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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Transcript


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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month by month. Derry's internationally renowned chamber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Author and Playwright, Jennifer Johnston. Her first novel was

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published in 1972 and she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at

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

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

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first curator of Derry's internationally-renowned Orchard

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

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

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prestigious award. He is the current Director of the National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This was followed by Sons & Daughters, the official launch

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

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

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

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

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

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legendary Other Voices Festival expands to Derry, featuring

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

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

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

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

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celebrated throughout the year beginning on 11th Feb when Freedom

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

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in the Millennium Forum. Actor Adrian Dunbar directs another Friel

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play, Performances, featuring the internationally-renowned Brodksy

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Quartet. March begins with a retrospective of celebrated local

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

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

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of the most exciting contemporary dance artists around, brings his

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acclaimed Political Mother project to Ebrington, specially reworked

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for Derry 2013 Celebrated Irish novelist and author of The

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

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

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

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

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

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continues with Translations at the Millennium Forum, again directed by

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March sees two concerts at Ebrington. The London Symphony

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Orchestra play their first ever concert in Derry performing the

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

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

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

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highlights from their wide repertory in the Millennium Forum

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

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

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

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indeed. Celebrated Irish playwright, Frank McGuinness, came to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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only produced original theatre but also published political analysis,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Columb's Cathedral. Other highlights in June include Agatha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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about inventing the organisational structure, and how to deliver the

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

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

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is a difference between the preparation period and the

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investment and speculative programming decisions, and then the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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guitar and his complex songwriting arrangements have drawn comparisons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for it. # Never should have left you alone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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# Eats my heart out, stole my empathy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Paul Muldoon, performed simultaneously in the Guildhalls of

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

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Symphony Orchestra, both linked by technology.

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

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Cheoilnah Eireann - the world's biggest celebration of Irish

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

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

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becomes a mecca for the cream of traditional talent, attracting

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

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

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contemporary Northern Ireland in a Playhouse Theatre Production.

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The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain take up residency in

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

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

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

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

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which include Switzerland's acclaimed Top Secret Drum Corp

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performing their impressive precision routines.

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

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

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

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The Brian Friel season continues with a production of his first

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

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Playhouse Theatre. On Home Ground is a three day

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poetry festival at Laurel Villa in Magherafelt featuring well known

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poets from Ireland and worldwide. Seamus Heaney is Festival Patron

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

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

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will be the first time the prestigious award has happened

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outside England. The exhibition runs until January and the winner

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

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

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

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

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new martial-arts inspired production, Manga, at the

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Millennium Forum. October is poetry month and will

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feature performances from UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.

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

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

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eccentric opera was a huge sensation when first performed in

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London last year. Unseen, is the largest-ever

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

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featuring significant photographs and video installations from his

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

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our first dedicated Dance and Movement festival, created by our

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

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

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written by novelist and screenwriter, Colin Bateman. Set in

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

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punk soundtrack. The Playhouse Theatre features

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Three Monologues, by Jennifer Johnston. Written in response to

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

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to see some of her lesser-known dramatic work.

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One of the most visually spectacular events of the year will

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

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breathtaking light installations, including wrapping Derry's two

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Cathedrals in projections from the Book of Kells.

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

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Orchestra perform The Relief of Derry Symphony, by Northern Irish

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

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

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outstanding performances of Derry- Londonderry 2013.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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set up some local organisations in terms of confidence building for

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them. Because they will create programmes in relation to the

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Turner Prize exhibition itself. you think people will travel from

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

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

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

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tens of thousands of people travelled to those cities,

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Gateshead and Liverpool. Combined with curiosity about this place,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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which individuals, organisations and communities will become used to

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have stepped up quality of programming. And also for the

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organisations to equip themselves to a large their ambitions for the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:24:30.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:51.

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

:24:51.:24:56.

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

:24:56.:25:01.

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

:25:01.:25:03.

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

:25:03.:25:06.

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

:25:06.:25:13.

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

:25:13.:25:17.

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

:25:17.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:21.

Project Director of The Culture Company, the team behind this

:25:21.:25:26.

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

:25:26.:25:28.

We leave you tonight with some performers from the Official Launch

:25:28.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:36.

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

:25:36.:25:38.

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

:25:38.:25:43.

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

:25:44.:25:46.

repertoire and tonight give The Arts Show an exclusive recital from

:25:46.:25:51.

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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