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My cultural life: Thommas Kane Byrne, writer

 

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Thommas Kane Byrne

Thommas Kane Byrne

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Bette Davis

Bette Davis

The Star

The Star

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Thommas Kane Byrne

TKB [Thommas Kane Byrne] is an award-winning writer and actor from Dublin's north inner city. His acting credits include Virgin Media's Darklands, Conor McMahon's Stitches on Netflix and RTE's Dead Still. As a playwright, he is known for his heart-warming, heart-stopping and gleefully authentic tales of Dublin city, including Say Nothin' to No One, Well That's What I Heard and The Fattest Dancer at St Bernadette's. His latest, ThisIsPopBaby-produced offering Mrs Macushla [starring Fair City's Hilda Fay] will run March 2O-21 in the Project Arts Centre as part of the Where We Live festival. thisispopbaby.com

Movie: All About Eve

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Bette Davis

Bette Davis

Bette Davis

 

For me, Bette Davis is the greatest actor of all time. She broke the Old Hollywood mould by refusing to let glamour and vanity get in the way of her wonderful character performances. Seeing an actor embrace ugliness and completely disappear into a role is as good as it gets for me.

Music: Un Bel Di, Vedremo

From Act 2 of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, this is quite possibly my favourite piece of music ever written. It still gives me chills after about five million plays. The idea of poor Butterfly waiting at that harbour for Pinkerton [who has no intentions of rekindling their marriage] breaks my heart. My favourite version is that of the incomparable Maria Callas. No one brings the truth to it like Callas.

Art: The Star [L'Etoile] by Degas

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The Star

The Star

The Star

 

Degas is most famous for his paintings of ballerinas, particularly the 'Little Rats' of the Paris Opera, who studied under excruciating circumstances and are even thought to have been preyed upon by rich patrons of the opera. I'm so moved by the fact that such atrocity lay behind such beauty. At first, you see a dancer in the height of her powers, but if you look closer you will see a dark figure waiting in the wings.

Design: Viktor & Rolf's Marriage

Fashion is a huge part of my life. Although McQueen's Savage Beauty is my favourite of all time, this is my favourite collection of recent years. It is the most out of the box and artistic interpretation of the bride that I have ever seen. V&R take silhouette and texture into walking architecture and moving sculpture territory. I love them!

Book: Brooklyn

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Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

 

I am a sucker for an emigration story. I've read Colm Toibin's book a good three times and have seen the film a solid six times. I feel like the landscape of Ireland, America and the era are painted so well by Colm and the relationship between Eilish and Rose really resonates with me. The bit where she stands up to Ms Kelly gives me goosebumps.

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