The Miss Firecracker Contest – Reading Plays – Episode 15

THE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTEST PROMO

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.

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The Cripple of Inishmaan – Episode 14 – Reading Plays

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Martin McDonagh’s 1996 play ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ is the first in a loosely defined and as yet unfinished Aran Island Trilogy. Set on the most banal of the islands, Inish Maan, in the early 1930s, the play is a violently farcical examination of family, social exclusion and the noble lie. Cripple of Inishmaan was recently revived on Broadway in a production starring Daniel Radcliff, and Pat Short, winning six Tonys. Another sterling success for a playwright who once said “Theatre isn’t something that’s connected to me, from a personal point of view, I can’t appreciate what I’m doing.”


Download: Episode 14 – The Cripple of Inishmaan

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:

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile – Episode 11 – Reading Plays

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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.

Download: Episode 11 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile

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.

Oleanna – Episode 1 – Reading Plays

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This weeks play – Oleanna by David Mamet.

First produced 1992 (stage), 1994 (film) starring William H. Macy & Rebecca Pidgeon. Oleanna was controversial on release and remains so, as it deals with issues of sexual harassment and rape. Mamet’s interest in these themes arose out of the media circus surrounding the nomination of American Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. The play features two characters John and Carol – a university lecturer and his student, whose mutual misunderstandings and power plays descend into dark accusations and violence.

This is the first in a new series for Radiomade.ie. ‘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 – ‘The Lonesome West‘ by Martin McDonagh.

Download: Reading Plays – Episode 1 – Oleanna

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

Threat Detection – Episode 25 – Dancing with Bono

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Another grab bag of topics this week as Gareth & James discuss early access games. The failures, the successes, and how they’re changing the industry. From Minecraft to Project Zomboid, Scale, Tangiers and the Forest, we examine how early access has changed the economics of indie game production, for good and ill.

We also take a bite out of the poisoned apple of open world games. What makes them compelling? How have they developed? What does procedural generation hold in store for ‘fans of the genre’? Have open world games become stale? And most importantly, how can they be fixed?


Download: Episode 25

What is Threat Detection?

Threat Detection is a videogame chat show on Radiomade.ie. Each week, hosts Gareth Stack & James Van De Waal take an hour or two to tear apart a videogame topic, like character, horror, or sex.

Threat Detection – Episode 15 – Privilege

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Download: Threat Detection – Episode 15

1) Super Bunny Hop reports VAC bans affecting Dark Souls 2
– vac bans for using graphics enhancing hook file

2) Onion AV club running a series of articles on empty spaces in games
World of Warcraft
Myst and Riven

3) More privilege theory applied to gaming

The Gareth Stack Show Live – Featuring Gareth Stack – Episode 1

I’m ordinarily a modest man. I received an award for it in college. It was a small thing, hardly worth mentioning, although they kept giving it to me year after year. ‘Gareth’, they said, cheer speaking as they held me aloft on their warm, respectful shoulders, ‘Don’t be so modest. Wait, no, do, that’s what the award is for, we guess’. So it was with the greatest reluctance that I accepted Andrew Booth‘s longstanding invitation to appear on his highly regarded radio programme, ‘The Gareth Stack Show, Live Featuring Gareth Stack’. I’ve always been one of the shows many avid listeners, and although I’m of course very busy at the moment preparing myself for the biennial GarethCon, I was honoured to participate. Andrew runs a tight ship over there on ‘The Gareth Stack Show Live Featuring Gareth Stack’, let me tell you. Lots of ‘mistakes’ and unfunny moments are carefully added into the show in real time to give it a naturalistic feel. You’d never know the hundreds of hours Andrew and his team put in, planning and rehearsing each weekly episode.

I was astonished to at the star studded roster of guests, from lady actressette and cookwoman Aoife Coughlan, to writer and clinical psychologist Mr Dr Darragh McCausland and music hacker John Leech (Siam Collective). Not to mention the subversive antihumour mixed into the proceedings by the notorious Gordon Rochford and Andy McGarry. I think I even heard some Saul Philbin Bowman in there, but I can’t be sure.

All in all it was quite the experience. I look forward to listening to the next person chosen to play the part of Gareth Stack. I know he’ll do a better job than I did. But it seems impossible that he’ll be more humble about it.


Download: Episode 1

Update: We’re on iTunes.

Threat Detection – Episode 6

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Apologies for the sound problems in this episode. It’s our first week in the new studio and we have some gremlins to sort out.

Download: Episode 6

We talk about…

Valve Cheat detection controversy
– Valve pulling an EA. Tracking people’s DNS addresses and entries such as ipconfig/displadns. Doing this through VAC.
– also facepunch (rust dev) institute robust cheat detection
GABE Newell responds!

Last of Us ‘Left Behind’ DLC
– homage / trash’s Bioshock infinite’s interactive sequences
– is the combat unnecessary (no)

Buddyfied launches
– one solution to finding folks to play with

Steam game tagging launched, subject to immediate abuse
– gone homo, day z is ‘walking simulator’