18 November 2003
The Show: Aristocrats
When it comes to Irish drama, Tyrone man Brian Friel is considered the master. His plays include 'The Enemy Within', 'Philadelphia Here I Come!', 'Faith Healer', 'Translations' and 'Dancing at Lughnasa'. He has also written adaptations, screenplays, short stories and non-fiction works about the stage. Since 1969 he has lived in Donegal and many of his plays are set there in the notional village of Ballybeg. 'Aristocrats' is set there too. First performed at The Abbey in 1979, it opened there again last night in a new production directed by Ben Barnes. The play is set in the mid 1970s at Ballybeg Hall, the home of the ailing District Justice O'Donnell.

The Panel discusses Brian Friel's 'Aristocrats' at The Abbey

THE DVD: If I Should Fall From Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story
The producer and director Sarah Share has worked extensively in television, producing staples like antiques and travel shows. She also directed 'Vice', last night's episode of the RTÉ's crime series, 'Underworld'. A few years ago, however, she made a 90-minute documentary on chief Pogue Shane MacGowan. Called 'If I Should Fall From Grace', it has been screened all around the world ever since and won the audience prize for Best Film at the 2002 New York Film Fleadh. The DVD is now available in Ireland.

The Panel discusses 'If I Should Fall From Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story'

The Book: In the High Pyrenees
Until recently, Bernard Loughlin was best known as the first director of Annaghmakerrig, the artists' retreat in Co Monaghan. But now with the publication of his book, 'In the High Pyrenees', we learn of other aspects of Loughlin's life. The setting of the book's title is a small, idyllic Catalan village, Farrera, where Loughlin and his teenage sweetheart Mary married and where their first child, Maeve, was born. The book also covers the years when he returned to Ireland, first taking up the job at Annaghmakerrig and, then, the horrific realisation that the couple's children had been sexually abused by a neighbour. And as part of the healing process they return to Farrera.

The Panel discusses Bernard Loughlin's 'In the High Pyrenees'

The Exhibition: Lissadell Birdsong
The artist Mark Joyce studied at the NCAD and later the RCA in London, and he is currently Course Coordinator of the BA in Fine Art at IADT, Dun Laoghaire. His work has featured in group exhibitions in the US and Europe as well as here at home, and he has represented in several important Irish collections. His new show 'Lissadell Birdsong' is his fifth solo show at the Green on Red Gallery and it marks a return for Joyce from photography to painting.

The Panel discusses Mark Joyce's 'Lissadell Birdsong'

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