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Critic's guide to going out this week


Will the present exceed the past? Lyndsay Gallery, Monkstown, Co Dublin

The Lyndsay Gallery's latest exhibition is showing the works of the early Irish modern artists while at the same time giving a perspective on how they compare with the current crop.

This unique collection of fine art, some of which has never been shown in public before, brings together some of the finest examples of work by May Guinness, Daniel O'Neill and Mary Swanzy among others.

Check out May Guinness's L'enfant, painted in 1905 in Paris at the dawn of Cubism; surrealists Colm Middleton and Alan Kenny; and the works of Mary Swanzy and Maine Jellett.

And pieces by landscape artists Charles Lamb, Harry Kernoff and Jack Hanlon sit alongside contemporary landscape artist Ken Brown.

All in all, it's a feast for Irish art lovers.


Villagers, Marlay Park, Dublin

A waifish songwriter with a gift for luxurious pop pay-offs, Villagers' Conor O'Brien has been feted as the brightest new talent in music -- but only on native soil, alas. Granted, there was last year's Mercury Music Prize nomination for his debut Becoming A Jackal, but it was hard not to feel he was there to make up the numbers and never stood a realistic chance of claiming the gong.

A high-profile spring support slot with the Coldplay you don't hate, Elbow, was a bit of a coup for the Dun Laoghaire native, but it remains to be seen whether it's done his standing much good in the wider world.

In the meantime, it will console him to know he's already adored in Ireland, where he can now headline a festival-size tent. Worth getting there early for the remarkable Beach House, a boy/girl drone-pop duo from Baltimore, Maryland.


Vodafone Comedy Festival, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin

Make some noise! There are -- count 'em -- eight different comedy shows taking place in various marquees in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens on Sunday (both in the afternoon and evening) as part of the Vodafone Comedy Festival. Highlights include UK heavyweights Stephen K Amos, Milton Jones and Stewart Francis, while the cream of the local scene is also represented by Maeve Higgins, Neil Delamere, PJ Gallagher, Jason Byrne, David O'Doherty and Andrew Maxwell -- to name just a few.


Keith Barry, Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Ireland's favourite mentalist returns with his new show, 8 Deadly Sins. It's a kind of magic, as they say, as Keith prepares to leave the audience wondering 'hell, how on earth did he do that?' Keith is fresh from shooting his new Discovery Channel series Deception with Keith Barry in LA, which premiered on Discovery USA in May.


The Wreck of the Deutschland, Newbridge College, Co Kildare

One of the highlights of the 23rd Gerard Manley Hopkins International Literary Festival running all week in Newbridge is the screening of a new, specially commissioned film of Hopkins's major poem, The Wreck of the Deutschland. Director Shane McGrath, with Limelight Productions, bases his film on a dramatisation of Hopkins's text. It features masked readings of this very dramatic masterpiece, which tells the true story of five Catholic nuns who drowned when their ship, the SS Deutschland, sank after they were forced to leave Germany in the 19th century as a result of the Falk Laws.

Tickets €10. www.gerardmanleyhopkins.org


Morrissey, Savoy, Cork

The bequiffed one with the Irish blood and English heart plays the People's Republic after his triumphant appearance at Glastonbury. With a clutch of new songs at the ready as well as old Smiths favourites peppered through the set -- veggie anthem Meat Is Murder among them -- this promises to be one hell of a love-in. Just don't mention the Windsors!


Cars 2

The general consensus on John Lasseter's 2006 animation Cars was that it was the weakest product in the Pixar stable, but that hasn't stopped Lasseter from ploughing ahead with this big-budget sequel.

In it, racing champion Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is challenged to take part in a world grand prix against an obnoxious Italian rival called Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). And when Lightning's dim-witted friend Tater the tow truck (Larry the Cable Guy) goes with him, he becomes involved in international espionage.

As you'd expect there are some impressive animated set-pieces, but the problems of the first film have not been solved. The cars still lack personality and, curiously for a Pixar film, Cars 2 is dangerously low on wit.

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