Thursday 15th April


Jess Fahy previews the upcoming new drama Leonardo which launches tomorrow on Amazon Prime Video.

White City by Kevin Power

Peter Murphy reviews White City by Irish Author Kevin Power.

Film Reviews

Ruth Barton and Donald Clarke review new films. Promising Young Woman, Palm Springs and Love and Monsters.

Wednesday 14th April

In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Short Story Writer and Essayist Carmen Maria Machado, spoke to Séan about her new memoir In The Dream House. Carmen will be taking part in this years Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Séan spoke to Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, the book and it's sequel the committed. Viet will be taking part in this years Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Nora by Nuala O'Connor

Author, Nuala O'Connor spoke to Séan about her new book Nora, a re-imagining of the life of Nora Barnacle, life partner, soul mate and muse of James Joyce and the inspiration of numerous of his literary characters. Nuala will be taking part in this years Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Tuesday 13th April

RTE National Symphony Orchestra- All American Night

Gavin Maloney, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, chats about the groups all American night with work by Copeland, Barber and Adams.

Where Do I begin- John Berger

This week on our Where Do I begin slot, Séan chatted to Director and Writer Conall Morrison, about Art Critic, Screen Writer, Novelist, Documentary Maker, Playwright and Political Activist, John Berger

Natalya O'Flaherty at MusicTown 2021

Séan spoke with Spoken Word Artist Natalya O'Flaherty, who will performing at this years MusicTown.

Denise Gough stars in new UK tv drama Too Close

Actress Denise Gough discusses playing her character Connie in the new UK tv drama and thriller Too Close.

Monday 12th April

Blade Runner from book to movie screens

Declan Burke, discussed the story of Blade Runner and it's journey from book to movie screens.

'The Velvet Mafia'- by Darryl W. Bullock

Séan spoke to the Author of 'The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran The Swinging Sixties, about his new book.

'Cornaleena'-Musictown 2021

David Kitt and Kevin Barry, Author discuss their new project titled 'Cornaleena', featuring as part of MusicTown 2021.

Friday 9th April

Album reviews

John Meagher and Andrea Cleary reviews new albums including Declan O'Rourke and Taylor Swift.

'City' online at the Everyman Theatre

John McCarthy's chats about his new play at 'City' which can be viewed online at the Everyman Theatre.

Molique and Piazzolla at the National Concert Hall

Katherine Hunka, Viloinist and Director, Irish Chamber Orchestra and Dermot Dunne, Accordion Player, Irish Chamber Orchestra, discuss the launch of a series of classical concerts under the banner 'Spring Summer Variations' and one concert is set to feature Argentinian tango master, Astor Piazzolla.

Thursday 8th April

Citizen Lane

Born in Cork in 1875, Hugh Lane – the extraordinary art collector and gallery director – came from respectable, impoverished stock. The 2018 drama documentary Citizen Lane is available digitally from April 12th. Historian and consultant to the film Roy Foster discusses.

New Pagans

New Pagans are a five piece band from Northern Ireland. Bassist Claire Miskimmin and vocalist and lyricist Lyndsey McDougall discuss their debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All.

Film reviews

Cara O' Doherty and Paul Whitington review new films. Sequin in a Blue Room, A Common Crime and the six-time Oscar nominated Sound of Metal, where a heavy-metal drummer's life is in freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.

Wednesday 7th April

Niall Bourke

Niall Bourke's debut novel is 'Line'. It is set in a dystopian future, however, its concerns are very much current: free-market capitalism, surveillance capitalism, data mining, property speculation and the migrant crisis.

The Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum largest art gallery in the world. It has now opened its collection online covering 10,000 years of history. Art historian Jess Fahy takes us on a virtual walkthrough. louvre.fr/en/online-tours.

Max Richter

Max Richter is one of the most musically diverse composers of the 21st century. His composition for film and television includes Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Mary Queen of Scots and Ad Astra. Voices 2 is out on Friday, following on from Voices, an album written as an accompaniment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Tuesday 6th April

Where to begin - Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny is one of the most acclaimed musicians having won Grammy awards in more categories than any other musician. His collaborators include David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and jazz legend Jack Pistorius. Jimmy Smyth recommends where to begin with the legendary guitarist's music.


