START Magazine

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FREE Arts and Culture of the South East Autumn 2008

The Film Issue

Cartoon Saloon Mycrofilms David O’Reilly Joe Ambrose’s Diary


Éigse Festival Atsushi Kaga Stagemad

contents Contributors Joe Ambrose David Banner Sarah Ryan William Lyons James Hyde Wojciech Ryzinski Emma Penruddock Ita Morrissey Darragh Byrne Suzanne Walsh Stephen Parker Photography Wojciech Ryzinski Shigeru Suzuki Shanney Mulcahy Front Cover Still from Cartoon Saloon’s ‘Brendan and the Secret of Kells’ Design Editor Brendan Maher start welcomes contributions from writers in the South-East area. Please contact the editor in advance, at the address below. startmagazine The Heritage Centre, Main Street Cashel, Co. Tipperary Email Web Thanks to all at the Heritage Centre and Town Council in Cashel for their support. start is published by startmagazine limited © startmagazine 2008 Printed by Lionprint, Cashel start is supported by South Tipperary County Council and Cashel Town Council.

02 Editorial 03 News: A look at what’s coming up in the SouthEast cultural arena over the next few months 06 Film Special: start travels across the region looking a developing film industry. We meet Paul Young at the Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny and hear about their major animated film ‘Brendan and the Secret Of Kells’; get an update from Dungarvan’s Kirby’s Films who have just completed their horror film ‘Insatiable’; talk with Berlin-based animator David O’Reilly who worked on Garth Jennings hit ‘Son of Rambow’ and find out what might be coming up with South-Eastern connections in the movie world. 15 Lost In Thought: “All You Need is Love” sang the Fab Four. But that was the sixties. William Lyons goes a little further back to check out their theories. 16 Joe Ambrose’s Diary: Joe remembers some film-related stories from his time as a student. 18 Reviews: Éigse Festival, Carlow; Junction Festival, Clonmel; Kilkenny Arts Festival; Atsushi Kaga at the Butler Gallery; ‘Illustrating Illustration’ at No. 79 John St Gallery, Kilkenny; ‘Harbouring’ at Whites Hotel, Wexford; Devious Theatre’s ‘Trainspotting’ at the Watergate, Kilkenny; Michael Langton’s ‘Cockroach’ at the Source Arts Centre, Thurles and more 24 New Voices: Wojciech Ryzinski presents a bi-lingual page on Polish art in the South East

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ilm-making is I think, the most interesting marriage of art and economics there is. It takes a long time to get from page to screen and then to distribution. A huge amount of people are involved in the process and the costs in making and marketing a film are so prohibitive that a relatively wide audience must be found to view the end product. Because of this, the public in its broadest sense is intrinsically involved in the artform, they vote with their feet and as such tend to have a great power in defining the future direction of film as an industry and therefore as an art. The late director Anthony Minghella encapsulated the film business in a paragraph for an article in ‘The Observer’ in 1999. “From any rational business perspective, making films makes no sense. Movies cost far too much, there are no prototypes to test, they’re impossibly unwieldly to manage, there is no relation between effort and result, they’re in the hands of regularly insane people called directors, they refuse to conform to pattern, there is no safety net, what worked last year won’t work this year, the creative participants will often celebrate their

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indifference to creative success, the audience is fickle, the marketing costs prohibitive, the stars crippling in their demands and like soccer, the general public - the fans - analyze the weekly results, the grosses, with a withering eye. What is to be done when in this current season, a film-maker has delivered a film for more than one hundred million dollars in excess of its original budget. In another industry he might well be in prison. In this one he’s collecting awards. He also created the most financially successful movie of all time. In Los Angeles the denials, the distancing, the disavowals are hastily traded in for celebration and bonuses. The bewilderment and the tearing up of the rulebook occur in private, the rewriting of history in public. Success has many fathers, the adage goes, failure is always an orphan.” With all of this in mind; welcome to the start film issue Brendan Maher Editor start is now available on-line at


f you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in the Haematology and Oncology Wards at Waterford Regional Hospital, you may wonder at a series of abstract photographic images depicting the sky. The works, entitled ‘Sky 1-32’, were commissioned by Waterford Healing Arts Trust and the Wards involved, are by Michael Durand. Some of the pieces are wall panels and others are back-lit lightboxes recessed into the ceiling. Says artist Durand: “My proposal was to create a piece of art work which would foster a sense of harmony, comfort and an environment of healing within a hospital ward, and additionally to provide a visual cohesiveness throughout the space”

Photo John Crowley


negurochka a love story by Rimsky-Korsakov is one of the operas featured at Wexford Opera Festival, which runs from the 16th October to the 2nd of November. The Festival returns to the site of the old Theatre Royal into a brand new Opera House that’s over four times bigger than the Royal. Other productions at the Festival include Bennett’s gothic opera ‘The Mines of Sulphur’ and Pedrotti’s comedic turn ‘Everyone in Disguise’ as well as a number of shorter works. Book online at or call 053 9122400 for tickets


ose hoors from are at it again, producing a new book of expressions from across the country in ‘For Focal Sake’. If you want to find out where ‘Mullinavegas’ is, what part of the body you should put your ‘gutties’ on or what to do if someone told you to ‘montaphuck’, this is for you. Essential local knowledge and a schkinful of laughs available from Easons, other book stores or direct from


ichael Kelly author of ‘From Rat Race to Hen Run’, who featured in the last issue of START has a new website and blog, ‘Tales from the Home Farm’ at The blog details Michael’s ongoing attempt to be down home on the farm in Dunmore East as well as “musings (as well as more practical stuff) on food, self-sufficiency, thrift, growing and rearing, and country life.” There’s also a Home Farm newsletter and you can get that on a regular basis if you subscribe on the site

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alloglass Theatre Company bring their production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls to Clonmel’s White Memorial Theatre from Tuesday 23rd to Friday 26th September (tickets from 052 26797) and then to the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny on the 27th September (tickets here from 056 7761674) Jason Byrne directs the play, featuring an all female cast, which looks at the compromises made by women in concentrating on career with an implicit questioning of the Thatcherite values that were evident when the play was originally written in 1982


he Imagine Festival returns to Waterford again this year with Liverpool poet Roger McGough nestling near at the top of the literature bill along with Clare Keegan and local poet Mark Roper who both have recent collections in short story and poetry respectively. Dance is provided by new-to-the-city company Animated State at the Greyfriars Gallery. An interesting screening of the 1912 documentary film ‘South’ about Shackleton’s journey to the Pole will be set to music provided by Phil Collins. There’s also five French films featured at the Festival including ‘Female Agents’ which includes Sophie Marceau and Julie Depardieu who play secret agents in Nazi occupied France. Music performances by Ron Sexsmith, Norin Ní Riain and Andy Irvine are amongst a very packed programme which runs over 24th October to 2nd November. for updates

Cristina Ortiz


‘passion for the histor y of ideas’ is what motivates Waterford Philosophical Society’s meetings, which take place at the Chesire Homes, Johns’ Hill, Waterford. The Society has been in existence for three years and deals with readings of primary texts of the work of major thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant and more. While philosophy can be complex, the meetings are there to encourage those that have no formal education in the area to take part. The sessions are open for public discussion and allow the opportunity to raise questions in order to aid the process of understanding. Meetings are held weekly and you can begin the process of expanding your mind by contacting Anthony McGrath on 085 7238001 for more information on the autumn/winter gatherings of the group

