29 November 2011
The Guests

My guests tonight are comedian and writer Kevin Gildea, lecturer and writer Harry Browne and archivist and critic Catriona Crowe.

The Film: Take Shelter

Directed by Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter stars Michael Channon as Curtis, a man haunted by very bad dreams and waking visions of thunderstorms and murmurations. He keeps it to himself at first, but eventually seeks help - worried further by the fact that when she was his age, his mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. But by now it's hard to know what's real and what's not and with a growing sense that something terrible is going to happen - indeed that a great and final storm is coming - Curtis builds an underground shelter for his family, his daughter and here, his wife Samantha, played by Jessica Chastain.

The Play: Big Maggie

Directed by Garry Hynes, John B. Keane's Big Maggie is now on a nationwide tour. Aisling O'Sullivan stars as Maggie Polpin, freshly widowed and entirely pleased with her new situation. This is a Druid production of a play first performed in 1969, a powerful tale of family, love, marriage, property and power. The cast of eleven includes Keith Duffy here with Aisling O'Sullivan.

The Book: The Angel Esmeralda

The Angel Esmeralda is the latest book from Don DeLillo. Considered one of the great living American writers, best known for Libra and Underworld, this collection of nine short stories is of enormous interest to his many fans, not least because novel-wise there's a feeling that he's been off the boil for quite some time. Also of special interest is that, surprisingly, this is De Lillo's first collection of stories - published here in the order in which they were written - from Creation in 1979 up to The Starveling written this year. Here's an extract from Human Moments in World War Three.

The Exhibition: China Through the Lens of John Thomson

China Through The Lens of John Thomson is the latest exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. Thomson was a prominent Scottish photographer who eventually became official photographer to Queen Victoria but before that, he lived in and travelled throughout China at a time when China was a near total mystery to most people in Europe. The Chester Beatty exhibition, on loan from the Wellcome Library, London contains some 50 photographs taken between 1868 and 1872.

The Performance: Paul Tiernan

Singer songwriter Paul Tiernan has just released his 6th album, Painkillers, following on the success of his song How to say Goodbye on the soundtrack of the movie Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. He's on tour just now and will be at the Odessa Club in Dublin this Thursday. Here with, Was that the End, Paul Tiernan.

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