Created with Sketch.
Irish Times Off Topic
37 minutes | Sep 9, 2016
The Secret Lives of Writers: The Ticket @ Electric Picnic
Last week, we got out of the Off Topic studio and went on the road to the Electric Picnic. The Irish Times tent in the Mindfield section played host a series of talks on TV, film, sports and media. Today will be having a listen to some of the best bits. First up, it's the inner workings of a much-envied job: sports writing. Gavin Cummiskey and Malachy Clerkin of the Irish Times and Sinead O’Carroll, news editor of the journal.ie talk about reporting on Rio, the fallout from the scandal surrounding Pat Hickey and alleged ticket touting, doping in sport, and the art in conveying the experience of sports people in their crucial moment of victory. Our next discussion focused on writing for television and film, and features Sarah Francis, who was previously story editor for Fair City, and Louise Ní Fhiannachta, the director of Epic, TG4 groundbreaking Irish TV drama, and the award-winning short movie “Rubai”. She has also written for Ros na Rún and Irish language drama Seacht. The discuss just how much work goes into TV drama. The Fair City Story Room, for example, works 50 weeks a year, creating storylines for 200 episodes. The also talk about what Netflix and Amazon mean for making TV and the format of TV shows, the role of showrunners here and abroad, and discuss the national past time of slagging off RTE. And finally on today’s show Irish times arts writes discuss the joys and the frustrations of writing about culture. You’ll hear from Laurence Mackin, Una Mullally, Patrick Freyne and, Peter Crawley and Louise Bruton. How do you review an album you;ve only heard once? How do you stay impartial in a country as small as Ireland? And what happens when you make a critical judgement and realise you've got it wrong? And finally, a sad announcement: this is the final episode of Off Topic, at least for now. Thanks very much to all our listeners, participants and to everyone who gave feedback on the show.
47 minutes | Aug 26, 2016
The Business End of the Irish Music Industry
On this week's Off Topic podcast, we look at the business end of the Irish music industry. How difficult is it for new artists to become visible? How can they make money? and is talent alone enough to succeed? To answer these questions and many more, host Laurence Mackin is joined by DJ and music journalist Niall Byrne, musician Rhob Cunningham, Faction Records boss Ken Allen and Eleanor McGuinness of Pitch & Smith entertainment agency.
43 minutes | Aug 19, 2016
A Census of the Heart
Do Irish people feel cherished? Is honesty of expression always encouraged in this country? Founder of Trailblazery Kathy Scott endeavored to answer these questions by conducting a 'Census of the Heart' . On this week's Off Topic, Kathy joins host Laurence Mackin, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O'Gorman, screenwriter and actor Stefanie Preissner and Shane Kelly from the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to talk about the project's findings, and engage in a frank discussion of our nation's psyche.
34 minutes | Aug 12, 2016
The Egoless Art Form of Comedy Improvisation
Don't try to be funny!!! This week's Off Topic riffs on the theme of improvisation in comedy. To discuss its lineage and place in comedy writing for stage and screen, Laurence Mackin is joined by actor and improviser Danny Kehoe, improv teacher Neil Curran and Irish Times writer Patrick Freyne. Comedian Alison Spittle joins us on the line from Edinburgh to give us her take on the Fringe Fest, and how improv fits in to her show there.
33 minutes | Aug 5, 2016
The North On Screen: Bobby Sands: 66 Days, Born and Reared
New documentary "Bobby Sands: 66 Days" goes on general release today, and its maker Brendan J Byrne is in studio with Hugh Linehan and Fintan O'Toole to talk about how his film challenges the easy narratives surrounding the hunger striker - to the displeasure of some. Also in studio is Henrietta Norton, whose documentary Born and Reared examines the lives of men and the lingering effects of conflict in communities in Northern Ireland.
36 minutes | Jul 29, 2016
Stranger Things / Is Pokemon Go nostalgic? / Marina Joyce
On this instalment of Off Topic, host Laurence Mackin welcomes writers Sarah Maria Griffin, Caomhan Keane and Rosie Gogan-Keogh into the podcast studio to discuss the pristine 'Spielbergian' tropes of Netflix's latest success Stranger Things, the inherent nostalgia of Pokemon Go, and the fickle nature of the internet mob as experienced by teen fashion vlogger Marina Joyce.