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Andy Irvine: Photograph by Shigeru Suzuki



he New Ross Piano Festival (September 25th 28th) is in its third year and offers an interesting range of events with pianists ranging from teenagers and students to more recognised performers like Cristina Ortiz, Nicholas Stavy and Finghin Collins. Add in some chamber music - Mendelssohn, Brahms, Messiaen and Stravinsky - with Emma Johnson on clarinet and Marc Coppey on cello and you have a high quality weekend of performance in the town’s St. Mary’s Church. Visit the website at or call 051 421383/421255 to get the whole programme



ashel Arts Festival takes place all through November and is broken into a number of themed weekends; childrens, art/architecture and history, music and finally a relax and chill session which will include a meal and a Bollywood film. Harpist Siobhan Armstrong performs at the Rock of Cashel; music workshops are provided by the National Concert Hall’s Outreach programme and there’s a circus and acrobatics workshop available for kids from Cork Circus. Details on the full Festival on or watch out for programmes on the streets


he second Waterford Film Festival runs from the 5th to 9th of November. Over 100 films have been received in various categories and the line-up includes films from Poland, France, Sweden and Hungary. Included is the Oscar winning American documentary ‘No End in Sight’, directed by Charles Ferguson, which looks at the chaos created on the ground in Iraq by the ongoing war. Updates in October from the film festival website


at Garter Lane

Book now on

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Tues 30 Sept-Sat 4 Oct Free Admission

Fri 3-Sat 4 Oct 8pm Tickets: €20 (€15 Garter Lane Friends & concs)


The Woman in Black

Lunchtime gigs will take place in Garter Lane each day at 1pm

by Susan Hill adapted by Stephen Mallatratt

Celebrating the spirit of Waterford based musicians

A revival of Michael Scott’s most terrifying production. Dare you go, dare you brave The Woman in Black

Tues 14 -Sat 25 Oct 8pm Tickets: €25 (€23 Garter Lane Friends & concs) Previews: 10, 11 & 13 Oct 8pm Tickets: €22 (€20 Garter Lane Friends & concs)

Climb Red Kettle Theatre Co Written & directed by Ben Hennessy & Eoin Lynch A new play about mountaineering with three interwoven stories: a modern-day tale of survival against all the odds.

Wed 5-Sat 8 Nov 8pm Tickets: €15 (€12.50 Garter Lane Friends & concs)

Prisoners of Silence by James Cheasty Stagemad Theatre Co What happens leads to a tragedy that changes their lives forever. “A superb cast...a triumph of courage and commitment” Waterford Today

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Words David Banner & Ita Morrissey

…Action! Start looks at a developing indigenous film industry in the South-East. It’s been over ten years since Steven Spielberg turned Curracloe Strand in County Wexford into a Normandy beach for his film ‘Saving Private Ryan’. While film-making on this scale has the hint of glamour to it and offers employment to indigenous film industry workers as well as a spin-off to the local economy, it’s hard to assess any lasting effect…


ressing the fast forward button to 2008; we wanted to see what’s happening on the ground in the SouthEast; who are the film-makers and what do they do? And given that the film-making process must be fed with hard cash and human labour, who funds production? We found a small but vibrant community of filmmakers operating in various spheres of the industry, some with films about to be released, others working on a more modest scale often utilising the new digital technologies and distribution mechanisms to their fullest advantage.

A Voyage of Discovery


artoon Saloon in Kilkenny are perhaps the most developed film company in the region. Their animated series ‘Skunk Fu’ has been sold to a number of countries and they are currently gearing up for the release of ‘Brendan and Secret of Kells’ - a feature length animation about a monk who gets his hands on the legendary book. We talked with Cartoon Saloon producer Paul Young about their work: start: You originally came from Dublin to set up the company in Kilkenny. Why was that? Paul Young: Tomm Moore, Ross Murray and Aidan White were all from Kilkenny before going to College. Mike Kelly from the Young Irish Film-makers had secured some studio space for us in the old St. Joseph’s Orphanage so we gratefully took that offer. It was also cheaper for us to live here and we had our full of the big city - us all being country boys! How many people do you employ on a day-to-day basis and how are other people sourced in relation to projects? There is a core staff of seven always. At the moment we have ten more joining us from this month to the end of the year to work on development of new projects. We also then contract freelancers from all over. During the production of ‘Skunk Fu’ and ‘Brendan…’ we had seventyfive people in the studio for almost two years. What is the mix in the business in relation to corporate work, television and features - how much time is spent on each? About ten per cent of our business is commercial – work for hire – and the rest is feature and television and that is split 50/50. At the moment we are concentrating

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predominantly on the development of feature films and television series. But we are still open to do commercial work when the pitch comes in. ‘Skunk Fu’ has been a real success and you’ve sold it across the world. How did you get the show from development to screen? That was a very long process of creative development and pitching to the market. Aidan Harte and I spent about six months on an off from commercial work developing a pitch bible and trailer after the idea came from him and Hyun Ho Khang (who was our commercial agent in the UK). We then took this to Cartoon Forum in 2003 and pitched it there and got a great reaction to the trailer and concept. We then slowly secured interest and pre-sales from buyers like the BBC around Europe at markets like Mipcom in Cannes. We also had a choice of a number of interested distributors and co-producers to help us raise the finance for the show, eventually partnering with HLT productions who secured a number of deals for us to finance the series and then distribute it. All the while we were refining the show with the help of our script editors in New York. There were many speedbumps along the way, but by October 2006 we managed to close all the financing arrangements by the skin of our teeth and production went into full swing. How did ‘Brendan And The Secret of Kells’ originate? This began as an idea by Aidan Harte and Tomm Moore originally titled ‘Rebel’, but had a more adult feel to it. We pitched a trailer we made in the first summer of coming down to Kilkenny at Cartoon Movie in Berlin and got the attention of Les armateurs, the French producers of ‘Bellville Rendevouz’ which got an Oscar nomination for best animated feature in 2004. It was then extensively re-imagined by the team here to turn it into a more family friendly film. It’s taken a few years to get it to screen Yes, while we where seeking finance we still had to earn a living as an animation studio making commercials etc. Every once in a while over the years another funder would come on board from one of the co-producing countries and steadily we raised our budget.

cinema, Celluloid Dreams (International sales agent), Eurimages (EU loan support for film), VAF (state film support in Belgium), Buena Vista Ireland and many more like this this. What was the reaction to the film at Annecy (Animation Festival in France)? The film is still in post-production; what was shown in Annecy was a presentation on the development and production of the feature with a short preview trailer. We got a packed house, which shows there is a lot of anticipation out there from all the animation students, professionals and animation nerds! Hopefully we will receive the same enthusiasm from the general public when it comes out next year. The film will have a screening in Los Angeles in September. What will this mean for it? This is an award called the ‘finders series’ that the Directors Guild of Ireland and America give to one Irish director a year. It’s very good for Tomm and the studio as it means there will be a nice buzz generated with the film professionals in Hollywood at a special private screening at the Directors Guild Theater in Hollywood. It will provide a very high profile for the film over there within the industry. What are the eventual release dates for the film In the UK and Ireland. The film will be released in Ireland, France and Belgium during the first quarter of next year. Finally, who are your animation heroes (creators, as distinct from characters) My personal favorites are Chuck Jones, Brad Bird and Richard Williams as far as animators go, but then I also really like cartoonists like Ralph Steadman, Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and a comic artist called Chris Ware who has an amazing book published called ‘Jimmy Corrigan the Smartest Kid on Earth’; don’t let the title fool you, it’s not for kids! Contact:

It’s a €5.35m production. Who are the funders? There is a total of 32 investors between Ireland, France and Belgium, the three co-producing countries. These are a mixture of grants, loans, sales advances, distribution advances and film tax shelter schemes. You can imagine that it takes a long time to gather these interested parties. The main funders are the Irish Film Board, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, Canal +, France 2

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A Hunger for Horror


ast year Sta r t repor ted on Kir by F ilms in Dungarvan, who were in preparation on their movie ‘Insatiable’ - a horror film which depicts a post viral epidemic world where a certain type of meat has become a desired commodity. Jon Kenny takes a lead role as the local butcher, Mr. Harvey. We talked to producer Eve O’Riordan about how the shoot went:

days out of each week. The actors were very easy going and dedicated and were also extremely supportive of the work we were doing. We had a small crew of only nine people so it was a very intimate set. The community of Waterford were helpful in providing us with the sets we needed including a stately home, a doctors surgery, people’s houses and an old community hall that doubles as our supermarket.

