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If you like toilet humour, you’ll love Brian and Domhnall Gleeson’s new comedy

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In Frank of Ireland (Channel 4, Thursday), Domhnall Gleeson and Brian Gleeson are two stars looking at the gutter. Channel 4’s new sitcom, which the brothers co-scripted, is an over-caffeinated chortle-fest characterised by often shockingly low-brow humour. The jokes arrive at an impressive clip – and with an almost obsessively scatological quality.

The last time the siblings acted together was with father Brendan in Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce. Here, by contrast, they’re having a go at a post-Celtic Tiger Dumb and Dumber with striking if generally icky results. The upshot is that if you like lowest-denominator slapstick, you’ll love it to bits. If not, you may wish the giggling Gleesons had challenged themselves to write gags that didn’t involve cadavers and male appendages.

Brian plays Frank, a struggling, self- hating troubadour living at home in Malahide. His ultimate ambition is a concept album eulogising all 32 counties of Ireland (potential song titles: Blood Is Thicker Than Waterford and the Witches of East Wicklow – to which I would humbly suggest they add Roscommon People). Doofus (Domhnall) is his best friend who has a thankless retail job and helps Brian flog CDs on the side.

Written down, many of the jokes feel misanthropic rather than witty. A disastrous attempt by Frank to relaunch his music career by singing Michael Finnegan at a funeral culminates, for instance, in a fight with the mourners. Meanwhile, the brothers have so much fun quoting Harvey Keitel’s sweary dialogue from Taxi Driver they reference it twice.

Domhnall is, of course, a Hollywood star. And it’s fair to say that here he is stretching acting muscles he was not required to employ in Star Wars or Richard Curtis’s About Time.

Filling out the cast is Sarah Greene as Áine, the ex Frank can’t stop sleeping with, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as her Ross O’Carroll-Kelly-esque boyfriend Peter-Brian. Pat Shortt, meanwhile, is required to bare all as Áine’s father when Brian finds him seeking comfort after his mother’s death in the arms of Brian’s mam (Pom Boyd).

The Gleesons make for a lively double- act, and the series functions best when they are riffing off each other. The high quips-per-minute ratio ensures episode one of six zips by. But it’s the timbre of those gags that could potentially prove a stumbling block to some. Frank of Ireland has more potty humour than you can shake a toilet brush at, and so viewer mileage may vary.

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IHG to open new hotel in Brussels (BE)

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IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) announced the signing of voco Brussels City North, marking entry into a new market. Due to open in autumn 2023, the 92-key voco Brussels City North property will be operated by Prem Group, a strong partner for IHG in the region. The state-of-the-art hotel will feature a restaurant and conference centre and will adjoin the Innovation Centre, which is already open on the site, to create a hub for hospitality innovation and a truly stimulating environment.

 

Located to the north of the city, the hotel will feature a striking 50-metre tower with huge glass windows providing panoramic views of the Brussels skyline. The site itself will be Europe’s largest experimental lab for creating ideas and a vision for the future. In line with voco hotels ethos, voco Brussels City North will stand out from the crowd and give guests a different choice.

 

Willemijn Geels, VP Development Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “I’m delighted to announce that we are partnering with Living Tomorrow to bring voco hotels to Belgium. We know that Brussels is a strong market for branded properties, and we are confident that the voco hotels’ brand will fit well with the goal of creating a truly innovative hub on this unique site.”

 

Yin Oei, CEO, Living Tomorrow, said: “Living Tomorrow is focused on driving the future and we’re excited to partner with IHG to develop this exciting hotel – the first voco in Belgium. The values of voco hotels fit well with our desire to innovate and push boundaries and we know that the strength of the IHG systems will provide a stable platform from which to innovate.”

 

 

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Mitheridge and London Green unveil plans for Lambeth mix-use scheme (GB)

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Mitheridge Capital Management and London Green have unveiled plans for a residential-led, mixed-use development in Lambeth, south London. The project will make use of a former industrial site in Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, while also protecting the adjacent intersecting Victorian railway viaducts which remain a rich heritage asset.

 

Managing Partner of Mitheridge William Yerburgh said: “London desperately needs more homes. We believe strongly in an approach to housing provision that is affordable but also enhances the character and vibrancy of local communities. Our partnership with London Green will show that new housing provision can deliver for everyone.”

 

Daniel Rastegar, Investment Director at Mitheridge commented: “We are excited to work with London Green to deliver a scheme that will contribute positively to this area of Lambeth, both by providing highly sustainable, high-quality homes as well as new industrial space for SMEs.”

 

Harry Green, Director at London Green added: “This represents yet another opportunity to develop an underutilised site into a mixed community of sustainable homes and workplaces. We look forward to working with best-in-class consultants and contractors to deliver the vision that we share with Mitheridge Capital Management”.

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IIProp grows its presence in Spain

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IIProp (International Industrial Properties) has successfully delivered the initial phase of its built-to-suit project in the Spanish city of Murcia. The joint venture has also launched a new development project at a prime location in Nadarzyn, Warsaw South, Poland. The scheme is located in Murcia’s San Andres industrial park and offers 22,346m². The project is set to add another building of over 23,000m², bringing the total development area to 46,600m² GLA. Construction of a 23,000m² follow-on component is under way and scheduled for completion in January 2023. The project marks an important milestone for the IIProp’s expansion in Spain, where the platform has secured pipeline for development of some 63,000m² GLA in the Murcia and Barcelona regions. The development comes with excellent connectivity and visibility as it sits alongside the A7 highway, part of the Mediterranean transit corridor that links Spanish and Portuguese ports with mainland Europe. The project is set to obtain “Very Good” BREEAM certificate, which will be supported by green solutions such as solar panels, charging stations for electric cars, power sockets for electric bicycles and scooters as well as bicycle parking space and a bee shelter.

 

Nebil Senman, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, said: “The logistics market in Europe experienced an unprecedented growth during the pandemic and despite the geopolitical turmoil the tenant demand remains strong. We selectively are developing projects in Murcia and Warsaw with highest ESG standards and securing highest tenant covenants to fulfill core investor’s requirements. We plan to continue to build up carefully our European logistics footprint by selectively adding projects in core European markets as well as through converting our well-positioned land bank into standing assets.”

 

Maciej Dyjas, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, commented: “The projects in Murcia and Warsaw are another success stories in our strategic partnership with Panattoni. We continue to screen new European markets for entry and already begun working on potential development projects in countries like France, Italy, and Austria. In parallel, the IIProp’s pipeline stands at ca. 430,000m² GLA, despite latest disposals completed in Germany.

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