6 December 2011
The Guests

Irish Times online editor Hugh Linehan, art critic Declan Long and musician Cait O'Riordan.

The Film: Ballymun Lullaby

Directed by documentary maker Frank Berry, Ballymun Lullaby charts the work of a music teacher called Ron Cooney, a man devoted to using music to enhance the lives and develop the confidence of his students, in this case young people from Ballymun. The Ballymun Music Programme recently recorded an album, also called Ballymun Lullaby, in conjunction with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ Cór na nÓg.

The Play: The Government Inspector

Now on at the Abbey Theatre, The Government Inspector - in a new version by Roddy Doyle - looks like it couldn't have come along at a better time. Although written by Nikolai Gogol back in the 1830s and set in Russia, this tale of greed, corruption and breathtaking stupidity has very obvious resonances for a contemporary Irish audience. When news comes that a government official is coming to visit a small town, the locals decide that there's only one thing for it: It's brown envelope time. Directed by Jimmy Fay, the cast includes Don Wycherley as the Mayor and Ciarán O'Brien as the man mistaken for a big shot from St Petersburg.

The Exhibition: Enignum and Other Stories

Now on at the Oliver Sears Gallery, Enignum and Other Stories is the title of a new exhibition of work by furniture designer Joseph Walsh. All made at his workshop in West Cork, the wood is stripped into thin layers, then manipulated and reconstructed to make freeform compositions - part sculpture, part functional furniture. The title Enignum is a mix of 'Enigma' and 'Lignum' - the Latin word for 'wood'. Enignum and Other Stories is at the Oliver Sears Gallery until January 27.

The Book: Somewhere in Minnesota

Órfhlaith Foyle's short story Somewhere in Minnesota featured in the Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories, edited by Joseph O'Connor and published earlier this year. Well, the same tale now takes its place as the title story in a new book just published by Arlen House. Born in Nigeria to Irish parents, this is Foyle's debut collection of short stories.

The Performance: This is How We Fly

This is How We Fly comprises the combined talents of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Seán Mac Erlaine, Petter Berndalen and Nic Gareiss and what that amounts to is a mix of Swedish folk music rhythms, traditional Irish fiddle, percussive dance from America, improvised jazz and electronics. They're on tour nationwide just now and will be in Bangor, Ballymoney and Belfast this week. They perform for us What What What.

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