Episode 6 The Arts Show

Episode 6

The show comes from Derry/Londonderry where a panel of guests discuss the inaugural UK City of Culture programme of events. With music from Derry's Codetta Choir and Best Boy Grip.

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Hello, and welcome to our first show of 2013, and we begin the year


with an Arts Show Special. We're coming to you from The Playhouse


Theatre in Derry-Londonderry where the waiting is finally over as the


city is now officially the Inaugural UK City of Culture. It's


an historic moment for Derry and all eyes are upon it, but can it


and will it live up to the expectation? I'll be discussing all


this and more with our panel of special guests. Here's what's


coming up. We preview the Inaugural City of Culture Programme of Events,


month by month. Derry's internationally renowned chamber


choir, Codetta, fresh from their appearance at the Official Launch


Concert, Sons & Daughters, give The Arts Show an exclusive performance.


And Derry artist, Best Boy Grip, has just released his latest EP,


The Clerk, drawing comparisons with Neil Hannon and The Beatles. He's


in performance for The Arts Show. So, tonight is all about Derry-


Londonderry 2013 and many are intrigued as to what's planned for


the year ahead. We'll take a look in just a moment, followed by


discussion and analysis with our panel of guests who are: Irish


Author and Playwright, Jennifer Johnston. Her first novel was


published in 1972 and she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at


the Irish Book Awards 2012. Born in Dublin, she's been a resident of


Derry since 1974. Derry-born Professor Declan McGonagle was the


first curator of Derry's internationally-renowned Orchard


Gallery. He remains one of only two curators ever to be nominated for


The Turner Prize and has also served as a judge for the


prestigious award. He is the current Director of the National


College of Art & Design in Dublin. And, no stranger to The Arts Show,


Eithne Shortall, Arts Critic for The Sunday Times, Ireland. Welcome


all. So, without further ado, let's look at what you can expect in the


first half of the year. It's impossible to fit every event in so


here are our highlights from The year of culture got off to a


vibrant start with an impressive fireworks display on New Year's Eve.


This was followed by Sons & Daughters, the official launch


concert featuring Phil Coulter, The Undertones, Neil Hannon and Gary


Lightbody in The Venue at Ebrington, a new arena on the site of a former


army barracks. And you can see coverage of that this Saturday


night at 10:30pm on BBC 1. February sees Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical,


Starlight Express, come to The Millennium Forum. Dingle's


legendary Other Voices Festival expands to Derry, featuring


renowned musicians in tiny venues, including Derry-born Neil Hannon


and Two Door Cinema Club. Controversial comedian, Jimmy Carr,


brings his Gagging Order show to the Millennium Forum on the 10th.


Ireland's most famous living playwright, Brian Friel, is


celebrated throughout the year beginning on 11th Feb when Freedom


Of The City, his play about the events of Bloody Sunday, is staged


in the Millennium Forum. Actor Adrian Dunbar directs another Friel


play, Performances, featuring the internationally-renowned Brodksy


Quartet. March begins with a retrospective of celebrated local


artist, Basil Blackshaw. Blackshaw at 80 runs in the Gordon Gallery


all month. Israeli-born choreographer, Hofesh Shecter, one


of the most exciting contemporary dance artists around, brings his


acclaimed Political Mother project to Ebrington, specially reworked


for Derry 2013 Celebrated Irish novelist and author of The


Commitments, Roddy Doyle, drops into Derry along with The Gruffalo


author, Julia Donaldson, for the Humdinger Children's Literary


Festival. Derry is, of course, famous for producing shirts and a


former factory will be transformed into a pop-up museum for a major


art project led by artist, Rita Duffy. The Brian Friel season


continues with Translations at the Millennium Forum, again directed by


March sees two concerts at Ebrington. The London Symphony


Orchestra play their first ever concert in Derry performing the


music of John Williams on the 18th, the first of two visits to the city.


And Primal Scream with David Holmes are there on 19th. The Royal Ballet


returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in 12 years to present


highlights from their wide repertory in the Millennium Forum


on the 30th and 31st. It will feature Northern Irish soloist,


Melissa Hamilton, in her first performance in front of a home


crowd, with Derry-born Paul Murphy conducting. Should be very special


indeed. Celebrated Irish playwright, Frank McGuinness, came to


prominence with his play, The Factory Girls, which will be staged


at the City Factory from 24 to 27th April. May sees the world premiere


of a unique theatre event, The Conquest of Happiness by acclaimed


director, Haris Pasovic, the man behind the Sarajevo Red Line


project. Think big, as this will be a large-scale, open-air event with


music, dance and drama. One of the most eagerly-anticipated events has


been the return of the theatre side of Field Day Theatre Company.


