Entertainment

Saturday 23 September 2017

Thomas Ostermeier's production of 'Hamlet' at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last week brought audience interaction to a whole new level.

Thomas Ostermeier's production of 'Hamlet' at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last week brought audience interaction to a whole new level.

At one point, the lead actor, Lars Eidinger, threw a raw chicken carcass into the auditorium.

He also induced his audience to chant "gang bang" repeatedly and hopped into the stalls during the show.

But my heart went out to one unfortunate lady in the front row who caught Eidinger's attention while he was delivering Hamlet's iconic 'To be or Not to Be' soliloquy.

Breaking out of character, Eidinger asked for the house lights to be turned up and walked towards the lady in question.

"Excuse me," he said. "But have you brought a pillow in to the theatre?" She nodded, and held the cushion in the air to the amusement of the crowd.

"Just what have people been telling you about the show?" Eidinger asked her.

"Only that it's three hours long," she replied.

Former doyenne of the RTE newsroom Anne Doyle is one of several distinguished members on the judging panel for RTE's 'A Poem for Ireland'.

While Anne is a big fan of the written word, she says she has always struggled to find her own 'poetic voice'.

"I must admit I have made the unfortunate mistake of scribbling down a few words when a jar or two had been taken," Doyle said. "And in that moment I thought I was remarkably gifted.

"But when I revisited the poems in the cold light of day, I realised I'd produced some truly terrible stuff. I think I'll stick to reading rather than writing."

Dublin's telephone booths aren't exactly known for their high levels of hygiene.

In fact these days, the boxes seem to be more frequently used as makeshift urinals than vessels of communication.

So I was shocked to read in Damian Corless's book, 'From Clery's Clock to Wanderly Wagon', that the Perspex shells were targeted by local crooks in the 1980s who saw hidden hygienic potential in the phone booths.

One abducted booth was discovered weeks later in a Ballymun bathroom where it had been converted into a shower with the Telecom Eireann logo still on it.

Determined to stop the shenanigans, Bob Geldof (who else?) released a single to the tune of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall' with the lyrics "Hey Stupid! Leave that phone alone." That told them.

Plummy actor, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, may appear to be a million miles away from his 'Love/ Hate' character Nidge (left), but the actor says he has grown to share many of the drug lord's sartorial sensibilities. Namely his love of Nike Air Max. "I had never worn them beforehand, but now I have a huge fondness and affection for the shoes," he said. "And they are much more comfortable than brogues."

The handing out of the Michelin Bib Gourmand's last week was met with much applause.

Not altogether surprising; these days most chefs are considered minor celebrities, but Chapter One's Ross Lewis says it wasn't always the way.

"I started cooking in 1987," he said. "Back then, becoming a chef was like joining the French foreign legion - the last resort of the inadequate. Now you're a rockstar - when did that happen?"

mulcahy@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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