Theatre Review: A Tender Thing in


Siren Productions has brought Ben Power’s reimagining of the world’s most infamous teenage lovers to the Project Arts Centre. We meet Romeo and his fair Juliet in the twilight of their years having somehow escaped death to live a long life together. We do not get all the details of their love story. We do not learn if the Montagues and Capulets buried the age old hatchet to celebrate the union of their two young off spring. We don’t discover if the wedding was a forbidden elopement or a regal affair to challenge the likes of Kate and William. We do discover Juliet had a daughter but that the Lord saw fit to call this girl child back to heaven before she reached adulthood. The bleakness of this revelation is in keeping with the tone of the 90 minute piece. Juliet is dying; she is in pain for most of … There’s more

Hunger Games: The Craft Cocktail Showdown

For too long in Celtic Tiger we were plied with watered down mojitos and over-priced cosmos. Presently in Ireland we’re experiencing something of a cocktail renaissance. Maybe it’s the influence of Mad Men, maybe its a dissatisfaction with the standard Smirnoff Ice / Fat Frog offerings of an audience that’s grown up and matured? Whatever the cause there’s a move from the drinking public to want more of these fancy libations. Before you hit town this weekend with your long-overdue January pay packet consider some of the following mini-reviews on where best to wet your whistle! Dakota Cheap and cheerful with an array of €5 cocktails which feature all from Whiskey Sours to White Russians. These are inoffensive and won’t break the bank. Alcohol content is decent enough to order a few and not feel ripped off either. Liquor Rooms / Vintage Cocktail Club Totally capitalising on the Craft Cocktail … There’s more

Hunger Games: The Corn #TortillaRevolution

Corn Tortillas aren’t just a vessel for tastier foodstuffs as Blanco Nino would have us believe. They are, in fact, a cornerstone of Mexican culture, life and even history. For too long we have been subject to tasteless plain tortilla exports nothing compared to the authentic and original corn tortilla as it is meant to be. Well Blanco Nino is about to change all of that. Working with 30 Irish farmers and food specialists the dream is to build Europe’s first Corn Tortilla factory operation in a move to supply us with what we have for so long missed out on. Within 5 years the guys expect to occupy 600 hectares of Corn fields and reinvigorate Irish farms with a homegrown success story. It’s still in early days, but Founder of Blanco Nino – Phillip Martin tells us ‘that we’re blessed to live in one of the most beautiful green … There’s more

Free Tickets: You Couldn’t Make It Up on Newstalk

sez Pat O’Mahony: Jaze, how did we get here so quickly?  This Fri, January 24th, is our second-last You Couldn’t Make It Up recording for Newstalk.  It seems like only…oh alright, just over eight weeks since we did our first show in The Helix in DCU on November 29th.  How time flies when you’re busy as feck. Looking back on the last two months, it’s been a steep learning curve for all involved.  Even though the format’s been a long time in the preparation – my co-producer, Mark Warren of Firebrand Productions, first approached me with an idea he had for a comedy news panel show in early 2011 – it’s only when you actually go into production that you really see what does and doesn’t work. It took a lot of effort to get it as far as the starting block.  Long evenings were spent over tea and biscuits … There’s more

Damian Corless: 9000 Years of Irish Weather

9000 years of irish weather

Never heard of Damian Corless ? Say Collins Press, Damian Corless, [is] a journalist and a former editor of Magill and In Dublin, currently contributes to the Irish Independent. He has written comedy sketches for BBC TV’s classic Big Train and RTE’s award-winning Stew. His acclaimed books include The Greatest Bleeding Hearts Racket In The World…. As he says himself, I have no idea what an isobar is…. But he will happily tell you how the Irish won a war by doing nothing, how Cork had it’s revenge on and [sort of] killed Cromwell and the wonderful story of the Mayo postmaster who delayed the D-Day landings by 24 hours and changed what is now world history, to name but a few. And though the book has flip all to do with Irish weather technically speaking or with gardening, I angled it onto The Sodshow, in part because the weather … There’s more

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

Gig: Songs in the Key of D at the NCH

Photo credit: Tommy Walker heads singing in a choir? Yep and not just any choir, it’s Songs in the Key of D. Following on from sell out shows at the Dublin Fringe Festival, the SitKoD choir bring you their expanded look at the songs of Dublin City. A musical journey from Handel to Hansard, Lynott to Drew. Performed by a choir of real Dubliners, rehearsals have been under way for the past fortnight with the gig taking place on the evening of February 3rd at 8pm in the John Field room at the National Concert Hall. Tickets are €18 (€16 concession) and can be purchased directly from the NCH box office or online at this link (use promo code ‘KeyofD10′ to get 10% off if booking this week). The idea of the choir came from producer, Mr Eoin Kilkenny and our musical directors are Chris O’Sullivan and Killian Grumley Traynor. There’s a lot … There’s more

The Upbeat Podcasts: Mental Health Matters

Mental Health

Upbeat Radio aired over the new year 2014 on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Presented by Brian Greene of The Sodshow Upbeat Radio brings Mental Health & Mental Wellbeing to the airwaves and extends the discussion on topics such as advocacy, reform, access to services, stigma & getting help. Over the course of the four themed shows Upbeat Radio interviewed OCD Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Bodywhys, Aware, First Fortnight & St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The broadcast heavily promoted Ireland’s Mental Health Arts Festival First Fortnight (Jan 02-11) with 10 specially created event promos for the 39 events in their calendar. Speaking at the conclusion of the broadcasts Brian Greene said it was great to chat to some of the main players in the Mental Health sector. The issues relating to our mind and its wellness are too often not discussed. Radio with less distractions is a perfect medium to explore … There’s more

