24 February 2004
The Series: 'The Big Bow Wow'
Earlier this evening, RTÉ broadcast the third episode of 'The Big Bow Wow', a 13-part drama series, made for and about a tribe known as the twenty-somethings. Set in a glitzy corner of boomtown Dublin, it depicts a city where religion, politics and history are nowhere to be seen. Instead we get women with severe hairstyles doing business and drinking coffee. The team behind the series includes several RTÉ veterans: producers David Blake Knox and Gerry Gregg, the director Dearbhla Walsh, who recently shot several episodes of Channel 4's 'Shameless', and the commentator Eoghan Harris. Its main writer, however, is 26-year-old Trevor Colgan, author of the 'Stretford Enders' novels.

Chris Binchy, Catherine Brophy and Karim Rehmani-White discuss 'The Big Bow Wow'

The Show: Philadelphia, Here I Come!
2004 is looking like a good time to catch up on the plays of Brian Friel. We've already had The Abbey's production of 'Aristocrats', Joe Dowling's 'Dancing at Lughnasa' is opening soon at The Gate and in October, The Abbey is offering a reading of 'Give Me Your Answer, Do' as part of its season of one-off readings. 'Philadelphia, Here I Come!' is arguably Friel's best-loved play - a big favourite ever since its debut at the Dublin Theatre Festival back in 1964. It's now on tour again in a new production directed by the actor, Adrian Dunbar. The story focuses on Gar O'Donnell, a young Donegal man on his last night at home before emigrating to America. The cast includes Ruaidhrí Conroy and Marty Rea as the outer and inner characters of Gar - Gar Public and Gar Private - as well as Eileen Pollock, Stella McCusker, Walter McMonagle and, as his erstwhile girlfriend, Kate, Pauline Hutton.

The Panel discusses the new production of 'Philadelphia, Here I Come!'

The Exhibition: Inspirational Awakening
The National Museum of Decorative Arts and History at Collins Barracks has just opened an exhibition of contemporary glass art called 'Inspirational Awakening'. The idea came from the Glass Society of Ireland and it's a new departure for the Museum because it involved a submission process and a two-stage selection by a jury - in this case two acknowledged glass specialists, Kim Mawhinney and Elizabeth Swinburne. The applicants had either to be working in Ireland - or Irish and working abroad. The result was a selection of 26 works by 15 artists, produced using a wide variety of techniques.

The Panel discusses 'Inspirational Awakening - Irish Contemporary Glass' at the National Museum at Collins Barracks

The Book: Tatty
Christine Dwyer Hickey has twice won the Listowel Writers' Week short story award and she was also a winner in the Observer/Penguin short story competition. She's a novelist as well as author of the trilogy of 'The Dancer', 'The Gambler' and 'The Gatemaker', and now comes 'Tatty', a tale of a young girl growing up in Dublin. We follow her story through to her early teens as both she and the reader become more and more aware that this is really the story of a family's collapse due to alcohol abuse.

The Panel discusses Christine Dwyer Hickey's 'Tatty'

The Film: Chicken
You may have noticed that there's a specific cultural programme associated with Ireland's EU Presidency this year. Well, as part of that programme the Irish Film Board and the Irish Film Institute have put together a showcase of Irish films, 'Green Screen', in association with the Europa Cinema network. The showcase includes feature films, documentaries and shorts, and it'll be screened in eight of the new Accession countries, beginning next week in Bulgaria and running through to the Summer. One of the films is an award-winning 35mm short, 'Chicken', first shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. Based on a screenplay by Audrey O'Reilly, it was produced and directed by Barry Dignam under the Film Board's 'Short Shorts' scheme. Here are Darren Healy and Niall O'Shea in 'Chicken'.

Watch a clip from 'Chicken'

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