Movies, music and mayhem at Limerick’s Theatre Royal

first_imgPrint Previous articleAfghan who hates Irish people ‘incentivised to return home’ court toldNext articleHead down to Plan’s arty party at Friday Milk Market Alan Jacques Email London commemoration for famous Limerick exiles Advertisement Lighting up a Limerick legend Facebook Linkedincenter_img Twitter NewsMovies, music and mayhem at Limerick’s Theatre RoyalBy Alan Jacques – April 28, 2016 2639 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp TAGSAustralian Pink FloydBilly NastyBoogie WonderlandBoyzoneCatherine HayesFather TedfeaturedJohn McCormacklimerickLimerick Film ArchiveMy Lovely HorseOscar WildePatrick PearsePicturehousePress 22Roger CasementSeamus FlynnSharon ShannonSlackjawSpice-ish GirlsThe CorrsThe CranberriesThe HitchersThe ProdigyThe Royal ProjectTheatre Royal THE Eurovision episode of Father Ted was filmed in Limerick’s Theatre Royal. Patrick Pearse also roused volunteers in the same hall. Oscar Wilde delivered a talk on his personal impressions of America here and The Cranberries took to its stage after selling their first million records Stateside. There is now plans afoot for a four-screen cinema and digital hub. Limerick Post reporter Alan Jacques recently visited his old haunt.I STAND centrestage in a landmark building in the heart of Limerick City and breathe in its rich history and consider all those who have tread its boards.In the year of 1916 Centenary commemorations, it is almost impossible not to conjure up images of Patrick Pearse rousing volunteers in this same hall more than a hundred years ago.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up On the same cold Sunday night back in 1914, Roger Casement, another founding father of the Irish Republic, was also present.The walls of the Limerick Athenaeum at 2, Upper Cecil Street are steeped in history. Since it was built in 1833, it played a pivotal role in Limerick life for more than 150 years, drawing the community together to laugh, love, learn and dream.The venue has served many purposes down the years as an art school, lecture hall, library, theatre, cinema and live music venue.Sadly, the doors of what was known in its last incarnation as the Theatre Royal have been closed since 1997.In its heyday, Limerick Athenaeum played host to an impressive range of luminaries from Oscar Wilde to Maud Gonne, Catherine Hayes and John McCormack.While in more recent times everyone from The Cranberries to The Corrs, The Prodigy and Boyzone have plied their musical wares here.A church pulpit is curiously placed over on the corner of the stage. I am told it was a prop left over from one of two ‘Father Ted’ episodes filmed in the Theatre Royal. It was on this very stage that Fathers Crilly and McGuire crooned their way through ‘My Lovely Horse’ in that unforgettable Eurovision episode.Most of us of a certain vintage will also have very fond memories of the venue as the Royal Cinema. I can remember being brought to see Franco Zeffirelli’s epic ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ here when I was just six-years-old.I asked photographer Brian Gavin of Press 22, who joins me for this trip down memory lane, about his recollections of the old movie house.“Oh, I remember it well. I loved Westerns and my father used to take me to see all the John Wayne movies here,” Brian recalls.“We knew it as the flea market. You’d be itching all over after coming to see a film at the Royal. You’d have to be deloused when you got home.”Interestingly, Declan McLoughlin of Limerick Film Archive, and Dave Burns, director of The Royal Project, both remember ‘Raging Bull’ as the last film they saw at the city centre cinema. The film, a classic, stars Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s emotional tale about a self-destructive boxer.Speaking of pugilists, the venue has taken a real pummeling in the last number of years. The harsh winter of 2010, which caused pipes to burst, delivered a severe body blow leaving the hall’s wooden floor buckled, uprooted in places, and in serious disrepair.That said, if Declan and Dave have their way, the Royal could, one day in the not so distant future, rise like a beautiful, fiery phoenix to relive some of its former glories.Their plan is to transform this desolate relic into a vibrant four-screen cinema, café/bar and digital hub that would bring much-needed life back into the city centre. The cost of realising this wonderful dream comes in at around €5.9 million — €12 million less than proposed for the controversial footbridge over the River Shannon.It may not make any of the ‘greatest movies of all time’ polls but as it turns out, the last film screened at the Royal was ‘Police Academy 2’.As I walk around one of my favoured city hangouts of the mid-nineties, the memories come rushing back. I vividly remember my old pals, Limerick band ‘The Hitchers’, launching their debut album ‘It’s All Fun and Games ‘Til Someone Loses An Eye’ here back in 1997 to a full house and real rabble-rousing party atmosphere.In the main foyer, a poster advertises a Picturehouse concert at the Theatre Royal on a bygone Sunday June 29 to promote their single ‘Heavenly Day’. Another talks up Billy Nasty, who performed here on Friday August 27, 1997, as “the UK’s number one Techno DJ”.A condom machine looks forlornly down from the wall of an upstairs toilet in this boogie wonderland. Once upon a time, it dispensed ‘sensual, ribbed and coloured’ variety packs to randy concertgoers with their minds on making sweet music of a different kind.In the dressing room, a flood of images come out to greet me from an antique mirror as I revel in a moment of nostalgia in these cosy backstage quarters. I can still picture former proprietor, the affable and charming Seamie Flynn, walking these corridors, greeting musicians and patrons as if into his home.Sitting on the bar in the main hall, an unopened bottle of Corrib Ginger Ale still waits patiently for a stiff drink to come along and liven things up.Posters and fliers that litter the venue tell their own tales of raucous musical capers from the likes of Sharon Shannon, The Spice-ish Girls, Slackjaw and the Australian Pink Floyd.These walls are filled with music, memories and laughter. Hopefully one day soon they will ooze vitality once more.It would be a Royal shame if they don’t!by Alan [email protected] pictures by Brian Gavin/Press 22last_img read more

