Monday, October 31, 2011

Eve of All Hallows Festival in St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral have a programme of family-friendly Halloween events for today. There's a range of children's activities, tours of the cathedral, a tour of the cathedral's graves, and finally at 4:30 pm a candle-lit organ recital. Most of the events do not require booking.

Ticket prices:
Family tickets: €15 (two adults and up to four children)
Adult admission: €5.50
Concessions and children over seven: €4.50
Children under seven: free

Well done to St Patrick's. I think it's great to see this sort of open and inviting use of such venues.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'All the Ends of the Earth' - Ergodos in Project Arts Centre

For one show only, music company Ergodos are in Project Arts Centre this evening (Saturday 29th October) with a performance called All the Ends of the Earth. The programme features seven works inspired by the Medieval French composer Léonin. No, I haven't heard of him before either, but I quite liked the sample track ("Revelavit") by Linda Buckley over on her website, lindabuckley.org.

Here's part of what Ergodos have to say about this show:
“It is this transcendentalism that has captured the aural imagination of several young composers. All the Ends of the Earth showcases three Irish composers who have found inspiration in the clarity of Léonin’s constructions, and the quality of his simple materials: Garrett Sholdice’s work represents a new and personal conceptualization of Léonin’s forms; Benedict Schlepper-Connolly’s language resonates with the austerity of Léonin – Schlepper-Connolly continuously re-shapes, and strips away, searching for an essence; Linda Buckley’s slow-burning, almost gothic works invoke the muscular harmonic world of medieval organum.”


In case you're wondering, very little actually seems to be known about Léonin. His music stands on its own, with almost no biographical story to accompany it.

Tickets cost €15/€10 and the performance is on at 8 PM.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Halloween - Dark Stories at National Leprechaun Museum

We recently highlighted the Dark Stories event organised by National Leprechaun Museum for the nights surrounding Halloween. Last night, of all nights, a preview was held, and a number of bloggers and writers braved the elements to get a glimpse of the Otherworld. Little did we know that by the time we would emerge into the streets of Dublin again, the Otherworld would have followed us and attempted to drag the city away into the depths.

I will not say too much to avoid spoiling the experience. The participants are sent off on a journey through the lands of spirits and death, through darkness - and there is a lot of darkness - and stories of old and new. This is most decidedly not a jolly haunted house for the kids: the stories are laden with gore, sex and mystical rock'n'roll. At least one of the story points was genuinely unsettling, and I was, in fact, rather glad to have a companion along whose hand to hold. The transitions from one room to another could have been smoother; at the first transition the group was left wondering for a couple of minutes which way to go at a dead end, which jarred a little. However, this was a minor moment of confusion. The performers were skilled and convincing and the environments creatively put together. After we completed the journey, we were served some tasty poitin while an enthusiastic gentleman told us more stories, this time about ghost hunting.

It was a very enjoyable experience put together by people who clearly sincerely love what they are doing. It is a tendency for any people to not pay a great deal of attention to their own heritage. Even as I would definitely recommend the Leprechaun Museum to foreigners, I would strongly encourage the natives to visit as well. You might discover that the stories resound with parts of you of which you were not previously aware. Samhain Nights would be a perfect opportunity for a first visit. Just remember to hold on to the little gift you're given before you embark on your journey - it might just save your life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Correction - Dine in Dublin times

We got a very helpful comment in response to Claire's recent post about Dine in Dublin. Thanks, Kathryn. Here's the comment:

The menus are actually running each evening FROM 7pm* not before and they are running concurrently with A la Carte menus. You will be given a choice of choosing from the specific Dine In Dublin Menu or you can choose to select from their traditional menu.

*Some menus are running for longer.


Personally I'm delighted to see that some of the Dine in Dublin offers are for only €15 or €20, as I'd previously thought that the €25 to €30 price range just wasn't much of a special offer in many cases.

I'd recommend L'Gueuleton, Ely, Saba, and/or the Unicorn (only €25!). I'm a little disappointed to see that Le Mere Zou isn't listed.

Grand Canal Theatre to change its name

Er, what?

