Hasn’t Fair City come a long way with the use of technology? Back in the days when Niamh and Paul worked with computers in Blue Dolphin, you’d never even see a screen saver. Now Connie is talking to her dying Da via a Skype on her laptop. Great to see Jack Lynch as the Da, he’s an actor who last appeared in Waterford in Michael Hunt’s production of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal. Speaking of Michael Hunt, he is directing an exciting European opera project Fidelio in the Gulag. He has fame and a name for innovative outdoor opera, remember his Tosca in Cathedral Square. The Fidelio project is so big it has a total cast of 600 in Perm. Hunt himself spoke at the prestigious London Royal College about the scope and interest in the project. He is also looking at another large project of an opera in Dachau. Good on ye, Michael.
Sometimes Pat Kenny could bore for Ireland and his new programme The Frontline could do with a touch of the Talk to Joe vibe. Last week he did a great job looking at the HSE and hospital cutbacks but he never seemed to ask the killer question. To hear these high-powered and no doubt high salaried new style HSE system managers talk you’d never realise that they too are public servants. They waffle on and on about system and infrastructural things and seem to forget that the public are the customer, the consumer and a sick public at that. Why don’t these managers ask people what they want rather than statistic analysis, and who gave these, mostly guys, the right to call patients bed blockers.
Then Mary Harney came on and Pat didn’t ask the hard question. Why if Fianna Fáil are supposed to be about leadership in Government, why is it that none of them want to be Minister for Health. Not a good sign is it?
Yes, you may indeed holler Blue Murder as ITV drop the mumsy cop show Blue Murder after five series. Despite good ratings and Caroline Quentin as the copper it has not been recommissioned, as a spokeswoman said in Manchester. It couldn’t have anything to do with Quentin doing the hit show Life of Riley for the BBC now could it? The new ITV chairman Archie Norman (you couldn’t make up a name like that) said – “I think it’s very important that everyone at ITV feels part of the process of redeveloping our future direction and feels involved in the journey.” Blinding stuff, Archie. Tell that to the 20% who will lose their jobs when ITV downsize GMTV.
Waterford Sea Shanty Group – Hooks and Crooks – should be pleased that BBC4 are to launch a new series Sea Fever – The Story of Britain and the Sea and choir star Gareth Malone is to travel the length and breadth of Britain to explore the origins of maritime music with Shanties and Sea Songs.
Hooks and Crooks are behind the new City Council initiative to re-establish some sort of maritime festival weekend for Waterford and Curly Long tells me that at least a half dozen sea-shanty groups will visit Waterford to launch this festival. Yo Ho Ho and a Barrel of Grog, Me Hearties.
Sadly after seventeen seasons The Bill is billixed and about to get the forty whacks. Since they upped the start time to after nine o’clock and got rid of key characters and changed a working formula they lost audience share. Even when they could have reversed the trend and gone back to an earlier time, they didn’t and now it ‘s blue light no more at Sunhill.
Not sure why BBC4 showed a new teledrama – Canoe Man – last week, except that Coronation Street borrowed the idea for Joe’s mad plan to avoid bad debt and pretend to be drowned. Bernard Hill played John Darwin, a reckless schemer who faked his own death from a canoe and persuaded his mousy wife to go along with a crazy plan to get about a quarter of a million in insurance fraud. He didn’t think the plan out so well and went to Panama to live and allowed people take photographs of him and his wife. He had a false passport and due to complications everything had to be in his wife’s name. He didn’t like that apparently, and returned home with a daft internet researched idea about a rare type of amnesia. He got six year and his wife a few months longer but why it was made into a TV drama still puzzles me.