Ah, that Friday feeling. I met Dad in town and we enjoyed a half an hour each in our fave shops – the best way for boys and girls to shop! Followed by a lazy lunch in the M&S Rooftop restaurant. The menu here is stuffed full of all that lovely Marks nosh that you can’t help putting in your basket – only it’s cooked for you! We had yummy fish cakes, chicken in Parma, chocolate brownie and lemon tart.
When I got back to the bat cave, it was a quick fire round of housework, followed by some scribbling and a flop on the sofa with a nice cup of tea. The girls were coming ’round for a screening of Back to the Future chez moi. The official show at the Sugar Club was sold out, but we planned to meet our pals who’d got their mitts on tickets, for the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. Chardonnay time…
The movie night, run by Film Fatale, was a twist on their monthly classic screenings with both 50s and 80s themes combined. How clever! So while some of my girlfriends were dressed up all Madonna stylee in lace fingerless gloves and neon leg warmers, I went all demure in a dusky pink prom dress I’d picked up in Oxfam last week. Isn’t she lovely? The blokes went for a double denim and “life preserver” combo.
The Sugar Club had been transformed into an underwater paradise, just like the movie, with soap bubbles and balloons. The dance floor was jumping with kids jiving to Jaime Nanci and the Blue Boys, who were belting out rock ‘n’ roll gems. These cool cats had us tapping our toes to “Johnny B Goode” and “Jailhouse Rock”. Entertaining us after dark with a slick set was the Andrews Sisters Brothers.
We were whipped up into a frenzy on rum cocktails and high jinks with some top 80s tunes. These guys had their finger on the retro pulse with well chosen records – not too obvious, nor too obscure. It felt like 1986 again when I was gliding around the Top Hat roller disco, with my Mickey Mouse jumper and a Michael J Fox poster ripped out of Smash Hits proudly blue tacked to my bedroom wall. Good times!
Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Chaka Khan and, of course, MJ had us dancing ’til 3am. Film Fatale really know how to throw a party and event organiser Anna Taylor told me they were thrilled with the sellout night. It seems they’ve found a new niche with the 80s! I was fit for the scrapheap after a final flurry to New Order’s “Blue Monday” and headed home to bedfordshire, brow damp and feet burning. Like Friday night should be…
www.filmfataleevents.blogspot.com / The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Saturday morning – my fave part of the week! There was already plenty of action on my doorstep by midday, with the World Street Performance Championship cranking up in Merrion Square. I’d been out dancing all night at the Back to the Future Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in the Sugar Club and was lolling in my PJs when my mate rang, on her way. I was dressed and out the door in zero to ninety.
First stop the Kilkenny Shop and their newly refurbished restaurant – it’s not just for tourists y’know! We scored delicious goats cheese tartlets with rainbow salads for a bargain tenner each. Why can’t all food people do top scran at this price? Dessert was Butlers coffee and a free sweetie which we ferried over to the park. The place was jammers and my girlfriend grimaced as I removed my take away lid as usual…
A sense of fun filled the air with a real Alice in Wonderland feel – umbrellas and lanterns hung from the trees, kids swung in hammocks and there were performers dotted around everywhere. The big acts were scheduled at three main areas in the park and there was plenty of ice cream, hot dogs and fizzy pop to munch while watching. I must say I was very impressed with whole set up. The sunshine helped too!
It was a real family day out with lots of children’s activities – we sat down on a handy sofa while a gang of sugar crazed little boys dived on top. Coffee meet dress – oops… That got me back with the programme, so we checked out our first act – Kamikaze Fireflies. A guy ‘n’ gal duo who impressed us with their circus skills. Cube twirling, stilt walking, fire dancing, juggling and lashings of Yankee banter.
The piece de resistance was when they coaxed a punter to step up onto the chick’s pelvis while she bent over backwards into a crab. Bravo! I’d heard this pair on the wireless during the week, and poor Ray D’Arcy wouldn’t step up. Next we found a couple more pals, who had a nice picnic rug laid out front near the mound. Time for a sit down and 2 On 1 – a couple of all dancing acrobatic cool dudes from NYC.
These lads were seriously funny, while doing a brilliant line in beatbox, bin drumming, break dancing and back flips and of course getting the audience involved. One game Dad was stripped of his shirt – fair play to him standing next to the super buff pair, whose topless efforts certainly put a smile on our faces. Once we’d cooled down, we moved on to Jonathan Burns – the human pretzel. One bendy fella…
A cross between Napoleon Dynamite and Pee Wee Herman this chap had us in stitches with his saucy talk while wincing at his double jointed antics. The kids loved him and he had a bunch of little helpers joining in, twisting himself through everything from a tennis racquet to a toilet seat. It was time for another munch and we tucked into dinner from Crepes in the City. Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for afters.