Jenn Gannon previews a new 10-part series Them beginning this Friday on Amazon Prime. The Emorys are a well-to-do African-American family moving to a new home which will turn out to be the stuff of horror.

Veronica Dunne - Tribute

The sad news of the death of the great soprano and teacher Veronica Dunne, who died yesterday at the age of 93. Tara Erraught and Fergus Shiel pay tribute.

Friday 2nd April

Album reviews

Siobhan Kane and Simon Maher review new albums. Dry Cleaning's debut album, John Spillane of Cork, brings us an album written in the Irish bardic tradition and American pop star, Demi Lovato.

Nick Cave

Nick Cave's history spans six decades with three major bands and a colossal body of work. Mark Mordue is the author of 'Boy on Fire – The Young Nick Cave'.

Wellington Paranormal

Chris Wasser previews the acclaimed, cult mockumentary, Wellington Paranormal. It stars Mike Minogue and Karen O’Leary as the Wellington police force’s first paranormal unit. Seasons 1-3 will be available from April 5th at 9pm on Sky Comedy and NOW TV.

Thursday 1st April


Emiji is the musical moniker of Polish composer, arranger and producer, Marcin Ciszczon. His debut album is 'My Journeys' Marcin is one of the founders of the prolific Diffusion Lab, which brought us Jafaris, Nealo, Soulé, and Mango X Mathman.

Louise Kennedy

'The End of the World is a Cul de Sac' is the debut short story collection from Louise Kennedy. Louise has received much acclaim since starting to write in 2014 and will be appearing at the West Cork Literary Festival April 6th - westcorkmusic.ie

Film reviews

Justin MacGregor and Roe McDermott review the latest films. He Dreams of Giants, is a documentary about Terry Gilliam’s life-long obsession with filming Don Quixote, Minari and The Mauritanian from director Kevin Macdonald.

Wednesday 31st March

Aoibheann McCann

Good Friday is one of the holiest days for Christians around the world. Drogheda Classical Music will be presenting a performance of the Haydn string quartet, Seven Last Words, accompanied by texts by Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Mark Strand. Music with the ConTempo Quartet and the poetry by one of Ireland’s leading young actors, Aoibhéann McCann.

Naomi Ishiguro

Naomi Ishiguro's debut novel 'Common Ground' is about the friendship of two young men. When they meet Stanley has no idea that Charlie is a Traveller or Romany. They develop an unlikely friendship, finding a whole new lease of life in each others outlook.

Donal Dineen - We Are the Makers

We Are the Makers is a new long-form audio documentary series focusing on the work of contemporary Irish artists. Hosted by Donal Dineen the first episode focuses on the career of photographer Eamonn Doyle.

Romeo and Juliet

Mary McGill reviews Romeo and Juliet which premieres at 9pm Sunday 4th of April on Sky Arts, starring Josh O’Connor - who you will know from The Crown - and our own Jessie Buckley.

Tuesday 30th March

Victoria Kennefick

Already an award-winner for her poetry Victoria Kennefick has just published her first collection, Eat or We Both Starve.

Creation Stories

Creation Stories takes us back to Britain in the 1990s, the era of Britpop, Tony Blair and New Labour. It is based on Alan McGee's 2013 memoir and founder of Creation Records with Oasis, My Bloody Valentine. On Sky Cinema now.

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra - Stravinsky

April 6, marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Igor Stravinsky in New York. Conductor David Brophy join forces with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, for a live streamed concert from the National concert Hall, featuring some of Stravinsky’s great work on April 9th. Live streamed on rte.ie/culture and broadcast live on RTÉ lyric?fm.

Monday 29th March

Jane Campion

Jane Campion is the only film director to have won the Palme d’Or for short film, debut film and best film, the latter coming in 1993 for her 19th century drama The Piano. Steven Benedict explains why Jane Campion’s unique vision has confirmed her as one of the world’s great filmmakers.

