The Plastic Podcasts
The Plastic Podcasts
Tales of the Irish Diaspora. We all come from somewhere else. Find out more and subscribe to us at www.plasticpodcasts.com
Tony Frisby - Football and Poetry, Past and Present
Tony Frisby - Football and Poetry, Past and Present
Born in Waterford, and having moved to London at the age of 19, along with the rest of his family, Tony Frisby is a poet, raconteur and delight. His latest collection “A Boreen In Waterford” takes us from ancient Irish history to a childhood in Tramore and walks across the Sussex Downs, then back again. Seventh in a selection of six episodes for our fifth series. Plus Jessica Martin raises actor and writer Caroline Cooke onto The Plastic Pedestal
Chris McDonagh - Traveller, Activist, Father
Born to an Irish Traveller family in Manchester, Chris McDonagh is the founder of Travellers Against Racism as well as Campaigns Officer for Brighton-based charity FFT (Friends, Families, Travellers). We talk about Channel 4 documentaries, the public perception of Travellers, the notion of being “settled” and his hopes for the future. Meanwhile Lorraine Maher, founder of IAmIrish, brings a unique and personal perspective to our Plastic Pedestals slot.
Jessica Martin - Family, Spitting Image and Drawing Life
Jessica Cecilia Anna Maria Martin (to give her full baptismal name) is a writer, actor, singer, impressionist and illustrator. She was one of the voices of the original Spitting Image, a punk werewolf to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor Who and spent two years starring in the West End in Me And My Girl. She has of late become an accomplished illustrator of graphic novels including her own illustrated memoir, Life Drawing. Plus Ruth McHugh raises a truly iconic Plastic Pedestal.
Lorraine Maher - Putting Faces on Walls Across the World
Born “the only black person in Ireland” in a small Tipperary town, Lorraine Maher has gone on to be a consultant, educator, trainer, creative and project manager. A director of Project 507 and Education Manager of Clean Break Theatre, she is also the founder of I Am Irish, which in five years has gone from photography exhibition to international support and training organisation, specialising in perceptions of Irishness, colour and identity heritage. Plus Geraldine Judge raises not one but two Plastic Pedestals
Ruth McHugh - The View From Paddy's Wigwam
Dublin-based artist, photographer, film-maker and documentarian Ruth McHugh tells of her forthcoming project looking at the curious history of Liverpool Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral. Plus the mystery of “her grandfather’s Caravaggio” and the last days of the Ballymun towers. Meanwhile Anthony Ekundayo Lennon pays tribute to great-great-great-great grandfather James Doyle with his Plastic Pedestal.
Geraldine Judge - A Dub in Liverpool, A Scouser in Ireland
Geraldine Judge (aka Geraldine Moloney Judge) is an outreach worker with Irish Community Care in Liverpool, as well as a writer and actor (the aka is her stage name). Born in Southampton, raised in Dublin and now a resident of Merseyside, she has encountered bigotry on either side of the Irish Sea – too English for some, too Irish for others – but has come through those incidents with determination, humour and compassion. We talk football, medicine, the need for specifically Irish community care, mishearing words, The Spy Who Loved Me and being taught by Roddy Doyle, as well as her solo show “Obscured View“. Plus Pauline Nevins raises a very personal Plastic Pedestal.
Anthony Ekundayo Lennon - Actor. Director. Genetic Echo.
Born to white Irish parents in West London, but with the colouring and facial features of a mixed race child, Anthony’s appearance led to family strife, police harassment, and – eventually – accusations of “passing” as black in order to gain Arts Council funds. The subsequent media and Twitter storm – along with Anthony’s lifelong struggle to be accepted for who he is – is as fascinating as it is emotional. We’re grateful to him for sharing his story with us. Plus Joanna (“Jo”) Neary raises Lucia Joyce up onto The Plastic Pedestal.