Tell us a little about developing ‘Insatiable’ We began pre-production for ‘Insatiable’ in October 2006. Jessie Kirby, the writer/director/editor worked with scriptwriter Sean Coughlan developing the script through it’s many rewrites. When we were happy with the script we approached the Irish Film Board who gave us development money to bring the project towards production. At this time we also worked with Waterford County Arts Officer Margaret Organ who has been instrumental to helping us get our films made. We began casting the film in March 2007, with casting director Louise Kiely in Dublin. During this time we secured Jon Kenny, NoraJane Noone and Laura Donnelly to play the lead roles in the film. The majority of our finance for production was secured by mid June and we set our production date for August 4th 2007. We shot in Dungarvan, Stradbally, Lismore and Cork City over the course of one month. We housed our actors in Colligan Falls, a locally owned holiday village. The majority of our budget was spent within the local area also. Now a year later we are almost at the completion point

How was the film funded and what was your budget? The film was funded through private individual investment and we also received some funding from the Irish Film Board & the Waterford County Council Arts Officer. The budget to date has been €100,000. The main portion of our budget was used to pay our actors.

How was the shoot? The shoot was for the most part a dream to be a part of. We had no major upsets or catastrophes. Our shoot days were sometimes sixteen-hours long and we shot for six

Jon Kenny is Mr. Harvey in ‘Insatiable’. Photographs by Shanney Mulcahy

When will the film be premiered? The film had its first screening as the Gala film at the Gaze Film Festival Dublin. As it was not completely finished for that screening we are now in the process of finalizing the score and sound edit. Our aim is to spend the next year screening at festivals throughout the world. You recently received an Artlinks award. Was this specifically for the film, your own professional development or another project? The Artlinks award was awarded to to enable me to continue with my own professional development. Since receiving the award I have been able to attend the European EAVE project, which was held in Drogheda this year. I have also taken part in the Producers Network at the Galway Film Fleadh. I will be travelling to London in the coming weeks to meet with producers regarding our next film.

Nora-Jane Noone & Laura Donnelly in ‘Insatiable’. start 0

Hard Boiled


t seems that more and more of the general public are rejecting television for its lack of interesting and creative programming, and are turning on to the World Wide Web. There are specific websites that are able to cater to people in society that do not wish to be versed in Fair City or Coronation Street. Folks looking for intelligent and dexterous entertainment seem to get there fill from the internet, and this is where the clever work of three Kilkenny locals exhibit their talents, with the web-based sitcom ‘Vultures’. ‘Vultures’ is the flagship programme for Mycrofilms, a production and editing company focused on creating new short films, music videos, animation and features. Conceived by John Morton and Alan Slattery the company launched in late 2006, and it was soon after in that same year that Morton and friend Paddy Dunne planted the seed for ‘Vultures’, which they spent the next nine months exploring, scrutinizing and story boarding. The filming for the first of six episodes ‘The Kris Kringle Konundrum’, eventually began in Winter 2007. Collectively written and directed by Dunne and Morton, the series tells the tale of three private detectives who run a minor league private investigation agency in small town Ireland. The moderately successful business is called Vulture Private Investigations and specialises in dealing with small-scale cases like missing pets. The pair work well together. Sharing the duties of directing and writing may cause tensions, however it seems like the Coen brothers it benefits Paddy and John rather than hinder; “because we’re good friends, we are on the same wave length and able to bounce ideas off each other; we share the same vision” ‘Columbo’, ‘Tin Tin’, and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ are among the many fictional detectives that Morton

and Dunne drew inspiration from when creating the characters; each persona has distinct qualities that make for fascinating and compulsive entertainment. The detail in which the pair has gone to in shaping these characters is supported by the acting talents of those involved. Instantly noted upon viewing the two filmed episodes is the standard to which this project is produced. Everything from the script, costume, location and acting is a surprising calibre. Give the small budget. the first episode was produced on the rigorous quota of four hundred euro. It is with a grant from the Kilkenny Arts Office that the team is now able to invest in a bigger scale with the filming of the upcoming episodes. The chosen medium of internet exposure seemed to be fitting to the direction in which the team behind ‘Vultures’ wishes to pursue; “The web gives us an instant audience while it also showcases our work to prospective investors or television producers.” It would seem that ‘Vultures’ is aiming for a larger market and those involved hope to someday gain exposure on national television Filming for the third episode began this summer, but Paddy is insistent on having no strict deadline for the online launch; “it’s better to take your time and produce a higher level of work, rather than pushing for something without it being polished. Because sometimes, just sometimes, Irish films don’t need to be about men chasing cows around fields to fiddle music.” With this as a slogan you can see that not only do these gentleman have a sense of humour they also have something to prove to the Irish production world. (IM) Contact: To view the Vultures episodes log on to or visit

Vultures Episode 2: ‘The Scarlet Lady Vanishes

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Day Dreams


ilkenny animator David O’Reilly made a name for himself by creating some of the striking animation in Garth Jennings recent surprise hit ‘Son Of Rambow’. Even at a young age, O’Reilly seems to have went his own way in deciding a career path, leaving college early to travel to Italy to work with companies Shynola and Fabrica. We spoke to him from Berlin, where he now lives. How did you get started in film-making? My first film experience was holding a microphone on a Young Irish Film-makers film. In fact the reason I got into animation was because part of YIFM was being turned into an animation studio when I first went there (it went on to become Cartoon Saloon). I used to hang out there almost every evening in my late teens, it was an incredible bubble of talent and I learned an enormous amount from them. What happened to make you go towards animation from your initial focus on drawing in College? And why did you want to leave that college by joining design group Shynola. Drawing was a byproduct of learning animation so it was natural for me to fall back on the latter when I needed a career. By the time I got to college I had already directed some animation at Cartoon Saloon and had done a small collection of short films. I had the bug, as they say. The stuff I did at college was by contrast boring as hell, these basic remedial exercises, they actually put me off animation, so I upped and left.

Shynola and Fabrica (Italian company related to Benetton) would, although creative, essentially be corporate environments. How did you find working in those companies as against working on your own? I don't mind working in an office environment, but there's something that happens when your in a room by yourself working on an animation, like this feeling of incredible excitement of creating something from nothing. I've talked about this at length with other film-makers, it's a common thing. Even though I sometimes take on more commercial jobs there's always this pull to get back to doing personal work. I love your film ‘WOFL’ and although it's a test, I wonder why it wasn't brought further in Fabrica. Did you eventually do any work that was realised, for them? Unfortunately no. I wrote two scripts for them but the video department wasn't really together back then. The main thing I got from that whole experience was taking over a small cinema and playing films every day. You've previously mentioned your interest in Bergman, Tarkovsky and Van Sant. They’re not animators so what interests you about their work? Tarkovsky is something of a hero for me. I love how those filmmakers do something so different with the same or less means than everyone else. They are also perfectionists, nothing in their films can be taken for granted, much like in animation where everything is created from scratch. I always say that they would all make great animators. On another level its amazing to

Animator David O'Reilly Bill Milner in Garth Jennings 'Son of Rambow'

