6 November 2007
The Guests

Writer Brian Keenan, film critic Donald Clarke and writer and columnist Ann Marie Hourihane.

The Film: Lions for Lambs

Directed by Robert Redford, 'Lions for Lambs' is a tale of contemporary warfare set in three different locations. One is the office of an idealistic college professor, played by Redford himself. Another is a snowy mountainside in Afghanistan where two of his former students, now American soldiers, lie badly injured with the Taliban closing in. And the third is the Washington office of an ambitious US senator, played by Tom Cruise. The senator has summoned a television journalist in order to outline a new American policy which will involve doing whatever it takes to achieve a victory that seems less and less likely as the years go by.

The Film: In the Shadow of the Moon

Directed by David Sington and produced by Ron Howard, 'In the Shadow of the Moon' is a documentary feature which tells the story of how, between 1968 and 1972, America sent 24 astronauts to the moon. Many of the surviving moonwalkers appear in the film to tell their extraordinary, extra-terrestrial stories in their own words, among them Buzz Aldrin from Apollo 11.

The Book: The Laughter of Mothers

'The Laughter of Mothers' is the latest collection from poet Paul Durcan. It is dedicated to his late mother, and many of the poems commemorate her life and her relationship with the poet, especially during difficult times in his youth. While Durcan is distracted by other things like newspapers, nose-picking and passing through airport security with his trousers around his ankles, at the heart of this book is his mother, as he puts it, "the first woman he ever knew". 'The Laughter of Mothers' is published by Harvill Secker.

The Play: Circus

Written by Raymond Keane, 'Circus' is the new Barabbas production at the Project Arts Centre. Inspired by the Fellini movie 'La Strada', it's a surreal piece, set in a circus ring - the domain of two jugglers and tumblers called Gubu and Harle. Their act is curiously unspectacular, but when Angelina steps out of the audience and into the ring, the magic begins. And not a word is spoken from beginning to end. 'Circus' is at the Project Arts Centre until 10 November.

The Performance: Jack L

From Athy in Co Kildare, singer Jack L has just completed a five- night run at Vicar Street in Dublin. Next up will be an appearance at the National Concert Hall on 14 November with the Irish Session Orchestra. Tonight he performs for us the song 'Underdog'.

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