The Grand Canal Theatre is to change its name to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from 7th March 2012, according to reports this lunch time.  Is this a joke?  Bord Gáis only recently put up their prices again for domestic customers and yet they have the money to sponsor a name-change of a theatre for the next 6 years?  I can't imagine this will do their PR image any good.  Apparently though, the deal includes discounts on tickets for BG customers and the GCT will switch to Bord Gais for the energy supply.  Hopefully there won't be quite so many texts as from O2 re: the PointThe O2.  I feel quite grumpy about this news.

Gaelcon

Gaelcon, Ireland's premier games convention, returns to the Ballsbridge Inn (D4 Hotels)** this coming bank holiday weekend for 3.5 days of board games, war games, role-play games, and card games with trade stands and industry guests.  Many of the day events are child-friendly and parents can accompany them.  Evening activities include the annual table quiz and charity auction with the money going to selected children's charities.  Their website has all the details of the jam-packed schedule.  Tickets range from €7 a day per child to €28 for a full weekend adult ticket.  I've been to this event more times than I care to admit, even taking "recovery" days off work and it's always good fun.  I'm sure this year won't be any different.

**Due to the unprecedented weather last night, the Ballsbridge Inn is flooded and closed.  Gaelcon has been moved to the concert hall part of the RDS, on the corner of Anglesea Rd and Merrion Rd.   It's not up on the website yet but apparently it's not a joke.  I'll keep an eye on their twitter feed for any further information.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dine In Dublin is back!

Dine in Dublin returns from 24th - 30th October 2011.  During that week, participating restaurants will have good set menus of their most popular dishes at promotional prices ranging from €15 - €30.  The à la carte menus are also available.  In the past, it's always been just €25 or €30 menus so it's nice to see a response to harder times.  Presumably also part of that is a deal they've done with Park Rite who will provide discounted parking in certain car parks (surprisingly including the normally scandalously priced Fleet St) at an evening rate of €3.  It's not clear to me how you prove you are participating in Dine in Dublin to the car park payment machine though.

So what restaurants are taking part this year?  There's a big list this year.  Highlights for me would be Fallon & Byrne and Dada.  There's a quite a few in suburbs this year too.  On that list, I like Washerwoman's Hill in Glasnevin and Essence in Swords.  You do need to mention Dine in Dublin when you reserve at table, and it has to be before 7pm, which I think is not terribly in the spirit of the whole thing.  Over all, though it's a great way to try out restaurants you haven't eaten in before. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stampa 2011

Stampa is the annual national stamp exhibition.  It's now in its 40th year and takes places this coming weekend from 21st - 23rd October in the RDS in Ballsbridge.  It's in the Serpentine Hall.  For Irish stamp collectors, this is the highlight of the year.  Along with exhibitions, collectors can get valuations, trade and buy stamps and avail of special covers printed for Stampa.  They also have competitions to win various collectable stamps and first day covers.  Surely a must for Dublin philatelists.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: The Wild Bride

I am stingy with my standing ovations. I sometimes feel that they are delivered too easily in the Irish theatre. Yet, last night, I was one of the first to pop up like a meercat in the avalanche of applause and shouting that greeted The End of Kneehigh's The Wild Bride. Part Brothers Grimm, part musical, part a lovechild of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton, it's all wonderful.

The Wild Bride channels old folktales about the tribulations and triumphs of the female spirit. The roles are archetypal and nameless: the important, near Freudian, dual masculine of The Father/The Prince, the threefold self of The Girl/The Wild/The Woman, The Devil and The Musician. The limited cast are reminiscent of mystery plays or mummers. At no point is the audience allowed to forget that this is a play, a story. Folktale motifs appear here and there throughout the tripartite set, the events are narrated in skillful rhyme by the Devil (magnificent Stuart McLoughlin), and the cast occasionally slams the door in the fourth wall wide open. The dreamlike, timeless stage setting, with its dark, earthy and sepia tones, interacts well with the red opulence of the Gaiety Theatre. The spectator is moved slightly out of time and place.

The cast are remarkably multitalented. Acting aside, the roles involve dancing, live music and singing. The music is a heady mix of gospel, jazz, ragtime, blues and folk. The singing is as good as it can be in a theatre environment, with Audrey Brisson (The Girl) in particular producing unearthly chants from such a small frame.

"I didn't think theatre came that good in this country," remarked my rather cynical companion as we were leaving. As it happens, Kneehigh are based in Cornwall. Full points to the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival for bringing them to us. I for one will keep keeping an eye on this company and agree with my companion who proceeded to announce, "I'd travel for them."

