In May I saw Tana French being interviewed by Anna Carey in Smock Alley. The event was part of the International Festival of Literature. I am a huge admirer of her writing but I’d never heard her speak about it before so I was really looking forward to the event. She didn’t disappoint.
1. Podcasts. I recently started a new non-theatre, non-arts job. For the last couple of years I’ve been mostly working from home and now I have a job that requires me to get dressed and leave the house five days a week. So far I’m finding it’s a nice change, though the commute is taking a bit of getting used to. Instead of setting up at the kitchen table, my trip to work now involves an hour-long bus journey. I’ve been using these hours to listen to podcasts, including This American Life, Start-up, RTE’s Drama on One and Roisin Meets… As a result, I am really enjoying my journeys to and from work.
2. On my way to work on Thursday morning I listened to Joanne McNally and PJ Gallagher talking to Roisin Ingle about their new show Separated at Birth. It was a great conversation about the show and adoption in general. It was informative and a bit sad in places, but mostly very funny. The show sounds like it will be more of the same and will be an absolute cracker. If you enjoyed Singlehood last year, you definitely want to check this out. They are in Vicar Street on May 8th and touring around the country over the summer.
3. The International Literacy Festival Dublin program was launched on Thursday evening. This used to be the Dublin Writers Festival and I’m not a fan of the new name. I don’t know why they changed it. Dublin Writers Fesitval had a wonderful exactly-what-it-does-on-the-tin simplicity to it. It was a festival of writers, whether they were song-writers or poets, writing fiction or non-fiction, for adults or children. It celebrated writers in a very inclusive way. The International Literature Festival Dublin sounds exclusive and elitist. It sounds like a festival for people who get great pleasure from seeking out the obscure and the high-brow. People who say things like “I prefer their early stuff” and let award long-lists dedicate their reading. It also sounds like it was produced by a random festival name generator. Thankfully the programme is not as exclusive as it’s new name and features lots of interesting people. I’ve already got tickets to Jon Ronson and I want to see Johann Hari, partly because he featured briefly in my Collaborations play, but mostly because his book about the war on drugs, Chasing the Scream sounds fascinating. I’d like to see Irvine Welsh and the Alice in Wonderland 150 anniversary event.
They are also looking for bloggers, if that’s something you’d be interested in doing.
4. I haven’t seen a lot of theatre recently and I miss it. I like this article by British theatre-marker Chris Thorpe, it has lots of interesting ideas about the purpose and effects of theatre, but it’s this description that really sums up what I love about theatre. “making theatre is just a way of meeting people. The basic act of saying: ‘Hello, here we all are in this space together, and isn’t it weird we do this in a world where it’s so much easier not to?’”
5. Live Collision Festival. My favourite live art festival is back and I’m not out of the country this time! Details of the ticketed events are now available here and it sounds like there will be other, smaller events happening as well. Bristol-based company Massive Owl are are inviting three Dublin-based artists/companies to join them as Artists In Residence at this year’s Live Collision International Festival.