Jan Carson

Jan Carson's new novel 'The Last Resort', a collection of linked short stories set in a caravan park on the Northern Irish coast where the residents are beset by driving rain, boredom and a series of impossible thefts. Jan will be taking part in the West Cork Literary Festival on April 6th, westcorkmusic.ie

Eddie Izzard

Six Minutes to Midnight is set in 1939 in an English seaside girls’ boarding school. This is no ordinary educational establishment, but a finishing school for the daughters of the Nazi elite. It was co-written by and stars Eddie Izzard.

Friday 26th March

Album reviews

Dublin musician, singer and spoken word artist, David Balfe, who goes by the name of For Those I Love, Israeli producer, singer and songwriter, Noga Erez and Cathal Coughlan. Alan Corr and Nadine O'Regan review the latest albums for Arena.

John Patrick McHugh

Pure Gold is the debut collection of short stories from Galway writer John Patrick McHugh. It is an irreverent, funny, and often tragic look at an eclectic cast of characters, bound by where they live: all life is here.

Anson Boon

The Irish psychological thriller The Winter Lake stars Anson Boon. It tells the story of a mother and son who move from the UK to the family's old farmhouse in rural Ireland. Their lives become more complicated when they meet the father and daughter who live next to them.

Thursday 25th March

David Hockney

At 83, David Hockney remains one of the most celebrated artists of our time, famed for his bold use of colour, whether on canvas or the iPad he’s also embraced in recent years. Hockney and art critic Martin Gayford have published Spring Cannot be Cancelled, a book of paintings and conversation. Art historian Jessica Fahy has been reading it.

Dublin Literary Award 2021

Prof. Chris Morash, Chair of the judging panel discusses the shortlist for this year’s Dublin Literary Award which has just been announced.

Film reviews

John Maguire and Aingeala Flannery review new films for Arena, Tina, Ammonite, Stray and Memories of My Father.

Wednesday 24th March

The Picture of Dorian Gray

A group of UK theatres have reimagined The Picture of Dorian Gray. Helen Meany reviews the new production with Joanna Lumley, Fionn Whitehead, Alfred Enoch and Stephen Fry. pictureofdoriangray.com until March 31st.

Virginia Woolf - 80th anniversary

John Self celebrates Virginia Woolf. One of the most important modernist writers of the 20th century and a pioneer of the stream of consciousness form. Best known for her classic novels, she was also a key member of the Bloomsbury Set.

The Gate Theatre

The Gate Theatre Director Selina Cartmell discusses a new programme for 2021. The Visiting Hour is a new drama by Frank McGuinness. Available online from April 22-25. Further details at gatetheatre.ie

U2 virtual tour

U2’s virtual tour is streaming on YouTube with concerts from Red Rocks, Denver, Colorado in 1983 and Popmart, Mexico City in 1997. U2 aficionado Pat Carty revisits U2 live.

Tuesday 23rd March

The Mauritanian - Kevin Macdonald

Director Kevin Macdonald's The Mauritanian is the story of Mahamadou Ould Salahi who spent 14 years in Guantanamo Bay uncharged. The film stars Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tahar Rahim. Available on Amazon from April 1st.

How to Get this Podcast

  1. Download and Install Podcast Software

    You will have to download and install software to be able to subscribe to podcasts, and download the latest shows. There are a number of freely downloadable programmes that allow you to access podcasts. Some of the most popular applications are iTunes, Juice and Doppler, for a list of more options go to www.podcastingnews.com. RTÉ is not resposible for the content of external websites or applications.

  2. Subscribe to this Podcast

    Copy the URL from below or from the address bar of this page and then insert it into your podcast software, look for an ADD or SUBSCRIBE option and follow the instructions. URL: Your software will automatically inform you of any new editions to the podcast without the need to subscribe again. If you have iTunes installed you can use this One Click Subscription.

  3. Listen to your podcast

    The podcast will be downloaded in mp3 format or mp4 if it's video, once the download is fully complete you can simply listen to or watch the programme on your computer, or transfer the file to a portable device (mp3 player, iPod etc) and listen to it at your convenience.



Contact the Show

Email: arena@rte.ie

 Twitter: @RTEArena

Text: 51551

Presenter: Seán Rocks

Ways to Listen

Radio Player