23 minutes | Jul 22, 2016
What is fun, and how do we have more of it?
What is fun? Are you having much fun? Does the thought of having fun fill you with disgust? Michael Foley, author of a new book on the subject Isn't This Fun?Investigating the Serious Business of Enjoying Ourselves endeavours to answer these questions. Host Hugh Linehan admits to treating the whole idea of "fun" with a healthy amount of suspicion, Michael assures Hugh he is not alone in this and after much research on the topic believes he has found core reasons for the basic human need for fun.
37 minutes | Jul 15, 2016
The rise of the LA sound / Waiting for Godot / Galway named European Capital of Culture 2020
West Coast music is in rude health according to Dean Van Nguyen. Artists like Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar are releasing fresh and vital albums packed with musical experimentation and a keen social conscience. Dean joins host Laurence Mackin and guests, chief theatre critic with the Irish Times Peter Crawley and journalist Zara Hedderman to discuss the musical heritage and sonic appeal of that "LA sound", and how these works have breathed new life into contemporary jazz and hip-hop. Waiting for Godot is a play Peter Crawley knows well - too well. New productions of Beckett's absurdist play pop up on a regular basis. Having thought the play had no more mystery or revelations to offer, Peter "stumbled out in disbelief" at the impact of Druid Theatre's latest production of Godot at the Galway International Arts Festival. Describing it as "exceptional and miraculous", he endeavours to explain to the podcast why it had such a profound effect on him. And finally, the successful bid for European Capital of Culture 2020 has gone to Galway. Gemma Tipton joins us on the line from Galway to discuss the "joy and tears" and no small amount of excitement that this announcement has brought to the city.
35 minutes | Jul 8, 2016
The three ages of Bey: Destiny’s Child / Solo / Lemonade and the future
Beyoncé Knowles is fast approaching twenty years in the business. First coming to attention as part of the hugely successful and consistent girl group phenomenon Destiny's Child, her transition to multi-platinum solo artist was seamless and logical. Some six albums in and Beyoncé, much like Motown artists of old, has taken a more personal and socially conscious approach to her art. On today's podcast Laurence Mackin invites pop music aficionados Jen Gannon, Louise Bruton and Seamas O'Reilly to pore over the career trajectory of one of today's more compelling pop stars, from the Destiny's Child hit machine to her solo success and her latest effort 'Lemonade', a so-called "visual album" that takes a look at where Beyoncé is from and where she is going.
39 minutes | Jul 1, 2016
What Brexit means for the Irish culture industries / Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Group takeover
The Brexit effect seems to have cast a shadow of confusion and foreboding over most industries in this country and the culture sector is no different. To discuss the implications for Irish music and film and what it means for the long-established relationship of collaboration with our UK neighbours, Laurence Mackin is joined by Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke and CEO of First Music Contact Angela Dorgan. In part two Laura Slattery discusses Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Belfast based Wireless Group and with it several Irish radio stations including FM104 and Q102. While seen as a good deal for both parties, will this make any difference to Irish listening habits?
42 minutes | Jun 24, 2016
Good news for a change? Impact Journalism Day
To mark Impact Journalism Day, Hugh Linehan meets some people involved in projects aimed at creating sustainable social change. First Hugh chats with NCAD graduate Mark O'Meara's project is a novel solution to the problem of how to help homeless people shy away from handing over small change Then he sits down with Paul O'Hara of ChangeX, a "platform of proven ideas for anyone who wants to strengthen their community", Tony Geoghegan of the Merchant's Quay drug harm prevention project, and Sarah Keane CEO of Swim Ireland to talk about their experience in changing people's lives for the better.
28 minutes | Jun 23, 2016
When Moby met Una
Una Mullally speaks with Moby about his life and music.
38 minutes | Jun 17, 2016
"An alternative community center" - The role of the gay bar
In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando's Pulse nightlcub, Off Topic takes a look at the role of gay clubs and LGBT spaces and how they've changed. Laurence Mackin hosts a panel discussion with three guests who play a pivotal role in Ireland's LGBT community - journalist, activist and columnist Una Mullally, events manager and club promoter Buzz O'Neill and journalist, activist and founder of The Irish Queer Archive Tonie Walsh.