Caffeine fully launches, aims to compete with Twitch

first_imgA team of former Apple engineers and executives have launched Caffeine, the latest in the line of competition to Twitch. The product is co-founded by former Product Design Lead for Apple TV Ben Keighran, as well as Sam Roberts, a Senior User Experience Designer at Apple. The TechCrunch report shares that the company has $46,000,000 backing from Andreessen Horrowitz and Greylock Partners.Caffeine are marketing themselves as a significantly easier way to broadcast gameplay. Whereas to stream on Twitch, players often have to download software such as OBS, X-Split or something along those lines and the barrier can often deter people from beginning. Caffeine has launched with its own piece of software, where gamers can start streaming with a single click.The software will also incorporate viewer comments and chat into the experience which thus means there’s no need for “elaborate multi-monitor setups”. In addition, the service promises zero delays and hopes to build a greater social element. Each streamer will be able to follow other streamers, and the social elements are amongst the top priority from the developers.The TechCrunch report states that of the Caffeine team, staff hail from the likes of Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Oracle. Additionally, Anna Sweet heads up the business content and strategy efforts and Sweet was formerly of Valve and Oculus. It’s clear at least for now that Caffeine is not going to immediately tackle the esports space. With Twitch rumouring to have paid about $90 million for the Overwatch League broadcast rights, a recent funding round of $46 million for Caffeine shows the disparity between the two. For now, Caffeine will target social streamers and take it from there.Esports Insider says: It’s going to be a while until Caffeine grows to be on the level of the likes of Twitch – but we could potentially be seeing another competitor in what’s already a pretty busy space. Best of luck to the Caffeine team.last_img read more seeks to educate esports bettors via Rivalry Academy

first_imgBrace yourself for the new esports bookmaker on the block,, is setting itself up as a one-stop-shop for consumer esports betting that has some new engaging developments coming out from the pipeline.The young betting platform, having just launched in February, recently rolled out its ‘Rivalry Academy’ – a tool for all walks of bettors to learn and tone their understanding of gambling.For the uninitiated, betting can be intimidating; lengthy spreads of odds may be overwhelming and even compounded by a sub-par bookmaker experience. The team over at Rivalry realised this, setting out to address it by creating their own betting guidelines from the ground up.To break down the logistics from an organic standpoint we spoke to Kevin Wimer, Chief Marketing Officer at, about the motivation behind Rivalry Academy and how it can sharpen a bettor’s skillset.Kevin Wimer,“It’s terrifying depositing money into something you barely understand. It takes a fair amount of research for non-bettors to be comfortable enough to bet. We created the Rivalry Academy to help with that process. We want to provide clear and concise guidance so that customers are comfortable with betting and how it all works.”What initially strikes you as you surf over is the site’s polished interface, user-friendly qualities that are present in the Rivalry Academy just as well. The purpose of the guide is clear: understand the parameters of betting and help improve your chance of winning. The guides are broken down neatly into segments in both written and video formats with real examples to accompany each lesson. You can head on over and see what you make of the Rivalry Academy by clicking here. Hitting the target of being “clear and concise”, the guides deliver on brevity and effectiveness; language in the Rivalry Academy radiates a friendly stroke almost giving the impression you are learning from a seasoned bettor who doubles up as a close friend which we addressed with Wimer:“We’re esports fans that have created a betting site. We had to learn all of this ourselves not too long ago. This has resulted in the Rivalry Academy being very authentic and conversational.”Lessons in the academy are separated into categories: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced – offering insights for each class of bettor to absorb. Newcomers can graduate (so to speak) through Rivalry Academy confident in placing wagers while more seasoned bettors can touch back on the guide to bone up on some existing skills.“For people brand new to betting, the Rivalry Academy helps to give a basic foundation and understanding of how betting works. We also have a few videos aimed towards people that know their way around but are looking to learn some more advanced techniques to help give them the edge.”Rivalry AcademyAs of right now, Rivalry Academy serves as a complete bedrock for betting and a supplement for veterans looking to refine their prowess. As for the future? Rivalry is looking to expand its academy over time, addressing complications bettors encounter and aiming to facilitate a smooth risking process. Wimer additionally mentioned the possibility of a live video feature preliminary to matches, a handy sounding ingredient.“This is only the beginning. We’ll be talking with customers to figure out their pain points. We want to eliminate all confusion throughout the betting process. If we can create additional resources within the Rivalry Academy to help customers, we’ll do it. This won’t just be limited to brand new bettors. We’ll be creating awesome content for experienced bettors as well.“We’re considering having some live video sessions with our expert bettors / oddsmakers to help customers understand even more about betting. This may start as a simple Q&A format. But we hope to have folks live on video before major matches to talk about the match, the odds, and answer any questions.”With the concern for betting education surmounting as the markets expands, Rivalry is at the forefront – materializing as proactive with an eye an out for its customers.The youthful bookmaker is displaying a rapid maturation with innovative utensils such as the Rivalry Academy that serve to educate consumers. Rivalry’s composure and dynamite team of homegrown esports enthusiasts – a platform for fans, by fans – are qualities likely to propel them to a premiere status in the pro-gaming betting market.Disclaimer: This is a part of a sponsored content series with Rivalry.gglast_img read more