Pauline Nevins: A Mixed-Race Daughter in a White Irish Family
Pauline Nevins is the author of Fudge, The Downs and Ups of a Bi-Racial, Half-Irish, British War Baby. Born the only mixed race child in a family of eight white children, hers is a story of family secrets, revelations and reunions. Raised in Wellingborough, and now a resident of California,. Pauline’s story has been featured in two exhibitions organised by The Mixed Museum, one in conjunction with the Association of Mixed Race Irish, the other focussing on the “Brown Babies” of World War II. Plus, Adrian Lunney selects Brendan Mulkere for The Plastic Pedestal
Jo Neary: Cornwall, an Irish Gran and Other People's Voices
Jo Neary is an actor, writer, comedian, artist, puppeteer, singer…the list goes on. Nominated for a Perrier Award in 2004, she is arguably best known as Judith in the BBC series “Ideal”, starring Johnny Vegas. Born in Coventry, but raised in Cornwall, to an Irish father and Welsh mother, she talks accents, growing up below the poverty line, going untouched by school bullies, her mercurial Irish gran, dad’s naked yoga and the life lessons she’s passing on to her son. Meanwhile – over at The Plastic Pedestal – Patrick, Angela and Niall of Liverpool Irish Centre nominate the fab four of Tommy Walsh, Joe England, Phil Fitzpatrick and John Lennon https://the-plastic-podcasts.castos.com/episodes/jo-neary-cornwall-an-irish-granny-and-other-people39s-voices Photo (c) Steve Ullathorne
Adrian Lunney: Building sites, fiddle lessons and being a republican in Purley
Writer, journalist, editor and PR guru, Adrian Lunney graduated in English at Cambridge and was EMAP’s feature writer of the year in 1991. He now runs Adrian Lunney PR. Born to Northern Irish parents in West London in 1960, Adrian’s story covers the rise of The Troubles on both sides of the water as well as left wing activism, the Catholic Church, the joys of Rory Gallagher and becoming reconciled to his identity and place in the world. There’s also talk of music masters, Henry Cooper, squeamish butcher’s sons and David Soul. Plus Mo O’Connell and Mary Tynan set the record for the largest number of Plastic Pedestals ever nominated in one episode… https://the-plastic-podcasts.castos.com/episodes/adrian-lunney-building-sites-fiddle-lessons-and-being-a-republican-in-purley
Liverpool Irish Centre: Heritage and Hopes for "Dublin's Twin City"
Patrick Gaul, Angela Billing and Niall Gibney of Liverpool Irish Centre talk about facing the challenges of Covid and staging virtual performances as well as the shopping lists you can fill at their Irish Shop. They also discuss the history of both city and centre, the question of being Irish, English or Liverpudlian, the centre’s role in the wider community and the rise of the Irish-themed bar in Liverpool. All of this while waiting for The Logues to tune up. Plus Laurence Cox raises trailblazer Michael Dillon onto The Plastic Pedestal
Mo O'Connell and Mary Tynan: From Ireland to England and Back Again
Maureen (“Mo”) O’Connell and Mary Tynan are actor-writer-directors who went from Ireland to England for professional reasons and who both returned to Dublin and Galway respectively in 2015/2016. Mo is an award-winning film maker whose feature “Spa Weekend” is currently being feted with awards wherever it goes. She is also the founder of the Dublin International Comedy Film Festival Mary is the creator of Notes From Xanadu, “probably” the world’s first online arts centre, and its sister institution Xanadu Theatre Plus Nathan Mannion of EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum raises Paul Boyton – the fearless frogman – onto The Plastic Pedestal
Laurence Cox: Empire, Sedition and the forgotten Irish Buddhist monk who faced down the British in Burma
Dr Laurence Cox is an associate professor of sociology at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth. He is also one of the three authors of “The Irish Buddhist”, the story of U Dhammaloka and his clashes with the British Empire in the early 20th century. We talk about Dhammaloka (born Laurence Carroll in Dublin, or so we think), Buddhism among the Irish, going native, Kipling’s “Kim”, the Irish in 19th Century America, and what stories like these mean in the aftermath of the Mother and Baby Homes report and the death of George Nkencho. Plus Zoe Lyons raises a small fleadh onto The Plastic Pedestal…
Nathan Mannion - Migration, Family and Stories at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum.
