A question of taste - Lorraine Maye

Lorraine Maye is originally from Galway but has lived in Cork with her Kinsale-born husband for four years. She is the director of Cork Midsummer Festival, which takes place from tomorrow to June 25.

Best recent book you’ve read:

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. The headline from a review by Joseph O’Connor describes it best — a big, brassy, sexy beast of a book.

Best recent film:

I recently saw Wonder Woman and thought it was fantastic. Finally, a female superhero we can all get behind, a total breath of fresh air.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig you’ve seen:

I saw a run through of Futureproof which will be running as part of the festival in the Everyman. We had billed it as one of our festival theatrical highlights and it didn’t disappoint. Outstanding performances, colourful characters, a gripping story by Cork-born writer Lynda Radley and a visual spectacular on the stage. We can’t wait for people to see it.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

‘Champion Sound’ by Crystal Fighters found its way onto my playlist this morning. I find myself coming back to this song again and again over the last few years, its upbeat and optimistic tone never fails to put me in a good mood.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you:

When I was 14 or 15, I went to see Radiohead play as part of the Big Day Out in Castlegar. I was a huge fan before they came to Galway but that gig was a really profound experience. The amazing atmosphere, the brilliance of their album The Bends — it blew my teenage mind!

The most impressive show you’ve ever seen at a previous Midsummer fest:

As part of the Cork Midsummer Festival last year, we had a work in progress showing of Neon Western, a part rave, part theatrical experience by Conflicted Theatre and Peter Power in Marina Commercial Park. This year they will present the full production and based on the work in progress we saw in 2016, this show is going to be one of the most exciting productions we have had at Cork Midsummer Festival in recent years.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

It’s all about Netflix and the box sets. I haven’t had much time for either over the past couple of months but I started watching the new series of House of Cards. I actually binge watched three episodes at the weekend and I’d imagine a full weekend of it will be happening in July!

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

We are big fans of Song Exploder in our house. It’s a podcast where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Very inspiring listening.

You’re curating your dream festival — what three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

I’ll choose artists who are no longer with us. Frida Kahlo would definitely be on the list — a brilliant artist, political activist and feminist icon. David Bowie — what a legacy he leaves behind him, a modern legend. And the work of Patrick Kavanagh has a universal resonance with Irish people of all ages.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

I would go back to Ancient Egypt because it has always fascinated me. The grandeur, the culture, the architecture, the huge scientific advances.

Unsung hero — individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the profile/praise they deserve:

The tireless volunteers who work on the festival.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

I would immediately repeal the 8th amendment.


We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

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