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see the subtlety of movement and story in their films, the film-language is so different to most animation out there, so much more advanced and refined. Your work is incorporated into 'Son Of Rambow' in a very effervescent manner - the imaginings of a child animated. How did Garth Jennings wish to include your work into the live action. Garth needed one person to be behind everything the main actor created, from the drawings on the bible to the murals in the film to the various bits of digital animation. The guidance for it all was surprisingly minimal; there was a lot of trust. I had also worked on his first film ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ which helped. Reaction to 'Son of Rambow' has been very good. How has your work been regarded? Really well it seems. Garth keeps telling me about people curious about my work on his press tour. I have given a few talks on it and will do some more for the Kerry Film Festival. I suppose I shouldn't really soak it up, after all, drawing with the hand of a child is not the hardest job in the world! Contact:


ssentially that’s a short trip through what’s currently happening in film-making in the region. We haven’t had the time to mention the numerous other projects going on. For example, the Young Film-Makers in Kilkenny recently made a film called ‘Eliza Mayflower’ as part of their annual summer school; Nemeton in Co. Waterford who continue to make documentary television programmes, many of which are sports – related and even the Thurles-based Company Digital Cinema Ireland who are at the forefront of introducing digital technologies into Irish cinemas. Two of the more interesting projects upcoming in the next couple of years are strangely enough, stories about women purpor ted to be witches. Thaddeus O’Sullivan is working on the film dealing with the notorious murder of Bridget Cleary in Tipperary in 1895. ‘Hunger’ actor Michael Fassbender was linked to this project last year. The film will be produced by Wildfire Films. START also contacted writer Robin Morgan’s office regarding the status of ‘The Burning Time’ - her feminist retelling of the Kilkenny witchcraft trial of Dame Alice Kyteler in the 14th Century. The rights to the book were purchased by American actress Ashley Judd last year and Morgan’s office told us that it was “hoped that the project will move ahead with a script later this year.”

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Pieces of us


n Co. Tipperary, Will Nugent recently completed a film with the Clonmel Sheltered Workshop. Entitled ‘A Little Piece Of Us’ the film is a collaboration between the South Tipperary Arts Office, the Workshop, Rehab Care and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Film works from the IMMA collection, made by artists such as Paddy Jolley and Clare Langan, were the impetus for the Workshop film and are reflected in their piece. The piece was screened along with a selection from the IMMA collection in the recent ‘Absence’ Exhibition in the South Tipperary County Museum in late Summer. Nugent is a bit of a maverick film-maker espousing the idea of ‘community film - making’, where large scale productions are created utilizing a vast number of local people in acting roles and the developing skills of his film crew. In the last two years he has filmed ‘Race the Drop’, a period drama set in the countryside of Tipperary and dealing with trouble between landlords and peasantry. More recently he has shot and is in the process of completing ‘Forty Shilling Shame’, again a historical drama. What’s interesting about Nugent’s films is the enthusiasm for the process. It’s infectious within the people he has gathered around him, whom he describes as ‘a tribe’ now called ‘South Tipperary Ensemble Film Production Company’ or ‘Stemble’ for short. While technical limitations are always evident, especially in his period pieces, the films offer a new model of production, the opportunity for everyone to get involved and be part of a film-making event as much as a job to be completed Contact: Will Nugent and Stemble Films: Will Nugent: Photograph by Wojciech Ryzinski

Philosophy William Lyons wonders whether it is true that “all you need is love”


he ancient Greek dramatist, Sophocles, declared that “one word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love”. For many believers, the core of Christianity is embodied in the dictum “God is love”. For a certain generation, the Beatles song “All you need is love”, carries a message that, if heeded, will heal all the ills of the world. Yet love, the most acclaimed and prized of all human emotions, is famously difficult to capture in what might be called neutral scientific terms. For many decades psychology had tried to single out and describe the different emotions by reference to the action of the brain’s neurotransmitters or the commotions in our viscera or the patterns in our behaviour. But, while much was discovered about the physiology and electrochemistry of our emotional responses in general and about our emotional behaviour, the results were disappointing in regard to knowledge of the functioning of particular emotions, such as love, and how it might differ from, say, anger or envy. As Graham Greene pointed out, via his protagonist, Bendrix, in his novel The End of the Affair, “Hatred seems to operate the same glands as love: it even produces the same actions. If we had not been taught how to interpret the story of the Passion, would we have been able to say from their actions alone whether it was the jealous Judas or the cowardly Peter who loved Christ?” However, from roughly the 1970s onwards, first philosophy, then psychology embraced what has become known as a cognitive account of emotion. They did so because this account (which in fact was first put forward, at least in embryo, by Aristotle in the century after Sophocles) offered a clear way of separating one emotion from another. Such an account of emotion is in fact somewhat

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misdescribed as cognitive, in that it views emotional differences, while based in part on the subject’s cognitive states (i.e. what he or she knows or believes about the situation), to be mainly a result of the subjects’s evaluative attitudes, usually called appraisals in contemporary psychology (i.e. whether he or she is evaluating or rating that situation as offensive or inoffensive, dangerous or safe, and so on). In turn these evaluative attitudes give rise to the emotional subject’s subsequent appetitive attitudes (i.e. what he or she wants or doesn’t want to do as a result of the appraisal of the situation) and so generate the appropriate behaviour. Thus Jane’s physiologically described emotional state (her facial expressions, visceral commotions, feelings, agitated movements) is said to be one of fear rather than one of anger because what caused her emotional state was her evaluation of the situation as one where Fred was about to attack her rather than as one where Fred’s words to her had been merely gratuitously offensive. In short an emotion is one of fear when the subject of it views the situation as dangerous, anger when the subject views it as offensive, and so on. Indeed we would judge someone as needing psychiatric help if they feared something that was obviously not dangerous, such as, say, butterflies, or else they became angry when complimented or laughed at a friend’s funeral. In philosophical terms, there are reasonably objective and rational norms in regard to what one can be appropriately afraid of or angry about or grieve over. But notoriously, with regard to love, things are different, indeed unique. Whom we should love seems to be entirely a matter of our own business. There are no shared rational norms. What is lovable is in the eye of the lover. As the 17th century French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, put it in his Pensées, “The heart has reasons that reason knows not of”. Love seems to be entirely a matter of subjective and, from an “outsider’s” point of view, sometimes irrational evaluations. In that sense love is a very generous emotion or, as the American crooner, Dean Martin, used to sing, “Everybody loves somebody sometime”. Thus the most unlikely people are lovable to somebody. Betty the barmaid at The Purple Shamrock Bar may seem to the rest of us to be a hard-hearted, gold-digging old tart but, to Sean, she walks with the athletic grace of Diana the Huntress, has the bitter-sweet voice of Eurydice calling in vain upon her lover Orpheus, and displays the fragrance of the adolescent Aphrodite emerging from her morning dip in the Mediterranean sea near Paphos. But the downside of love’s rational anarchism is that it may focus on a morally dubious object, such as Al Capone or Adolf Hitler or Shoko Asahara, and so the most terrible things may be done in its name. So, sadly, love is not all you need

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Joe Ambrose’s diary


t seems that the Irish - like the French - have a natural affinity with film, although it has normally been an affinity for watching, rather than making, movies. This has historically been an economic inevitability, as opposed to being yet another manifestation of the Irish artistic inclination to talk about things rather getting on with doing them. I guess that up until the economic upturn, Irish engagement in film making divided - roughly speaking into two categories. On the one hand there was a native film industry made up of people who were, in practice, semiprofessionals devoting most of their time to working for RTÉ or the advertising agencies. Most of the efforts which emerged from this phenomenally underfinanced sector were desperate, overly-artistic, efforts with big messages and limited appeal.

