helped” by their bellowing team mates without, in exchange for much coveted crystals (much of the pyramidal, crystalline symbology of The Crystal Maze should be grist to the mill of contemporary conspiracy theorist). It was the best children’s programme ever made for adults (and I’m including House of Cards and True Detective in this) and it’s back tonight for a series with a celebrity version in aid of Stand Up to Cancer (there was also a one-off episode helmed by Stephen Merchant last year). It’s also, even if you missed that subtext, good clean, family fun. Time will tell how it fares in these Eurosceptical times. Who has not, in their way, been trapped in a crystal maze? “We were talking before,” says Ayoade, accurately. Hurray! The premise was that a group of jump-suited enthusiasts were guided through four different zones, representing, if I understand them correctly, the four stages of historical development as laid out by Marx: “medieval”; “industrial”; “futuristic”; and “Aztec”. Famous people now include “reality stars”,something that didn’t exist in 1990 (we had a firmer grasp on reality then and so we all thought we were “reality stars” or, at least, “reality extras”). He was the only regular cast member, if you didn’t count Mumsy, the strange rambling lady who lived in the Medieval Zone, divining the future with Tarot cards (sadly, Theresa May wasn’t available for the reboot). Brooker …

Justin Bieber live: verdict of the fans – ‘amazing’, ‘flawless’, ‘incredible’

Our reviewer was less than impressed with Justin Bieber’s “limp, flaccid, uncomfortable performance” at the RDS on Wednesday night. Judging by the reaction on Twitter, there wasn’t a disappointed Belieber in the stadium. However, the sold out Irish leg of Bieber’s Purpose world tour fully lived up fans’ expectations who described the gig as “amazing” and in some cases, “the best concert I’ve ever been to”. Name a better concert, I'll wait #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/LWIpVvQjEz— kayla (@kaylalcoholic) June 22, 2017 BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE #PurposeTourDublin @justinbieber pic.twitter.com/yzY1IV8sFH— Kaitlyn (@kaitlyn_donaghy) June 22, 2017 I can't believe last night is all over💔 never seen my boy look so flawless😍😪 #Purposetourdublin— 1.3.94 (@ChelseaParke_x) June 22, 2017 GUYS I THINK AM GOING TO CRY 😭 I can't believe it's all over 😭 #PurposeTourDublin #PurposeTourStadiumsDublin #JustinBieber pic.twitter.com/RPv4Ibvwgs— smellsofjustin (@smellsofjustin) June 22, 2017 5th time seeing my babe @justinbieber lastnight and he gets better everytime 😍 #PurposeTourDublin— piglet (@beckydevenney) June 22, 2017 Thank you for an incredible night!! @justinbieber #PurposeTourDublin It's definitely a night I will never forget 💙💙— Amie_moy2005xx (@moy2005xx) June 22, 2017 Best night ever. #PurposeTourDublin— Abigail Murfitt (@abigailmurfitt) June 22, 2017 I never though I'd say this but Justin Bieber's concert is the best concert I've ever been to 😍😭🙌🏻 #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/0XWNeBmFdq— // Rhona // (@harterhonax) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber thank you for your show last night I felt the love through every song 🙌🇨🇮#PurposeTourDublin— HereForBizzle (@justinismyall1) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber waited 10 hours but it was worth it ❣️ #purposetourdublin pic.twitter.com/wszbnasjgO— beth slevin ♡ (@bethslevin) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber #rdsdublin #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/XDupL5ZqN7— JBGold913 – Jessica (@jbgold913) June 21, 2017 Thanks Justin for such an amazing time! Yep my ears are ringing but it was defiantly worth it!! @justinbieber thank you for your show last night I felt the love through every song 🙌🇨🇮#PurposeTourDublin— HereForBizzle (@justinismyall1) June 22, 2017 Justin gorgeous show I'm proud of you #PurposeTourDublin 👏 pic.twitter.com/4cCKrN0y7d— Marta Lipinska (@MartaLipinska) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber was at ur Dublin concert❤️it was amazing❤️sml #PurposeTourDublin— Eve Knowles (@EveKnowles12) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber I'm so happy that I finally came to see you @ #PurposeTourDublin 9 years I waited to see ur show & it was so amazing ❤️stompin pic.twitter.com/foOUJWQIUR— Shauna (SoB) o Brien (@ShaunaSoB) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber was absolutely amazing in Dublin last night💞 #PurposeTourDublin— Jadeeee❤️❤️ (@mrsjadehoranx) June 22, 2017

