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One Movie, One Concert, One Show – The Ineffable Magic of the Offer and the Receipt – Episode 142

This episode does exactly what it says on the tin. Dara settles in to discuss a film he just watched, a concert he just attended, and a theatre production he recently saw.

The film was Paul Thomas Anderson’s underappreciated 2002 dark comedy, Punch-Drunk Love, which was notable at the time for giving Adam Sandler a leading dramatic role. Upon rewatching, Dara realised how much like a musical it was, and also a layered love letter to other movies and genres. Having a male protagonist who can barely control his emotional distress and lifelong anguish was part of the appeal, as was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s unforgettable mattress salesman.

The concert was the 2024 Peace Proms, a once-a-year touring event that Dara’s daughter was participating in as a member of a 2,000-person children’s choir, singing alongside the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland. Dragging himself reluctantly to the RDS in Dublin to ‘be supportive’, Dara was blown away by what he experienced. He couldn’t have been more wrong about what was on offer.

The show was Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre pantomime, which this season was Cinderella. A family outing, the palpable buzz and connection between the performers and the audience was like electricity in the air. Dara can only conclude that there was something similar at work to the Peace Proms – a total absence of cynicism, and an enthusiastic revelling in that absence.

Peace Proms 2024 –

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