Formed in Derry in 1980 by Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea, it not


only produced original theatre but also published political analysis,


becoming an artistic response to The Troubles. After a 20 year break


they premiered two new one-act plays in December, one directed by


Rea. This month sees the premiere of their first new full-length play


by new writer, Claire Dwyer Hogg. Thirsty Dust is at The Playhouse,


once again directed by Rea. The Field Day Story is also told in a


new exhibition here in the Verbal Arts Centre which runs from May to


August. 9th June is the feast day of Derry's Founding Father and


Patron Saint, St Columba or Colm Cille. To celebrate, two


spectaculars are planned. The Return of Colm Cille is an epic-


scale event which imagines the battle that led to his exile in


Scotland and his triumphant return. Created by author, Frank Cottrell-


Boyce, writer of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, the interactive


event will be performed on both sides of the Foyle. Later that


evening, a specially commissioned new oratorio, The Columba Canticles,


will be performed in Derry's oldest and most historic building, St


Columb's Cathedral. Other highlights in June include Agatha


Christie's The Mousetrap, the world's longest running play which


is going on tour for the first time. And Elvis Costello and Status Quo


both play Ebrington. And, finally, the entire city becomes a stage for


Music City! On 21st June. Hundreds of music performances will take


place in venues such as churches, offices, streets and even the sky


where hot air balloons will pump out a score from above. Also, in a


mass-gathering, all the choirs of Derry will come together to perform


Danny Boy, in celebration of the Core that is Danny Reed to June.


Declan, does it work for you? -- January to June. They are is a huge


variety of activity going on. wide ranging. There is a focus I am


interested on, a strong element in the first six months on the site-


specific works coming in. Haris Pasovic will be doing a project.


Rita Duffy will be working in the shirt factory and looking at the


issue of women's work in relation to the garment industry. I think


even the Israeli Dance Company, as a visual medium, that will be


customised to the context in Derry. I'm glad to see the dimension and


diversity. It is one of the aspects and features of the city, the


visual culture the city is known for. Jennifer's, does the


literature stand out for you? of the things that pleased me most


was to see that Roddy Doyle was coming to talk to children. That is


wonderful. He's just eliminating. And they adore him. -- illuminating.


He will awaken a lot of imaginations, and that will go on


after the year is over. Those children imaginations will still be


working. I think the programme looks pretty eclectic. I think they


have achieved a lot in catering for people of different age groups and


tastes. They do have a focus on artists that are from here and the


work that has been created helped by the site-specific work, but also


good international staff from the Republic and from Britain. His the


city ready for this? I imagine that is what everybody is wondering. It


ought to be. It has had its suffering. It has had its time to


recover from the suffering. Perhaps some culture now would be very good.


There are have been bumps along the road, Declan. They inevitably will


be for a project of this size -- they inevitably will be. It was


about inventing the organisational structure, and how to deliver the


programme, which is hugely complex, and there is a bureaucratic issue


around it as well. But this is the time to get over the bumps. There


is a difference between the preparation period and the


investment and speculative programming decisions, and then the


actual delivery. I think we have to step up the game for the delivery.


The still has to be. The tour have to be stepped up through the year.


-- it will have to be stepped up through the year. There will have


to be a continued organisational investment. You have come up from


Dublin today. Is there much chatter? It has been covered in the


media in the south and people are aware it is going on, but the most


important thing for getting people up to it is the key events that


people will make a journey for and then come back for something else.


I think a lot of those are happening in the second half, like


the Turner Prize. It just remains to be seeded people will come up. -


- remains to be seen if people. People actually believe that Derry


is 10 minutes' drive from Belfast, so you are in the whole thing,


instead of an hour-and-a-half. has been an aspect for decades in


terms of Arts Development, in terms of how you develop a profile while


living with unrest. We should have the experience to deal with that.


Essentially, that is our subject. That is a subject that citizens


here know all about. The City of Culture has to be about visitors,


attracting visitors. We want a new story to be understood about the


city, but it also has to be about the citizens and the context itself.


