Thursday, June 24, 2010

More June

The RTE National Symphony Orchestra may have finished their subscription season but they haven’t quite gone on their hols yet. Instead they’re doing a series of Musical Postcards at the NCH Tue lunchtime and Fri evenings (start time 7.30pm). Among the more interesting are a taste of Bohemia on Fri 25 with Smetana’s Vlatava and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto; Copland and Gershwin on Fri 2 July including Gershwin’s Piano Concerto; Grieg’s Norwegian and Symphonic Dances on Tue 6; Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1 on Fri 16; Mozart’s Concerto for Flute & Harp and Beethoven’s Symphony No 1 on Fri 23; and choral group Anuna with music from the 15th to the 21st century on Fri 30.

There’s French music from the National Chamber Choir at Smock Alley’s Banquet Hall on Sun 27 June – or if you want to travel further afield, in Navan on Fri 25 and Carlingford on Sat 26. Conducted by the choir’s Artistic Director Paul Hillier, who was founding director of the famous Hilliard Ensemble, the programme revolves around love, birds and war, with a cappella songs by Janequin, Poulenc and Debussy.

An interesting programme from the Irish Baroque Orchestra at Christ Church Cathedral on Sat 26 June pits the young Mozart against the more mature Haydn. Young Progidy / Old Master features Mozart’s Gallimathius Musicum, written when he was just ten, and his slightly later Bassoon Concerto (with IBO and Scottish Chamber Orchestra principal Peter Whelan), along with Haydn’s Symphony No 60, written when Haydn was in his 40s.

Tall Tales are at Project from June 29 (preview) with the world premiere of BogBoy, a new play by Deirdre Kinahan that echoes with the fate of the ‘disappeared’ from 1970s Northern Ireland. Set in contemporary Co. Meath, it interweaves the stories of three people who themselves have disappeared through the cracks of Irish society - a young boy from Belfast, a struggling Dublin heroin addict and a reclusive local farmer. Shifting timelines reveal deep friendship, violent murder and unforgivable deceit, as well as a ‘gloriously comic’ clash of contemporary Irish rural/urban culture. Jo Mangan (of The Performance Corporation) directs and the cast includes Steve Blount, Damian Devaney, Emmett Kirwan and Mary Murray.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


What else is on in June? Natural Shocks present a new play by Leo Butler at Project from Wed 9, fresh from a successful run at London’s Finborough Theatre (Critic’s Choice from the Independent on Sunday). In The Early Bird, real life couple Catherine Cusack and Alex Palmer play an ordinary couple whose lives are destroyed when their child disappears, with Butler delving deep into their troubled thoughts and fractured relationship.

Things have been a bit quiet at the Peacock of late but that looks set to change with Outsiders, a new work from economist and commentator David McWilliams previewing from Wed 9 and opening on Wed 16. Directed by Conal Morrison, McWilliams offers a vivid, humorous and uncompromising account of what is going on in Ireland in a show that is part stand up, part discussion, part social observation.

In the Peacock bar on Sat 12 comes the next installment of Werk, brainchild of the funky folk at Thisispopbaby, a late-night haze of neon and performance, live art and discotheque. 10.30pm til late.

Flamenco singing sensation Concha Buika is at the NCH on Tue 15. The daughter of political exiles from Equatorial Guinea who grew up in Majorca, her dramatic approach to flamenco fuses the gypsy tradition with elements of jazz and soul.

Two operas from dlr Glasthule Opera at the Pavilion Theatre from Wed 16-Sun 20, Bizet’s Carmen and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, both featuring up-coming young mezzos – Doreen Curran in the former and Raphaela Mangan in the latter, with acclaimed tenor Anthony Kearns taking on the role of Don Jose in Carmen.

Paris-based pianist Ivan Illic is at the NCH on Fri 18 for a lunchtime recital of Brahms, Chopin/Godowsky, Duparc and Chausson. On his now annual visit to Dublin Illic continues his survey of the Chopin Etudes in Godowsky’s challenging versions, and also premieres songs by Duparc and Chausson which he has transcribed for piano.

Christy Moore heads up a concert of performances and readings at the NCH on Sat 19 to celebrate the 65th birthday of incarcerated Burmese activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Freewoman of Dublin Aung San Suu Kyi. Organised by Keith Donald of Moving hearts, among those taking part are Eamon Dunphy, Marian Finucane, Damian Gorman, the Dublin Gospel Choir, Fiachra Trench, Carmel McCreagh, Deirdre Purcell, Brendan Graham, Niall Toner and Noel Eccles.

