The Bee Loud Cabaret comes to Lyric FM

The first episode of ‘The Bee Loud Glade Cabaret‘, a new poetry programme created by Roger Gregg and executive produced by Dead Medium Productions just aired on RTE Lyric’s Nova. You can hear the show for the next five weeks on Nova (Sunday’s at 8PM), then for the following seven weeks on Evelyn Grant’s Weekend Drive (Saturdays at 4PM).

The Bee Loud Glade Cabaret is a series of twelve bite-size programmes bringing the best of the contemporary Irish spoken word scene to radio. Each episode showcases one beautifully produced spoken word performance, and one ‘backstage’ interview with emerging & established Irish poets. The series represents an exciting new approach to poetry on radio, mixing studio performance, music and soundscapes to recreate the excitement of the live poetry scene.

Featured poets include Gerry Murphy, Grace Wells, Pat Boran, Mary O’Donoghue, John Moynes, Leland Bardwell, Caelainn Bradley, Stephen Clare, Genevieve Healy, Patrick Chapman, and Eleanor Hooker.

Performers include Ethan Dillon, Deirdre Molloy, James O’Connor,  Angel Hannigan, John Moynes, Amilia Clarke Stewart, Juliette Crosbie, Suzie Seweify, and Olivia Haran.

Special thanks to Eoin O’Kelly at Lyric for commissioning the series.

Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, with the television licence fee.

BAI CREDIT

Mic Drop in the Scene & Heard Festival – Tickets available now!

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Dear Friends, I hold in my hands the booklet for the ‘Scene & Heard’ festival 2017. Featuring my newest play ‘Mic Drop‘. I cannot explain what a huge deal it is for me to be featured alongside the incredibly talented people putting together shows for this festival. This is only my second play, and I already feel like I’m in love with writing for theatre, the horrible sweaty tension of watching the audience watch your play, the unpaid hours, the hair loss. Wait no, maybe its awful. But anyway the play is really good, and Adam Tyrell is brilliant in it, and it’s only 12 euro (10 euro concessions) so you should all see it. Otherwise the MAIN FUCKING SPACE in SMOCK FUCKING ALLEY will look hella empty. Please come, I love you. February 24th, 25th and 26th.

Tickets here! – https://smockalley.ticketsolve.com/#/shows/873569415

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Perry Pardo is an entrepreneur – wealthy, successful, envied. Perry came from the streets, like Dre. Join him as he shows you how to succeed. How to get what you want. How to crush your opposition. How to scream for help.

Written & Directed by Gareth Stack.
Starring Adam Tyrell.
Produced by Joe O’Neill / Little Shadow Theatre Company.

Talking Podcasts on the Dave Fanning Show

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I appeared on the Dave Fanning show this morning, talking about podcasting. I was fierce wrecked from insomnia, but hopefully relatively coherent.

Listen here

Check out the cliffnotes…

What is a podcast?

Any radio or TV series that can be subscribed to and downloaded online.

Almost all are free. Usually updated weekly.
Cover every topic – from sports and films, to the most obscure odd stuff – e.g.: Creature Geek – a podcast for people who like special effects monsters.
Include radio programmes from all around the world, and internet only programmes – some of which are incredibly high quality.
Listen whenever you want. Pause, skip back and forward. Keep it forever, or delete it after you listen.

What do you need to get one

Easiest way is directly through your phone, stream or download from a podcast app.
On android the best one is ‘Pocket Casts’ (also available for iphone).
iPhone comes with it’s own programme, another good one is Overcast.

How to listen…

Search for the podcast name. Hit subscribe.
Now each new episode will be available to listen. Can either download or stream over your home wifi or 4G (if you’ve got a good data plan).

There are podcasts available for literally every interest.

Types of Podcasts

1) Narrative Journalism (storytelling about the real world)

This American Life

Revisionist History – from Malcolm Gladwell

99% Invisible – from Radiotopia

Reply All – a show about the internet

2) Comedy

WTF – with Marc Maron

Chappo Trap House

3) True Crime

Stranglers

Sword and Scale

4) Science & History

Radiolab

Hardcore History

The Secret History of Hollywood

History on Fire

5) Politics

War College – from Reuters News

Trumpcast

6) Irish Podcasts

Dave Fanning Show podcast – clips of the show
RTE Lyric – Culture File
RTE One – Doc on one
Newstalk Documentaries
Headstuff network – Alison Spittle Show

How to find new podcasts you might like

Podcast networks are like TV channels that offer lots of podcasts of a certain style
You can find them in your podcast app or on the web
E.g.: Headstuff (local), Smodcast (Kevin Smith’s shows), Radiotopia (high quality narrative journalism)

How to make your own

Not too difficult!
Lots of guides online
Record on your phone or computer and pay about 20 euro a month to put online with a podcast host like Libsyn

Kevin Barry on Silence – Culture File

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My latest report for Culture File is a discussion with Irish author Kevin Barry, about the role of silence in his work. Kevin joined Sara Maitland (author of ‘A Book of Silence‘) on a panel about silence at the recent Happy Days Beckett festival. He was a joy to talk with, and this discussion became the first of a series Culture File are running where I talk to artists and scientists about how silence impacts their work.

