The RTÉ Player team share their top picks to watch on RTÉ Player this week.
In case you missed it, RTÉ Ones much talked about documentary, This Is Christy is available to watch now on RTÉ Player. Take an intimate look into the incredible life story of one of Ireland’s greatest singer-songwriters, Christy Dignam as his band Aslan prepare to play a sell out gig at the Iveagh Gardens in their home city of Dublin. Blessed with one of the best Irish voices ever, Christy’s story is a remarkable one, taking in some of life’s great highs – rock n roll stardom – with some of its biggest lows. This is Christy gives viewers an intimate portrait of an artist who has battled back from some of life’s deepest traumas including sexual abuse, drug addiction and cancer. The documentary will capture his personal story with Christy speaking frankly and honestly about the obstacles he has faced; the importance of his family and where he gets his love of music, in all its forms. Viewers see how Christy’s illness impedes his daily life and how he balances the management of his condition while still being the charismatic and beloved front man of one of Ireland’s most enduringly popular bands. This is Christy is a revealing and evocative insight into the life and creative impulse of one of the leading singer/songwriters of his generation and one that is always pushing, both himself and the boundaries of his music. Watch now on RTÉ Player and reminisce on some of his most memorable performances and interviews with short clips from The Imelda May Show, The Tommy Tiernan Show and that performance with Finbar Furey on The Late Late Show.
Francis Brennan is Ireland’s best-known hotelier. This summer, he’s putting his 5 star day job on hold and trying his hand as a tour guide. He’s taking twelve paying guests on the surprise trip of a lifetime to Vietnam as he has planned a three-thousand kilometre trip – kicking off in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, before heading west to the idyllic rural retreat of Mai Chau. From there they travel northeast to cruise around the magical islands of Halong Bay, then south to Ho Chi Minh City – notorious for its seven and a half million motorbikes, before heading west to the home of the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tour continues further south to the Mekong Delta, before taking in the floating markets of Can Tho City. Francis’ group includes grannies and Garda, florists and priests ranging from 23 to 80 years old. Francis will have his hands full putting together a jam-packed 24/7 itinerary to suit all ages – and with the tropical climate of Vietnam, let’s hope it doesn’t dampen their spirits! Watch the first episode of Francis Brennan’s Grand Vietnamese Tour now on RTÉ Player!
What Not to Miss?
Drawing on the startlingly-original approach taken in his acclaimed 1996 documentary, Looking for Richard, Al Pacino explores myth, meaning and madness in Oscar Wilde’s play Salomé. Originally written in French in 1891, Salomé was subsequently translated into English by Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas. Based on the New Testament story of Salomé, the text is steeped in blood, incest and lust, hypnotically lingering on the destructive nature of desire and the dangers of malignant love. At the time of its publication the play caused huge controversy and was denounced for its supposed immorality and blasphemous imagery. It was seen as a radical challenge to the hypocritical Victorian mores of its time and its tragedy was to prove sadly prophetic for Wilde himself. Watch this fascinating documentary and watch a performance of the play now on RTÉ Player!
Documentary of the Week
Narrated by Liam Neeson, this documentary tells the extraordinary untold story of how an NYPD bomb disposal expert played a key role in helping defuse the decades old “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. In 1975 Denis Mulcahy – an Irish Immigrant – decided he couldn’t stand idly by whilst Northern Ireland blew up on his nightly news bulletin. Along with his family and neighbours in small town New York he started a scheme that would ultimately see twenty three thousand children escape the worst of the violence and in the process discover they had more in common with the ‘enemy’ at home than they thought. With stunning archive and exclusive contributions from Bill Clinton and Martin McGuinness, this feature-length documentary weaves the personal stories of the children who escaped the brutal violence with the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with the issue of Northern Ireland against the backdrop of Irish-America’s complex relationship with home. From the seemingly intractable conflict of the early seventies to the signing of an historic agreement in the late nineties, we chart the incredible story of how one man’s visionary approach to reconciliation paved the way for peace in Northern Ireland. Watch now on RTÉ Player.