The Wild Bride at the Gaiety very sadly ends today after only three performances.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Over 50s Show & Back to my Past at the RDS

Never let it be said that we are solely about crazy young people activities.  The Over 50s Show returns to the RDS the weekend after next, 21 - 23 October.  It's a fairly comprehensive event covering travel, health, beauty, hobbies, financial advice and gardening.  There's competitions as well.  It costs €10 to get in.

As part of it, they have a "Back to our Past" show, which is for all you budding genealogists out there.  Now, I'm far from over 50 but I have done a lot of work in tracing my ancestry.  I haven't been in previous years but I am going this year.  It will feature all the major genealogy organisations working in Ireland like the National Archives, the National Library, Eneclann, Who do you think you are magazine, Irish Roots magazine, Roots Ireland, Ancestry, Find My Past.   I could go on.  They also have an extensive lecture program which will feature various famous genealogists (for certain values of famous!)  Unfortunately, most of the really good ones are on Friday, when those of us under 50 will be at work.  I'm particularly interested to hear the talk on how they film Who do you think you are? and one about getting the best from newspapers.  This event is also €10 to get in - it's not clear if it's the same tenner or a second one.  You can get a an advance ticket for a fiver from Irish Genealogy News and there's also online booking.  Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Samhain nights at the National Leprechaun Museum

We have become jaded by the green-hat-topped Walt Disney-esque characters waving at tourists on Grafton Street and around the Molly Malone statue. There is much more to leprechauns and their cousins than meets the modern cynical eye. Contrary to the initial reaction of many, the National Leprechaun Museum is doing well for itself. They are going heavily in the direction of actual Irish folklore and their Culture Night storytelling session for adults [1] sold out very quickly. Indeed by the time this writer heard about it all the tickets were well gone, to this writer's great dismay.

Those good folks at the museum are providing more of the good thing by celebrating Samhain (that's Halloween to those whose knowledge of yearly festivals comes from American films) with several nights of storytelling from 27 October to 5 November. Refreshments will be provided each night, with paranormal experts on site on 30 and 31 October. All these shows are dubbed as "interactive performances" which seems to indicate at least a certain amount of audience participation, or at least immersive experience rather than simple passive viewing from outside. These events are strictly over 18 only. Tickets are available at the door, but if the Culture Night experience is anything to go by, you'd do well to book ahead on the website.

27 October - 5 November, 7 pm, 7.30 pm and 8 pm
27-29 October and 1-5 November: Tickets €20 at the door, €15 when booked online
30-31 October: Tickets €30 at the door, €20 when booked online


[1] The concept that storytelling is by default an activity oriented towards children is very modern. And very annoying.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fingers crossed the Lighthouse Cinema will re-open

This article in the Independent suggested we could see the Lighthouse Cinema re-open before the end of the year.  The question remains as to whether it'll be in a similar style to what was there or just another multiplex, albeit with more stylish seats and surroundings.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Leinster House

Kildare St side of Leinster House

I did a tour of Leinster House today, as part of Open House.  We were allowed to take photos, so I took all of them.  It was fantastic.  I was so much more impressed than the time I was there before, aged 10 on a school trip. 

We were first addressed by an OPW architect who gave us a very good, quick history of the house.  It was built by the Earl of Kildare, James FitzGerald in the 1740s and designed by Richard Castle.  He wanted a townhouse, and chose the then unfashionable side of the city.  Merrion Square was not yet built and that side basically faced the countryside.  He was created the first Duke of Leinster in 1766 and with his wife, Lady Emily Lennox, a daughter of the Duke of Richmond, they had 19 children, including Lord Edward FitzGerald.  She was also descended from a illegitimate child of Charles II.  The house was renamed Leinster House at this stage, having earlier been called Kildare House.  It's a Palladian house, just like Carton, their county seat, and Castletown House in nearby Celbridge, the home of Lousia, Emily's sister, and her husband, William Connolly, the Speaker of the House (in the Irish Parliament).  Symmetry is very important in Palladian architecture, so there are a lot of dummy doors and blind panels to balance rooms.  The original house is actually only two rooms wide, with a central corridor running down each floor.  You can see from the Seanad chamber directly down to the door into the Dáil chamber if the doors are open.  I tested this by sitting in the Cathaoirleach's chair!  Our guide throughout the building was just brilliant.  He's a parliamentary usher and knew everything.  Even more impressive was the fact that he was entirely self-taught.  Apparently, they get no book to learn off!

