Thursday 27 October 2016

Kirsty at large: Sprite's brutal banter falls woefully flat

Published 07/08/2016 | 02:30

Banter fail: Coca Cola have said sorry for the gaffe
Banter fail: Coca Cola have said sorry for the gaffe
Grace Jones
Playing a blinder: Angela Scanlon

A few months ago, while working the graveyard shift on the news desk, a photographer rang in about some mundane clerical issue.

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Hearing I was on duty until midnight, he chimed: "But how do you girls find the time to do it all?"

There was a pause and then he delivered the zinger: "In between all the cooking and cleaning!!"

This was followed by a loud guffaw and a 'What am I bloody like?' sigh. And I sighed, too - not because I was particularly offended, but because it was such a spectacularly crap joke.

A totally predictable, Bernard-Manning-eat-your-heart-out punchline that's usually followed or proceeded by one of two phrases. "I'm not sexist but…" or "Lighten up - it was only a joke!" Hmmmmm, how about sitting the next few plays out, yea?

This week, fizzy drink Sprite fell flat when it launched a similarly banter-filled ad campaign on our shores. The #BrutallyRefreshing advert claimed to be "celebrating those with guts to tell it like it is". But the reception it got was just brutal.

"She's seen more ceilings than Michelangelo", was one of the campaign's slogans.

"You're Not Popular… You're Easy", was another quip. Good one.

Presumably, this ad went through rounds of marketing meetings and no one - male or female - suggested it might seem just a tad archaic. Which seems truly bizarre. Thankfully, soft drink giant and Sprite maker Coca-Cola have now apologised for the gaffe and "any offence caused".

Personally, I'm not offended on behalf of women but on behalf of comedy.

Aren't we supposed to be a nation known for our comic agility and ability? Let's use that and leave these one-liners where they belong - in the 1950s.

Saving Grace for music fans as Jones hits stage


I was beside myself when I heard that the world's favourite Bond villain/"art groupie"/chat-show-host-bashing androgyne, Grace Jones, is set to film parts of an upcoming documentary on her life at the Olympia Theatre.

The feature, Grace Jones - The Musical of My Life, is being directed by Sophie Fiennes, the sister of actors Ralph and Joseph.

Sophie, whose previous work includes The Pervert's Guide to Cinema and follow up film The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, grew up in West Cork and Kilkenny.

She first met Jamaican-born Jones while shooting a film about the singer's Pentecostal preaching brother - Bishop Noel.

"We've been working on Grace's doc for over 10 years," Sophie told me. "There is no one like her."

The concert scenes will be filmed on September 21 and Sophie believes the Olympia stage will increase the theatricality of Grace's performance. Although I doubt she needs that.

Our very own Katie Holly of Blinder Films is producing the flick, which will hit screens in 2017.

Katie is also working on RTÉ's legal drama Traders, starring Amy Huberman. "It's an eclectic body of work to say the least," she said.

Marble city welcomes Casement's backside after Banna brouhaha

Who knew a bare backside on a beach in Banna would cause such a fuss?

Dance show Butterflies and Bones: The Casement Project got people in a right tizz because it featured dancers leaping about in rather revealing briefs.

The flash of nudity was, according to the show's choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchúir, a reference to Casement's Black Diaries. But some attendees were not impressed.

"There were two large holes cut out to reveal bare buttocks!" a listener to Radio Kerry bristled. "The final straw came when he mentioned the word 'erection'…. We left in disgust."

Despite their revulsion, the listener stuck with the performance until the final 10 minutes. I guess they wanted to be 100pc sure they were outraged.

It definitely wasn't because they enjoyed watching lithe young men writhe about in their pants. No, siree! It had absolutely nothing to do with that.

And I presume they hadn't read the Black Diaries either - which make the shenanigans performed by the dance troupe seem positively tame.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Frank O'Flynn also waded into the hullaballoo. Frank wasn't actually at the show but he wasn't going to let a minor detail like that stop him giving out yards. "I am shocked," he said this week, before adding there was "no excuse" for such depravity.

Isn't it strange that in a world where people are (probably) writing thesis statements about Kim Kardashian's belfies and a naked dating show is a ratings success, that a little flash of flesh in Kerry got everyone so riled up. To be honest, I don't know what the crowd were expecting.

After all, the performance was followed by a disco session hosted by Alternative Miss Ireland 2011, 'Mangina Jones'. Hardly a tea-and-crumpets affair.

Anyhoo, for those who don't mind risky revolutionaries, both Mangina and Ó Conchúir were in Kilkenny on Friday night for A Wake for Roger Casement, which was basically a big club-themed hooley.

The marble city is buzzing at the moment as the festival gets under way.

The wonderful Simon Callow is talking about Amadeus, Loudon Wainwright Jr - the father of Rufus - will premiere his one-man show, and travelling theatre company Footsbarn are staging some of the Bard's works. "It's a poetic cabaret," company member Paddy Hayter said. "With a three-headed Shakespeare and shadow puppets".

Call me a Luddite, but I'd prefer more of Casement's buns.


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