08 February 2005
The Play: The Home Place
As one of the world's great playwrights, Brian Friel certainly needs no introduction on this programme. From 'Philadelphia, Here I Come!', back in 1964 through works like 'Faith Healer' and 'Translations', Friel has clearly been, and still is, the man. 'For Dancing at Lughnasa', he received three Tony Awards, including Best Play. His new play 'The Home Place' is set around the end of the last century, again in the big house where father and son are both in love with the housekeeper. It stars Tom Courtenay, Hugh O'Conor and Derbhle Crotty. 'The Home Place' is running at the Gate Theatre.

The Series: Desperate Housewives
The tagline is "Everyone has a little dirty laundry" and so it proves, on 'Desperate Housewives', currently showing on RTÉ Two and Channel 4. The voice narrating the action is that of Mary Alice Young, the suburban housewife who has been driven to suicide by some dark element in her life. Her former friends, still alive, all seem prosperous and happy but each has secrets of her own.

Film: The Holy Girl
'La Nina Santa', 'The Holy Girl', is the latest film from acclaimed Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel. It tells the story of 16-year-old Amalia who lives with her mother in a hotel. There they both meet a doctor in town for a medical convention. And we're off - sex, Catholicism and guilt, Argentinian style.

Book: Winter Bayou
'Winter Bayou' is the debut novel - or novella - from Kelly Sullivan. She's from Pennsylvania but she lives in Ireland, having come here on a Fulbright scholarship. Her novella is set back home, however, and tells the story of a woman's love - from teenage crush to devastation. Not for nothing does this story begin when Hurricane Camille hits Mississippi and flattens all before it.

The Film: Winterreise
'Winterreise' is a film based on Franz Schubert's 24-part song cycle. Made by Mariele Neudecker, it uses the landscape of the wintry north - four different locations, all places on 60 degrees north of the Equator. 'Winterreise' is running at Temple Bar Gallery until Saturday.

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