October 8, 2011

We Heart Dublin - Philly McMahon

Philly McMahon
One half of Thisispopbaby, Philly is also the man with the plan when it comes to theatre in Ireland.  He writes; directs; produces.  Upcoming is brand spanking new musical Alice in Funderland.  Produced by the Abbey, it's the first time they've produced a musical in thirty years!

THISISPOPBABY are redefining theatre for people left cold by traditional drama” – The Irish Times

Philly McMahon at the Project Arts Centre

Best place to eat dins?
I'm a sucker for a bit of home cookin' - I'm a bit of a fussy c*%t, so I never feel like I'm getting what I really want from a restaurant.  You can't beat an auld cycle out to yer Ma's gaff for a bit of TLC.  This tip is probably not helpful to anyone who doesn't own a bike, or know where my Ma lives.

Best place for cheap eats?
Ten Euro Bento Box before 7pm everyday in Ukiyo on Exchequer Street.  The staff are fun and attitude free and the food is super fresh and really filling.  You can even pop downstairs for a bit of Karaoke if the mood takes you afterwards.

Best place to booze?
Gayers get thee to Pantibar on Capel Street - great atmosphere, especially when the hostess herself is propping up the bar.  Straights - what's your problem?  Why won't you try a same sex relationship?  Are you afraid you might like it?  Sheesh - live a little already!  Mixed - check out the Bernard Shaw in Portobello - diverse, dingy and divine (in the right light) - some of the best sessions have started (or ended) here.

Best place to rave?
I like the singles over 30's dances at Barry's Hotel on Great Denmark Street.

Best place to shop?
Fanci Smancy Vintage - this gorgeous little Aladdin's Cave is tucked away in a basement beside the Central Bank under a shop called Flip - there's some really great finds, you'll find.

Best place in Dublin?
Project Arts Centre is a haven for culture vultures - it's our coolest arty spot and you can nearly always take a chance on a show here.  It's in the heart of Temple Bar and whether it's experimental post dramatic theatre, contemporary dance or a good old comedy - you can usually find something to your taste in the big blue house.

Best thing to do in Dublin?
Go to the Phoenix Park - it's one of the biggest enclosed city parks in the world, is home to a gorgeous herd of Fallow Deer who have been there since the seventeenth century (well their grandaddies were).  Rent a bike or go walking at sunset - it's heaven.

Best place for Sunday brunch?
Odessa - I bet everyone is saying that, but it's a great spot for a fry up and a glass of bubbly.  Mmmm

Best place to sleep?
It all depends on your budget.  A real bargain for people with champagne tastes and beer bottle pockets is The Town House on Gardiner Street.  it's essentially a posh B&B set in Georgian splendour - they are reasonably priced and do a killer breakfast.  It you've got cash to splash check out the The Clarence, The Morgan or The Morrisson (as featured in The Rules of Attraction) - all great hotels.

WAR in Andrews Lane Theatre

Best night out?
For young energetic tourists, I'd recommend WAR in Andrews Lane Theatre every Friday.  It's like an episode of Skins on acid, covered in WAR paint.  It's not for the faint hearted - but you definitely won't leave disappointed.

Best kept Dublin secret?
The Royal Oak pub in Kilmainham - worth the short trip out of town - look it up!

What to read for what's going on in Dublin?
The Ticket in The Irish Times usually has most of what's going on.  Everything else can be found with a clickety click of the Googleplex.

If you had one day left in Dublin, what would you do?
Gather some friends, some booze and go play rounders in the park.

Bottle Beach Thailand

Where's your favourite place to travel to outside of Dublin?
I've been to Thailand a few times and it's somewhere I could return to again and again. Incredible food, friendly people, excellent service and the most beautiful beaches. On a more adventurous trip I travelled to Khao Sok National Park where you can stay in a treehouse in the jungle. It was equal parts divine and terrifying - the natural noises from the jungle at night will either lull you to sleep or scare you into a shivering mess. More recently friends took me to a really special secluded beach on party island Koh Phangan. Reluctant at first (Full Moon parties don't float my boat), I was surprised by this slice of paradise tucked away on the far side of the island. Accessible by water only and with just some beach huts and cafes lining the beach, this isn't for the thrill seekers (although a guide will bring you to and from the Full Mooners if you're so inclined), it is instead a place where you can really relax. Everything you spend goes on a tab that you settle on leaving, so there's a real sense of stepping out of life for a few days. The food is unbelievable and you can snorkel, get a massage or watch pirate movies with other travellers. Highly recommended! www.bottlebeach.com

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