The tradition of artists creating provocative performance dinners, extends back at least to Filippo Marinetti’s Futurist Cookbook. The Futurists delighted in inedible meals, celebrating their love of speed, violence, and technology. The Domestic Godless, with their wilfully obscure ingredients, their exploration of culinary alternative histories, and their satirical recipes provide a more palatable, if no less creative dining experience. For my latest report for Culture File I visited Broadstone Studios, where delectable monstrosities were being served. What happens when you cross ice-cream with the contents of an Edwardian vanity cabinet? What did the stuffing from the seats of a 1974 Ford Cortina actually taste like? Truth and fiction stir into a potent mix when a godless chef table.
Download: ‘Domestic Godless’ (Extended Cut)
Photos: Jamie Thornton
What You Should Know About Biological Warfare
Cooking Terms and What They Mean
My Little Margie – Episode 14, Series 3 – What’s Cooking
Just a brief post to let you know that Radio Drama Revival, one of the longest running and most popular radio drama podcasts (also an on air radio show) have been kind enough to rebroadcast my radio sitcom ‘Choices‘. Although host Fred Greenhalgh disagrees with calling it a ‘radio sitcom’. Judge for yourself!
Here’s the plot synopsis…
Ainesh Sharma is an under confident, over intellectual Indian-Irish twenty something. Ainesh has always been a victim of circumstance; working jobs he didn’t enjoy and failing to live up to his potential. Now, sacked from his factory job and thrown out of home by his disappointed parents, Ainesh is forced to train as a psychotherapist. His course is in ‘Choosing Therapy’, the philosophy that we choose our own destiny, and that everything that happens is our fault. With nowhere to stay, Ainesh is forced to live with two of his bizarre classmates. We follow him as he learns whether there really is such a thing as choice, and if so, how he can make his own destiny.
Choices was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and originally produced for Dublin City FM. The show starred Katie McCann, Aishlinn O’Byrne, Kieran Roche and Dylan Jones, and was produced by Heather MacLeod.
Last year Radio Drama Revival also rebroadcast our ambitious 2012 on location production ‘Any Other Dublin‘. Both Dublin and Choices are available as podcasts on iTunes (and in the listings of pretty much every other podcatcher), if you’d prefer to check them out in episodic format!
Reading Plays - Episode 15 - The Miss Firecracker Contest by Radiomade on Mixcloud
A satire of the Southern potboiler in the form of a beauty pageant, The Miss Firecracker Contest was first performed at a tiny LA theatre in 1980. Later moving to an off Broadway production directed by ubiquitous character actor and storyteller Stephen Tobolowsky. Tobolowsky’s childhood experiences served as the inspiration for this story of narcissism and loathing at the Mississippi Rose of Tralee. The part of rakish Brontesque lead Delmount was written with him in mind. Miss Firecracker Contest was later adapted into a film starring Holly Hunter. Beth Henley’s script has been praised for it’s ‘quirky characters’ and ‘strong messages’, but is this a profound comedic examination of the lives of Southern women? Or merely a message in a bottle – a didactic wafer thin work, constrained by form and inhabited by shadows?
The play centres around one aspiring firecracker Carnelle Scot, raised by her cousins – the glamorous Elain Routledge and the roguish sex offender Delmount Williams. Carnelle’s efforts to win the contest are aided by her goggle-eyed, underclass seamstress Popeye Jackson, and deterred by her reputation as a floozy. Despite having cleaned up her act and treated her syphilis, Carnelle is haunted by the neglect and abandonment of her parents and her years as the town’s good time. Meanwhile Carnelle’s lush cousin Elain has left her wealthy husband, and her hated brother Delmount has returned from his imprisonment in a mental asylum – where he was committed due to his penchant for broken bottle fights, devirginations and attempted strangulations – to sell the family mansion.
Download: Episode 15 – The Miss Firecracker Contest
‘Reading Plays‘ is a discussion show, featuring Gareth Stack and James Van De Waal. Each week we do a close reading of a modern play, discussing it’s merits, themes, issues raised, and so on. You can play along by reading or watching a production of the play before you listen to the show.
Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.
