Friday 23 February 2018

The Pleasure List: Ciara goes under the bed for charity

BAD GIRL: Fair City stalwart Ciara O’Callaghan will help raise money for the charity Barnardos
BAD GIRL: Fair City stalwart Ciara O’Callaghan will help raise money for the charity Barnardos

She plays a tough cookie on the telly, yet Fair City stalwart Ciara O'Callaghan is all heart in her new stage role which will help raise money for Barnardos. The Trinity graduate who plays bistro owner Yvonne Doyle will leave her soap woes behind her when she joins nine of her TV co-stars on stage for a charity gig at Smock Alley Theatre.

Also supporting Barnardos will be Sorcha Furlong, who's well known for playing Fair City's Orla Kirwan, and Aoibheann McCaul who plays Caoimhe Dillon.

They'll appear in Under My Bed, a collection of stories written by household names and which explore a familiar and universal childhood refuge -- that of seeking sanctuary under the bed.

Stories and reminiscences for the fundraising stage performance have been contributed by Mary O'Rourke and Senator David Norris, and also by pianist Micheal O Suilleabhain and singer/songwriter Mick Hanly.

Under My Bed runs at Smock Alley Theatre from Thursday 16 to Saturday 18, and tickets are now on sale on and, and cost €30.

Indeed, despite of all those rumours that Ciara is exiting Fair City for good, we reckon that after 20 years playing the character everyone loves to hate, Ciara will be back.


Waken the senses with a tasty tour of Dublin

January is such a dreary month that it can dull all our senses. The award-winning Dublin Walking Tour: Dublin Tasting Trail should blast them awake, particularly our sense of smell as it takes in visits to bakeries with their aromas of fresh baking, cheesemongers and their whiffy cheeses, food markets, delicatessens and other speciality shops in and around the city centre. You'll meet artisans whose families have traded for generations producing great food as well as new arrivals to the food scene, bringing new international tastes and food ideas to the Irish table. And you'll also taste Irish produce served in both traditional and contemporary styles.

No matter how well you think you know the culinary side of the city, you're bound to discover food outlets and tasty surprises you've never known existed. The walking tour is run by Fabulous Food Trails, a company which specialises in sharing up-to-date knowledge of the best of what's happening food-wise in Dublin and Cork. The company is based in Ranelagh.

A walking and tasting tour of Dublin will take place on Saturday, January 18, starting from the city centre at 10am and finishing back in the city around 12.30pm. You need to register at for more details on the starting point, and the tour costs €55.


Sweet afternoon delights in decadent surroundings

Afternoon tea is a two-tier delight, as not only do you get to feast on yummies like raspberry macaroon and lemon meringue, but because you generally share it with friends, you tend to get lots of gossip too. It was a very popular pastime with ladies in 1912 -- Edwardian tea dresses attest to the role that tea in the afternoon served in the social life of ladies of leisure of that era.

It would have been enjoyed by women passengers on the Titanic too, so it makes sense that any reliving of the ill-fated voyage would include a cuppa of strong brew and some "Titanic fruit cake".

Other delights on the afternoon tea menu at Titanic Belfast include Irish smoked salmon with lemon pepper butter and topside of beef with horseradish cream and diced spring onion.

Or try rich layered opera cake, peaches in chartreuse jelly, creamed rice pudding with caramelised plums or painted chocolate éclair.

Afternoon tea is served in the beautiful surroundings of the Titanic suite, which features a stunning replica of the Titanic staircase -- guests are permitted to have their photo taken on the staircase. Served on Sundays, from 1pm to 3.20pm, afternoon tea costs £23 per person, or £29 if you include a glass of champagne. There's a special children's tea menu for £10.

Titanic Belfast accommodates nine galleries of interactive exhibition space, including a dark ride, an underwater exploration theatre, recreations of the ship's decks and cabins, and a luxurious conference and banqueting suite with capacity for up to 1,000 guests.

For bookings contact


Past Paris fashion in the frame

Couture clothing in Paris before the First World War was a delight. Easily distinguished from the plain garments worn by hoi polloi, couture garments were made of luxury fabrics and were embroidered, beaded or hand-printed. Headdresses were made of plumage from birds of paradise. Early 20th-Century French designers regularly included fur in their collections, as fur denoted lineage, class and prosperity.Accessories were all the rage too and a woman was judged by her jewelled necklaces, rings and bracelets. Journal des Dames, started in 1797, was one of the first fashion journals published in France and prints from the magazine offer a unique insight into the rich and exotic opulence that characterised early 20th-Century fashion.

Costumes Parisiens, Fashion Plates from 1912-1914, is an exhibition of these prints, and is currently on show at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle. The exhibition runs until March. Admission is free.


Award-winning animation on show

The Irish animation movie Moon Man is based on the best-selling book of the same name by renowned children's book author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Last year it won the Showcomotion Young People's Film Festival Audience Award.

It tells the story of how when a shooting star appears whizzing through outer space, Moon Man seizes his chance and hitches a ride to earth. This apparent attack from outer space sets the alarm bells ringing at Presidential Headquarters. While escaping the President and his soldiers, Moon Man sets off on a long journey and marvels at the many wonders that earth has to offer.

A screening of this award-winning animation movie will take place on Saturday 18 at 3pm at The Ark Cultural Centre for Children, Eustace St, Temple Bar, tel; 01 670 7788. It's aimed at children aged 7+, and tickets cost €3 per person.


Homecoming performance for Riverdance

It's 20 years since Riverdance first kicked up its heels as the interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest when Michael Flatley and Jean Butler did the seemingly impossible and made Irish dancing hip and cool.

We all know that following that sensational debut in May 1994, Riverdance went on to become one of the most successful full-length stage dance shows ever to tour the world.

To date, the global phenomenon has being performed more than 12,000 times to a live audience in excess of 23 million and with three companies on tour at any one time. To mark its 20th anniversary, Riverdance will be performed in Limerick before embarking on its 20th anniversary tour.

It will also be a homecoming for Limerick-born composer, Bill Whelan, who penned the music for the dance spectacular.

Riverdance will be performed from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 at the Sport Arena in the University of Limerick and tickets can be obtained from the University Concert Hall Box Office on 061 331 549.

Irish Independent

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