Australian acrobat Reuben Dot Dot Dot and his twenty foot pole – ooh er Missus! – were a sight to behold. Like a bird, he took to the sky atop the pole, spinning on one hand. It was a masterclass in strength and discipline. Our last show was husband and wife duo Cirque No Problem, who brought a vibe of old school vaudeville circus to their trapeze act. Silly but smart, they built up to a swinging finale.
They proved to be a talented family, when their baby wrapped the show with her very own balancing act. A star in the making! We were well and truly flaked out, so it was back to the ranch for tea and maybe a drop of something stronger… The World Street Performance Championship was a fantastic day out, bigger and bolder than ever before. They can all come back and play in my back yard anytime!
Sunday, Sunday, here again, a walk in the park… Ah, bank holiday Sunday! I’d been out on the razz Saturday nite. Film Fatale showed the brilliant “All About Eve” at the Sugar Club and I chased gin cocktails with pints in Grogan’s and the Exchequer. I brought my sore head out for a morning after bike ride before toasted sambos at The Barge and a nice day out in the Pheonix Park.
Me and a couple of mates spent a lovely afternoon at Art in Action, a sprawling art fair in the grounds of Farmleigh House. The three day showcase was a free event running over the bank holiday weekend and featured art, crafts, music, performance, fun and food. Art in Action celebrates the role of the artist in society and provides a great opportunity to share creativity.
We saw some fabulous art works, which were set up in little studios so we could see the artists in action. It’s inspiring for those with creative leanings and a good place to pick up some skills, for punters who fancy a dabble. Most of the artwork was for sale and there were some very beautiful pieces available at nice prices. And such unusual “where did you get that?” bits too!
There was loads for the kiddies to do – they were high on sunshine, clowns, balloons, art classes and candy floss! We checked out the Blanchardstown Brass Band, had a mooch around the market place where we saw jewellery makers and hand crafters working their magic. Then we wandered over to the Farmer’s Market for some homemade Man of Aran fudge. Mmmn…
I was feeling much better after a good muck around the Pheonix Park and was ready for some dins at last. We came out the other side of the park and took a spin over to The Twelfth Lock on the banks of the Royal Canal in Castleknock Marina. The place was packed and we tucked into burgers and fish and chips. Top nosh. Dessert was “Avengers Assembly” at the flicks – very tasty!
www.artinaction.ie / www.twelfthlock.com
There’s something about the Sugar Club that evokes old school glamour. Going back to it’s cinematic roots, it was the perfect venue to host Film Fatale’s “North By Northwest” screening on Saturday night. The event was a dress up affair, beginning with the Hitchcock classic, followed by a live set from Jaime Nanci and The Blue Boys, finishing with DJs the Andrews Sisters’ Brothers.
Channeling the Mad Men theme, I slipped into a slinky LBD, killer heels and topped off my retro look with a Kate Betts pill box hat. And a feather boa for some OTT glam – why not? The Sugar Club was packed with gorgeous guys and dolls all working different vibes, from Teddy Boy to Va Va Voom. Special house cocktails added extra sophistication to the occasion.
Spiced gin cocktail in hand, I asked a handsome usher if the popcorn was complimentary. As I paid for my snack he winked and said “Fabulous hat”. Ooh sir… North By Northwest is one of Hitch’s best loved films, a clever thriller featuring the suave Cary Grant and an ice cool Eva Marie Saint. The movie is widely regarded as a huge influence on subsequent spy romps.
Everything from the suspense and the innuendo to the fashion and the interiors are a joy to watch. Seamless Hitchcock. And it’s funny too, in that innocent way that a 1950′s production can be. However, the film was made on the cusp of the 1960′s and reflects changing times in the US. Even Cary Grant’s grey suit was revolutionary in it’s tailoring. Debonair indeed.
Apres movie we enjoyed the sounds of Jaime Nanci and The Blue Boys, four piece jazz ensemble who play contemporary as well as vintage tunes. They warmed up the dance floor for the Andrews Sisters’ Brothers, who kept the house a rockin’ and a rollin’ until 3am. I was very impressed by some of the jives my gang were pulling off. Those crazy cats.
Film Fatale organiser Fernanda told me that the night had been a great success. She thinks people just like the fun of it all, something a bit different to your average Saturday night. As we were celebrating a birthday, my mates were in the party mood and suggested a nightcap in Leggs. But, your Girl Friday was done. I flagged the nearest cab and got outta Dodge.
The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2 / flimfataleevents.blogspot.com