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Arts & Culture

Kissing Sid James finally gets to the Glór stage

AFTER the disappointment of having to postpone their last show in Glór, newly-formed North Clare theatre company StoneMad Productions returns to the venue with their rescheduled performance of Kissing Sid James.This production was to take place last November but fell victim to the floods. All tickets issued for that performance are valid for the February 6 show.Described by the BBC as “A little gem of a comedy”, writer Robert Farquhar’s Kissing Sid James will be presented for the first time in Ireland by newly formed North Clare theatre company Stonemad Productions. Theresa Leahy (Crystal) and Gerry Howard (Eddie) will star in this quirky play, which despite its name is not an homage to Carry On movies, but it does revolve around the premise of a dirty weekend away. The play title derives from when Crystal asks Eddie about his last relationship and he says that his ex-girlfriend told him that kissing him was “a bit like kissing Sid James”.Kissing Sid …

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At the Movies

Brothers DIRECTED BY: Jim Sheridan STARRING: Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Sam Shepard CERT: 15A AFTER the misguided and disappointing 50 Cent vehicle, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, director Jim Sheridan is back on fine form and doing what he’s always done best – wringing great performances from talented actors, most often in the setting of a struggling family – a theme that has run through his work since his debut, My Left Foot in 1989 and up until the recent In America.The topical setting for Brothers is an American military family – headed up by angry, hard-drinking Marine veteran Hank Cahill (Shepard). Hank takes obvious pride in his oldest son Sam (Maguire), who’s followed in dad’s footsteps and is about to be deployed to fight in Afghanistan. But he has little but undisguised contempt for Sam’s younger brother and bona fide family black sheep. Tommy (Gyllenhaal), just out of prison after a spell for armed robbery.When word comes …

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On the Couch

WHY is the future always so clean?Back in the good ol’ days, the coming decades and centuries were, at best, skanky, with tiny pockets of ultra-luxury for a priviliged few, like in Blade Runner, or, at worst, apocalyptic vistas of smouldering cities, cannibals and land-locked pirates with mullets. Like in Mad Max. Or Titanic (at least in my version, anyway…)A recent phenomenon, played out in the likes of Minority Report, Gattaca and, most notably, I, Robot, shows the future as a sterile place, a weird, Stepford Wives sort of hangout, just one dumb jumbsuit shy of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even Marty McFly had his share of future shock when confronted with his elder, corrupt corporate self and family of ugly children in the second Back to the Future. Even back in the ’80s, the future was all clean livin’ and pastel colours. And flying cars.Like Stepford, the clean futures are always the ones that look …

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Channel Hopping

MEETING Colin Murphy in Lucas’ after a gig in Glór one night, I was struck at just how ordinary the man is. That is not a criticism but rather a compliment. I have always enjoyed his comedy and I remember thinking, wow, maybe one should meet people they like off the telly a bit more often as it keeps you liking them. Since then, my admiration of Mr Murphy has not diminished despite a sometimes poor run on The Panel, mainly because whenever I get annoyed by him I remember…he’s an ordinary guy in real life.See, I remember thinking that The Blizzard of Odd was one of the best things on television. In many ways, it was the precursor to the way in which we live our lives today. Basically, Colin’s programme centred on funny and bizarre clips that he had found on the Internet and various television channels. It was youtube for a generation that only had dial-up and …

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Panto season returns to the ’Bridge

THE 60-plus strong cast has been selected, the roles have been defined and the costumes designed because in a castle, somewhere near the village of Sixmilebridge, something special is about to happen all over again.For the past few weeks, the characters have been busy brushing up on their lines readying themselves for the curtain call for Sixmilebridge Youth Theatre’s pantomime adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which runs over successive weekends at the end of January and early February.The pantomime show follows the familiar storyline of this timeless and adventurous classic as Grace O’Connor slips into the role of Beauty, as she becomes captivated by the Beast Prince Michael, played by Alan Murphy.The theme of this year’s show will focus around the Irish recession, so watch out for Beauty’s dad, Bob the Builder, played by Gerard O’Dea and her posh and spoilt sisters, Tuitti and Frutti, played by Tara Maxwell and Catriona Gallagher respectively.Of course, the Beast must have servants …

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A lifetime of musical experience

HAVING spent years in London and spells working with legendary hell raiser Shane McGowan, Ron Kavana now lives a quieter life on the banks of the Shannon Estuary.The Cork folk and traditional musician says the pace of life in Shanahea (between Kildysart and Labasheeda) suits him now.“I’ve had it with big cities and living out of a suitcase. It’s quiet and peaceful here. During the cold weather very few people pointed out how beautiful the country was. It was like a winter wonderland here for a few weeks. I still managed to get in and out to Ennis for a few sessions and a few pints.”Ron will be playing in Minogue’s of Tulla on February 5, where he’ll be joined by singer Annie Armstrong, Dave Harper (banjo, flute) and Conor Keane (accordian).After first coming to prominence with Loudest Whisper in the 1970s, he moved to London where he worked with ACE Records, one of the world’s leading jazz, blues, country …

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Ennis artists to exhibit at County Museum

A GROUP of Clare artists will launch a particularly pertinent exhibition in the Clare County Museum this week. Though the exhibition was intended as a Christmas one, it is quite apt for the beginning of a new year and a new decade. The exhibition is called Janus: Duality – looking forward and backward at the same time. It will feature 30 to 40 pieces from four Ennis artists. Its location too is especially apt for the theme. The show will be launched on Saturday with a reception from 2pm to 5pm in the Clare Museum. The show opened last Saturday and continues until Saturday, January 30. The exhibition features paintings and photographs by Kevin Quinlan, Sinéad Slattery, David O’Rourke and Hazel Gilchrist. “We have done an exhibition together each year for the past four or five years. We were due to hold it in the library back in November but we couldn’t do it because it was flooded. So we …

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