Luke Kelly 30th Anniversary Tribute Night

luke kelly tribute night

This in from musician Ronnie Delaney who sez: The Fingal Folk makes a special return for 2014 with the first concert on Fri 31st Jan being dedicated to the memory of Luke Kelly of the Dubliners on his 30th Anniversary. The night will feature songs from the Dubliners repertoire to include Luke Kelly classics. Now starting its fourth season the Fingal Folk Club encourages musicians singers to perform in an all-acoustic setting incorporating participation form the audiences. The folk club takes place on the first and last Friday of each month throughout the year full schedule below and incorporates many theme nights through the year.  Next Folk Club Dates: Friday 31st Jan: Luke Kelly Tribute Night Friday 7th Feb: Love Songs Night Friday 28th Feb: Around the house session. Details: Where: St Patrick’s Hall, Ballyboughal, Fingal, Nth. Co. Dublin Time: 8pm – 10pm Sub: Adults €5, Musicians donation, Children Free … There’s more

St Tiernans Dundrum, Dublin. Evening Classes 2014

st tiernans, dundrum

With everything from chinese cookery to Zumba and not thinking you have a note in your head to but wanting to join a choir to computer skills… the list is absolutely endless should you wish to get yourself away from watching the tele box one evening per week and taking on something new years resolution for the year 2014. Disclaimer [if that's even necessary] I teach the evening horticulture class at St Tiernans. Either or it is highly recommended, something a bit different and a grand bit of craic to break the Spring blues. I was at the open day Saturday just gone. The spring rolls tasted superb and the choir [Corus - who as a by the way of recent played The Helix, The Late Late to name but a few - don't be scared off they do a beginners class] were absolutely genius. Go on. Go on. G’wan. … There’s more

Morning Dew. Sundays at The Carnegie Court Hotel

morning dew band

At the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords every Sunday from around 8pm play a band called Morning Dew. And last Sunday I had the honour to watch and listen to them play. If you have never heard of them before, they are a highly entertaining mix of trad Irish, country, folk and upbeat songs that could only make you wan’t to tap your feet and sing along and be merry and God knows when it comes to January and floods and new years resolutioned mice pie-less diets that life needs happy people like the father and son team that are Ronnie and V Delaney. listen to ‘The Auld Triangle – Morning Dew’ on Audioboo Higher than highly recommended. And pure genius good old fashioned Irish Sunday evening guitar and a bodhrán entertainment. Every Sunday. listen to ‘Morning Dew – Ring of Fire’ on Audioboo

Rapunzel The Panto in the Solstice Arts Center in Navan


The Gaiety is what it is: safe and reliable. The Olympia has Jedward, which should say it all. The Helix is getting better every year and as for the Tivoli? Well, the less said the better. So if you don’t want the big prices of the Dublin (or other cities) shows, but don’t want to be in a chilly school hall or community centre and still feel like you at least got some money’s worth, what to do? You could do a lot worse than heading to the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, that’s what. This year they’re staging Rapunzel the Panto, the first time I’ve heard of this fairytale being staged. Brought to you by St Mary’s Musical Society, their pantos (and musicals) have only been getting bigger and better over the years. Yes, they’re an amateur group, run and managed by volunteers who do it for the love … There’s more

Movie Review: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug

Desolation of Smaug

I’d wandered out of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last Christmas being slightly disappointed. I’d struggled to articulate why to my mates but in the weeks that followed I’d got to understand that I’d expected more of the LOTR feel. With Peter Jackson returning in place of Guillermo del Toro it was clear that we weren’t going to get a new vision of Middle Earth but more of what we’d come to expect. The first film, in what eventually has become a trilogy, had to lay a good bit of groundwork but in the Desolation of Smaug, things really get going. We know that the group comprising of Gandalf, Bilbo (“the burglar”) and our 14 dwarves are headed for the lonely mountain to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor from the titular dragon. I don’t really want to get into how the story plays out as it’ll contain spoilers but … There’s more

Christmas FM is back for 2013

The Christmas FM crew

First off… before you say it (you were going to, weren’t you?)… yes, I do realise that my last (and only one of TWO so far!) post here on Culch was about Christmas FM 2012 almost a year ago, but I hereby solemnly swear and promise – in a sort of “early New Year’s resolution” type way – to post far more often in the future. Anyway – with that said… once again, the time of year has rolled around where many of us think of stuffing the turkey (careful now!), roasting their spuds (ah here!), heating up the sausage meat (quiet you, down the back!), pulling a cracker (just stop!), covering the pudding in cream (er…), gifts, trees, snow and jolly fat men dressed in red… Yes!.. it’s the month before Christmas and all through the house… in fact, all through the LAND, the charity radio station Christmas FM … There’s more

Congregation 2013

Congregation 2013

  November 30th and cities & towns around Ireland will have tumble weed blowing through them as the social media brigade heads down to sleepy west of Ireland village Cong.  Remember the John Wayne movie, the Quiet Man – well that, Ashford Castle and now are putting Cong back on the must visit map.   Congregation is kinda different to your normal pile ‘em high in hotel rooms with a high flying oil snake salesman selling social media kool-aid. Not in Cong.  First you cannot buy a ticket (although I am now thinking I could probably find a buyer for mine on eBay) – no sir you have to write a blog post and send it to them and if they upload it to the site - then you’re in.  At least this means you get to do your home work in advance.  On the day you get to present … There’s more