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Arts & Culture

Adding spice to the Raw recipe

The final episode of RAW was broadcast on RTÉ on Sunday night. The first episode was a let down but subsequent episodes managed to elevate the series although not to former glory but somewhere near it.While the new restaurant owner, Fiona, never did improve, the other actors did a fine job. The storyline between Pavel and Geoff was possibly the best of them and it was the emotion that existed between the two of them, along with a true sensitivity, that mainly kept my interest.The final episode of the season was a nice wrap-up. It had the usual mix of humour, drama and, of course, fist throwing. While it wasn’t at all close to being a cliffhanger, the final episode has still left it open for the axing or a return. The series has a third installment in it but a few changes are necessary. Firstly, and not just because she is from our own fair county, but Kelly Gough, …

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On the couch

I hate to have my heart warmed. It’s one of the few cinematic experiences that really disagrees with me. Terrify me, thrill me, revolt me or amuse me, I don’t care what you do so long as my heart-strings remain unplucked.This detestation most likely stems from sub-par heartwarmers fumbling at my feelings like a blind man with no thumbs trying to unravel a knot, throwing the kitchen sink and its cute but cancer-riddled puppy at the screen in a desperate attempt to squeeze a tear out of the audience. While it was borne in the arms of lousy films, this cynicism has infected my appreciation of many more modern classics. ET annoyed me. Wall-E bored me and both Finding Nemo and March of the Penguins made me want to buy a novelty film tie-in stuffed animal and kick it out the window.In short – I don’t like cute.This made the prospect of sitting down to watch Pixar’s latest opus, Up, …

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Clare’s Got Talent semi-finals

THE hilarious footballer’s guide to hurling, nimble brush dancers, wonderful singers, hip-hop acts and a range of musicians will provide the entertainment in the semi-finals of Clare’s Got Talent, which gets underway on Sunday night.There will be an opportunity to be introduced to the 40 acts on the Breakfast Show with Paul Moriarty each morning on Clare FM. John Drummey of HD Events, competition organisers in partnership with Clare FM, revealed that 10 acts will take part in each of the four semi-finals, with eight finalists being chosen to take part in the grand final at Glór. “It is important that each act, whether it is a group of 18 young gospel singers or a solo musician, has plenty of support in the theatre during the semi-finals,” he said.The three judges, Tracy Crawford, Brian Flynn and Nigel Bridge, interviewed the 350 acts who applied to take part in the auditions. The first of the four semi-finals will take place this …

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Kilfenora Céilí Band honoured at civic reception

ONE of the county’s best-known Irish traditional groups was granted a civic reception by Clare County Council on Monday.It was a fitting honour for the Kilfenora Céilí band according to Mayor of Clare Tony Mulcahy. “In hosting a civic reception in honour of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, the council is also recognising the contribution of traditional Irish music artists and groups throughout Clare over the years in preserving a unique part of Irish culture and heritage. A civic reception is the highest accolade at the disposal of Clare County Council for any individual, group or organisation and one that is, for those in receipt of it this evening, thoroughly deserved.”He traced some of the Kilfenora’s colourful history. “The founding of the Kilfenora Céilí Band has its origins in a fife and drum band which was based in the North Clare village of Kilfenora in the 1870s. In the early days, the band’s engagements included house dances that later progressed to …

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Getting a Handel on classical singing

HE may have rode his luck at times but eventually Clarecastle’s Dean Power claimed third place in the Veronica Dunne Singing competition, as well as the awards for best male singer, best Irish singer and the Handel Prize for the best performance in the competition of an aria from an opera or oratorio by Handel.The Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition was established in 1992 and is a triennial event. It attracts singers for around the world and this year’s final was held in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.Dean has been based in Dublin for the last seven years and while he was still at school, the 24-year-old tenor had little doubt about what he wanted to do with his life. “When I was filling in the CAO form, I only put down one or two courses. I said I’d try and give this a go and if I didn’t get it, I’d repeat.”He’s been studying music since and, after completing …

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Corey goes behind the camera

AS a professional photographer, creativity and images are already central to what Paul Corey does and he’s now looking use his talents in a second way.He will be continuing with his business but having written a script and screenplay, he secured a loan and is hoping to begin work on his first film very soon.“I’ve had a dream for most of my life to make a film and I’m after getting a loan of €12,000 for the equipment and I put a few thousand to it myself. The next step is to train a crew of six to eight people and hopefully do casting in the summer,” says Paul. He will be working on it part-time and says it’s something he’s “fairly passionate” about.The film has the working title Ennis and will be the story of a local family over a single weekend.Paul says it will be a dark comedy and while he says it will really be about the …

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Bland to the bone

Invictus DIRECTED BY: Clint Eastwood STARRING: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge CERT: PG Of all the stories a man could tell about the life of Nelson Mandela, Clint Eastwood has opted for a nice, uplifting one. Or a bland, toothless one, if we’re to be more honest.It’s the story of the World Cup in South Africa. No, not the real World Cup, taking place there this summer, the Rugby World Cup of 1995. That one ended racial hatred in one fell swoop and brought the rainbow nation together to live happily ever after in blissful peace and harmony. You know, that one.It opens with Mandela’s release from prison (exactly 20 years ago today, if you’re reading this on Thursday), where he’d spent 27 years in that famous little cell. On the road, he passes between two sports pitches. On one, a bunch of poor black kids kick around a soccer ball. Across the street and behind the fence, a …

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Who can fill Wossy’s chat boots?

For many people who lived in the land of only two channels growing up, the weekend meant three things: The Late Late Show with Uncle Gaybo on Friday night, Kenny Live on Saturday and Where in the World followed by Glenroe on Sunday night.This was the routine and it was kept with rigour. The Late Late was considered the programme for the whole family. It was the flagship. Kenny Live, meanwhile, was for a slightly younger audience, maybe those in their 20s or 30s, and the neon pink graphic just made it seem a lot more trendy. We’re talking 80s/90s trendy here – so it’s Deirdre Barlow glasses on Pat and a lot of floral headbands on the ladies.Sunday evening was brilliant. I loved Teresa Lowe. She was glamour personified as far as I was concerned. As an eight-year-old I would have given anything to be old enough to don a vibrant pink, green, yellow or blue polo shirt and …

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