18 January 2005
The Film 1: Vera Drake
'Vera Drake' is the latest movie from Mike Leigh, best known for 'Secrets and Lies' and 'All or Nothing'. Set in 1950s London, it tells the story of an ordinary working class woman, a cleaning lady always ready to do a good turn for anybody - in fact she's the kindest and chirpiest lady in post-war Britain. She has a secret, however - one she doesn't even share with her family. She performs back street abortions. The movie stars Imelda Staunton in a performance already tipped for an Oscar.

Susan McKay, Kate Thompson and Thomas McLaughlin discuss 'Vera Drake'

The Film 2: The Aviator
'The Aviator' is the latest movie from Martin Scorsese. It looks at the early life of Howard Hughes, the movie director and aviator who captured the public imagination with his enormous wealth, his reclusive lifestyle and the not inconsiderable fact that he designed Jane Russell's bra. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role with Cate Blanchett as one of his early loves, Katharine Hepburn.

The Panel discusses 'The Aviator'

The Book: Heaven Lies About Us
Eugene McCabe is a novelist, short story writer and playwright. He's best known for books like 'Christ in the Fields' and 'Death and Nightingales' and of course for his trilogy of plays 'Victims', which caused quite a stir back in the 1970s. His latest book of 12 stories, entitled 'Heaven Lies About Us', takes us deeper again into McCabe's own territory, the borderlands of Monaghan and Fermanagh.

The Panel discusses Eugene McCabe's 'Heaven Lies About Us'

The Play: Swansong
'Swansong', the latest one-man play from Conor McDermottroe, tells the story of the deeply unnerving Occi, a sensitive but violent man looking for recognition and a place to belong. It's a dark but often humorous story as we follow his unhinged adventures in murder and mayhem.

The Panel discusses 'Swansong' at Andrew's Lane Theatre

The Performance: Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh has taken some time out from Altan to do a nationwide tour entitlted 'Roots and Relations' for Music Network, along with her husband Dermot Byrne - also from Altan - and her nephew Ciarán Ó Maonaigh.

Watch the performance

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