Not in all me born days!

When I was a kid, Eason was a bookstore that held treasures I wasn’t privy to. When I was a teenager, working on the other side of O’Connell Street in Madame Nora’s (I know, sounds like a brothel, right?), Eason was a bookstore that held treasures I could rarely afford. When I was a young mother, Eason was a bookstore to lose myself in. To browse in, to inhale that new book scent, to flick through the pages of text, to marvel at the most beautiful cover art and read the blurbs and author biographies, but rarely to buy. In the days before I became a Librarian, before books would become extensions at the ends of my fingers, I even fantasized about working there, but not in all me born days, did I ever think that my book would find a place on those shelves. In Eason. But there it is.


Now, Eason is a massive company, with a warehouse that bulges at the seams with thousands and thousands of books, huge boxes shoved around by forklifts on pallets to be transported, processed and distributed. I would expect that it takes some journey for one little book to find its way out to the company owned stores and franchisees, but the journey has begun, hallelujah, so here’s hoping the little book also finds its readers there!

The Librarian’s Cellar: On Music: When Barrytown met Musictown…

So where would you get it? Imelda May, Camille O’ Sullivan, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, Peter Coonan (Yes, that guy can sing!) Nelli Conroy,Tina Kellegher, Ger Ryan and many more – all gathered on one stage, doing their bit on a version of Candi Staton’s Young Hearts, Run Free?

Barrytown Meets Musictown – a Tribute to Roddy Doyle, that’s where!

This year, The One City, One Book is actually three, The Barrytown Trilogy. And as part of the inaugural Musictown Festival, Dublin’s Vicar Street was buzzing with a gang of amazingly talented individuals for a musical and literary celebration of Roddy’s novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, plus other readings as well as songs that inspired Roddy along the way.

Recitation and music from all of the above mentioned, plus Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Colm Meaney, Aiden Gillen, Paul Mercier, Richard Hawley, Cait O’Riordan and the Radiators from Space [yes, you heard that right – still rockin’ as the Troubled Pilgrims!] and of course, the man himself, Mister Doyle!

Laughter rocked the house, but there were also some ‘welling-up’ moments. Damien Dempsey, that storytelling tower of emotion, included in his set the very moving Chris and Stevie while Ger Ryan was breath-taking as she reprised her character, Paula Spencer [The Woman Who Walked Into Doors]. Camille O’Sullivan sang a mesmerizing acapella version of Aslan’s This Is, while Richard Hawley’s rendition of his own, Tonight, The Streets Are Ours, in tribute to the late, great Tony Fenton, was simply gorgeous.

Door profits for the gig are going to Fighting Words, the charity organisation that provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to children, young adults and adults with special needs. Co-founded by Roddy, all of the programmes and workshops offered through the organisation are delivered mainly by volunteers. Eoin Moore, who participated in the creative writing programme some years back, read his Dublin Unesco City of Literature 2013 prize-winning short story – a story so short in fact [at 224 words] that it could fit on a regular-sized stamp! And it did, capturing the ‘essence’ of Dublin; as indeed did almost four hours of music and literature delivered by an eclectic and enthusiastic band of bards, musicians and vocalists.

Musictown knows how to throw a party!

The Librarian’s Cellar: At the Theatre: So who the fuck is the Motherfucker with the Hat?

He fuckin’ loves her, but suspects that his big, beautiful ‘whatever the fuck he just called her’ princess queen is cheating on him.

With a motherfucker with a hat!

On the ‘dry’ and on parole, Jackie has come home with a job today,  so life should be on the up-and-up for the ex-con [Andrew Lynch]. Some addictions are hard to break though, like his obsession with his old girlfriend and childhood sweetheart, Veronica [Sinead O’Riordan], a broad with some other addictions that need attention!

Jackie has ‘the voice of reason’ on his side however, in the guise of his chilled-out Rehab sponsor, Ralph D [Peter Gaynor] though Ralph is having problems with his neurotic, ball bustin’ honey [Laoisa Sexton] and she is dealin’ with some ‘caca’ of her own!

And then there’s Jackie’s ‘health freakin’ spirulina eatin’ cousin Julio [Rex Ryan] who’s been Jackie’s buddy since the playground years…and friendships made before the age of 25 are the only ones that count, right? ‘Cos all the others are just fuckin’ associations…

So who the fuck is the motherfucker with the hat?

Cussin’ flows a dime a dozen as friendship, trust and infidelity are explored through the bawling, brawling passionate narrative of The Motherfucker with the Hat. Written by award-winning New York playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Aoife Spillane-Hinks, the show features an energetic, ensemble of characters, each addicted to something, or someone…

Played with breath-taking gusto by a sublimely tuned-in cast, the show is fast-paced and the actors bristle with emotion, physicality and of course, the high-octane, alternatively poetic and fucked-up alliteration of the street. Whatever the cast of The Motherfucker with the Hat are on, I want some. Now do yourself a goddamn favour, go see the fuckin’ show!