After the 1798 rebellion, the fortune of the Leinsters declined and the house was boarded up.  In 1815, it was purchased by the Royal Dublin Society.  It remained in their hands until a certain Michael Collins decided to lease some of it from them for the 3rd Dáil and eventually the State purchased it from them.  The National Library and Museums on either side of Leinster House replaced the original kitchen and stable blocks.  It was a rare treat to be able to get a front view of the Library from the courtyard in front of it and of Leinster Lawn.  The 3 sections along with the Natural History Museum were originally all interconnected but these access points were sealed up after it became the home of the parliament.  Side point, they originally wanted the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham for the Dáil but the British army took a while getting out of it.
Stairs up to Dáil chamber
 The double height entrance hall is very impressive, with paintings of Griffiths, Cosgrave, Collins, DeV, Mulcahy and the current President on show, though I didn't think was a brilliant likeness of her.  It was impossible to get a good shot of it though.

The Dáil chamber itself is much smaller than it looks on TV.  It has a full set of original Malton Dublin prints (worth a fortune).  Other art of note is the Taoiseach's gallery, featuring all those now retired from the house - hence's Bertie's only went up recently because he was a sitting TD until February.  Cowan's hasn't been done yet.  There's a painting of Countess Markiewicz, done by Lavery (I reckon) and an original copy of the Proclaimation, signed by our second President, Sean T. O'Ceallaigh.   The internal corridor is lined with paintings and photos of Ceann Comhairles, Cathaoirleachs and other important people.  Nowhere near enough women on those walls but as they say, our time will come.   I like to imagine that all these portraits can talk, Hogwarts-style, no doubt helped by the Wesht Wing column in Phoenix Magazine, where a portrait of Collins regularly talks to Enda.

The Seanad Chamber, which I don't think I'd ever seen before, looks like someone let Josiah Wedgwood loose, but in a good way.  We also saw the Cabinet room, the member's library and various other little antechambers, as well as the Leinster House 2000 extension, which is an 11 year old sympathetic, light and airy building, despite being mostly underground.  

Séanad Chamber
View of the central corridor between the two chambers
Ceiling over the Cathaoirleach's chair in the Séanad chamber
Note the upside E in the original Proclaimation
O'Ceallaigh's note about it - as Gaeilge.
Leinster House 2000

Friday, October 7, 2011

Faces of Ireland

Next time you are passing through Terminal 2 at Dublin airport, stop to have a look at a photography exhibition by Kevin Abosch: Faces of Ireland. 250 well, less well, and not at all known faces are included in this exhibition, intended to represent the citizenry of Ireland. Considering the demographics have changed quite a bit in the past fifteen years, I am surprised that the selection included on the Irish Times website as well as on the artist's own website does not include any of the 'New Irish', but I am confident that the actual exhibition does. Right?

Review: Rian


Rian is a fusion of the old and the new, bringing together traditional Irish music with contemporary dance. The musical side of the performance is directed by Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Hothouse Flowers and the dance is choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast Dance Company.

The music is mostly trad, with a sprinkle of non-traditional influences. It's all of a high quality; Ó Maonlaí is particularly impressive, performing with the piano, harp, guitar, bodhrán, and other instruments, as well as singing.

Initially I was concerned that the dance style lacked the vibrancy of trad, and might prove elegant but dull. Fortunately Rian builds up to a higher tempo, and about half an hour into the performance it moves from refined gracefulness to a faster and more seductive form of dance. The guitar/double bass accompaniment for this shift in pace is one of the musical highlights of the performance.

The programme for the show lists the 108 dance movements used, with a wonderful variety of names: "Spine Witch", "Coccyx Boxer", "Jumpy Electric Step", "Louise is a Bird" and a great many Rabbit-related names, my favourite being "Kicking The Sleeping Rabbit". There are considerable similarities to many of the movements, which depending on your taste can be seen as a pleasing consistency of style or just a little too much repetition. My one criticism is that perhaps a few of the dance sequences could have been slightly shorter.