‘Barry Lyndon’ stands alongside ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ at the zenith of Kubrick’s work. At that time I was coming to the end of my time at boarding school in Waterford. There were about 200 boarders and 600 day boys in that school. Kubrick was busy for months in Co. Waterford with his film, taking advantage of the Suir’s beauty and majesty and of all the other impressive scenery at his disposal in the Suir’s valley. Cahir Castle was superbly exploited as was Lismore. To my dismay, it emerged that all the day boys in our school were being hired as extras on Barry Lyndon. We boarders were, of course, kept under lock and key so we had to hear second hand of the near-Hollywood style adventures that our pals were having. To add insult to injury, they were being paid handsomely for their work with a man who was, right then, one of the hippest directors in the world. ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ was part

A Little Extra On the other hand there were occasional interventions by big shot international directors like John Huston, David Lean, and John Ford. Their films, with huge international budgets and stars like Mitchum, Wayne, and Sinatra, tend to fit comfortably into their respective director’s oeuvre, though they were liable to be flavoured by a large dollop of stage Oirish nonsense. My first trivial brush with film making came about via one of those latter ventures. In 1973 Stanley Kubrick came to Munster to make ‘Barry Lyndon’, his wonderfully elegant rendition of Thackery’s picaresque novel concerning the eponymous sexual adventurer who was played by the underestimated and then-hot Ryan O’Neal. The score by The Chieftains was, if memory serves me well, one of their first soundtracks. I think

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of the contemporary zeitgeist and I was much concerned with things which seemed to be part of the zeitgeist although unfamiliar with the word “zeitgeist.” About 18 months later I was at UCD when ‘Barry Lyndon’, after typical Kubrickian fulmination and reworking, was released. It had cost a fortune, took forever to complete, and endured something of a critical drubbing which resulted in it being a bit of an international flop. It is one of the most beautiful films ever made and shows the Ireland of that time off to superb effect. In Ireland, of course, it filled the cinemas for a few weeks and me and my Waterford pals, all now at UCD, trekked into central Dublin to see it. We spent most of the screening pointing out our erstwhile schoolmates to one another. Now, when I see the film on TV, I can scarcely remember who those

boys were or what their names were. Back then it was fascinating to see members of one’s intimate circle on the screen in a full-scale Hollywood movie. More salutary, however, was seeing the way the filmmaker had altered nature in the defence of beauty. Although the Suir is a handsome river, it was then also a heavily polluted one whose waters were an impenetrable mucky dark chemical green. In ‘Barry Lyndon’, however, it is the most optimistic and pretty shade of bright blue, as indeed it must have been back in the 19th Century where Mr. Lyndon and Mr. Thackery were getting on with their Irish business. My opportunity arose while I was at UCD. Michael Crichton, now famous as the creator of ‘E.R.,’ enjoyed in the early 80s a reputation for directing economically budgeted thrillers which did well at the box office. He came to Ireland, with a cast led by Donald Sutherland and Sean Connery, to make a whimsical Duel scene from Kubrick’s ‘Barry Lyndon’.

Victorian heist vehicle called ‘The First Great Train Robbery’. The extras were recruited from UCD’s student body. There is one hanging scene in ‘The First Great Train Robbery’ which features a large crowd on onlookers, maybe 300 bodies. It would be fair to say that that crowd contained ever drug dealer, Trotskyist, Provo, police informer, closet homosexual, closet conservative, and wannabe thespian or rock star then attending UCD. I can remember exactly where I was standing in that scene and someday I will get the film out of DVD and zoom in on that crowd in the hope of seeing myself and the good friends who were with me that hot Spring day in the grounds of the Glencree Reconciliation Centre near Roundwood. My two abiding memories of that adventure were seeing Donald Sutherland walking around the

set with Connery and a very minor incident involving a catering van. At that moment in time Sutherland was something of a counterculture hero because he’d starred in a fistful of dazzling movies like ‘Don’t Look Back’ and ‘Casnova’. Connery was a bit of a faded star, post-James Bond and long pre-‘The Untouchables’, but Sutherland was one of my personal heroes. The usual drill, at the end of the day’s filming, was that all the extras decamped to Roundwood where we were paid in cash, fed, and bussed back into Dublin. Food was provided by a variety of film catering firms. One day we were being served food (of the hot dog and soup variety) from a truck set up like an ice-cream van with two people in the background heating things while the boss took our orders and handed us our food. On this occasion the boss was the owner of the van and of the catering enterprise. He was an exceptionally well known RTÉ television personality at that time - antiques and classical music were his areas of expertise - and it was kind of strange to see him serving up hamburgers, chips, and such to hordes of hungry students. You don’t expect to see your TV stars doing a sideline of that sort. He looked sleek and rich and contented. My conclusion was that there must be serious money in this film business if it was worth this guy’s while to don an apron and get physical with the onion rings and the polystyrene soup cups. I finally got to make a no-budget movie of sorts in 1992 and, like ‘The Great Train Robbery’, it has stood the test of time rather well, insofar as it keeps on showing up and doing the rounds. It came out on DVD last year and I get requests to screen it from time to time. Then I made another no-budget movie on Super 8 and it has gotten bogged down by the sort of catch 22 situations which bog down about 90% of filmic efforts. Then I made a four minute movie called ‘And Then He Kissed Me’ which got shown at the NFT and the ICA in London. I’m working on a film treatment which an actor I very much respect, who enjoys a good status and reputation, is interested in looking at. Many writers have wasted the best years of their lives pursuing celluloid dreams because they think they’ll make from cinema the big money which has eluded them elsewhere in their career. It used to be that way with theatre - Henry James wrote a batch of plays which were all flops. Although I devote too much of my time to writing, I’m not interested in writing a film script because I feel it’s beyond me. I favour a more hands on approach Joe Ambrose’s ‘The Fenian Reader’ (Mercier Press) comes out in October.

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Visual Arts

Justin Mortimer National Geographic Oil on Canvas


urated by Rob Lowe, the ‘We Don’t Need Nobody Else’ exhibition at the Éigse Festival (St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, June) featured artists from Ireland and abroad and the space in the College was put to good use. Upstairs, Swedish artist Anja Berger’s series of portraits had an Elizabeth Peyton like quality, the simplicity of the brushstoke, the matter of fact quality of the subject’s gaze sug gested a developed process. Gordon Cheung’s large primordial landscapes were mixed media pieces in newspaper (usually the Financial Times), spray-paint and inks. Computer generated images of ghosts populated the paintings, as if spooks willing stockmarket crashes or warning of chaos. Erica Eyre’s video pieces dealt with celebrity and were great; the artist successfully

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acting in most of the roles. ‘Baby Marleena’ a piece about a celebrated mermaid was especially pointed and while the lo-fi nature (which may be deliberate) doesn’t distract from the purpose, one wonders if a larger budget would allow this artist to carry out these confidence tricks to the quality that they deserve. Downstairs, Justin Mor timer’s canvasses were lef t blank in parts, but their images more than complete in content. One was reminded of the characters in Lars Von Trier’s film ‘The Idiots’ ‘spazzing about’ but here we seemed to have a family, faces and sometimes bodies obscured, wandering about in some post-apocalyptic nightmare world. Paintings like ‘National Geographic’ and ‘Jockey Club’ with background explosions and lurching figures suggested a family outing that had

somehow gone horribly wrong. Hock Aun The’s large paintings were abstract expressionist in st yle, underpinned by an understanding of Chinese script. His additional sculptural works - tough welded parts of metal and tool with some additional coloured marks - offered an additional take on the concentration involved in the painting’s markmaking. I loved Vanessa Donoso Lopez’s interior installation, which took up a large section of one of the rooms. The attention to detail in the work was especially evident and gratifying for the viewer. There was a great sense of victoriana from them, cabinets of curiosities with two headed creatures in jars - a sweetshop collection of dark tasting gothic memories Kilkenny Ar tist Steven Aylin’s sand series were paintings involving layers of paint that had been reduced by stripping and sanding, forcing the exposed strata and their colours to work together. His Grid series too layered paint, but in a more clinical manner, suggesting dna tests or even a form of ogham writing. Andrzej Jackowski dealt with clinical matters however, in a number of pieces that involved sanatoria and hospitalisation. The buildings depicted in his oils, were musty units of incarceration aimed at reducing the individual’s identity rather than offering a cure. This sense of hopelessness and dread was increased by the image of a large beetle scaling the building in ‘The Early Hours.’ This feeling was enhanced by Paul Becker’s work that offered a child’s world of paranoia, with bear-like figures encroaching on sleep. Becker’s painting ‘Self-harm’ told us that the waking world had been invaded also but was still covered in secrets and shadows. (BM)

attractive catalogue. It seemed as if the pieces and the exhibition found its natural home in this way. The exhibition travels to Tomares in Spain, later this year. (SR)

