tue 25/07/2017

Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland review - bigger and better

The marvellous National Gallery of Ireland, founded in the 1860s, has opened its doors to its brilliantly revamped, updated and expanded galleries. As a spectacular bonus in its opening summer, Vermeer and Masters of Genre Painting reposes in the...

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Kat and Alfie: Redwater, BBC One review – 'EastEnders' spinoff suffers from no fixed identity

EastEnders habituees will be familiar with the colourful past of Alfie and (especially) Kat Moon, who have both been AWOL from the mothership since early last year. But they’ve used the time wisely, preparing busily for this new spin-off drama in...

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The Secret Scripture review - Jim Sheridan's turgid homecoming

It's the church wot done it! That's the unexceptional takeaway proffered by Jim Sheridan's first Irish film in 20 years, which is to say ever since the director of My Left Foot and The Boxer hit the big time. But despite a starry and often glamorous...

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CD: Imelda May - Life. Love. Flesh. Blood

As Imelda May releases her fifth CD, it can’t but help that Bob Dylan has come out as a fan – it was, she wrote, "like being kissed by Apollo himself". No doubt his buddy T Bone Burnett passed him a copy of the album, for he produced it in Los...

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Crash and Burn

Not all racing drivers are created equal. New world champion Nico Rosberg is the son of a former F1 champion, grew up in Monaco, speaks five languages and turned down an offer to study aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, London.On the...

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Ireland with Ardal O'Hanlon, More4

There has been an abundance of celebrity travelogues of late and with each one comes a new USP. Speaking just of Ireland, train enthusiast Michael Portillo nabbed the Victorian Bradshaw's rail guides, while the adventurous Christine Bleakley...

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Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Sadler’s Wells

Booking a ticket for a show devised by Michael Keegan-Dolan has always required an act of faith, and this is no exception. ‘If I say this is a house, it’s a house,” says the evening’s laconic compere, Mikel Murfi, gesturing with his cigarette to...

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Jack Taylor, C5

For those new to this Irish crime series, a brief catch-up. Jack Taylor (played by Iain Glen at his world-weary best) is a hard-drinking maverick loner ex-cop who left the Garda Siochána (Ireland's police force) after hitting a politician to...

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Maria de Rudenz, Wexford Festival Opera

Given the horrors lurking in the composer’s more familiar operas, the warning that Maria de Rudenz is “perhaps the darkest of Donizetti’s tragedies” carries no little weight. A Gothic spectacular with echoes of The Castle of Otranto and Matthew...

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The Fall, Series 3, BBC Two

The cliffhanger ending of series two – will serial killer Paul Spector survive his gunshot wounds? – has been quietly defused, since Spector (Jamie Dornan) now has series three stretching out ahead of him. What was less expected was that this opener...

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CD: Lisa Hannigan - At Swim

Water has featured prominently in Lisa Hannigan’s work since striking out solo on 2008’s Mercury-nominated Sea Sew: water that caresses and relaxes; water that turns deadly and drowns. The water in At Swim is the water that the singer finds herself...

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Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Brian Friel, who died in the autumn of 2015 at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa...

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