Thursday 22 March 2018

Critics' guide to going out: 23/04/2010

Scanner, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin 1

One day your phone is cutting-edge technology, the next it's on the scrap heap. This almost instantaneous redundancy of our time is at the heart of an intriguing new exhibition by Spanish artist Daniel Canogar. Viewed in a blackened gallery, Scanner is constructed from television, telephone and computer cables, but what may resemble a crazy tangle has all been very carefully assembled so that digital projections make the whole ensemble burst into electric life. Really has to be seen to be believed and you don't have much time left as the exhibition only continues until next weekend and viewing is quite limited. See the website for details.


Scouting for Girls, Theatre Royal, Castlebar, Mayo

There was a time when life was innocent and Scouting for Boys was a straightforward handbook for scouts rather than a mission statement for Irish women. But the clock has moved forward and the lads have been balancing the scales with the indie pop trio Scouting for Girls (below). Two short years ago, Scouting For Girls became the biggest selling new band of the year in the UK. Having toiled for 10 years unsigned, these three boys-next-door sold more than 900,000 records of their eponymous debut album, sending it to the top of the charts and earning them three Brit Award nominations. The follow-up was quite the tormented second album, requiring much re-writing and scrapping of songs before it boldly emerged, Everybody Wants to be on TV. They've been driving up and down Ireland for the past week and this Mayo date may be their last date here for a while.


Date Night, General Release

Steve Carell and Tina Fey are a most convincing comedy couple, and they're the main reason why this slight but engaging comedy works. Phil and Claire Foster are an unadventurous middle class New Jersey couple who get more than they bargain for when they venture into Manhattan for a night out. After being mistaken for a couple of swindlers, they're chased across New York by a mob boss and a couple of corrupt cops, and they must dig deep if they're ever to find their way back to the burbs. Shawn Levy's film features some enjoyable cameos from the likes of Mark Wahlberg and Ray Liotta, but it's Carell and Fey who keep things going, and make the most of an inconsistent script.


Celebration of Billie Barry, National Concert Hall

Forget about all the Glee hoopla, troupes of perfectly polished performers have been turned out in this very land thanks to the grande dame of Irish glee, one Billie Barry. Something of a living legend, Barry has been transforming gangly urchins into dazzling stars since the 60s. The Late Late Toy Show would have been much less colourful without those groups of ridiculously talented boys and girls singing their hearts out every year to distract from Gaybo's silly jumpers. And our pantos would have been dour dramas without their beaming smiles and impossibly fancy footwork. So, tonight, a suitable toast is being made to Dame Barry, with some of the many stars who have passed through her hands returning to remember the source of their inspiration.


Josh Ritter, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin 2

Maybe it's his auburn locks, but we are a little bit fond of Mr Ritter on this island. Mind you, he doesn't look like any ginger we've seen roaming O'Connell Street, so it must just be his music. Championed here before the rest of the world cottoned on, Ritter has a deep-rooted loyalty to Ireland and will always put on a special show to demonstrate his gratitude. He's currently on the road with a new string band and has just released a new record, so expect a selection of old and new favourites when he takes to the rather splendid Grand Canal Theatre stage.


Rufus Wainwright, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin 2

To clap or not to clap, that will be the question when Rufus Wainwright stands in the spotlight this Wednesday. Wainwright has insisted on some unusual conditions for his latest tour due to his new album. Recorded while his mother (folk singer Kate McGarrigle) was dying of cancer, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu is his starkest collection of songs yet. And the funereal ambiance extends to his new tour. The first half will be given over to a song-cycle based on 'Lulu', during which the audience is asked to refrain from applause. Don't worry -- the Montreal crooner will be in greatest-hits mode for part two, when fans can "make as much noise as they want".


Krapp's Last Tape, Gate Theatre, Dublin 1

Bestill your beating heart, a legend is coming to town. Venerable stage and screen actor Michael Gambon is returning to the city of his birth to play one of Samuel Beckett's greatest characters in Krapp's Last Tape at the Gate Theatre from tonight.

To younger audiences, this former Cabra resident is probably most familiar for playing Lord Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. But those of us of more mature years know him for his television performance in The Singing Detective in the 80s.

He's no stranger to the Gate, having already been in Beckett's Eh Joe directed by Atom Egoyan in 2006 and in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land in 2008.

This latest presentation of Krapp's Last Tape is only on for 19 performances, so expect tickets to be like gold dust. Book now!

Irish Independent

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