Thursday 26 April 2018

The pleasure list: Theatrical score for soccer legends

What an experience: Sile Seoige plays Surfia in the new run of 'I, Keano' at the Olympia
What an experience: Sile Seoige plays Surfia in the new run of 'I, Keano' at the Olympia
West Waterford Festival of Food
Tefal Actifry Express XL
Dublin Zoo

I, Keano, the exuberant musical comedy about what is fondly known as the 'Saipan Saga' - when Roy Keane walked away from the 2002 World Cup - is back at the Olympia until April 12.

Written by Michael Nugent, Paul Woodfull and Arthur Mathews, this is an entertaining mix of music, capering and insightful satire; so good in fact that Roy Keane himself was in the audience last week, along with Martin O'Neill and most of the Irish squad.

For this run, Gary Cooke (star of Apres Match) plays Dunphia/Fergie again, with Stephen Jones as Keano, Dessie Gallagher (Reign of Fire, King Arthur) as Macartacus, and Sile Seoige makes her stage debut as Surfia, a character based on Niall Quinn's wife Gillian. "I was very giddy coming in to do this - it's a real thrill for me because I haven't been on a stage like this since I was in school," Sile said before her first night, adding afterwards, "What an experience . . . I loved every second. Over the moon to be part of it, such a talented team."


The West Waterford  way with food

The West Waterford Festival of Food is now in its 8th successive year, and runs from April 9 to 12, this year taking Generations in Irish Food as its theme. Focusing on the rich family tradition of food in the area, the festival shines a spotlight on local home-grown heroes and the generations of families who continue to produce, cook, sell and run some of Ireland's greatest and best-loved restaurants and food businesses. Centred around Dungarvan, the festival has attracted a range of top chefs, including Ross Lewis of Chapter One, Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain and locally-based Martijn Kajuiter of the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. From demos to hands-on workshops, dining experiences to discussions, along with markets, trails, tours and a full entertainment programme - including a funky Friday BBQ, wine tastings and film screenings - this is one for all the family.

www.westwaterford festivaloffood.com

Have your chips and eat  them too with Tefal

The cooking of chips by Michelin-starred chefs can be a fairly thorny matter, with at least one much-decorated chef known to have had diners removed for requesting them. That, however, is not Derry Clarke's way. The affable, equitable proprietor of L'Ecrivain restaurant has never allowed himself to be side-tracked by such irrelevancies, preferring to concentrate on the business of producing excellent food. Most recently, he has even joined forces with Tefal kitchen appliances, to demonstrate the best way to cook chips, using the Tefal Actifry Express XL. This is the latest addition to the 'air fryer' family of cookers, which only use a tiny amount of oil. The new appliance is up to 30pc faster than the original model, and can cook a kilo of chips in less than 30 minutes, using just one spoonful of oil. For the health-conscious and chip-loving, this is a godsend. The chips tally up to just 160 calories a portion, and the ActiFry Express equally works wonders with calamari, goat's cheese, stir frys and even ratatouille.


Time to talk to the  animals

First opened in 1830, Dublin Zoo covers 28 hectares, and now attracts over 1 million visitors a year. The impressive efforts made by the zoo team, to continuously improve both the animals' habitats and the visitor experience, are very heartening and proof of the commitment to creating the best possible conditions in which to observe nature, without overly disturbing it. The next big project underway is the creation of a Sea Lion Cove and Flamingo Lagoon. This will be a large maritime habitat for California sea lions, where zoo visitors will be able to observe them swimming underwater, and a large flight aviary for the Chilean flamingos. The project will be completed this summer, and will join the African Plains and Gorilla Rainforest as evidence of the wonderful way in which Dublin Zoo is meeting and exceeding conservation requirements. Meanwhile though, spring is fully sprung at the zoo, where the arrival of 12 piglets and three lambs is being celebrated. The new arrivals were born in mid-March, are all merrily thriving, and can be seen at the Family Farm, one of the zoo's most popular spots.


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