I caught up with the crew of Little Gem Records, a new record shop – yes you read that right, a new record shop – beneath Dublin’s Cavendish Row. Little Gem are a tryptic: A record store, recording studio and an indie label. They specialise in releases from local bands, folks whose music you can’t get anywhere else. Little Gem pride themselves on not screwing over the people who make the music. Something some of the city’s remaining big brand stores are apparently notorious for. They’ve also invented their own music format, a tiny cassette tape MP3 player containing a single album. If you’re indie Dublin, knock in for indie nostalgia, indie beards, indie tapes, indie vinyl and genuinely independent recommendations.
Download: ‘Little Gem’
Arbour by Soil Creep
Little Gem by I heart the Monster Hero
Chambers by Biggles flys Again
Heir Apparent by Sea Pinks
Spoken word nights in Dublin follow a predictable recipe: an unpalatable mishmash of weepy bildungsroman, irate slam and colouring book political commentary. Bluebottle Collective‘s events are different. The group hosts intimate experimental affairs, as likely to feature performance art or avant garde comedy as poetry and prose. Now Bluebottle are expanding into internet art, with a month of radio pieces, commissioned from a variety of mixed media artists. Here’s how they describe the project…
Hibernation Radio exploits the uninhabitable nature of Irish winters through rising internet speeds. Irish winters are: manky, silvery, filthy, dank, dreary, sodden, soft. There is no drama – no ice storms, hurricanes, landslide – just a gradual sogging of the country. Hibernation Radio nurtures aural curiosity and socialisation, as all other senses dim. Hibernation Radio is a meeting point. Rising mpbs allow weatherless intimacy- we welcome avatars and all-weather identities.
Hibernation Radio pivots the usual complaints about Irish weather into unconditional hero worship. We want to explore scientific (botanical, biological, zoological), artistic and emotional responses to thriving amongst the mank. Hibernation Radio does not see these categories as mutually exclusive. Every night for a month, listeners will find a cocoon of music, science, and spoken word; the mank is good and great.
The first episode, featuring a spoken word performance by Roisin Kiberd, music from n___________v and an experimental sound piece from yours truly, is available at the Hibernation Radio site.
You can also download my contribution below.
Download: Paraudiolia 1 [It’s not that way it’s over here]
Roger Gregg is a dramatist, poet, musician, actor and performer. Over a long career on radio and theatre, he’s had dozens of plays performed all over the world, and written and recorded numerous radio dramas as ‘Crazy Dog Audio Theatre‘.
Today Roger continues to record and perform, with his ‘Bee Loud Glade Cabaret’. Bee Loud shows fuse poetry and music, giving new life to verse, mythology and storytelling.
Roger appeared in episode one of Mad Scientists of Music, and this episode continues our discussion. Roger talks about everything from his radio influences, to his career in Irish theatre, to the inimitable power of sound.
Download: Mad Scientists of Music – Bonus Episode – Roger Gregg
Crazy Dog Audio Theatre – Studio Cuts
Crazy Dog Audio Theatre – Time Out For Bill Lizard
Bee Loud Glade Cabaret – Up Yours (featuring the words of Gerry Murphy)
Bee Loud Glade Cabaret – Too Lovely for words (featuring the words of Gerry Murphy)
Bee Loud Glade Cabaret – The Boney (featuring the words of Iggy McGovern)
Bee Loud Glade Cabaret – Helen’s Kiss
Crazy Dog Audio Theatre – Infidel
Roger Gregg – We’re number one
Bee Loud Glade Cabaret – Night Start
Roger Gregg – The Hollow Men (featuring the words of T.S Elliot)
This recording is released under a non-commercial, no-derivatives Creative Commons Licence.
A look back on what I’ve been up to in 2014.
This is the year I wrote my first stage plays, finished an award winning documentary series ‘Mad Scientists of Music‘, and released my latest radio sitcom ‘Choices‘.
I’ve also been lucky enough to make a bunch of podcasts with super smart rising talent James Van De Waal, for Radiomade.
This is the year I started making reports for RTE Lyric FM’s Culture File. Through Culture File I got to meet inspiring artists like Kevin Barry and Amanda Coogan, and had life changing experiences at the Happy Days Beckett Festival in Enniskillen.
This was the year I joined the A4 Arts Collective. The year of the inaugural Hearsay Audio Festival in Kilfinane, and the year I told a story at the legendary Moth!
I talk a little about some projects hitting early in the new year. My first short film Spaghetti Dick, and two radio art pieces created for Bluebottle Collective’s ‘Hibernation Radio‘ project.
Finally, I remember two people closed to me who passed away this year. My uncle Frank Stack, and college friend Trevor Murtagh.
Download: Episode 2