Festival Galway International Festival 16-29 July It must be Madness attending the Galway International Festival and, as it happens, the two-tone ska band are playing on the same bill as Oklahoma rockers The Flaming Lips. Last year more than 200 events took

place in 33 venues. This year, even more are planned, including theatre, dance, music, opera, street spectacle, visual arts, discussion and comedy.

Theatre Ulysses

June and July Dublin Dublin’s Abbey Theatre is staging Dermot Bolger’s vibrant production of Ulysses throughout June and July. If you’ve never managed to read your way through James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece, this could be the excuse you need to get to grips with Leopold Bloom et al. whats-on/?filter=jun-2018

Takin’ Over The Asylum Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh 23-26 May A radio drama in the truest sense of the words. Whisky- drinking double- glazing salesman Eddie McKenna relaunches a hospital radio station in a psychiatric unit… and finds soul music is the key to helping the patients win their battles against perception and prejudice, as well as illness itself. www.assemblyroomsedinburgh. what-s-on-at-church-hill-theatre

Spotlight: LabourLive Festival of music, art and politics

The White Stripes-inspired election earworm ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn!’ was first heard at the Wirral Live festival last May. Now, the Labour leader has a festival of his own. Styled as ‘a festival of music, art

and politics that brings together our incredible movement’, LabourLive, on 14 June at the White Hart Lane

Recreation Ground in London, will feature Corbyn plus shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Kate Osamor, shadow secretary of state for international development Performing are The Magic

Numbers, Rae Morris, Jermaine Jackman, DVTN, Sam Fender, Reverend and the Makers, and Nia

Wyn. Literature events, childrens’ entertainment and activists’ workshops are also planned. Whether it’ll be a Tolpuddle-type

success (12,000+ punters each year) or a Conservative Ideas calamity (just 200 turned up), remains to be seen but, at £35 a ticket, it’s surely worth a pop. content/labour-live-main

TV Ambition vs integrity at rival newspapers

We’ve all winced at how reporters are portrayed on screen, but it doesn’t stop us tuning in. This autumn, hot on the heels of

The Post, is another chance to catch a glimpse of how others see us in BBC drama Press, which looks at competitors the broadsheet Herald and the tabloid Post. In a welcome casting, two women

(Priyanga Burford and Charlotte Riley) play top dogs at the Herald, tangling with Post editor Ben Chaplin and CEO David Suchet who assumes what I assume is the Murdoch role. A very strong supporting cast

includes Paapa Essiedu (who played

the first black RSC Hamlet) and Games of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick as rookie reporters, Al Weaver as an investigative reporter, Shane Zaza as a news editor and Brendan

Cowell as a deputy editor. The Beeb’s blurb says the series

will immerse viewers in the personal lives and the constant professional dilemmas facing its characters as they attempt to balance work and play, ambition and integrity, amid the never-ending pressure of the 24-hour global news cycle and an industry in turmoil. We’ve all been there, right? Let’s

hope the characters are in the NUJ to protect them. At the time of going to press,

they’re still filming so there’s no transmission date other than ‘later in the year’, but you heard it here first …

The Playboy of the Western World Theatr Clwyd, Mold 12-16 June In this classic comedy Christy Mahon walks into a village pub claiming to have killed his father in self-defence and talks of his bravery. But the locals’ suspicions soon become aroused as Christy’s storytelling grows more and more elaborate.

Shit-Faced Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice/Romeo and Juliet London and Brighton And now for something completely different. From the Edinburgh Festival comes this deeply highbrow fusion of an entirely serious play with an entirely drunken cast member.

Each night an actor is chosen at random to drink as much as they can before – and during – the performance. I dread to think what’ll happen.


On Chesil Beach On general release 18 May I recommend this film with caution because I wonder whether any adaptation could do justice to Ian McEwan’s novella about love, loss, pride and regret. You couldn’t wish for a better

cast – Saoirse Ronan as the stiff Florence, Billy Howle as the not-stiff-enough Edward, and Emily

Watson, Samuel West and Anne- Marie Duff as their parents – so I’d better go and see it. After all, doing nothing is not an option. onchesilbeach

Book Club On general release 1 June

Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda star in this comedy about four lifelong friends whose lives are turned upside down after reading 50 Shades of Grey at their book club. Who says words

aren’t powerful? Comedy

You Can’t Polish a Nerd Until August Soho Theatre, London As I’m a big fan of puns, this show makes it into the listings by virtue of the title alone.

Billed as the ultimate show for

nerds and non-nerds alike (hedging their bets there), it features stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, experiments maestro Steve Mould and geek songstress Helen Arney, who mix up astonishing science with statistically significant comedy and experiments that electrify their audiences – sometimes literally. show/ycpan/

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