31 minutes | Jun 10, 2016
Stanford, and how we (don't) deal with rape
This week the Stanford case reopened the debate about the prevalence of sexual violence against women and the treatment, in court and in society, of victims and perpetrators. Publicly, all men condemn sexual violence, but what are they doing to bring the culture that encourages it to an end? Not nearly enough, say feminists, writers and friends Sarah Maria Griffin and Roe McDermott. They are joined on today's podcast by veteran court reporter Conor Gallagher, who talks about the experiences of perpetrators and victims in our own courts of law.
31 minutes | Jun 3, 2016
The value of Irish: Rosita Boland and Harry McGee debate
Irish Times political correspondent Harry McGee, a native speaker and supporter of Irish, was one of the many who disagreed with Irish Times feature writer Rosita Boland's column this week, in which she complained she was made to learn a language for which she had "no aptitude, absolutely no interest in, and no choice about". Harry and Rosita are in studio today to debate the merits of her arguments.
33 minutes | May 27, 2016
"Unsteady foundations - imposing something new on something old" ; this goes some way to describing the challenges and opportunities presented by the destruction in Dublin's city centre following the 1916 Rising. On this edition of the Off Topic podcast Hugh Linehan is joined by architectural and cultural historian Ellen Rowley and archaeologist Frank Myles to discuss the positives and negatives of rebuilding Dublin following the Rising.
42 minutes | May 20, 2016
Roger Casement: The Movie / Assassin's Creed / Bits, Bytes and Books
One of the best known campaigners for civil rights of his day, a knighted poet, a gay man, a nationalist, a rebel: the life of Roger Casement's provides more than enough fodder for a big screen treatment. Exploring what such a movie would be like is the idea behind a new exhibition at IMMA, The Humaniser, by artist Simon Fujiwara. Screenwriter Michael Lesslie, who worked on the project, talks with Laurence Mackin about Roger Casement and the primacy of themes over facts in dramatisations of real lives. Lesslie also talks about his work on the new Assassin's Creed movie and an intriguing new writing project, blending fact and history in New Orleans. In part two: how can libraries survive and thrive in an age where texts of all kinds are multiplying at a dizzying rate and can be spread and shared in the digital space? The changing concept of the modern library was the focus of ‘Library Futures’ Symposium at Trinity College Dublin this week. Hugh Linehan talks with speakers Richard Ovenden of Oxford University's prestigious Bodley Library and and Helen Shelton of Trinity College.
41 minutes | May 13, 2016
Patrick Freyne at the Eurovision / Donald Clarke at Cannes
Eurovision fever has gripped the Off Topic podcast this week despite Nicky Byrne's failure to make the final. Laurence Mackin is joined in studio by Eurovision diehards Hugh Linehan and Laura Slattery with Patrick Freyne joining us on the line from Stockholm where it's all going down. In part two Donald Clarke reports from the 69th annual Cannes film festival where Woody Allen is making headlines for his private life aswell as his latest film which opens this year's festival. Laurence and Hugh are in studio to offer their take on this most influential of film events.
23 minutes | May 6, 2016
Irish slaves, Django & the mind of Gerry Adams
By dropping the N-word on Twitter, Gerry Adams inadvertently drew attention to a contested view of history: that the experiences of Irish people, from Plantation-era deportees to nationalists during The Troubles, are equally as unjust as those of African Americans throughout the history of the United States. Literary Editor of The Irish Times Fintan O'Toole is on the line to discuss this story with Hugh Linehan.
42 minutes | Apr 29, 2016
Patrick Freyne at The Late Late / 'Atlantic' documentary
Patrick Freyne spent a Friday embedded with Ryan Tubridy and the The Late Late Show team, observing how they prepare for the night ahead. He joins Laurence, media columnist Laura Slattery and former TLLS researcher Donal Scannell to pull back the curtain on all the pizzazz and look at the evolution of this most familiar of Irish programmes. In part two: a new documentary tells the story of how Ireland has squandered its marine resources of fish and oil. Director Risteard Ó Domhnaill speaks to Laurence and Irish Times Marine Correspondent Lorna Siggins about what's at stake for the nation and particularly for communities on the Western seaboard.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021