D Ina Fiebig’s Cine latino poster at the Illustrating Illustration Exhibition


he ‘Illustrating Illustration’ E xh ib i t io n (No. 79 Jo h n S t , K i l ke n ny, J u l y) w a s successful in its wish to show how illustration comes about and how an individual artist deals with a specific brief. It featured eleven ar tists, each presenting a series of images from idea to final piece or variations thereof. From Ale Mercado’s guilty dog image to Ina Fiebig’s posters or Paula Sanz Cabellero’s cloth figures, we got to see different approaches to work. In a world of CGI, it was interesting to see the hand-made qualit y ex tant in Chris Sickel’s creations or the knowing artfulness of Melinda Beck’s post modern silhouettes. Jordin Isip took the view that showing the correspondence between client and ar tist would illuminate proceedings. Essentially, these pieces were created to be reproduced in some manner, to be attached or corralled to text and it wasn’t surprising that the exhibition was made more complete by an

erek Cummins installation and paintings (Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford, August) were in the midst of an exhibition of the city’s Municipal Collection. The installation ‘Mars’, a circular room ten feet in diameter and five feet high, seemed to enclose the artist’s fevered imagination as well as a sort of studio or garret. Fiendish figures, a chair, tables, roughly cut spaces perhaps for windows, blood red walls and an ironic painting of sunflowers; the viewer approached the piece warned that they were entering another world. Cut out figures Francis Bacon’s furies stood watch outside. Cummins cityscape painting upstairs in the Gallery was strong with thick outlines, heavy paint more Roualt than Gerard Dillon - and was accompanied by six other small paintings that had a recurring motif of a cat. (BM)


tsushi Kaga’s exhibition (Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, un t il O c to b e r 5t h) has the quirky title “I want to give love to socially neglected parts of you, that’s my mission.” The exhibition is split into a number of sections with distinct methods of working; an installation with six television screens and images drawn on the walls, a darker room with paintings and assemblage and a room with numerous small scale, approximately A4 images and more. The exhibition is like Kaga’a personal hundred acre

Atsushi Kaga, So much love to give away (when everything seems to be fucked up) Acrylic on cotton. 240 x 150cm. 2008. Courtesy the artist and mother’s tankstation. wood, where a rabbit (Bunny) panda, kangaroo, bear and other creatures act out the internal psychological aspects of the artist’s character. There’s some sloganeering too, the stuff that you see in self-help books: ‘Dump Your Past’ etc., as if the characters in the show are challenging each other in an internal struggle. There’s a lot to take in, a fog of images nearly, but in itself suggesting the contradictory and often opposing elements within a single personality. The exhibition is simple and complex at the same time and takes the concept of anthropomorphism beloved of Lewis Carroll and the aforementioned A A Milne on a nicely tangential route. (SR)

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Reviewers: Daragh Byrne, James Hyde, Brendan Maher, Ita Morrissey, Stephen Parker, Emma Penruddock, Sarah Ryan & Suzanne Walsh

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arbouring (White’s Hotel Wexford, June) is a Per Cent for Ar t Commission composed by Ian Wilson and p r es ente d in c o n jun c t io n w i t h Carcur and Rosslare Harbour Main Drainage Schemes. The project was coordinated by Wexford Arts Office. Three choirs were involved - Enniscorthy Choral Society, Gorey Chor al Group and the Wex ford Festival Singers. “Whisht!” - a traditional group of Irish singers also joined this production, together with accordionist Dermot Dunne. The entire force was supported by the Limerick based Irish Chamber Orchestra and eight poets also featured in this choral work. “Where laz y barques nuzzle hulls, wind surfers crouch in the swell and all the walkers breaking astride...”, so writes the poet Gerard Fanning, from one the works movements - ‘Prayers at the Coal Quay’. There were heart-rending moments in Ian Wilson’s score, moments of sea colour, suspense and as this choral lullaby developed,

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a great feeling of life and a sense of magic on the horizon. Interludes separated the main choral passages, highlighted with atmospheric solo accordion passages and sympathetic string textures. These moments allow us breaks or moments of reflection as the main body of the work proceeded. Towards the end of this fifty-minute work we were all left with the sudden reminder we were leaving this gentle but thought provoking journey of music. W ilso n c o njour s Ir ish coastlines, suggestions of hauntings, sea mists and ships rigging with his tonal and modal settings - 3rds and 4ths, homophony and polyphony, unision and two part writing. The varied poetry was well chosen for the work. Irish traditional singers adorned the work. “Whisht!” brought a powerful tonality to the choral and string orchestral harmony. These distinct tonalities brought three forces together and created the sound world, which coloured by the haunting accordian brought us to many unusual and personal harbourings. In ‘Currach’,

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“At night I sowed curses into the oars, rubbed fish oils into the wood...” the music is delicately orchestrated with strings in quintet arrangement. It was here the Irish Chamber Orchestra brought their precise but tenacious playing, warm under-beds of tone increased the projected arias. And beyond this, the staggered polyphony and sometimes jaunty articulation moved us still further onward. Fergus Sheils, the conductor at the very centre of this performance delivered the work to the full. His exact, well paced and unfaltering attention to the scores detail united the one hundred voices and more. Gradually through this work the three choirs were brought together, due to the well planned scoring of the composer. In ‘The Stone House - Dromod Harbour’ a poem by Gerard Fanning, there is a great choral tradition present. Solid but fluid music interwines and moves to an occassion of well scored Grand Opera. Wilson is an erudite composer and used the intended forces with care. (SP)

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h e M a l i g r o u p To u m a s t punctured the worthiness of hearing African music with some wonderfully danceable desert music at this year’s Kilkenny Arts Fe s t iva l (K i l ke n ny, A ug us t). Hailing from the Touareg tribes that produced Tinariwen they play an even more heady and accessible mix of African roll and electric rock. The band consisted of a Touareg couple in traditional garb complemented by a French rhythm section. Although sometimes the latter wandered into the dubious area of jazz fusion, the former were faultless. In between songs, the charismatic lead singer told the audience about the political struggles of his tribe and also his camels love of dancing. His female counterpart made a glorious noise with her voice. Reminiscent to these ears of psychedelic rock of the 60’s they really blasted it out with some incredible percussion as well. The one man show Mimic really delivered an original a n d t h o u g h t p r ovo k in g mi x of polemic and satire as well having a very human story at the heart of it. The staging was very striking; a piano with a strange hanging mirror behind it. Raymond Scannell emerged and began to play two instruments, his eye-lined face in a pool of light. A play of prosody with music might sound extremely avant garde but this was a hilarious piece of agit prop theatre. Conceived as a reaction to the death of the Celtic Tiger it dealt mainly with a troubled adolescence in 80’s Ireland when the generation gap was fought out with drugs, pop culture and mental illness. This story of Mimic, a boy capable of impersonation anybody either musically or vocally and his incestuous obsession with his sister

