About Darren Byrne

Blogger, writer, movie buff, amateur dramatist and all round nice guy. When I'm not spouting about on Culch.ie, I can be found Tweeting inanities @DarrenByrne or @Culch_ie. I am the admin behind Culch.ie and if you want to contact me for anything, drop me a mail.

Theatre Review: Macbeth in @SmockAlley Theatre


Despite being a bit of a Shakespeare fanatic, I’ve probably only seen Macbeth twice on stage and I haven’t read it since my youth (and that’s some time ago now). So, I was very excited about catching Fast Intent’s production in Smock Alley Theatre this week. The Scottish Play opens as three witches, the “weird sisters”, plan a meeting with the Scottish nobleman Macbeth, who at that moment is fighting in a great battle and kicking some ass. Post-battle, Macbeth and his friend Banquo come across the witches who offer them three predictions: that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, and that Banquo’s descendants will become kings. Banquo laughs at the prophecies but Macbeth is excited, particularly so when he is swiftly made Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan, in return for kicking so much ass in the battle. Macky-B writes to his wife, Lady … There’s more

Theatre Review: The Bear’s Tuxedo in the Theatre Upstairs


This was a bit of a treat last week. I didn’t know much about the play, so went along with an open mind. I just barely made it in time (stupid traffic!) to the Theatre Upstairs at Lanigan’s Bar, Eden Quay, to catch Keith James Walker’s new play, The Bear’s Tuxedo. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO takes you on a cosmic journey through the torn flamboyant fibres of one man’s being. That man is the mercurial Billy Sendoza. Billy is a gay Californian funeral director with an attachment to the arcane and a penchant for the preposterous. Join Billy as he swaps the sands of Southern California for the unforgiving scorched desert of Mexico on a journey of personal redemption. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO is a surreal exploration of how one man’s inability to separate his dreams from reality contaminates and distorts not only his own life, but the lives of those around him. … There’s more

Movember – Support Me, Support Men’s Health


This is the month where men are real men. This is the month where men prove their manliness by growing fluff beneath their noses. This is Movember. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, during November each year men all around the world grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds to combat prostate and testicular cancer, as well as men’s mental health challenges. Starting on November 1st, participants completely shave any facial hair, then begin the courageous task of growing and grooming a mo. Men everywhere use their faces as a walking, talking billboard in order to prompt conversation and raise awareness for men’s health issues. Those who’d like to participate in this worthy effort can register at ie.movember.com. After registration, male participants, or Mo Bros as they are called, create a personal Mo Space page to serve as an outlet to promote their Mo-growth and receive donations to … There’s more

Competition Closed: The Craft Collection Indiependence Tickets Competition


  With 126 entries via Twitter and 45 entries directly through the website, we’ve had an astounding response to our Indiependence tickets competition. Sadly, we can’t bring all of you with us (much as we’d love to) and we have selected our winner from the proverbial hat (we used a free random number generator I Googled).   *** Congratulations to Leta O’Neill who has won a pair of tickets for the August Bank Holiday Weekend at Indiependence in Cork, with thanks to the Craft Beer Collection. ***       You’re recovering from the excitement of Longitude. You’re already looking forward to the chilled out vibe of either Electric Picnic or the Lisdoonvarna Outing at the end of August. But what to do before then?? Head to Cork, of course, for the Indiependence Festival. Indiependence is a music and arts festival based in Mitchelstown, Cork. It’s a small, fun and … There’s more

Theatre Review: Best Man in the @ProjectArts Theatre


Performances in the Project Arts Theatre can be hit and miss. The very experimental nature of the space means that I’ve seen some amount of self-indulgent tripe mixed in with some brilliantly innovative, insightful plays. In the past two weeks, I’ve had a lot of luck. Last week, I finally caught Mark O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie, a two-act two-monologue play of an urban Dublin odyssey. The Howie starts the story and the Rookie finishes it out. Both parts are played by Love/Hate’s Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and it truly was an acting masterclass. That’s how it’s supposed to be done. This week, the Project was transported to boomtime Ireland for Carmel Winters’ Best Man. Actually, it’s something of a cliched tale, where the suburbanite couple (one breadwinner, one stay-at-home spouse) bring in a hot, foreign nanny to look after their emotionally neglected children, leading to sexual tension and the re-evaluation of all … There’s more

Calling all singers in Dublin: Be part of the Dublin Fringe Festival

Quick quick quick, read this and then drop Jean Hally an email. It’s going to be fun and you’ll be part of something great. Songs in the Key of D, a Choral Exploration of Dublin City, will take place during the Fringe Festival on 14 Sept in the Smock Alley Theatre. The organisers are looking for singers of all abilities to join them in performing some of Dublin’s best known songs and connect the audience to our city through song. Everybody who likes singing is invited to take part you don’t have to be from Dublin or Irish and you don’t have to a good singer (but I guess it would help if you can hold a note during The Auld Triangle). The choir is being set up set up to bring people living in all parts of Dublin together. Auditions will take place on: – Mon 29 July in … There’s more

