13 November 2007
The Guests

Economist and broadcaster David McWilliams, actress and writer Jeananne Crowley and crime novelist John Connolly.

The Film: American Gangster

Directed by Ridley Scott, 'American Gangster' stars Denzel Washington as the Harlem crime boss Frank Lucas. Based on a true story, Lucas was the man who took over the Harlem drug trade in the 1970s and flooded the market with heroin imported from Thailand, thanks to his pals in the US military. Because Lucas had previously been a low level operator, the authorities took a long time to nail him and the person who eventually did - Richie Roberts - is played by Russell Crowe.

The Show: The Last Days of the Celtic Tiger

'The Last Days of the Celtic Tiger' marks the stage debut of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, a middle class southside airhead in the body of a rugby player and the author of such books as 'The Ross Guide to South Dublin (How to Get By on €10,000 a Day)' and 'Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade'. It's a Landmark Production, directed by Jimmy Fay and written by the creator of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, Paul Howard. 'The Last Days of the Celtic Tiger' is at the Olympia Theatre until 5 December.

The Film: Into the Wild

Directed by Sean Penn, 'Into the Wild' tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, a college graduate who abandoned all and set off to find himself in the American wilderness. Nothing particularly odd in that, but what made McCandless more than just your average dropout was that he was deadly serious about the whole thing. He cut up his cards, changed his name to Alexander Supertramp, gave away his money and he headed out on the American road - destination Alaska. Of course there are many detours on the way: through the Grand Canyon; into the Gulf of Mexico; Skid Row in Los Angeles and in the end into the total isolation of the north. But for all his searching for the solitary, along the way he meets people who will change his life just as much as he hopes Alaska will. And does he change theirs: McCandless is a heartbreaker and many hearts will be broken before he finally finds what he's after.

The Book: Fox, Swallow, Scarecrow

'Fox, Swallow, Scarecrow' is the new novel from Eílís Ní Dhuibhne. Inspired by 'Anna Karenina', it's set in contemporary Dublin where Anna Kelly Sweeney is a writer married to wealthy property developer. She wants something more, however, and the love interest comes along in the handsome but reckless Vincy. Meanwhile in Kerry, Leo falls in love with Kate. She is a publicist and he is a devotee of poetry and the Irish language. Mix it all up and you get a modern day morality tale in what the blurb claims to be the "Celtic Tiger novel we have all been waiting for". 'Fox, Swallow, Scarecrow' is published by Blackstaff Press.

The Performance: Opera Ireland

Opera Ireland's 2007 season opens on Saturday night at the Gaiety in Dublin and we'll be reviewing their production of 'Dead Man Walking' on the show next week. The second production is 'Turandot' and tonight we are joined by Stefania Spaggiari, who stars as Princess Turandot. She is accompanied by Mairéad Hurley on piano for 'In Questa Reggia'.

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