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reminded me of both ‘Disco Pigs’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ without ever borrowing from them. The direction and lighting were fantastic but all the credit to its artistic success are down to Raymond Scannell’s performance, writing and music; a new voice in Irish culture not heard as strong since Pat McCabe. The revival of Translations by Brian Friel had the most opulent setting of the festival; the Grand Hall in Kilkenny Castle. This weighty play, which deals with ideas of identity and language is not as popular as ‘Faith Healer’ and ‘Dancing at Lunghasa’ with audiences. However it is a much superior play. Written at the height of the troubles Friel takes a very oblique approach to our crisis of identity at that time. It takes place during the period that the British army were making an Ordnance survey of Ireland and were changing the place names into a convoluted English version. Friel’s genius is to posit his ideas not into ciphers but very human situations and characters. The problem with the play is that it never really lives up to that peak of emotion but this version managed to avoid too much of an anti climax in the second half. The acting, lighting and direction were uniformly impressive. This staging in the Castle worked successfully for certain scenes especially ones set in the Ordnance Survey office although it did seem odd to have the hedge school scenes occurring there. All in all, an excellent stab at a very difficult piece of theatre. The first thing that must be said about Mercury Rev in Cillin Hill is that this recently opened venue was excellent, by far the best one in Kilkenny. Mercury Rev started their show with a wonder ful montage projection of all their favourite

album covers of different artists before launching into their own back catalogue. Their new material sounds like it has re-invigorated the band which after the high of ‘Deserters Songs’ and ‘All is Dream’ seemed to be treading water on ‘The Secret Migration. David Baker proved himself to be an excellent frontman, the equal of Wayne Coyne, and Grasshopper on guitar has to be one of the most inventive axe man on the go at the moment. Jonathan Donahue who recently worked with MGMT as producer filled out the sound with his bass and customary strange noises. The light show and atmosphere was that of a Haight Ashbury happening making most people feel they were on some kind of illegal substance. The band themselves seemed overjoyed to be playing to such a responsive crowd who lapped up their new tunes along with the obligatory encore of ‘Goddess on a Highway’. (DB) Spritualized in St. Canice’s Cathedral rounded of f the Festival. Again the venue was excellent and brought an added dimension to Jason Pierce’s songs. He seems to mention the Lord an awful lot. The band was ranged on either side of the stage with Pierce in sunglasses and shadow for most of the gig. Opening with ‘Amazing Grace’ much of the new album ‘Songs in A and E’ was performed along with a few older favourites like ‘Come Together’. The latter part of the concert was topped off with an epilepsy inducing light show as the group went for broke. One gentle encore and into the night we went. A cathedral has never been so hip. start also got to see the Sculpture in Kells exhibition, which was curated by Alan Counihan. Artists Aileen Lambert and Maria

Kerin par ticipated as Ar tists in residence on the site. Kerin’s work involved local schoolchildren listening and enclosing an area of the site, arms linked and then enclosing again through tied clothes gathered from the children and families living nearby, creating a personal perimeter outside the stonework. A photograph of this performance rested against the wall. Lamber t used a vocal sound piece which resonated though the site, vaguely reminiscent of a religious choral work. Sculptor Saturio Alonso linked the life and death cycle through his child’s coffin/crib and Michael Quane also represented this idea and the notion of celibacy within a natural environment with his large wooden moth and pupa images. Anne Mulrooney’s encrusted decorative ladders reflected history as journey, forward into the future and back into the past. A birdcage fashioned in the same manner suggested that history could be a trap also. An innovation this year was to include poetry on the priory by Kerry Hardie. This was nicely placed along the bridge leading to the site and then somewhat incongruously in what appeared to be laminated sheets on chairs. C o n v e r s l y, t h e r e w a s perhaps too much emphasis on the site specific nature of the show at Kells, with no individual pieces offering a strong visual contrast to the priory and the scale of the area involved. (BM)

Mick Pyro

‘Moth’ by Michael Quane

Both are bored. He may have had an affair, she is thinking of having one. The actors go over the same dialogue at heightened speed underlining how much of a relationships can involve repetition of the same old domestic details. In the end it seems that Tom and Beth will stay together because they ‘don’t not love each other’. Both actors provided polished performances but Lucy Wilkinson stood out in her portrayal of the brittle, fragile ‘Beth’. Cathy Davey appeared on stage spor ting a black ballet style outfit and carrying an orange. Perhaps the orange was a good luck charm in which case it worked as Davey played to an appreciative sell out crowd. Her husky voice, which is reminiscent of Tanya Donelly from the ’90s band ‘Belly’, was shown to good effect on her hit ‘Reuben’ and also the more ubiquitous ‘Moving’. The Republic of Loose played a blinder. Dressed in inner cit y chic of a green tracksuit top, jeans and trainers frontman Mick P yro had the audience in his hand with his energetic brand of funk. ‘Come back girl’ had the audience on the dancefloor, hands in the air. ‘You know it’ was an extended version which had the crowd stomping and yelling for more. Pyro was matched by his equally energetic band and a backing singer who is way too talented for such a minor role. I forsee a Fergie/Blackeyed peas type split in the future. (SW)

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he eight year of the Junction Festival (Clonmel, July) started as it ended, in floods of rain. In between it provided some memorable theatre and some kick ass gigs. I t k i c ke d of f w i t h a n outdoor gig by Paul Brady. This proved to be a rain soaked affair which didn’t seem to dampen(!) the enthusiastic of the crowd who huddled under umbrellas or in plastic ponchos. Brady played a high energy rendition of most of his best known hits including ‘The Lakes of Ponchetrain’ and ‘The Long Goodbye’. Although short on patter Brady held his audience A s in p as t y e ar s t h e theatre events were of a high standard. ‘Married to the Sea’ was set in a fishing village in 1930’s Galway and was narrated by the character of nine year old Jo. Adults playing children can be tricky to pull off but actress Siobhan Donnellan as Jo managed to p or tr ay the vulnerability of her situation without descending into mawkishness. Jo hero worships her father but after he deserts the family her mothers grasp on reality begins to loosen. As family starts to crack under the pressure of family secrets and past tragedy, Jo’s innocence and naievity start to give way to bewilderment and disillusionment. This was a play that resonated long after it finished. The play ‘Presumption’ was a dramedy which focused on the relationship of Tom and Beth, who are both experiencing the seven year itch. It begins with an empty set with the actors gradually bringing in the furniture of their house as though building the blocks of their domesticity. As they talk about a dinner party the details of the relationship begin to emerge.




ichael Langton’s one man play ‘Cockroach’ (Source Ar ts Cent re, Thurles , June) dealt with the life of a simple boy growing up in small town Ireland. Illegitimate and born through an act of love or violence, the child is essentially looked down upon by the significant male characters in the village, who exploit his ignorance for their own benefit. The women in his later life also manipulate him. The staging of the piece was very basic with a chair and table as the only props and most of the action taking place on a horizontal plane across the stage. Lighting too was simple with one effect used to denote a church window. The piece performed before an appreciative audience, reminded me of ‘Frank Pig Says Hello’ – with a similar sense of small town claustrophobia and implicit violence. The cockroach of the title seemed to be the physical manifestation of the instability felt by the central character, which he repeatedly tried to stamp on. (BM)

All’ by Dolores Ronayne and ‘The Poppy and the Shamrock’, by George Peet. On Sunday night there were some excellent monologues by Irene Kelleher (Brideview Drama) and Vanessa Hyde, as well as the short play ‘Desire, Desire, Desire’, a Tennessee Williams parody directed by James Hyde. The competition was adjudicated by Michael Twomey, the Cork based actor and director who is widely regarded as an adjudicator on the ADCI Drama Circuit. In his summar y of the per formances, he showed sensitivity towards the aspiring actors, writers and directors giving both praise and carefully phrased advice. Prizes were awarded in several categories. Some of note were: Best Overall Performance Denise Quinn in ‘Winsome Webster’; Best Monologue - Irene Kelleher, ‘Mary O'Donnell’; Best New Writing - Dolores Ronayne ‘We Had It All’ and Best Ensemble Cast - Brideview Drama for ‘Desire, Desire, Desire’. (EP)


or folks that are unacquainted with ‘Trainspotting’ performed by Devious Theatre (Watergate, Kilkenny, June), it’s the tale of a dark and dirty Edinburgh told through the lives of five down and out drug riddled friends The risk y aspect in taking on a production such as ‘Trainspotting’ is the subject matter it confronts; take the infamous toilet scene when Renton retrieves his pills, Alison’s re-enactment of spoiling food when she worked as a waitress and then there is all the business with needles. It was apparent that this troupe of actors had worked hard to achieve a naturalistic Scottish

lthough only in it’s second year the 123 Festival of Drama (Lismore, June) has already amassed a strong following. Perhaps this is not surprising considering that it is the only competition of its kind in Ireland, where amateur drama enthusiasts from a single county (Waterford, in this case) showcase a variety of work from monologues to short plays. Hence the Festival name; one for solo performance, two for duologues and three for pieces of three or more actors. The work showcased was professionally presented with new writing coming to the fore in the first evening, most particularly ‘We Had It

