Picasso at the Lapin Agile – Episode 11 – Reading Plays


His autobiography boasts that Steve Martin began working at age ten in the newly opened Disneyland, graduating to study poetry and philosophy and spend 18 years performing as “America’s best loved stand up comedian”. Martin has in addition managed a career an accomplished banjo musician and movie star. He writes “I was not naturally talented… though working against that made me inventive”. The open question is whether inventiveness is enough to moderate a lack of dramaturgic ability.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile recounts an imagined meeting between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, while both are in their early twenties, yet to make their mark on the century. The play is a sweetly antique ribald sex comedy set in a real Montmartre cabaret immortalised in Picasso’s painting ‘At the Lapin Agile’. It was first staged at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 1993, and won the 1996 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Play.

Download: Episode 11 – Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Reading Plays‘ is a discussion show, featuring Gareth Stack and James Van De Waal. Each week we do a close reading of a modern play, discussing it’s merits, themes, issues raised, and so on. You can play along by reading or watching a production of the play before you listen to the show.

Next weeks play: Some Girls by Neil LaBute.

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

Dublin Characters – Episode 6 – The Gareth Stack Show

The Gareth Stack Show is back! Dublin’s most obscure chat show, featuring interviews with some of the dirty auld holes most fascinating characters, both pro patria and ex. Today’s episode comes complete with acoustamatic musing from Dublin low-fi warbler and nouveau booky wookie Bobert Ahern, monsternational filmist Donal Foreman, and Dublin scenestress Joanne Stack (yes relation).

14:00 – 32:00 – Donal Foreman, Director of ‘Out of Here

Donal, director of the award winning new Irish film ‘Out of Here’, talks about the movie, being a first time director, crowd funding, and creating a movie that integrates improvisation, non-professional actors and a real directorial point of view.

34:30 – 42:00 – Joanne Stack of ‘Secret City Dublin

My wee sister talks about her knew event listings project ‘Secret City Dublin’. Secret City is a new way to find out about what’s going on in the city. Particularly underground and arts based events that are free or cheap, and open to all.

42:00 – 80:00 Bobby Ahern, author of ‘D’You Remember Yer Man’.

Writer, punk rock chartreuse, leprechaun expert, Bobby Ahern does it all. We have this fresh faced Dublin impresario join us in studio to chat about his brand spanking new book ‘Do You Remember Y’er Man’, and play a whole bunch of acoustamatic songaroonies.

79:00 – 82:00 Andrew’s Teacher, Professor Dereck Polly

Featuring jingles by the one and only Roger Gregg. And hosting by Andrew Booth, with special guest Gareth Stack.

Download: Episode 6

Sounds under CC-BY-NC 3.0:
Dark Ambient Music 2: The Mansion by Xanco123

Sounds under CC-BY 3.0:
Beating wings.wav by juskiddink

Sounds under CC0:
Animal étrange.aif by jcarrascovazquez

The Bald Soprano – Episode 9 – Reading Plays


Quantum Physics, synchronicity, English mustachios, it has to be Eugene Ionesco’s ‘The Bald Soprano’ (La Cantatrice Chauve). This is a play for which context is essential: Beckett’s growing reputation in France at the beginning of the 1950’s. The efforts of dramatists who became known as the ‘theatre of the absurd’ to acknowledge the horrors of fascism. The birth of post-modernism with it’s portrayal of the fragmentary nature of subjective reality. And Ionesco’s own inspiration – bizarrely banal English language learning tapes. In attempting to recreate the imaginative truth of these unheimlich lessons, Ionesco engaged with some of the most complex intellectual problems of his time.

The play begins as a parody of urbane English parlour comedies, spearing every convention from obtuse bon-mots to farcical misunderstandings, from trite social commentary to ironic contradictions. Out of this meta-humour, brilliantly trivialising the trivial, develops a slow horror, as identities dissolve, time disappears, life and death become confused and disorder reins.

The Bald Soprano was Ionesco’s first play, originally written in his native Romanian, before being rewritten in French. Since it’s first performance on May 11th 1950, the play has become one of the most performed works in France. We read the 1964 translation by Donal M. Allan.

Download: Episode 9 – The Bald Soprano

Reading Plays‘ is a discussion show, featuring Gareth Stack and James Van De Waal. Each week we do a close reading of a modern play, discussing it’s merits, themes, issues raised, and so on. You can play along by reading or watching a production of the play before you listen to the show.

Next weeks play: Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh.

Music – Amor & Psyche – by Bitwise Operator.

Am I Normal?

Clearly not. That aside, ‘Am I Normal’ was the title of the sex education film shown to my primary school class around 1991, in St Joesph’s Christian Brothers School, Drogheda. The ever excellent Dangerous Minds just uncovered this ‘hilariously dated sex education film’. For years I’ve told people about this cringeworthy 1979 classic. Many didn’t believe the hype. Look ye upon it, and quake from a safe distance with po-mo irony. Then remember this is probably better information than many kids are recieving in Ireland (and in the US) today, where sex ed is still not universal and often distorted by loopy approaches like ‘abstinence only education’, that research has proven not merely ineffective, but actively harmful.

Anyway, here’s the best bit. There’s a moment in the film (around 11 min 50 seconds in), when they explain that “Many people of all ages masturbate… other people may not enjoy it. It is normal if you do it, and also normal if you don’t.” In our (single sex) classroom this was the point when they paused the tape, so the local priest could come in and tell us that actually it wasn’t normal. It was sinful, unclean, morally wrong and would damage and distort our sexuality. Amen.

Threat Detection – Episode 23 – A.I. in Games (Part 2)

ellie in last of us

What’s Threat Detection?

Threat Detection is a lively, smart, frequently funny and always irreverent videogame chat show on Radiomade.ie. Each week, hosts Gareth Stack & James Van De Waal take an hour or two to tear apart a videogame topic, like character, horror, or sex.

Download: Threat Detection – Episode 23

In the second part of our A.I. in games double bill, we focus on the companion character of ‘Ellie’ in ‘The Last Of Us’, perhaps the greatest accomplishment in videogame A.I.

Any Other Dublin – Episode 6 – People Don’t Change


Meet Fatuma Abdullai, a bright brash energetic new Irish citizen. Join her as she seeks love in the big bad city, in the final episode of Any Other Dublin.

Fatuma is a recent immigrant from the African nation of Liberia. Fatuma runs her own mobile phone and religious accessory store on Moore St. Fatuma is a Charismatic Christian with an interest in angels and spiritualism. Fatuma is a naturally friendly person, who feels cut off by Irish reserve and socially excluded. She is seeking a husband, having decided to start a family. Circumstances are forcing her to engage with the wider society in a new way, and she must deal with the evitable conflicts, culture shock and misunderstandings.

Download: Episode 6 – Deluxe web version (25.3megs)
Read: Credits
Script: Episode 6

Any Other Dublin – Episode 5 – Webildibooboo


Meet Martha Heinsklimer, feminist icon and one woman Irish business brand.

Martha is a Tech entrepreneur and divorcee, who owns and runs her own Web 2.0 business – WebbildyBooboo.ie. Martha considers herself an inspiration to women everywhere, especially her many loyal minions employees. Marta is raising money for charity, hoping to raise enough to get a free cycling holiday in France.

Download: Episode 5 – Deluxe web version (25.3megs)
Read: Credits
Script: Episode 5