The two parts of the performance - the music and dance - are both good in their own right but the real aim of the performance is to make them work together. In this Rian is successful, creating a satisfying and innovative harmony between trad music and contemporary dance.

Rian has a short run: there are shows on 7th and 8th October at 7:30 pm and a matinee at 2 pm on 8th October. The performance runs for 1 hour 50 minutes. Tickets cost €15 to €35.

Open House is here!

Morning all!

Don't forget that Open House on this weekend with a plethora of normally closed to the public buildings open for you to poke around.  Here's a link to my earlier comments about it.

I've pre-booked for tours of Leinster House, the French Embassy, the Irish Times building and King's Inns, but I hope to squeeze in first come first serve tours of Belvedere House and the Dept. of Education as well. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First Thursday - October 2011

This evening is another First Thursday. Details from Temple Bar Cultural Trust are here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: I ♥ Alice ♥ I


Part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival's programme is called ReViewed. The idea is to give audiences a chance to see successful plays by reshowing them. I ♥ Alice ♥ I received considerable acclaim last year and so has been included in ReViewed, and is being staged in several theatres over the next two weeks. At the moment it's running in Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, before moving on to Draíocht in Blanchardstown and then the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire.

I'm going to rather lazily quote the description of the play from the festival website:
Alice and Alice are coming out. Finally.

Two exceptional, opinionated women were spotted winking at each other in Crumlin Shopping Centre. Now they’re in a show...reluctantly. Defying stereotype, they’re here to share with you something they’ve never dared to before.

A fresh, human and hilarious piece from this defiant new company HotForTheatre, I ♥ Alice ♥ I explores the monumental journey of a most unlikely couple.

I enjoyed it. The pace was good, and although the play has a message it makes it gently and with warm good humour. The most exceptional feature of I ♥ Alice ♥ I is the convincing reconstruction of the life stories of Alice and Alice - rarely does a play provide such a wealth of details.

The play runs for about one hour. Ticket prices vary depending on the venue. Details on the festival website are here.

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia opened in the Grand Canal Theatre last night to a mostly full house.  I had seen it before in The Point before it was renovated but this was a much better, sharper, funnier production, even though it was essentially identical.
Money Money Money! Photos by Brinkhoff, Mögenburg  

I came prepared to sing along and was wearing my red 13cm high platform shoes.  It took the audience about 20 minutes to warm up and start singing.  ABBA's disco numbers like Super Trouper, Voulez-Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Does your mother know that you're out? were the biggest crowd pleasers.  It's lovely to hear even little kids singing along to the enduringly popular ABBA hits.  And of course they get out some classic ABBA costumery.
Super Trouper
The cast features some phenomenal singers including Sara Poyzer in the lead role of Donna and Charlotte Wakefield as her daughter Sophie.  Much of the comedy is provided by Donna's two friends and their interaction with the various men.  At times it's surprisingly raunchy for a family show but it's all done with gestures that would go over most kids' heads.  I have to give special mention to the revolving set, which I loved.  They can't recreate the beautiful sunlight of the real Greece but they do a good job with lighting.  There's a great disco reprisal of Dancing Queen and an encore of Waterloo, which Benny & Bjorn obviously couldn't fit into the "one woman, her daughter, 3 dads and a wedding on a Greek island" storyline. 

When Mamma Mia first came out, a friend suggested we see it and I dismissed it as likely to be massively contrived and silly.  10 years on, I've seen it twice and would happily see it again and again.  It's much more conventional than a lot of (dare I say it!) the pretentious stuff going on in the theatre festival but it's certainly very enjoyable.

Mamma Mia runs until 15th October at the Grand Canal Theatre.  Parking is an issue there, so you're best to go by public transport.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Request Programme


This production of Request Programme is a one-woman play staged in an apartment in Millenium Tower on Millenium Walkway. It depicts the private life of an ordinary woman arriving home in the evening after a day's work. There's no dialogue, and little noise other than the TV and radio she briefly turns on. With no plot or dramatic conflict in the usual sense - just the unspoken emotions of the character - this might sound a little dull, but it's not. This is a gripping performance.

