Culture Unconfined Day #4: By god, do we need new and gifted storytellers…?

These days people ask what’s the point of theatre, in ways they never did before radio, tv and cinema? It may not be its point exactly, but what defines theatre is: one, it’s live and two, its magic arises from complicity with an audience of real humans.

The third theatre in Culture Unconfined is by the Makey Uppers, not be confused with high falutin’ notions of post-truth or rather low brow-ly, fake noos.  Two women and a recasting of thousands of fairy tale characters like you’ve never heard them.

It’s not live. So you do miss something. In this production, the connection with the audience is more than half the value of the experience. It’s not just playful, it’s also angry but light enough to put a humourous edge to stuff we tend not to talk about.

Look out for the interrogation of the old woman who stuffed Hansel and Grettel into an oven, that breaks into a decidedly Derry accented rap, “I never thought I’d do it because it’s not what I’m about, but really can you blame me because they ate my f***in house”.

It doesn’t plumb psychological depths, but what it does do is more valuable: playing with a story material (folk tales) that goes back hundreds and maybe even thousands of years. Making it up and subverting it with wit as all gifted storytellers should.

And by god, do we need new and gifted storytellers? Nice one, Gemma and Sorcha.

Belfast based film company Doubleband has about 80 films in its archives. Maradona: Kicking the Habit was produced for Channel Four back in 2000, and is a fascinating insight into a man coming to terms with his addictions and a heart attack.

Lockdown has given back time to listen to music that demands and attention. If you can get the time listen to Donegal scion Jamie Kenny certainly knows how to knock big tunes out of a big fiddle (the double bass). Fryba’s “Suite in the Olden Style” is superb.


1 pm LIVE Composer Ryan Molloy and poet Martin Dyar as they discuss their ground-breaking song cycle Buaine na Gaoithe, a suite for soprano, harp, and flute. You will need to book it on Eventbrite, here.

4 pm To be Frank Carson, Dan Gordon explores the story of his own one-man show dedicated to the Belfast on the comic’s life.  “Capturing the man was like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling,” he says at one point. An epic journey for Dan, and fantastic tv. 

7 pm Green Tangerines have been making their name in their adopted home Liverpool, as well as the UK’s thriving jazz scene at the moment. All of them are former students of University of Liverpool. 

Handsel and Grettel’s house @Charlotte’s B’day” by pedroreyna is licensed under CC BY

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