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On Smithfield horse fair, for the Dublin Review

I’ve an essay-cum-investigation on the Smithfield horse fair in the current (summer) issue of the Dublin Review. It’s not online but can be bought here or in bookshops. One of my previous pieces for the Review, on the slow decline of the Irish language, is online here.

Pat Kinevane’s silent echoes of WB Yeats

Almost a century ago, WB Yeats attempted to revolutionise the modern theatre with a concept so simple it was audacious: he would write plays designed to be staged in people’s drawing rooms.

As Chekhov said, ‘Fuck this’

When actor Conor Madden took a rapier thrust just under his eye during the final scene in Hamlet recently, he joined a long list of actors to whom tragedy on stage has come a little too close for comfort.   The day he was injured, in a production by Second Age, company director Alan Stanford… read more +

Book review: The Order of the Phoenix Park by Twenty Major

‘The Order of the Phoenix Park’ by ‘Twenty Major’ is the worst book I have ever finished. Admittedly, I made it just 50 pages into ‘The Da Vinci Code’, which this satirises, and about the same into the first Ross O’Carroll Kelly book, which this apes. Between them, those books sold approximately 40,100,000 copies, worldwide…. read more +