03 February 2004
The Play: Finders Keepers
Peter Sheridan is a writer, director and collaborator in the theatre, though he has also worked in film, among other things directing a feature-length version of Brendan Behan's 'Borstal Boy' and his self-penned short, 'The Breakfast'. He is the author of '44: A Dublin Memoir', 'Forty-Seven Roses', and a novel, last year's 'Big Fat Love'. His plays include 'Paint It Black', 'No Entry', 'Liberty Suit', 'Emigrants' and 'Old Money, New Money'. His new one, 'Finders Keepers', has just opened at the Peacock, directed by Martin Drury. Like much of Sheridan's work, it is rooted in his own background in Dublin's inner-city. Redser and his pals are teenagers who meet up at the Royal Canal. It's 1969, and the whole docklands area is beginning its sharp decline - the prospects don't look good.

Ruth Barton, Catherine Ann Cullen and Gerry Godley discuss 'Finders Keepers'

The Film: Dogville
The Danish director and screenwriter Lars von Trier was the key figure behind Dogme95, a film-maker's manifesto with its by now infamous list of ten rules stating how movies should be made - 'The Vow of Chastity'. At the time, von Trier had just been co-directing the TV series 'The Kingdom'. A year later, he made the first film of a trilogy, 'Breaking the Waves', followed by 1998's 'The Idiots' and 2000's 'Dancer in the Dark' which starred Bjork and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. His new film, 'Dogville', is the first in a planned American trilogy. It is set in the Rocky Mountains in the Depression era, and filmed on a single, large set. It has a stellar cast, among them the leads Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany, plus Lauren Bacall, James Caan, Ben Gazzara and others you wouldn't expect. Kidman plays Grace, a refugee from some gangsters who winds up in the isolated town of 'Dogville'. The community has tentatively agreed to hide her and in return, she has agreed to work for them. But it's not as easy as it sounds.

The Panel discusses 'Dogville'

The Book: Oracle Night
Paul Auster was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1947. He is a writer of essays, poems, screenplays, translations, fiction and non-fiction. Among his novels are the three which make up 1987's 'New York Trilogy', the work which launched his international career, and his other novels include 'The Music of Chance', 'Leviathan', 'Mr Vertigo' and 2002's 'The Book of Illusions'. Auster's work is often described by American critics as being somehow 'European' in style - but his subject matter is definitely American and his new novel, 'Oracle Night', is set, like many of his stories, in New York. It tells the story of nine days in the life of a promising writer, Sidney Orr, who is still recovering from a near-fatal medical condition. Sitting in front of his new, blue notebook, he remembers an idea given to him by a friend, a more famous writer called John Trause. He is inspired to write, and so begins the story-within-the-story.

The Panel discusses Paul Auster's 'Oracle Night'

The Exhibition: Cathy Wilkes
The artist Cathy Wilkes is from Belfast. Born in 1966, she studied at Glasgow School of Art and then did a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Ulster, and she was one of the founding members of the Glasgow Women's Library in 1989. She has had solo shows in Berlin, Zurich, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and she has also worked in collaboration with other artists. She was shortlisted in 2000 for the first Beck's Futures Prize. Wilkes works with paintings and sculpture, and her installations are typically minimal, carefully honed to draw attention to the spaces in which they are shown. They reflect her personal experience of the world - a reality that can be bleak. Her new exhibition in the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College is her first Dublin show. It's a careful combination of readymade objects, constructed sculptures and thinly-painted images.

The Panel discusses Cathy Wilkes' exhibition at the Douglas Hyde Gallery

The Performance: Organics
Young Musicwide is a unique development scheme designed originally to assist young Irish chamber musicians at the beginning of their careers. It is an initiative run by Music Network, and the deal for those who win a place on the scheme includes fees and expenses for concerts, publicity, training, a promotional CD and a Dublin showcase concert in November. This is the first year that jazz musicians have been eligible, and the winners here are three-piece ensemble, Organics. You may have seen them in Cork or at their current regular session in Slattery's pub in Rathmines, on Friday nights. They are Justin Carroll on the Hammond Organ, guitarist John Moriarty and drummer Kevin Brady.

Watch the performance

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