thu 12/12/2019

Northern Ireland

Ordinary Love review - small but (almost) perfectly formed

Amidst the deluge of high-profile year-end releases, it would be a shame if the collective Oscar-bait noise drowned out Ordinary Love, as quietly extraordinary a film as has been seen in some time. Telling of a couple whose marriage is...

Read more...

The Day Mountbatten Died, BBC Two review - the IRA's audacious strike at the heart of the British Establishment

It was a lovely summer’s day in southern England, much as it was in County Sligo. I was with my parents, driving to visit a very elderly relative. We arrived not long after the news of Lord Mountbatten’s death was announced and my great aunt was...

Read more...

CD: Foy Vance - From Muscle Shoals

Endlessly gigging Northern Irish performer Foy Vance's profile first rocketed after touring with fellow singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. The pair became pals, Vance went onto support the likes of Elton John, and signed to Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man...

Read more...

Derry Girls, Series Two, Channel 4 review - welcome back, gang

When Derry Girls premiered on Channel 4 in early 2018, there was little fanfare. But it’s been a whirlwind year for the four girls from Derry (and the wee English lad), capturing British hearts before conquering the US through Netflix...

Read more...

Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre review - Stephen Rea is utterly compelling

David Ireland is a playwright who likes to jolt his audience and Cyprus Avenue, a dark absurdist comedy about an Ulster unionist afraid of losing his identity, does just that. This co-production between Dublin's Abbey Theatre and the Royal Court was...

Read more...

Death and Nightingales, BBC Two, review - slow, lyrical, slightly dull

And now for something completely different from The Fall. The nerve-shredding drama from Northern Ireland was written by Allan Cubitt and featured, as its resident psychopathic hottie, Jamie Dornan (pictured below). It seems the two couldn’t get...

Read more...

Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single...

Read more...

Come Home, BBC One review - a drama of family disintegration, divided loyalties

A woman walks out on her husband and their three kids – two teens, one five-year-old - after 19 years of marriage. She doesn’t want custody. What could be so wrong with the man that she’s driven to such drastic action? Eleven months later, Greg (...

Read more...

Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

Read more...

Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet curiously anodyne — the ranks of white cubicles could belong to a jobs fair, except there’s a Miró round the corner. And it’s...

Read more...

66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

Read more...

The End of Hope, Soho Theatre review - initially bold but not quite enough

In David Ireland's new hour-long two-hander – a co-production between Soho Theatre and west London's Orange Tree – two strangers, Janet and Dermot, meet for a casual hook-up arranged over the internet. The glitch, or at least...

Read more...
Subscribe to Northern Ireland