And will have visitors come for years to come? Hopefully not just


this one. For the moment, thank you. Derry musician, Eoin O'Callaghan,


better known as Best Boy Grip, sings, plays piano, clarinet and


guitar and his complex songwriting arrangements have drawn comparisons


with Neil Hannon and The Beatles. He's just released his second EP,


The Clerk, and tonight, exclusively for The Arts Show performs the


# You're in love with him, he's got money.


# I ain't got none, but I'm funny. # I won't make you cry in vain.


# You're in love with him, he's good looking.


# He stands naked as he's cooking white-powdered medicine for his


pain. # And I guess I'll take the blame


for it. # Never should have left you alone.


# He fought 45 men in the war. # And I can't remember the last


time I swore. # But I'd fight for you if you'd


# You're in love with him, I ain't bitter.


# He broke angel when he hit her. # He's bad company, that's for sure.


# And I guess I'll take the blame for it.


# Never should have left you alone. # He'll come home and he'll kick


down your door. # He'll abuse you, he calls you his


whore. # And I'd mess him up if you'd let


# You're in love with him, fact stays with me.


# Eats my heart out, stole my empathy.


# Earth met fire in the monster and # I guess I'll take the blame for


# Never should have left you alone. # You're in love with him. Oh-oh.


# You're in love with him. Oh-oh- oh-oh-oh.


Wonderful stuff. And Eoin will be performing again under yet a


different guise at the end of the show. Now, there's plenty more


happening in the second half of the Inaugural Year of Culture. So let's


take a look at our highlights from July to December. July begins with


a new music cantata, At Sixes and Sevens, by Mark-Anthony Turnage and


Paul Muldoon, performed simultaneously in the Guildhalls of


Derry and London by Barry Douglas' Camerata Ireland and the London


Symphony Orchestra, both linked by technology.


August hosts arguably the year's key anchor event, the Fleadh


Cheoilnah Eireann - the world's biggest celebration of Irish


Culture. An historic occasion, it is being held north of the border


for the first time since it began in 1951. For seven days Derry


becomes a mecca for the cream of traditional talent, attracting


300,000 visitors. Shakespeare's bloodiest play, Titus


Andronicus, about the latter days of the Empire, is re-imagined in


contemporary Northern Ireland in a Playhouse Theatre Production.


The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain take up residency in


Derry for ten days of performance and music-making with local


musicians in July, which includes performing 100 mini-concerts in


their homes on one day. The Walled City Tattoo will be a


vibrant display of music, theatre and dance from a 600 strong cast


which include Switzerland's acclaimed Top Secret Drum Corp


performing their impressive precision routines.


Moving into September and 72 Hour Urban Action is the world's first


real-time architecture competition. Teams have just three days to


transform ten public spaces to meet the needs of local communities.


The Brian Friel season continues with a production of his first


significant play, The Enemy Within, about St Columb's exile, at the


Playhouse Theatre. On Home Ground is a three day


poetry festival at Laurel Villa in Magherafelt featuring well known


poets from Ireland and worldwide. Seamus Heaney is Festival Patron


and gives the opening address. October holds one of the year's


biggest highlights, the Turner Prize 2013. Held at Ebrington, it


will be the first time the prestigious award has happened


outside England. The exhibition runs until January and the winner


is announced on December 2nd. The Royal Shakepeare Company visit


Derry to present Shakespeare's tragic poem, The Rape of Lucrece,


featuring acclaimed-singer, Camille O'Sullivan at The Playhouse Theatre.


London's Olivier Award-winning dance troupe, Boy Blue, premiere a


new martial-arts inspired production, Manga, at the


Millennium Forum. October is poetry month and will


feature performances from UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.


October also features the Irish premier of NI Opera's The


Importance of Being Earnest. Based on Oscar Wilde's comedy, the


eccentric opera was a huge sensation when first performed in


London last year. Unseen, is the largest-ever


exhibition of works by acclaimed Derry-born artist, Willie Doherty,


featuring significant photographs and video installations from his


long career alongside new work. The month of November will launch


our first dedicated Dance and Movement festival, created by our


only professional dance company, Echo Echo, based in Derry. November


also sees the premiere of a new punk musical, Teenage Kicks,


written by novelist and screenwriter, Colin Bateman. Set in


Derry in the late '70s, it's about teenage lust and love, set to a


punk soundtrack. The Playhouse Theatre features


Three Monologues, by Jennifer Johnston. Written in response to


The Troubles and rarely performed, it's an opportunity for audiences


to see some of her lesser-known dramatic work.


