• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

The House at the Abbey Theatre (Review)

Tom Murphy’s The House is big play with some clever ideas, but not quite enough to fill its somewhat extended run time. In fact, the first half of the play, as Murphy tries to settle into his groove, seems to run nearly forever – to the point where, sitting in my seat, I was starting to wonder if the actors had simply forgotten there was supposed to be an intermission. The second half, however, is much stronger and much more tightly focused. While the production itself is nothing less than impressive, one wonders if an editor might have been well-suited to take a hacksaw to Murphy’s script, or perhaps director Annabelle Comyn might have cut down on the staring into middle-distance.

House that now?

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Stella Days

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

Stella Days is held together by a sterling performance from Martin Sheen and a boldly challenging look at the Irish cultural mentality. Indeed, it’s easy to read this tale of a small-town parish priest trying to build a cinema as a metaphor for Irish cultural philosophy. In particular, with its distinctly American star, Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s movie seems like a bold challenge to what might be deemed Irish cultural xenophobia, the notion that our culture must be distinctly and completely independent of the world around us. Instead, Stella Days rather boldly and romantically suggests that Irish culture is not defined by independence or autonomy, but by its willingness to engage and accept the world around us. While the movie might occasionally indulge in a bit too much sentiment, it’s hard not to like that sort of uplifting and engaging idea.

I must confess, this was quite good...

Continue reading

Podge & Rodge for the Irish Cancer Society…

I am big Podge & Rodge fan. I grew up on them, to be honest, with their own unique brand of toilet humour. So when I found out the pair were teaming up with the Irish Cancer Society to raise awareness of bowel cancer, I thought I’d post the video here. I think everyone respects and appreciates the work that the Irish Cancer Society do, and I remember – in college – that the production company behind Podge & Rodge were always eager to supply spot prizes for any fundraising table quiz we might put on. So, when they sent this on, I thought I’d share it.

A word of warning for any Americans stumbling across this video, Podge & Rodge are a… very Irish institution, and a very peculiar sense of humour. It’s the kinda thing that foreigners rarely get to see, so consider yourselves both warned and honoured. The clip is very not safe for work (only language, though).

Yes, they are a national treasure. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of iconic Irish puppets. Take, for example, the 2008 Irish entry to the Eurovision Song Contest:

Apparently those wacky Europeans didn’t react well to us making an even bigger mockery of their singing competition than normal. And in case any Americans reading this need an introduction to the Eurovision, this is fairly accurate parody of what a typical Irish entry to the Eurovision song contest looks like:

So ends our brief introduction to Irish Pop Culture 101.