Mindfield at Electric Picnic
Highlights from one of the Picnic's best corners...
Roe McDermott, 10 Sep 2012
We kick off the weekend with some political and philosophical musings courtesy of Political Cabaret in the Leviathan tent. Introduced by satirist Paddy Cullivan, Friday's topic was ‘Do We Need a Second Republic?’. Up for debate: have Irish citizens been too complacent in the running of our country? Hosted by David McWilliams, speakers Fintan O’Toole and Hot Press’ own Eamonn McCann are indignant and inspiring by turn, arguing that we must abandon “the sentimental myth” of having a Republic before choosing to fight for one. The weekend’s other Political Cabarets, which discuss the economic crisis and Muslim revolution, are equally passionate and thought-provoking.
Saturday begins with a screening of Oscar-nominated animated feature The Secret of Kells in the Amnesty International tent. There are also screenings and discussions of Conor Horgan’s dystopian drama One Hundred Mornings, Juanita Wilson’s harrowing As If I Am Not There and Darragh Byrne’s Parked.
One of the Globe Theatre’s most popular events is the very funny Singlehood. Written by Una McKevitt and Dave Coffey of Dan & Becks ‘fame’, the play draws a painfully realistic portrait of an all-consuming quest for love.
Later comedy trio Foil Arms and Hog keep the giggles flowing on the Word Stage with their surreal, sketch-based portrayal of Irish culture.
John Cooper Clarke takes to the Arts Council stage for greatest hits such as ‘Hire Car’, ‘Evidently Chickentown’, ‘Beasley Street’ and its reprised version ‘Beasley Boulevard’. In fine fettle, The Bard Of Salford peppers his set with caustic banter and witticisms and also gives an airing to excellent new work ‘I’ve Fallen In Love with My Wife’.
On Sunday, whimsy arrives at the Word Stage via the old-school innocence of Milk and Cookies, the Dublin-based storytelling group who gently awaken the sleepy morning crowd’s imagination with some delightful tales. Over in the Leviathan tent, Ryan Tubridy’s Picnic Brunch takes a more factual approach, as Miriam O’Callaghan, Dylan Haskins, Emma Quinlan, Colm O’Regan, Des Bishop and Paddy Cullivan cast an acerbic look over the Sunday papers.
One of the most fascinating tales of the day is from our own Olaf Tyaransen, who reads a revealing piece about his friend, confidante and biography subject, singer Sinead O’Connor. Addressing O’Connor’s 1992 SNL performance when the singer caused a controversial storm by ripping up a photo of the Pope, O’Connor shares the unexpected motivation behind her actions, as well as some shocking and intimate details about her troubled childhood and her mother’s abusive behaviour.