Arts and Culture

The Cusack Stand

At 74 Cyril Cusack is writing his autobiography and considering retirement. In the forthcoming Abbey production of "The Merchant of Venice" he plays his first Shylock.

From Dim to Dark before the curtain rises

  • 14 November 1984
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Colm Toibin at the Wexford Opera Festival

THAT WAS THE YEAR THEY DID "THE PEARL FISHERS" at the Wexford Opera Festival. And if you wanted to go down from the school to the opera you had to go to the music room each afternoon and listen to the opera on record. From the window you could see the church spires and the grey slate roofs of Wexford. And down there beyond the town was the sea. By late October in the hour after class you could look down at the sea as it darkened to the colour of slate.

Cinema - Secret Women, Pigs Back and Beauty and the Beast

It's the women who bury the dead. And, as they do at the beginning of Pat Murphy's new film 'Anne Devlin', it's often the women who' must recover the dead from the holes into which their conquerors or torturors have flung them. 'Anne Devlin' Is the other side of the story. by David McKenna

ROSC 84: The politics of vision

"Rosc and controversy, it would seem, are inseparable," noted the Rosc press release. Aidan Dunne reports on the controversies which have occurred in Rosc '84.


THE UNDISPUTED STAR OF Rose '84 is its venue, the Guinness Hop Store in Rainsford Street. It is quite simply the best venue that Rose has ever had, and the first firm indication that the exhibition might have found a permanent home. It provides a setting of breathtaking drama for the art work, and turns the show into a remarkable and indispensible event, something it really hasn't been since the original Rose in the RDS back in 1967.

Passive aggression

Focus THEATRE GOES ON tour at the end of August with their latest production, Marsha N orrman's 1983 Pulitzer-prize-winning 'Night, Mother, a play about two women dealing with the decision of one of them to commit suicide before the night is out. Jessie the daughter (Deirdre O'Connell), is determined to go gently into that good night; Mama (Ena May), by contrast: means to go screeching when her time comes. Their clash has for its immediate context the simple activity of putting the house in order. Its larger context, and the interpretation of the play, are more difficult to determine.

A Fair Day

Fintan O'Toole, who has written the text for a book of photographs of the West of Ireland, writes here about the photographer and his art.

Barrie Cooke : The Moment Of Seeing

In several senses, Barrie Cooke occupies the middle ground in Irish art. He lives in Kilkenny. At Jerpoint near Thomastown, with Sonja Landweer, and he is one of the few artists in the country to have earned the near universal approbation of his peers. The quahty. range and consistency of his work have engendered wide and genuine respect.

The golden voice of Tommy O'Brien

THE TWO HANDS TENSE AS HE HOLDS THE script; when each piece of music is coming to an end he raises his left hand and quickly lowers it to his chest, with a look of professional pride and ease, as the red light comes on. The script is per¬fectly rehearsed. "Good evenin' listeners," he begins and even the ‘g' in "evening" is missing in the script. He has timed the introductions and the music so that his pro¬gramme runs to just over 29 minutes.