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‘Trainspotting’ - Devious Theatre accent; the dialogue was delivered in a superior manner by many of the cast. Ross Costigan, who played Renton, was able to jug gle the accent with volume to a perfect level, but at times Begbie, played by Niall Sheehy, went beyond what could be deciphered. And occasionally the vocal abilities of the one or two of female actors were testing on the audience. That only being a minor note compared to the standard reached by all the others. The first half ran at a great pace, as Renton was used to marvelous effect guiding the audience along his life of drugs and hard times. Costigan’s skill at portraying this down beaten but lovable character was magnificent; he lived and breathed him. It was slightly disappointing then, not have the same connection with him in the second half. That being said, there were some beautiful moves throughout the play, especially in two specific scenes where Sick Boy (John Morton) tangoed with Mother Superior (Paul Young) in a junkie frenzy and where Spud reveals his dirty sheets across the breakfast table. This type of blocking from directors Niamh Moroney and John Morton only contributed to the professional standard of this production. (IM)


arsher times in Water ford greeted Stagemad Production’s mounting of ‘The End of Pirate Radio’ (Garter Lane, June). Directed by Angela Mulcahy, this new play by Kieran Stewart received serious criticism in the Waterford media during its run. Allied with an electrical failure during a key weekend performance, the group found itself under the whips to put on a great show. The production was far below what professional theatre should be and the audience knew it. Garter Lane Theatre is a fine venue and its assets should not be wasted. The staging of the play was flat, with a failure of set design, acting, movement and energy. Also, the writing itself didn’t hold up. Theatre is, compared to movies and TV, a small

market. The entry level for putting into production new writing is very high, as the economics mean real popularity is a must if the costs of mounting the play are to be covered. ‘The End of Pirate Radio’ is a nice, but small regional play about what are obviously the early days of Waterford’s radio station, WLRFM. (Not very subtly, the play is based in ‘River Town’.) I was surprised the play didn’t start its professional life as a radio production. Given the huge range of songs used, the nature of it’s subject-matter, and that the main character needs one of those overconfident, weedy male voices you often hear on start-up radio, the play would have been better trialed (then rewritten, tightened, rewritten again and performance- proofed) as a radio play.

So, what now for S t a gem a d? J am es Power, w ho starred in The End of Pirate Radio, is a f ine actor and the driving force behind Stagemad. It would be interesting to see him under a great director, with a meaty role. He has stage presence and obviously u n d e r s t a n d s w h a t a c t in g’s all abou t. He’s also not af r aid of new work; as shown by last year’s production of the New Jersey writer Gino DiLorio’s ‘Are You The Wife of Bridget Cleary?’ Maybe an alliance with other professional groups would help the company refocus and redevelop. T he c omp any do esn’t ne e d to disappear. But, given this latest effort, it certainly needs to find and actively demonstrate a new raison d’etre. (JH)





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new voices W

elcome to the New Voices page in this edition of start. We’ll be looking at some of the events and activities that interest the Polish community in the South East and also letting you know about some artists from Poland living here. Here goes: Marcin Skruch is a Polish filmmaker (writer, director, editor) Since April 2003 he’s been living and making movies in Clonmel. In 2000 he won First Prize in Krakow Amateur Movie Festiaal for his movie "The Crushers". His film ‘American Timmi: Coll As F*ck’ has been selected for screening at the International Film Festival England 2008 and International Film Festival of Egypt 2009. He is currently working on new film with the working title ‘Mr. Unlucky’ It’s about movie about a man who's always unlucky. Even if he does something good, at the end of the day it works out bad. It is typical comedy of errors. If you like Monty Python, Mel Brooks etc. you will love this movie. There are also a few bands involved in the film: That Little Bit Less, Thoughts of Ruin and Maslow, More about this film at: http://www.myspace. com/unlucky_movie


iving in Carlow is another ar tist, Iwona Nar towska O’Reilly. She was bor n in Gdansk and studied art in Stanislaw Wyspianski School for Fine Ar ts in Jaroslaw. In 1998 she came to Ireland, where she met her husband and settled in Carlow. Iwona has been painting full time for the last seven years. Her main focus areas are figures and portraits. In figure painting she is interested in portraying scenes of ac tion and sometimes gets inspiration from Irish spor t like hurling, gaelic football and rugby. In the past she’s had several exhibitions in galleries in Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny and Limerick and is now preparing for a spring show new paintings in the Vault Gallery, Adare, Co. Limerick

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Words Wojciech Ryzinski


itamy w dziale Nowe Glosy. W tej edycji magazynu start omowimy wydarzenia kuluralne oraz dzialalnosc artystyczna spolecznosci polskiej, mieszkajacej na poludniowym-wschodzie. Przedstawimy tez polskich artystow tutaj mieszkajacych. Marcin Skruch, filmowiec (autor, rezyser, editor). Od kwietnia 2003 roku mieszkajacy i pracujacy w Clonmel. Tutaj tez tworzy swoje filmy. Jego pierwszym sukcesem, jeszcze w Polsce, bylo zdobycie glownej nagrody na Festiwalu Filmow Amatorskich w Krakowie, za film “Rozbitkowie”. Jego film pt. “American Timmi: Cool As F*ck” zostal zakwalifikowany na Miedzynarodowy Festiwal Filmowy w Anglii 2008 oraz na Egipski Festiwal Filmowy 2009. Obecnie Marcin pracuje nad nowym filmem, ktorego roboczy tytul to “Mr. Unlucky” (Pan Pechowiec). Bedzie to film o czlowieku, ktorego przesladuje ciagly pech. Wszystko czego sie dotknie przeradza sie w nieszczescie. Bedzie to typowa komedia pomylek. Jezeli lubicie filmy Monty Pythona czy Mela Brooksa, na pewno polubicie ten film. W produkcje zaangazowalo sie kilka lokalnych zespolow muzycznych, np. That Little Bit Less, Thoughts of Ruin, Maslov, Wiecej o najnowszym dziele Marcina znajdziecie pod adresem www,


olejna artystka jest mieszkajaca w Carlow Iwona Nartowksa O’Reilly. Urodzona w Gdansku, ab solwentka S zloly Plast yc znej Im. Stanislawa Wyspianskiego w Jaroslawcu. W 1998 roku przyjechala do Irlandii, tutaj tez poznala swojego meza i zamieszkala w Carlow. Iwona od siedmiu lat zajmuje sie malarstwem profesionalnie. Glownym tematem jej prac sa ludzie. Maluje portrety, ale rowniez sceny w k tór ych malowaniu c zerpie inspir acje z irlandzkich spor tow, jak hurling, gaelic czy rugby. Artystka wystawiala swoje prace w galeriach w Dublinie, Carlow, Killkenny oraz Limerick. Obecnie przygotowywuje sie˛ do wiosennej wystawy w galerii The Vault, w Adare, Co. Limerick

If you’re involved in the Arts in the region and want coverage of your event, please contact the editor here at start: The New Voices page is supported by Clonmel Community Partnership.

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