My Poet Dark and Slender

This weekend I’m heading west for the Galway Theatre Festival and in particular to catch Roisin Stack’s new work ‘My Poet Dark and Slender’. If you’re in the Galway area, make sure to check it out but be warned tickets are selling fast. Get yours here

Running at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre,  My Poet Dark and Slender is based on a story by Padraic O’Conaire, and staged by Mmm Theatre. Set in 1915, it centres on a bored housewife called Eileen who embarks on a brazen affair with a handsome poet. The production features mask, stylised movement, and an original score by Aindrias de Staic.

Roisin chatted with Charlie McBride of the Galway Advertiser earlier this week about the play.

“The story is a memory told from Eileen’s perspective,” explains director Róisín Stack, “and because memories are often patchy and unreliable, we’re taking artistic liberties in how we present her story. We have lights that cast shadows, music that warps out of time, characters played by everyone in the cast, and a lot of stylised movement. It’s not a straight-forward piece of theatre by any means.

“I came across the story in Scoithscealta and was first drawn to it because of its title,” Stack continues. “Then when I read it I was really surprised to find it was quite a passionate story. It has a lot of imagery about the devil, fire, passion, and it is beautifully written with a great twist in it as well. It’s told from the woman’s perspective which is unusual for the time. We’ve used O’Conaire’s story as a springboard, we did a lot of devising and brought in other material; a Dorothy Parker reading, contemporary songs, a re-mixed John McCormack ballad, a speech by Daniel O’Connell, writing from Joan Didion, so we’ve looked beyond the original story in putting together the show.”

The cast for My Poet Dark and Slender includes Daniel Guinnane, Jo Lopez, Lucia Smyth, Muirenn Ní Raghallaigh, and Réidín Ní Thuama, while Conor Kennedy-Burke is movement director. It is at the Mick Lally Theatre from tomorrow up to and including Monday May 2 at 8.30pm.


Second Captains in San Fran

Its been a while since I posted anything on my blog. I’ve been somewhat snowed under working on a project all summer. You’ll hear all about that when its ready.

In the meantime here is a short piece I cut for my office mates Second Captains.
It chronicles their visit at the start of the summer to San Francisco as part of their #PBESO World Tour. Here it is…

You can follow Second Captains on Twitter, Facebook, Online and off course don’t forget to check out their awesome podcasts every week from the Irish Times

Their tv show also returns on Sept 9th. Don’t miss it!!!

Chance to see new theatre in London this Friday…

People of London, you’ve a golden opportunity to see some exciting theatre this weekend. On Friday at 4pm in the Gielgud Theatre, RADA you can catch a rehearsed read-through of a new work by Maureen O’Connell entitled ‘Good Girl’

Alexandra comes runner up in a Page 3 Contest and will only get the winning money of £3000 if she goes ahead with the glamour shoot. Will she do it?

Good Girl is about Alexandra. A young woman who decides to do a topless glamour shoot after her ex-boyfriend posts a photo of her online and she inadvertently becomes runner up in a Page 3 Contest. She’s applied to go to college but she decides this may just be a much more lucrative option for her and may give her the money she’s been so desperately wanting to go back home to Australia. She’s wise to the world. But does everyone agree with her? Can she maintain relationships with her father & those that judge this decision in a darker light?

Tickets are available here

Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it over but if I lived in London there is no way I’d miss this.

Máire T. Robinson book launch

Today marks the day that my amazing wife Máire launches her debut novel ‘Skin Paper Stone’. The launch is happening at 6:30 upstairs in Nealons Bar on Capel Street, Dublin.


The book is available to buy in all good bookstores and online including directly from the publishers New Island

The book was reviewed in the Irish Times last week which was incredible and it good a great review which you can read here

“Skin, Paper, Stone is a deceptively simple novel that packs a punch. Robinson writes with warmth and understanding, giving the reader a bird’s-eye view of a modern, post-boom Galway through a diverse and credible cast of characters.”

– Sarah Gilmartin, The Irish Times

Earlier this week Máire was interviewed by Shane Cosgrove for the Circular, you can read that here.

About the book…
People think that if they go far away they’ll leave the parts of themselves they don’t like behind. But it doesn’t work like that…’

Stevie moves to Galway to pursue her PhD and takes refuge in the city, and in her relationship with Joe Kavanagh, a charismatic but dispirited artist.

Both are looking for something more, but struggle to navigate their way free from the claustrophobia of their lives, the limited circle of acquaintances, the lack of ambition. Escape is the only option, but the surface level of friendliness surrounding them masks a deeper hinterland of jealousy, secrets and violence that can break out at any time.

Exploring the chaos and confusion faced by those in their late twenties with humour, pathos and insightful sensitivity, Skin, Paper, Stone is the first novel by Máire T. Robinson, an exciting new voice in Irish writing.

About the Author


MÁIRE T. ROBINSON lives in Dublin City. She graduated from NUI, Galway in 2008 with a Masters in Writing. Since then, her short stories have been published in the Irish Independent, Horizon Review, Crannóg Magazine, Cuadrivio (in Spanish Translation) and the Chattahoochee Review. Máire was nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award in Emerging Fiction in 2012, and was the overall winner of the Doire Press Chapbook Competition, 2013. Her chapbook of short stories Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart was published by Doire Press in 2013. Skin, Paper, Stone is her first novel.

