Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weird & Wonderful

Only how many days to Christmas? Natch the place is coming down with pantos and carols, but why not do something weird and wonderful instead. At Project you can get inside the Head of Hamlet, an installation courtesy of the inimitable George Higgs - part mask, part instrument, part theatre, part machine, resounding with electricity, wood, flesh, language and metal amid snatches of harmony, discord, rhythm and chaos – definitely a bit weird (free, til 19 Dec). Also at Project, a duet for fiddle and film features Caoimhin O Raghallaigh and virtual guests, with hardanger, 5-string viola, singers, dancers, spoken word and stop-motion animation (11 Dec). And Triptik, a collaboration between Ciotóg and Macushla Dance Club, is a dance triple bill featuring 3 internationally renowned choreographers, 5 professional dancers, 2 showband musicians and the ever-sprightly members of the Macushla Club for over 50s (16-19 Dec).

Or how about Christmas with Elvis at the Helix (16 Dec), featuring Mario Kombou who in 2005 was voted The Best Elvis Performer in the World, no less. And in a weird kind of ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ effect, Elvis will be joined on stage by Buddy Holly, Marilyn Monroe and Roy Orbison; and weirder still, it’s also playing at the Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford.

Send the kids to the panto and give yourself a saccharine-free treat at Bewleys, where PurpleHeart are back with last year’s hit show The Santaland Diaries. Writer David Sedaris draws on his own experience to chart the wickedly funny journey of Crumpet, starving artist turned Macy’s Santaland elf, with humiliation turning to battle-weary bitterness as Crumpet is forced to contend with cranky parents, bratty children, career elves and drunken lecherous Santas. (til Sat 22).

With all eyes on the North Pole at this time of year, the NCH (Kevin Barry Room) is heading to the other end of the snowy world on Mon 14 Dec for Nearest the South Pole, an event to commemorate the lecture given by explorer Ernest Shackleton in that very spot on that very date 100 years ago. Along with a presentation about the Antarctic and a rare recording of Shackleton’s own voice as he discusses the Nimrod expedition, there’ll be poetry by Derek Mahon, T.S. Elliot and Leland Bardwell among others and a new piece of music-theatre from Michael Holohan, Where a single footprint lasts a thousand years, performed by Donal O’Kelly. Could be quite wonderful.