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Second Captains breathes new life into sporting chat show

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TV Watch with Dave O’Connell

To be brutally honest, I didn’t expect to like Second Captains, RTE2’s new hybrid of sports, comedy and laddish humour – mainly because I appear to be one of about three people in the country who couldn’t abide the Off the Ball radio version on Newstalk.

To me, it was just a group of smug Dubs in love with their own voices – and I know that one of them is from Tuam – but more to the point, the only sporting opinions that I really want to hear are those of actual sports people.

I didn’t shed any tears when the Off the Ball team thought they’d grown so big they could threaten Denis O’Brien with a walkout if they didn’t get their way on scheduling, only to find that walking was indeed their only option.

And I wasn’t surprised that other radio stations didn’t get killed in the rush to sign them – not least because Denis O’Brien owns most of those other outlets and RTE keeps telling us it’s broke.

So the Off The Ball boys had to make do with an Indo column – which I’ve never read – and a webcast for the Irish Times, which I’ve never seen … until they came up with Second Captains, and RTE commissioned a four-part television series.

Two weeks into this, I don’t just like it – I love it, because this is fresh and funny and very different, in that it’s about sport but it’s not just for anoraks. And it turns out the guys aren’t as smug as radio made them out to be after all.

Yes, there are those who point to Skinner and Baddiel doing something similar – blokes shooting the breeze on a couch, cracking jokes, pulling out embarrassing archive material and so on – but RTE’s version also captures the enthusiasm and sheer craic of a show hosted by a few people with a genuine passion for what they do.

The relaxed style also lends itself to more revealing interviews that you’d get with both parties stuck on either side of a big desk; Ronan O’Gara actually looked like he might be a bit of craic as opposed to the stone-faced professional who specialises in monotone interviews after a big match.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

CITY TRIBUNE

Immortal, a musical exploration of history, family and immortality

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Ellen Greally who plays Oisín's daughter Plur in Immortal.

An original musical, Immortal, from local theatre company, Morgan Creative is running at the city’s Town Hall Theatre until this Friday night, September 24, starting at 8pm nightly.

Billed by its creators Luke and Jake Morgan as “the next chapter of Irish folklore”, the story is set between the mythological land of Tír na nÓg, rural Galway during the Irish Civil War and modern-day Galway. It features 12 new original songs that strive to bring the area’s rich local history and traditions to a modern audience.

An era after her father, Oisín has left Tír na nÓg, Plur sets off on a perilous journey to find him. With the help of Choppy, a grouchy swan, Plur crosses the sea to a magical land she has heard about only in stories: Ireland. However, when she arrives, she learns that trouble is brewing.

The year is 1921 and the struggle for Irish independence is about to take a bitter turn. As Plur encounters a group of young rebels intent on storming Renmore Barracks, there is only one question on her mind: Will she manage to find her father and bring him home before it is too late?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway back in festive swing

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Festival highlight…John Gerrard (centre) in front of his Mirror Pavilion in Derrigimlagh Bog, pictured in with Galway International Arts Festival’s Chief Executive John Crumlish (left) and Artistic Director Paul Fahy. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

The programme may have been amended because of Covid-19 restrictions – but this year’s Galway International Arts Festival still conjured up a whole set of indoor and outdoor experiences to deliver three weeks of spectacular success.

The pandemic resulted in GIAF’s biggest ever digital programme, including the first festival theatre livestream, making the work accessible to a much wider audience – and a star-studded concert from St Nicholas’ Church.

Festival highlights included Medicine, a theatrical tour-de-force by Enda Walsh with a cast featuring Domhnall Gleeson – and the acclaimed Mirror Pavilion, Leaf Work, the second part of John Gerrard’s visual art project set in the heart of Derrygimlagh bog. That also attracted a global audience because it included a 24/7 live stream of the virtual performance that was being shown on the LED screen.

The first ever Other Voices collaboration with the festival delivered an unforgettable concert from St Nicholas’ Church, as part of the Courage series, featuring NewDad, Tolü Makay, Susan O’Neill and Mick Flannery, and Anna Mullarkey.

Audiences can still experience again the First Thought Talks series by checking them out  the Festival website.  Guests such as Misha Glenny; Bonnie Greer; Mike Ryan, Noelle Browne; Siobhan Burke, Sinéad Burke, Fintan O Toole, Peter Lunn and Teresa Lambe amongst others, discussed everything from cyber-hacking to the impact of remote working on rural Ireland to vaccine development.

The 2021 Vinyl Hours series saw guests Philip King, Sinéad Burke, Niamh Regan and Brian Kerr, reveal their most treasured songs in special in-conversation events. Fans can catch up with these conversations when they are released next month as part of the First Thought podcast series.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Kinvara exhibition focuses on ups and downs of social media

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The Kinvara Area Visual Artists group, KAVA is hosting, My Social Bubble, an exhibition of work by arts graduate Mark Keaveney, in which the Roscommon native focuses on the use social media

“My current practice is about the psychological effects of social media,” he explains. “I am exploring people’s engagement with these online platforms, mostly through digital media, along with other platforms such as painting, drawing, and photography.  Modern technology has proven to be a huge phenomenon and an extremely helpful tool in the contemporary art world.

“It provides many benefits as well as potentially harmful results. There is a significant grey area to be found when approaching peoples’ mental health and these handheld devices.”

This exhibition in cooperation with KAVA, will be supported by Kinvara Alive, a local group that promotes well-being and mental health.

The spokesperson for Kinvara Alive, Sean Glynn, says the show offers plenty food for thought.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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