12 December 2006
The Guests

Writer and broadcaster Manchan Magan; theatre critic Karen Fricker; and DIT journalism lecturer Harry Browne.

The Film: The US vs John Lennon

Directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld 'The US vs John Lennon' is a documentary on John Lennon during the period of his life when he became a very vocal opponent of war in general, and the Vietnam War in particular. To some in the United States, at the highest possible level, Lennon's behaviour was provocative stuff. Here was an English pop star living in the States, associating with undesirables, constantly calling for an end to the war and ultimately posing a serious threat to the Nixon White House. The film includes interviews and archival footage of John and Yoko doing their thing. 'The US vs John Lennon' is now open at Cineworld and the Screen Cinema.

The Play: The School for Scandal

'The School for Scandal' now at the Abbey Theatre, directed by Jimmy Fay, is often described as the classic English comedy of manners - despite the fact that its author Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin. Set at the end of the 18th Century, it's a tale of gossip, false witness, vicious intrigue and good old fashioned knifing in the back. With characters like Sir Benjamin Backbite, Lady Sneerwell, Mr Snake and Sir Oliver Surface, it's clear that Sheridan was out to skewer - and skewer he does. The question however is how far have we come since the 18th Century and does Sheridan's skewer still have a soft target in the 21st? 'The School for Scandal' continues at The Abbey until 27 January.

The Book: The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

The latest book from Canadian writer Alice Munro is the story of her own family's roots in Scotland, and the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders. The books title, 'The View from Castle Rock', comes from her great, great, great grandfather James Laidlaw - a man who said that on a clear day you could see America from Edinburgh - until in 1818 he finally left and headed for the New World. 'The View from Castle Rock' is published by Chatto & Windus at €23.

The Panto: Sleeping Beauty at The Helix

The panto at The Helix this year is a different take on 'Sleeping Beauty'. It moves ahead in time to look at what might happen during the untold Happy Ever After section of the story - in other words, what happens to Sleeping Beauty after she wakes up. Directed by Roisin Mc Brinnand, this is a landmark production starring Barbara Brennan, Rory Nolan Aisling o Neill and Phelim Drew. 'Sleeping Beauty' runs at the Helix until 7 January.

The Performance: Damien Dempsey

From Donaghmede, Damien Dempsey is one the most individual voices in the country. During the summer he released his 'Live at the Olympia' album which was recorded this time last year. He plays Vicar Street tomorrow night and he's here tonight with a brand new track, 'Summer's In My Heart'.

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