7 days + nights: 19th - 25th of November
LCD Soundsystem, Tripod, Dublin 2
James Murphy knows the dancefloor can be the loneliest place in the world and therein lies his genius.
On LCD Soundsystem's swansong album, This Is Happening, he delivers a masterclass in disco melancholia, re-imagining Bowie as a middle-aged man on the brink of a breakdown and thwacking a cow bell as if it's the only thing stopping him from dissolving into tears. If that sounds too much of a downer, console yourself that LCD Soundsystem will almost certainly be disinterring Daft Punk Is Playing At My House as their farewell tour finally touches down in Dublin tonight for the first of three shows. These dates are rescheduled from April, when volcanic ash kept Murphy and company out of the country.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Some Like It Hot, Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, Offaly
Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, drag queens, glamour, romance and ridiculous amounts of humour -- films don't get much better than this Billy Wilder classic. It is tonight's centrepiece for the OFFline Film Festival, running in various Birr venues until tomorrow night. Other highlights from today's schedule include Visconti's The Leopard, Godard's Breathless and the gloriously unsettling Greek drama Dogtooth by Giorgos Lanthimos. This festival features screenings, workshops and a significant short film competition. And reinforcing the importance of the succinct movie, tonight's big film will be preceded by The Moment, a short film by Offaly filmmaker Paddy Slattery.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Snatch Comedy Improv, Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
There can be no denying that Corkonians have the gift of the gab. So it makes sense that a troupe of gabby Cork locals would set up a weekly improv night. Snatch Comedy Improv was born in 2002 and had soon established their weekly night of spontaneous spouting. The Snatch team dream big and brave and have now created a 'long-form' show that will debut tonight. Yes, the plan is to improvise an entire play completely from scratch. The actors don't have a notion what twists the plot will take, heck, they don't even know what characters they'll be playing and all of this will take place without a safety net in sight. Expect laughs, bumps and a few surprises along the way.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22
What's Left of the Flag, Bewley's Café Theatre
If your workplace is a bit depressed at the moment, you should drop into Bewley's for an injection of some dramatic tension. What's Left of the Flag is a taut, short political thriller by Jimmy Murphy, running at lunchtimes until November 27. (Tickets include a bowl of soup, but get there early to eat it, as you won't have much time for mouthfuls between Murphy's furious dialogue.) Murphy steps squarely into the minefield of Middle Eastern politics, to tell a story of two Israeli Mossad agents sent to Dublin to assassinate a leading Palestinian activist at a public rally. The politics may be predictable, but there's genuine verve in the telling, as the two -- a hardened old hand and a more querulous young recruit -- tease out their strategy and, ultimately, its morality.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Ross Noble, Olympia Theatre, Dublin 2
There's something endearingly uncouth about Ross Markham Noble. Unlike so many of his comedic counterparts, this British stand-up doesn't present controversy for controversy's sake. Instead, his set comprises a largely improvised and decidedly surreal stream of consciousness. He's also admirably responsive to his heckles, often launching himself off on mad tangents inspired by the audience taunts. He brings his new show, Nonsensory Overload, to the Olympia tonight.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1, General Release
The biggest film of the year in financial terms rumbles into your local omniplex, as young Master Potter and his loyal friends prepare for their final confrontation with Lord Voldemort. No doubt for purely artistic reasons the producers of the franchise have split JK Rowling's last Potter novel into two movies, which has drastically reduced the action quotient in this one. Having left Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione go on the run as Voldemort's power grows sufficiently for him to overwhelm the Ministry of Magic. A whopping two-and-a-half hours long, The Deathly Hollows trundles along at a funereal pace and Michael Gambon's Dumbledore is sadly missed. But the special effects are as impressive as ever and fans will surely love it.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
The Stylistics, Vicar Street, Dublin 2
It's hard to beat a good falsetto and they didn't get much better than the high crooning of Russell Thompkins Jr with his 70s soul band The Stylistics. Thompkins may have taken the Robbie Williams approach of believing himself to be bigger than the band, but the remaining members have ploughed on regardless and are still on the road. The Stylistics were created in 1968 from the remaining members of two defunct Philadelphia groups, The Percussions and The Monarchs. Russell Thompkins Jr, James Smith, and Airron Love came from the Monarchs, and James Dunn and Herbie Murrell came from the Percussions. They'll be blasting out the ballads for three nights in Vicar Street with a respectable number of original members. Expect Thompkins to announce a change of heart any day soon.