Sheila O’Flanagan’s gem of an idea

Learning about a different industry or career choice can open your mind creatively as well as practically and it’s always a joy to talk to experts in their particular fields about what they do and why they chose to do it. I wondered if it was difficult to know that it would always be other people who wore the finished product, or if simply creating a beautiful piece was enough reward in itself. New techniques meant jewellers were able to replicate original pieces, and costume jewellery in bright colours became very popular as less wealthy people could afford to treat themselves to something that sparkled. The characters and their personal stories are the main drivers of every one of my novels. My favourite is the Black Orlov, also known as The Dark Eye of Brahma, which was stolen (as so many cursed stones are) from a sacred shrine. As I spoke to designers and jewellery makers, I realised that crafting any piece of jewellery is as much an art form as sculpting or painting. The beginning of the nineteenth century ushered in a modern era, led by the growing dominance of the USA, and jewellery makers used the geometric lines of famous NY buildings as an influence for the art deco designs that began to proliferate. What Happened That Night by Sheila O’Flanagan is published by Headline Review at £14.99 Classic influences in the past were often ancient motifs and emblems, with religious icons being particularly popular. But they are glamorous onlookers, pulsating with light and colour, keeping their own secrets as they have done in the billions of years until now and will do for billions of years into the future. All authors inhabit the lives and worlds of their characters and this allows us to explore ways of thinking and acting that we wouldn’t even consider outside the pages of our books. In the quest for verisimilitude, I’ve been on a winter archaeological dig near Galway where I feared I might lose my fingers to frostbite, spent time in the control tower at Dublin airport where incoming and outgoing flights are treated like avatars in a video game, and channelled my inner Evelyn Cusack by preparing and delivering a (sadly unrealistic) long-term good-weather forecast at RTÉ. There is, of course, a fine line between adding a touch of realism to your book and writing a how-to manual; the …

Body & Soul 2017: This is how to get there

Departure times on Friday are 10:30am, 11am, 11.30am, 2.30pm, 3pm and 7pm. You can also check out the fill list of performers and stage times here. Body & Soul is almost open us. They leave from Custom House Quay; look for the temporary bus sign with the Marathon Coach Travel logo. What else? The good news is that the festival operates a free-flow policy, meaning you can bring alcohol from camp sites into the arenas. What else is worth knowing? In terms of directions, if you are coming from Mullingar, take the N52 towards Delvin. What else are we looking forward to? From there, turn left at Crowenstown National School on to the L5525. Weekend tickets were still on sale at time of writing, but have typically sold out as the festival opens. Follow this road and then turn left at Crowenstown National School on to the L5525. The summer is upon us. Shake out that tent. In the village, continue on the N52 into Delvin, before turning left on to the N51 in the village. Check out Dean Van Nguyen’s guide to the best acts to see. The Dark and Stormy bar has a whopper musical line-up to go with the best drinks selection to be found in Ballinlough. And of course you wouldn’t want to miss The Irish Times selection of talks, discussions and entertainment on the Wonderlust stage all Saturday afternoon, curated by, well, me. Bolster your liver. It’s Body and Soul time. We are now officially knee-deep in the festival season. The event is strictly over-20s and photo ID will be requested. Travel on the N51, before turning right after The Crowenstown Inn on to the L5525. One-litre plastic bottles will be available at the main entrance for €1. If you need a lift or have space in your vehicle, check out Go Car Share where people can get there for the price of the petrol. We’re also dying to see the stunning brick Funicular Folly built by architect Rae Moore, along with Connor McGrath and Create CNC and their team deep in the woods around the Walled Garden. Exclusive: Body and Soul stage times revealed Body & Soul: Six acts not to miss Festival shopping: Pack wisely, it might get rough Option three is from the direction of Athboy. Crack that can. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s 11am only. Bus tickets to the festival can …