Movie Review: Man of Steel, AKA Superdull


It should have worked. But it didn’t. It should have been the best Summer actioner. Directed by Zack Snyder, who drove the excellent 300 and The Watchmen, this movie had the full package on paper – Russell Crowe playing Jor-El (taking over the reigns from Marlon Brando); Kevin Costner and Diane Lane playing the very human Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark’s earthbound parents; the lovely Amy Adams taking on the hardened Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane; and the genius Michael Shannon playing the big-bad, General Zod. And that’s before we even look at the reliable presence of Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. And yet, there wasn’t an ounce of the innovation we saw in the relatively recent The Dark Knights or Inception. I’m not going to give much of the story away, but there’s very little I could spoil anyway. It’s the usual Superman tale – in order to save him, Jor-El sends his … There’s more

A Good Day to avoid Die Hard


This will be short. The film was so poor, it doesn’t deserve many words. However, I do feel the need to warn you off it. Bruce Willis’s latest visit to John McClane’s insane life is A Good Day to Die Hard. Presumably they couldn’t fit Sam Jackson or Justin Long into the budget, so this time McClane is joined by his son, poorly acted by Jai Courtney. There is no plot. No really, I looked and couldn’t find one. I did however find plenty of explosions and car chases and explosions and fire and jumping through CG windows and explosions. There was also a shed load of awful dialogue. If McClane said “I’m on vacation” one more time, I was going to hurl my overpriced Maltesers at the oversized IMAX screen. Life of Pi belongs in IMAX, The Dark Knight Rises belongs in IMAX, Prometheus, The Hobbit, Ghost Protocol, they … There’s more

Competition: NYE Dublin – This is what you should be doing

NYE Dublin Festival 2011 concert

I am mad about New Year (far more than Christmas itself). I buy into the symbolism of it – out with the old and in with the new. So, I love to mark each one differently. This year, now that I’ve returned to city centre living, I’m embracing the New Year in Dublin. NYE Dublin, Dublin’s New Year’s Festival, marks the start of The Gathering Ireland 2013! To celebrate, we’re offering 5 pairs of tickets to the NYE Dublin Countdown Concert, featuring the delicious Imelda May and the brilliant Bell X1. Dublin’s New Year Festival is even bigger this year and now that I’m living in city centre, there will be no better place than Dublin’s city centre streets to celebrate the arrival of 2013. Even Lonely Planet has named Dublin as one of the Top 5 places in the world to spend New Year, so you don’t want to … There’s more

Competition Closed: Jack L and The 27 Club


*** Congratualtions to Laura Carroll *** *** who has won a pair of tickets to tonight’s show *** I‘ve said it many times before and I’m sure I’ll repeat it again and again – Jack L is incredible. He is my favourite Irish singer and I could listen to him forever. In his latest show, The 27 Club, the work of iconic artists such as Janis Joplin, The Doors, Robert Johnson, The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Echo & The Bunnymen, Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana are interpreted. Few musicians set out to become legends, even fewer succeed. Yet by any standard musicians like Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain are legendary. Each left behind a lasting musical legacy, with songs that freeze forever a moment in time, speak for a generation, or simply give voice to the grief and grace of the human heart. In so many ways … There’s more

What do you think of Mumford & Sons’ new song I Will Wait?


It’s more of what we’ve come to expect from the band, but that’s no bad thing. Looking forward to hearing their new album, Babel, which is released on the 24th September. Here’s Mumford and Sons’ I Will Wait, shot two weeks ago, during the band’s two sold-out shows at the Red Rocks natural amphitheatre in Colorado.  

New Dr Who Trailer! New Dr Who Trailer! New Dr Who Trailer! :)


The seventh series (of the revived Doctor Who) begins in the autumn, but the first episode, Asylum of the Daleks, is due to premiere at the BFI London later this month, (I’d love to go over for it). What do you think of the new trailer? I CANNOT WAIT!!! Also, check out this cool new desktop background:

Late to the game – My first week on Netflix


There was a big interwebby brouhaha when Netflix launched in Ireland in January. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t particularly interested at the time. No one was raving about it. Many people said that the price was great (at just €6.99 a month, that seems a fair comment), but that the content was seriously lacking. The range of movies was very limited and the TV shows that were available were far from up-to-date. I gave it a miss. Six months later There’s more

No Doubt are back and they’ve brought the 90s with them

I was a huge fan of No Doubt from the second I received their debut album, Tragic Kingdom, as a Christmas present in 1995. Today, they release the video for their first single in nine years. The Grammy Award-winning rock group release Settle Down, the first single from their new album Push and Shove, which is released on September 21st. There’s more