Before the play starts the audience are given the chance to wander around freely within the apartment, looking at, picking up, and examining anything they wish to. It's an enjoyable and interesting experience in its own right, provoking curiousity about the apartment's inhabitant so that by the time she arrives we already know a little about her and want to know more.

The acting is technically superb. The actress, Eileen Walsh, succeeds in transforming the mundanities of everyday life into an exhilarating and powerful performance. She makes it easy to forget you're physically sharing a space with her; she entirely avoids the natural instinct to make eye contact.

Should you have the chance, I'd suggest this play would be particularly suitable for a group. Arrive early, and use to the full your time in the apartment before the play starts - examine everything, disturb nothing.

Request Programme was originally written four decades ago, so it might seem odd to describe it as innovative, but it genuinely is. It breaks all the rules and gets away with it. Highly recommended.

Request Programme continues on selected dates to 16th October. The performance runs for 1 hour with no interval. Tickets cost €15.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review: Peer Gynt

This year's Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival features a production by theatre company Rough Magic of the Norwegian play Peer Gynt. This English-language adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play tells essentially the same story as the original, inspired by the folktales of the protagonist Peer (or Per) Gynt. Peer is a teller of tall tales, a young man who wastes his life with dreams and escapism; the play is the story of the extraordinary lengths of travel, fantasy, and self-deceit he indulges in to avoid his real life and background. The story is told primarily through dialogue but with a strong element of music and song. The instrumental music is provided by Tarab and suits the play well.

Peer Gynt remains popular in Norway. There's even an annual Peer Gynt Festival. The Rough Magic production retains the Norwegian setting but uses Irish accents and mannerisms. Both the original and this version are written in verse rather than prose, making the occasional bursts of song fit nicely into the narrative. Karen Ardiff (Aase) and Sarah Greene (Solveig) do a particularly good job with the vocals.

As in Ibsen's play John Gabriel Borkman the underlying cause of the main character's problems are financial, although in Borkman the character's response is exactly opposite to Gynt's, a dreay fixation on the past. Peer Gynt shares another characteristic with that play: it feels quite long, and as the interval approached my attention started to wane. Perhaps that was partly due to the venue, the O'Reilly Theatre, which became very warm. Fortunately the second half of the play picks up the pace again.

Summary: This is an enjoyable adaptation of one of Norway's most popular plays.

Peer Gynt continues in the O'Reilly Theatre in Belvedere College until October 16th, with shows on at a variety of times. The performance lasts for about 3 hours including the interval and tickets cost from €20 to €30.

Bonus fun fact: one of Charlton Heston's first roles was as Peer Gynt in a low-budget movie in 1941.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Library Talks

The National Library doesn't just have books, you know.  There's all sorts of events, tours and lectures going on.  I wanted to mention the upcoming "Library Late" series of talks.  Each costs a mere fiver and can be booked from the Library's website.

20/10
Dr Darryl Jones, head of the school of English at TCD and best-selling author John Connolly, talk about ghost stories, nicely timed for Halloween.

15/11
Journalist Gene Kerrigan discusses how crime novels are an excellent model for modern day society.

15/12
Best-selling crime author Alex Barclay gives her (yes, she's a woman!) insights on female crime writers.  I saw her talk before and she was quite interesting, though her reading of her own novel left a lot to be desired, as she read in a monotone!

Totally unrelated to the above series of talks is the upcoming RI Best Memorial Lecture which takes place on 12th October.  Irvine Best was the 4th director of the National Library and a talk is given annually in his memory.  It is given this year by the American historian, L Perry Curtis Jr, Professor Emeritus of History, from Brown University. The lecture is entitled Post-Famine Perceptions of the Irish Landlords.  It sets out to dispell the still widely held belief that all landlords were a)absent, b)bastards and c) cold-hearted.  Some more details are here and it's a free event that requires no booking.

Darklight 20 - 22 October

The folks behind this year's Darklight festival have asked us to give them a mention and we are happy to oblige.  Darklight is a DIY film makers weekend long event on in The Factory on Grand Canal Dock.  There will be lots of workshops, talks and screenings geared towards DIY Filmmaking, including hacking xbox kinect for mocap, creating SFX, and custom camera rigs, whatever they are.  Sounds like the perfect place to learn some new skills if you've ever fancied yourself as a budding Hitchcock/Scorsese/Coppola.  Good luck to them!