Nathan Mannion is the senior curator at EPIC, which stands proudly on Custom House Quay in Dublin. Founded by Neville Isdell in 2016, EPIC tells the story of Ireland’s emigrant people throughout the ages. IOT’s been visited by some 750,000 people in its first four years and was voted Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction for an unprecedented two years running in 2019 and 2020 at the World Travel Awards. It’s a far-ranging and fascinating discussion taking in Spitfire Paddy (Brendan Finucane), Margaretta Eagar, tutor to the last of the Romanovs, Lord Haw Haw and Eamonn Andrews. Plus, Rosemary Adaser places Edna O’Brien on The Plastic Pedestal
Zoe Lyons: Stand-up, Passport Paddies, Just A Minute and Gingsters
One of the country’s leading stand-ups, Zoe Lyons tones’ have been heard on everything from Clive Anderson’s Chat Show to Just A Minute. A fixture on the comedy circuit, her 2007 debut show “Fight or Flight” saw her nominated as Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe. A second generation member of the diaspora, she recorded a personal documentary series “Zoe Lyons: Passport Paddy” for Radio 4 in 2018. 2021 will see her game show, “Lightning” broadcast on BBC2. Plus Dame Elizabeth Anionwu raises Conrad Bryan onto The Plastic Pedestal
Rosemary Adaser: Finding A Voice And Using It To Be Heard For The Mixed-Race Irish
Rosemary is the founder and former CEO of AMRI, the Association of Mixed Race Irish, a campaign and support group with members in Britain, Ireland, the US and China. Born in Ireland to a white mother and Ghanaian father, her childhood was a series of foster homes and industrial schools. After moving to London at the age of 20, she gained a Masters in Social Policy and worked in Social Housing before forming AMRI. Hers is a remarkable story of fighting injustice and seeking visibility in a society that has for too long ignored or neglected her and others like her. Plus Tommy McLaughlin and Liam Thompson of Leeds Irish Centre do a double Plastic Pedestal.
Dame Elizabeth Anionwu: the heritage of racism, the politics of health
Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu is, in her own words, “a black British woman of Irish-Nigerian heritage, thank you very much”. She is an activist, health care administrator, lecturer, and Emeritus Professor of Nursing at University of West London, where she created the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice. Her memoir, “MIxed Blessings From A Cambridge Union” tells of how her parents met in 1947 and how she was subsequently raised in convent schools and by her grandparents. Inspired at the age of four to take up nursing, she has been a leader in the research and treatment of sickle cell disease and thalassemia, has been granted a CBE and a damehood, been cited as one of the 100 most influential women in the world in 2020 by the BBC and, to top it all, appeared on Desert Island Discs earlier this year. And now she’s here with us. Plus journalist and writer Sheron Boyle raises a pair of personal Plastic Pedestals
Leeds Irish Centre - Half a Century of the craic in West Yorkshire
Journalist and writer Sheron Boyle – along with chairman Liam Thompson and manager Tommy McLoughlin – share stories of Leeds Irish Centre and talk about what it’s meant, not just to the diaspora but to the whole of the community, as it marks its golden anniversary with a book. Tales of Gabby Logan, Chris Moyles and Oasis abound – along with the finest three words ever uttered on a podcast. Plus performance poet SuAndi offers a unique take on The Plastic Pedestal
SuAndi: Growing up Nigerian-Irish in Manchester
Poet and performer SuAndi, OBE, is a third-generation member of the diaspora with a grandmother from Wicklow and a Nigerian father. She is the freelance Cultural Director of the National Black Arts Alliance, has been awarded honorary degrees by Lancaster University and Manchester Metropolitan University and a Lifetime Award by Manchester BME Network. Her one-woman show, The Story of M, is a tribute to her Liverpool Irish mother and is featured in the Mixed Museum’s online Exhibition of Mixed Race Irish. SuAndi’s own story starts and ends (so far) in Manchester, but takes in Lemn Sissay, Sir Laurence Olivier and Eartha Kitt. It’s quite the ride. Plus Cherry Smyth raises Lauren Kinsella onto The Plastic Pedestal
Cherry Smyth - Bombs, Belfast and Blank Verse
A pleasure: a genuine pleasure and privilege to talk to the poet and author of “Famished”. In the usual freewheeling Plastic Podcast style we get to talk about voices and finding your own, about Covid and The Potato Famine, about America and Northern Ireland. Plus a genuinely beautiful idea. All of this and Tony Murray goes rogue with The Plastic Pedestal. What more is there to ask?