Inside Culture #15 (Galway Special feat Kirsten Smith & Galways International Arts Festival)

This week we focus on Galway – a city renowned for its vibrant cultural scene and this has been boosted further. Galway will be the European City of Culture in 2020.

We speak to Kirsten Smith, the co-writer of Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s The Man, among many other movies. She was in Galway recently at the Film Fleadh where she did a masterclass on comedy script writing. (Her number 1 tip is: READ screenplays!)

Re-working classic tales is something which has always interested Kirsten. 10 Things I hate About You is a re-working of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Kirsten worked with Heath Ledger when he was just starting out on his short-lived career and she says there was something very special about working with actors at the beginning of their careers. She also says that teenagers are looking at Reality TV to find perfect examples of themselves. She celebrates the revival of strong female characters in Hollywood movies today.

Out-patients at the Merlin Park Hospital dialysis unit in Galway have been working with artist Marielle MacLeman, over the past three years, doing art workshops during the long and often tedious procedure. Fionn visits the unit and talks to Marielle about her work and he speaks to two patients, Eileen Craughwell and Christy Reid about the effect the workshop has had on them. The patients’ work is on exhibition as part of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival in an exhibition entitled ‘The Savage Loves His Native Shore’.

‘Death at Intervals’ is a new stage play inspired by Jose Saramago’s novel of the same name. Death – played by Olwen Foéuré – is busy sending warning letters to her intended victims but one, sent to a young musician (Raymond Scannell), is returned! She decides to take on human form and visit him. The ‘duet’ between them which follows is an exploration of our relationship with death, says director Kellie Hughes. ‘Death at Intervals’ is running during the Arts Festival in Galway.

‘The Plurality of Existence’ is a sound installation in the Claddagh devised by artist Clodagh Emoe. It features the voices of migrants to Ireland which deals with their experiences both here and in their countries of origin. Sinisa Koncic and Marie Claire Mundi Njong are from Croatia and Cameroon respectively. Their voices are part of Clodagh’s sound work and we hear them read excerpts of their work. Visit for more information.

David Boland is a Galway-based singer-songwriter and has established Citóg – a successful showcase evening for local bands. We hear a track from his latest EP ‘Love’ before hearing from him, theatre maker Felim Ó hÁoláin (Galway Theatre Festival) and artist Lucy Elvis (126 Gallery) about the realities of life for artists in Galway. Funding pressures, a shortage of space and an often crowded scene present opportunities for many artists as well as challenges. The three guests testify to the strength of Galway’s DIY scene.

Broadcast on 18th July 2016