Seán Dennehy in the Project Fri & Sat

Seán Dennehy (All Ireland Poetry Slam Champion 2012) explores time, place, love, loss and longing through his own work and that of Thomas Moore, Louis McNeice, Leonard Cohen and others in his new show ‘Pieces’ which is on this Friday and Saturday in the Project Arts Centre at 8:15.

Pieces is an evening of poetry and song to stir and soothe the soul in equal measure and it is a show not to be missed.

Seán will be joined in the intimate surroundings of Project Cube for two nights only by Tim Dennehy and Irene O’ Mara.

Tickets are available in advance from the project website here

you can also purchase a copy of pamhplet of Seáns written poetry here

Tommy Tiernan Crooked Man airs tonight.

Tonight on TV3 you can a catch a special version of Tommy Tiernan’s Crooked Man. Its on at 10 tonight and is very very funny.
Here’s a sample clip…

I cut this special tv version. The original dvd version which was directed by Richard Ayoade was originally cut by a post house in London
Tommy Tiernan

Todays the day to donate to ‘The Queen of Ireland’. DO IT

Over the last few weeks the good people at Blinder Films have been raising money on Indiegogo for a very exciting and important project. Its a feature documentary about ‘Panti Bliss’ called ‘the Queen of Ireland’. So far the campaign has raised over 30,000 but is still 20 grand shy of their 50k total. A very generous backer has come on board and offered to match whatever money is raised today Sep 5th. So TODAY IS THE DAY TO DONATE

You can do that HERE

This is a very worthy cause so give what you can. Here’s some more info on the film…

Here’s a sneak peak promo form the film

Panti Bliss is many things: part glamorous aunt, part Jessica Rabbit, she’s a wittily incisive performer with charisma to burn who is regarded as one of the best drag queens in the business.

Created by Rory O’Neill, Panti is also an accidental activist and in her own words ‘a court jester, whose duty is to say the un-sayable’. Over the last few years Rory has become a figurehead for LGBT rights in Ireland and since the recent scandal around Pantigate, his fight for equality and against homophobia has been recognised all around the world.

“Being gay pushed me, pushed us to think. And from it came an explosion of art, politics, passion. A lust for life and all it could be. “

– Rory O’Neill

The Queen of Ireland is not just about Panti Bliss the performer, or Rory O’Neill the accidental activist. It is about how one man in a dress has mobilized a nation and an international community to stand up and fight against injustice.


Blog Award Nomination

Delighted to say that I have been nominated in the 2014 Blog Awards in the Best Arts and Culture category. The shortlist will be published on 22nd August and then there’s another judging round for the finalist stage. The awards are being held on 4th October in the Westgrove Hotel in Clane. There will be a sit down dinner, fun, games, spot prizes, music and dancing. The theme for this year is the 80s, so should I get on the final shortlist, I’m going to rock my white sports jacket to the max. Anyways I’m pleased I got nominated and can now stick the funky looking badge on my site.

In other news the Irish Independent did a list of five of the best Irish sports documentaries. The writer clearly has something of a short memory as all the docs were released in the last 2 years or so but that I suppose that was good news for me as it meant 2 docs I cut made the grade. When Ali Came to Ireland and Ras Tailtean were the chosen two. Of course I reckon they would be in any top list of Irish films but I would say that wouldnt I…

When Ali Came To Ireland
When Ali Came To Ireland

Behind the Blackboard

I’ve been pretty lax about updating this blog in recent weeks so I’m going to add a few bits over the next few days about whats been going on. Its been a pretty hectic couple of weeks for me personally, moving house, getting married, honeymoon, crash back to the reality of working. In that time a lot has happened and I will deal with some of that in later posts.

In the meantime lets start with my appearance on the series finale of the quite excellent Second Captains live a few weeks back. In case you didn’t know my brother Ciarán is one of the shows presenters and as part of a sketch they were doing they were looking back at his early tv appearances. Several of those were on seminal kids quiz show Blackboard Jungle where he represented St.Jarlaths College Tuam, who were captained by yours truly. The piece went down a storm and I had great fun doing it.
Here it is…

New show by Will O’Kane opens in Westport

Mayo People, put down your rudimentary stone tools and get thee to some culture…

My old college buddy Will O’Kane has a new show open this Thursday in Westport. If you are in the area its well worth a trip to Custom House Studios Gallery at Westport Quay. The show is called “Mean / Appendices” and runs from Thursday February 13th 2014 at 7.30pm until March 9th 2014.

This show deploys different processes of painting – the use of photographic referents, observational study, conceptual analysis, memory, copying – in order to consider the construction of meaning within a work. Genres such as portraiture and still life are used to consider themes such as the construction of identity, repetition, painting as metaphor, difference, and also the use of painting to explore ethical concerns.

Will O'Kane 1

Within this show, in counterpoint to the paintings, there will also be a series of arrangements or ‘Appendices’ comprised of photographs, objects, drawings, photocopies, ‘things’, and concepts . Some have been used as sources, references and inspiration for paintings. Some are works themselves.

Will O’Kane has exhibited around Ireland in solo, two person, and group shows such as the Claremorris Open Exhibition, Glór Ennis, Members’ Exhibitons in Ormston House Limerick, RHA Annuals, 126 Members’ Show Galway, Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery, and Ballina Arts Centre.