Report shows trust in news higher in Ireland than international average

Consumers of The Irish Times, TheJournal.ie and Today FM were the most left-wing, while consumers of RTE Radio, Sky News and the Irish Independent online were the most right-wing. Willingness to pay for news was highest in households with gross income in excess of €100,000 and lowest in households with gross income below €20,000. However, the slow decline of TV and newspaper consumption continues, particularly among people between aged 35 and 45. The research was conducted online in January/February 2017 with a sample of 2,000 people, all of whom had accessed news in the previous month. However, interest in many categories of news has declined, with some 44 percent of consumers indicating they were not interested in celebrity and entertainment news, with 42 percent not interested in sports news. Consumer willingness to pay for online news has increased marginally over each of the last two years, reaching 10 per cent in 2017. The Irish digital media market is currently in a phase of consolidation with few major developments over the past 12 months. A breakdown of the sources of traditional news used in Ireland shows the country roughly mirroring the international average, with one notable exception; some 66 per cent of respondents indicated they use RTÉ as their main source of traditional news compared to an international average of 49 percent for national public service broadcasters. The main reasons given for not wanting to pay for online news are because a lot of news is available free; it is assumed much of it is not worth paying for; that legacy news is preferred; or that it is too expensive. Meanwhile, other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have lost some traction for news consumption since 2015. “News providers might also reconsider their menu offerings in the areas of business and sport where female interest levels are much lower than male,” they add. Given that these areas interest just 26 percent of women, do such assumptions about content need to be re-examined?” Ireland is notably less partisan and more centrist than most other countries, according to the survey, and the political leaning of the consumers of various Irish news brands reflects this. Some 72 per cent of Irish news consumers trust most of the news they receive most of the time and 70 per cent say the news industry does a good job helping them distinguish fact from fiction. There is …

Justin Bieber fans go home happy after ‘amazing’ Dublin gig

I can't believe last night is all over💔 never seen my boy look so flawless😍😪 #Purposetourdublin— 1.3.94 (@ChelseaParke_x) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber thank you for your show last night I felt the love through every song 🙌🇨🇮#PurposeTourDublin— HereForBizzle (@justinismyall1) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber #PurposeTourDublin It's definitely a night I will never forget 💙💙— Amie_moy2005xx (@moy2005xx) June 22, 2017 Thank you for an incredible night!! BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE #PurposeTourDublin @justinbieber pic.twitter.com/yzY1IV8sFH— Kaitlyn (@kaitlyn_donaghy) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber waited 10 hours but it was worth it ❣️ #purposetourdublin pic.twitter.com/wszbnasjgO— beth slevin ♡ (@bethslevin) June 22, 2017 Name a better concert, I'll wait #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/LWIpVvQjEz— kayla (@kaylalcoholic) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber #rdsdublin #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/XDupL5ZqN7— JBGold913 – Jessica (@jbgold913) June 21, 2017 Thanks Justin for such an amazing time! Yep my ears are ringing but it was defiantly worth it!! Justin gorgeous show I'm proud of you #PurposeTourDublin 👏 pic.twitter.com/4cCKrN0y7d— Marta Lipinska (@MartaLipinska) June 22, 2017 Our reviewer was less than impressed with Justin Bieber’s “limp, flaccid, uncomfortable performance” at the RDS on Wednesday night. However, the sold out Irish leg of Bieber’s Purpose world tour fully lived up fans’ expectations who described the gig as “amazing” and in some cases, “the best concert I’ve ever been to”. Judging by the reaction on Twitter, there wasn’t a diappointed Belieber in the stadium. I never though I'd say this but Justin Bieber's concert is the best concert I've ever been to 😍😭🙌🏻 #PurposeTourDublin pic.twitter.com/0XWNeBmFdq— // Rhona // (@harterhonax) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber thank you for your show last night I felt the love through every song 🙌🇨🇮#PurposeTourDublin— HereForBizzle (@justinismyall1) June 22, 2017 Best night ever. #PurposeTourDublin— Abigail Murfitt (@abigailmurfitt) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber was absolutely amazing in Dublin last night💞 #PurposeTourDublin— Jadeeee❤️❤️ (@mrsjadehoranx) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber was at ur Dublin concert❤️it was amazing❤️sml #PurposeTourDublin— Eve Knowles (@EveKnowles12) June 22, 2017 @justinbieber I'm so happy that I finally came to see you @ #PurposeTourDublin 9 years I waited to see ur show & it was so amazing ❤️stompin pic.twitter.com/foOUJWQIUR— Shauna (SoB) o Brien (@ShaunaSoB) June 22, 2017 GUYS I THINK AM GOING TO CRY 😭 I can't believe it's all over 😭 #PurposeTourDublin #PurposeTourStadiumsDublin #JustinBieber pic.twitter.com/RPv4Ibvwgs— smellsofjustin (@smellsofjustin) June 22, 2017 5th time seeing my babe @justinbieber lastnight and he gets better everytime 😍 #PurposeTourDublin— piglet (@beckydevenney) June 22, 2017