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Addiction: A public conversation event by THEATREclub & Depaul Ireland

02 April, 2014

The Holy Show
Illustration by Katherine Foyle. 

Last Wednesday, Areaman headed down to the Project Arts Centre - in the audience for a change - for a special 10th Anniversary screening of the brilliant Adam & Paul. Part of ADDICTION, the ongoing project from THEATREclub and DePaul Ireland, the film and subsequent discussion was one of several events between Wednesday and Friday dealing with heroin addiction in Ireland. A full list of the events can be found at The focus of Wednesday's discussion was on the media depiction of addicts and the effect it has on reality, if any. The panel was led by John Lonergan, and featured journalists, recovering drug users, and the writer-director team behind Adam & Paul, Mark O'Halloran and Lenny Abrahamson. 

So, ten years after Adam & Paul first graced the screen, has anything really changed for drug users in Ireland? Areaman doesn't have the answer, but we're glad to be witnessing the debate. Side note: kudos to Grace Dyas of THEATREclub for her talk on the subject as part of the RTÉ exclusive 'We Need to Talk About Ireland'. The whole show is available on the RTÉ Player until early May and it's definitely worth the watch, so check it out while its there!

Unfortunately we couldn't make it down to Thursday's proceedings, but on Friday we were back in the pews for THE HOLY SHOW: THE ADDICTS ARE RUINING THE CITY hosted by Neil Watkins, following a harrowing talk from Rachael Keogh (author of Dying to Survive), ADDICTS AREN'T OTHER PEOPLE (more below). Kicking off with a pop number performed by Neil himself, THE HOLY SHOW was a risky blend of chat show and talent competition - but somehow it worked. Neil managed to dance between the serious concerns of his guests and the artistic offerings of poetry and music with charm and humour. Our highlight of the night was Fr. Peter McVerry, proposing a radical answer to the tough question of drug control - but all the guests brought something special to the table. A few THEATREclub regulars even made an appearance - a monologue from Shane Byrne, Ger Kelly back behind the guitar, and video pieces from Lauren Larkin and Louise Lewis - all inspired by their time in respite clinics.

All in all, ADDICTION was vital and entertaining, all at once. Areaman approves.

Rachael Keogh concluded her talk with a call to action - her petition to decriminalise drug possession can be found at