Download: Kevin Barry on Silence

Disco Pigs – Episode 10 – Reading Plays

Disco Pigs

Arriving at the end of the nineteen nineties, at exactly the time Martin McDonagh was exploding the Irish national theatre with the first of his Leenane trilogy, Disco Pigs articulated a radical new vision of Irishness. An Irishness deracinated of nationalism, appalled by republicanism, raised on television and clubland. A dissolute Irishness – frozen in the decaying embrace of the still powerful church. Our soi-disant twin protagonists Pig and Runt are, like the nation, awakening just before the dawn of the 21st century: Becoming self aware in a final desperate defence against perpetual inferiority. The plays ostensibly simple dialogue takes us deep into an expressionist teenage universe, where sex, violence and imagination dissolve the surface of a mundane world.

First staged in 1996 at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork, Disco Pigs moved on to the Dublin and Edinburgh festivals. The first production starred Killian Murphy and Eileen Walsh. Eileen would go on to star in the Magdalene Sisters and win best actress award at the Tribeca Film festival for her performance in the 2008 film Eden. Although she was to replaced in the role of Runt for Kirsten Sheriden’s film version, by Elaine Cassidy.

Download: Episode 10 – Disco Pigs

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: Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin.

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

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.

Finally a place to write in Dublin!

Quite a while back I wrote a post about places to write in Dublin. More specifically I was whinging about the poverty of writing spots. Sure, Dublin is home to hundreds of cafes, and if you’re willing to spend twenty or more euro a day, and able to write in frequently noisy, hectic environments, they’ll do in a pinch. But, more than a year after I asked the question, during the (pretty ironically titled for a variety of reasons) Dublin Writers Festival, the city still lacks a cheap place to write. There isn’t a single venue thats a) open in the evenings (when most people in full time employment are free), and b) actively tolerates (let alone supports) writers.

I’m in an incredibly fortunate position. I’ve made a modest living from my radio work for the past couple of years, and it’s meant that I’ve been able to afford to dedicate a room in my apartment to recording and editing radio programmes. Still, I find it almost impossible to get real creative work done at home. Editing, sure, blogging, certainly, but writing? Not a chance. Instead I’ve found that I write best in my old college library. This is an incredible facility, and one only available to those fortunate enough to have graduated from Trinity or be a post graduate student of another Irish college. Alas, like most Irish college’s, TCD’s library is closed in the evenings all Summer long.

That’s why I’m chomping at the bit at the news that the A4 art collective are offering cheap work spaces in Dublin. Starting from €50 a month for access to a shared workspace, A4 will let writers, musicians, performers and visual artists work cheaply in Dublin city centre. The importance of this cannot be overstated for the cultural life of the city.

Two things give a city a real creative life – a population with spare time, and low rents. For a few years, when the current Irish recession was at it’s worst, falling property prices and high unemployment satisfied both criteria. This led directly to the birth of a plethora of non-profit creative spaces in the city. Mabos, Exchange Dublin, Space 54, Subground 43, Supafast, the Complex, the Factory, Blue Bottle Collective and more, all grew out of the inability of rentiers to make money from commercial uses of their buildings. All allowed artists to create new work and the public to enjoy the fruits of that work, most often for free. They helped rebuild something Dublin had lacked for a generation, an artistic culture. They allowed thousands of young artists and performers to develop their talents, without the necessity for them to be immediately profitable.

To resort to business speak: As a creative professional starting a career without experience in a ‘sector’ with very low margins, there is literally no chance I’d be able to do the work I do today, without those spaces having existed, and without inspiration, camaraderie and support of the volunteers who gave life to them. They are all now gone. Not one failed to pay their rents, find an audience, or ran out of steam. Each was wholesale slaughtered by a Dublin City Council that has shown active distain for public arts; and developers eager to cash in on the faint flickerings of growth in the property market. In their place we have high priced private arts businesses, like Block T and the Centre For Creative Practices that have their place, but through their financial burden serve to cut the arts off from the life of the city.


The volunteers of Exchange Dublin, Halloween 2009

One new arts space isn’t going to solve all that. But it does at least sort out the thorny issue of where to write in Dublin. Writers are poor. For many even 50 euro a month will be too much. The the rest of us, lucky enough to be able to live off our work or skating by on day job wages, finally have somewhere we can create!