Music in Great Irish Houses

Happy 40th birthday to the KBC Music in Great Irish Houses Festival which brings world-class Irish and international chamber musicians to historic and stately venues around the country. Great music in great surroundings is the order of the day, and this year’s festival which runs from Sat 12-Sun 19 June kicks off in Castletown House with highly regarded French ensemble Quatuor Ebene playing Mozart Bartok and Debussy, who the following evening morph into l’Autre Ebene and play jazz, pop and film music at the Sugar Club. Beaulieu House in Drogheda is the venue for Latvian violinist Baiba Skride and Danish cellist Jan Vogler playing Bach, Handel and Ravel on Sun 13, and the following day they too morph into the Skride/Vogler Trio playing Beethoven, Shostakovich and Brahms at Killruddery. Mahler, Schumann and Brahms from the renowned German Fauré Quartet at Killruddery on Tue 15; Brahms and Beethoven from violinist extraordinaire Arabella Steinbacher and pianist Robert Kulek at the National Gallery on Wed 16; tenor Robin Tritschler and acclaimed British pianist Simon Lepper with music for voice and piano by Brahms, Britten, Bax and Schumann at Emo Court on Thur 17; music for two pianos from 2 of our best known pianists Hugh Tinney and Finghin Collins at the RDS on Fri 18; and winding everything up back at Castletown on Sat 19, the award-winning Quatuor Ysaye playing Haydn, Brahms and Schumann.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


This is a terrific piece of theatre. Tom Stoppard is such a clever writer, and he packs so much wit and intelligence into this play that it is a pleasure from start to finish. It’s a complicated story and you do need to keep your wits about you – some of it is of the blink and you miss it variety (or get distracted by your neighbour’s mobile phone and you miss it – what part of ‘please turn your mobile completely off’ do they not understand?) but the necessity of a bit of mental agility just adds to its appeal. A difficult play to describe, it’s set in a country house in Derbyshire where two groups of people, separated by nearly 200 years, set out to unravel some of the many puzzles that life throws at us. Love and lust, mystery and intrigue, science and poetry, wild hilarity and gentle tragedy – what more could you want? Well, a decent production, actually, and that’s exactly what director Patrick Mason gives us. Beautifully paced and perfectly cast, this is a real winner – highly recommended. (And did you know, student tickets are a mere €15 Mon-Thur) Until Sat 10 July.

Sundays @ Noon

Brahms and Clara Schumann share the stage at the Hugh Lane Gallery on Sun 6 June when the Riverrun Piano Quartet (violin, viola, cello & piano) continue their occasional series surveying the piano quartets of Brahms. Legendary jazz pianist Simon Nabatov performs a solo shown on Sun 13; on Sun 20 Belfast-born pianist Michael McHale plays works by Brahms, Ian Wilson and Rachmaninov; and on Sun 27 Fionnuala Moynihan gives the final recital in her complete Mozart Piano Sonatas series. 12 noon, admission free.

Pipeworks & Resurgam

There’s organ music to beat the band on Sat 5 June when Pipeworks present a one day Organ Marathon at Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedrals as a fundraiser for next year’s festival. Later in the day (6.30pm) Pipeworks team up with Resurgam choir at St Patrick’s for a concert of music written for Corpus Christi spanning the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries. Motets by Byrd and Tallis contrast with the exuberance of Victoria, then later works by Fauré, Roger-Ducasse and Messiaen, and finally Gerald Finzi’s 1946 anthem Lo the Full Final Sacrifice for organ and choir. Soloists are harpist Fiona Arnold and organist David Leigh.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cirque de Legume

Winner of the Bewley’s Café Theatre award at last year’s Fringe, this is a lot of fun, though if you don’t like onion, be warned, there’s a lot of it flying around at the end of the show. Jamie Carswell and Nancy Trotter are 2 hapless red-nose clowns on a mission to create circus out of a box of old veg. How about that, they mumble, as a lettuce barks and slobbers like a dog, or a pair of leeks whip up the antics of a prancing dressage pony. Who would ever have suspected the cutting edge of a red chilli or the hypnotic powers of a beetroot, not too mention the decidedly risqué revelations at the heart of an onion. Some delightful slapstick, though there is the occasional longueur, and it’s all accompanied by a hearty vegetable soup. Lunchtime @Bewleys until Sat 12 June.