Scene and Heard with Des O'Driscoll

GIG WISE:

The first of the summer’s big gigs take place this weekend, with the Spice Girls at Croke Park tonight, and Rod Stewart in Páirc Uí Chaoimh tomorrow. Be warned that organisers say Stewart will be going on stage at 8pm.

Meanwhile, the Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival in Cork in September has added more acts to its lineup, including Nordic art-rock outfit Efterklang, American folkie Sam Amidon, and German electronic duo Grandbrothers. Tickets on sale Monday.

MUSIC NEWS:

Various people in the music world have been paying tribute to Alabama 3’s Jake Black, AKA the Very Reverend D.Wayne Love, who died earlier this week. Best known for The Sopranos’ theme tune ‘Woke Up This Morning’, apparently Black wasn’t due to tour in Ireland next week for the group’s acoustic set, with gigs in Cork, Limerick and other centres going ahead.

FILM TIPS:

Rocketman hits Irish cinemas today on the back on lukewarm reviews which suggest the Elton John biopic is watchable without exactly pushing the envelope. Aladdin is already showing, and the word on the street is that Will Smith and co have done a decent job on Guy Ritchie’s live action retelling of the Arabian Nights tale. Triskel in Cork continues its season of Scott Walker

related films tomorrow, with the 30 Century Man documentary that also features David Bowie and Jarvis Cocker. Cannes in the south of France and Schull in the west of Cork both conclude their film festivals this weekend. In the Côte d’Azur, Quentin Tarantino has been getting heaped with praise for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt starring in tale set around the Manson murders in 1969. It will be released in Ireland on August 15, just a few days after the 50th anniversary of the killings of Sharon Tate and the others.

ON THE TELLY:

Anyone heading to Electric Picnic in September who wants to get a taste of what’s in store with some of the headliners should catch the highlights shows from the Big Weekend in Middlesbro ugh.

On Saturday night on BBC Two, you’ll be able to see Billie Eilish, while the Sunday highlights will feature The 1975. Many viewers have a large Game of Thrones-sized hole in their viewing after the final season fizzled out on Monday.

One alternative option could include Good Omens, adapted from the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, available on Amazon Prime Video from next Friday, and popping up on BBC later. Chernobyl continues to impress on Sky Atlantic, with catch-ups available, and drama series worth catching on the Beeb include Years and Years, and Summer of Rockets.

THEATRE NIGHTS:

Patrick Bergin returns south to join up with the Lee Valley Players again, this time for a musical entitled The Blarney Stone, which will be performed at Cork Opera House next Wednesday.

Written by John McDonagh (brother of 1916 hero Thomas McDonagh) in 1928, the music had been composed by Fritz Brase, the German director of the Irish army’s school of music.

Bergin himself found the almost-forgotten play and score in the McDonagh brothers’ home town of Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary, and has been hands-on in the production.

Also in Cork, the Everyman has Co Armagh-set Pumpgirl, from Tuesday to Thursday; followed by one performance by Camille O’Sullivan in The Rape of Lucrece, on Saturday, June 1.

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