Reading Plays – Episode 11 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile


Reading Plays – Episode 11 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Radiomade on Mixcloud

Download: Episode 11 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile

His autobiography boasts that Steve Martin began working at age ten in the newly opened Disneyland, graduating to study poetry and philosophy and spend 18 years performing as “America’s best loved stand up comedian”. Martin has in addition managed a career an accomplished banjo musician and movie star. He writes “I was not naturally talented… though working against that made me inventive”. The open question is whether inventiveness is enough to moderate a lack of dramaturgic ability.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile recounts an imagined meeting between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, while both are in their early twenties, yet to make their mark on the century. The play is a sweetly antique ribald sex comedy set in a real Montmartre cabaret immortalised in Picasso’s painting ‘At the Lapin Agile’. It was first staged at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 1993, and won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play.

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.

Next weeks play: Some Girls by Neil LaBute.

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

The Wager – Chapter 2 – ‘Two Visits, Two Mistakes’

small grand

Download: Chapter 2

I was almost honoured to be approached by Skellig Historical Society after reading the first chapter of great grandfather’s once notorious, now sadly novel. As you are perhaps aware, great grandfather was one of Skellig’s most generous benefactors, having been fascinated all his life by the history and unique culture of islands.

Leman Bodley, former chair of the society, told me a great anecdote about great granddads’s lewd performance at the bicentennial of the sinking of Hollands Melvaart, which of course I can’t share for legal reasons. Buy me a dozen quarts of the black stuff and perhaps you’ll wet it out of me.

In any case, the surviving members of the society are all interred together in a retirement community near Clara Lara, and seemed to greatly enjoy the last excerpt, as far as their carers could discern. It seemed only right to give them another slice of history, as they have room enough remaining for only one or two before joining it themselves.

Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.

Image: Photograph of great grandfather having a grand old time, from the family archives. Courtesy Skellig Historical Society, circa 1911

A Page from History

Download: Chapter 1
My great grandfather’s book ‘An examination of the effect on character of greatly altered circumstances, as epitomised by the divergent conditions into which two young unfortunates are thrust by the wretched cynicism of their betters,’ or ‘The Wager’ caused an enormous stir upon its initial release in 1919. The book so shocked and dismayed its late Edwardian audience, that it was prohibited both in Ireland, and across the Commonwealth. The book’s content invited comparisons in The Times to ‘the depravities of Wilde, absent his wit’. Today long forgotten, I thought I’d wile away a Summer evening with what seemed likely a dry exercise, but became an entertaining one. This reading is from the second edition, released abroad in 1920.

Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.

Image: Scan of great-grandfather’s portrait, from the dust jacket.

The Gareth Stack Show: Live – Episode 5 – ‘Of Mongooses & Men’

The Gareth Stack Show Live - 06/06/2014 - 'Of Mongooses & Men' by Radiomade on Mixcloud

Download: Episode 5

Your monthly dose of lowbrow comedy and middlebrow culture with Gareth Stack, hosted by Andrew Booth. This episodes first guest was Tom Rowley of, a website that lets you find and create stories to accompany your trip to Dublin. We were also joined by Dublin indie folk harmonisers Mongoose, who lent their dulcet chorus to our tired old ears. We chatted about manhood, murder, storytelling and munched down on some phallic confectionary. This month’s murderer was celebrated drummer Jim Gordon.

Choices – Episode 2 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club


Episode 2 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 14th May, 2014.

Ainesh learns cushion counselling from his eccentric lecturer Sean. After Emma Jane’s flirtation makes him run for the safety of his cinema books, Stillman hassles him about getting a job. Ainesh starts to realise the course might be more than he bargained for when a puppet role-play goes out of control. Ainesh goes house hunting, barely resisting the advances of an older lady, and just avoiding baptism by an over-enthusiastic priest. A mysterious dog saves the day. Dragged clubbing by his classmate Sally, Ainesh runs into Emma Jane, but before he can romance her she meets his much cooler motorbike-riding cousin, Krishna.

Download: Episode 2
Credits: Read

Choices – Episode 1 – The Hero’s Tale

Episode 1 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 7th May, 2014.

Ainesh Sharma is sacked from his minimum wage job for being a smart aleck, and is placed by the social welfare department in a course called ‘Choosing Therapy’ – a radical form of psychotherapy which teaches that everything in life is our choice. The course proves to be quite the indoctrination. Ainesh is befriended by two mysterious classmates, Stillman and Emma Jane.

Download: Episode 1
Credits: Read

The Gareth Stack Show Live: Episode 3 – Bathos

The Gareth Stack Show - 3 / 4 / 14 by Radiomade on Mixcloud

Download: Episode 3

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This weeks show featured interviews with horror writer Graham Tugwell, and esoteric religious expert, writer and publisher Andrew Philip Smith. We also have two fantastic short stories from Irish writer Patrick O’Flaherty.

The show was produced by superproducer Ronan Misteil, and presented by Andrew Booth. Special guest was Gareth Stack. The show is produced live at the studios of All jingles produced by Roger Gregg and the Crazy Dog Audio Theatre.