One of the most visually spectacular events of the year will


be the acclaimed Festival of Light, Lumiere, which will feature


breathtaking light installations, including wrapping Derry's two


Cathedrals in projections from the Book of Kells.


And finally, the Year of Culture's Closing Concert sees the Ulster


Orchestra perform The Relief of Derry Symphony, by Northern Irish


composer, Shaun Davey, at Ebrington. First commissioned in 1989 to


commemorate the Siege of Derry, it's guaranteed to be one of the


outstanding performances of Derry- Londonderry 2013.


That is the highlights of a busy period. This seems to be a lot more


happening in the second part of the year. I think At Sixes and Sevens


has great people involved. And then something with a longer play out


time. There was a lot of talk about Sam Shepard writing a new play for


this year in Derry. It seems to be talked about less and less a row.


But that would be great. The theatre audience in Dublin would


know his work and would love to see it. And another event is the Turner


Prize. People travelled to London for that. The Turner Prize coming


to Derry. It is great that it is going to be in the city. It is the


greatest contemporary art prize in the world. It draws a number of


things for that city. It connects and acknowledges the work that has


gone on in the past in the arts in general in Derry. It will be really


interesting and challenging. It is always a challenging event. And it


set up some local organisations in terms of confidence building for


them. Because they will create programmes in relation to the


Turner Prize exhibition itself. you think people will travel from


England to see it. I think there is enough curiosity about the UK City


of Culture happening and then it also the Turner Prize. We know from


other places within England were the Turner Prize has been shown,


tens of thousands of people travelled to those cities,


Gateshead and Liverpool. Combined with curiosity about this place,


this context, and the Turner Prize, I believe people will travel.


we have the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. I think thousands will


come from all over Ireland and possibly America as well. Any of


those big musical events they have had have always had a great


following. I think this one will be better than any of them. What will


the legacy because my their is a mature Elk legacy. And we are lucky


to have this play at the moment, the Everton set which has huge


potential to be a world-class set of cultural experiences for the


future. Then we have the confidence building legacy and the way in


which individuals, organisations and communities will become used to


have stepped up quality of programming. And also for the


organisations to equip themselves to a large their ambitions for the


future. What were the legacy before you? It is what it inspires. The


Turner Prize will not come again. People will get excited about that


being in their city. Not just aspiring artists but organisers,


people who need to support artists. The Brian Friel season it is very


exciting. But I do not think there is a prominent theatre company


working in Derry at the moment, a contemporary one, so you would hope


that that would come in. And what about that journey from Dublin to


Derry, will that be shorter? There's not a direct train which is


a big problem. You have to go to Belfast and then back to Derry.


There are upgrading the line. if you have the inspiration to come


to this city then you will do it. would like to think it will fire


people's imaginations and they will understand what they have inside


themselves. And confidence will give them the energy to start up a


theatre company. That is what they really need in this city, a small


theatre company. And I know that this is expensive but it still can


be done. Well, we could talk all night but unfortunately we have to


leave it there. Thank you very much to our guests, Jennifer Johnston,


Professor Declan McGonagle and Eithne. We'll be reporting on


events throughout the Year of Culture, as well as the best of the


arts in Northern Ireland. We're back on 24th Feb. You can keep up


to date with BBC Radio Ulster's Arts Extra, weeknights at 6:30pm.


You can join our guest Tweeter-In- Residence, Dermot McLoughlin,


Project Director of The Culture Company, the team behind this


year's events, who'll be curating our Twitter account tomorrow.


We leave you tonight with some performers from the Official Launch


Concert. Derry's internationally acclaimed chamber choir, Codetta,


were formed in 2001 by Artistic Director, Donal Doherty. Their


members include tonight's performer, Eoin O'Callaghan, and various ex-


pats who return home monthly for rehearsals. They perform a wide


repertoire and tonight give The Arts Show an exclusive recital from


The show comes from Derry/Londonderry, where a panel of guests discuss the inaugural UK City of Culture programme of events. Music comes from Derry's Codetta Choir and local singer/songwriter Best Boy Grip.

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