Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Colleen Bawn

Project are doing something a bit different this summer: a six week run of Dion Boucicault's The Colleen Bawn (until 4 September) which then tours to the Civic Theatre in Tallaght, Draiocht in Blanchardstown, the George Bernard Shaw in Carlow and the Everyman in Cork. Land, greed, class, religion and sexual desire are all in the mix in this classic Irish drama written in 1860, the story of a family in crisis where the importance of love is outweighed by the lure of financial gain. By turn dark, impassioned and exhilarating, you can expect some high energy from this Bedrock production, directed by Jimmy Fay.

Get Naked with Fringe

It could be all that sunshine has gone to our heads, but what with last month’s Dip in the Nip way out west, it looks like getting naked is the new black. Now Dublin Fringe Festival (of which more anon) has come up with another chance to bare it all: ‘Women of all ages, backgrounds, shapes, sizes, levels of fitness and ability are sought to perform naked in an ensemble dance celebrating the female form, as part of Nic Green’s extraordinary, multi award winning show Trilogy as part of this year’s ABSOLUT Fringe.’ A runaway hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, the first part of this celebration/interrogation of the joys and complexities of being a woman today ends with a high energy naked dance performed by the volunteers. Evening workshops take place in the week leading up to the show (which runs from Sept 22-25) including an initial (fully clothed) meeting to discuss everything over tea and cake. Lyn Gardner’s review for The Guardian said: “Trilogy is angry, joyous, heartfelt, rigorous and radiant with hope. It makes you want to fling off your clothes and dance.” So what are you waiting for? More info on how to take part from,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Festival of World Cultures

The timing always seemed perfect – that last weekend in August when you hadn’t quite given up hope on the summer; the music was great and the weather was always kind (ah, nostalgia…) But now 10 years on, the dlr Festival of World Cultures is moving to a new slot in late July (23-25), allowing it to tap in more effectively to the international touring circuit. One of the world’s top 25 International Music Festivals, according to Songlines Magazine, this 3 day multi-arts, multi-cultural fiesta brings a real buzz to normally sedate Dun Laoghaire, as over 800 artists from 33 countries take part in 180 events – most of them free. Headliners include legendary Algerian King of Raï, Khaled; former Sigur Rós string section Amiina; Beninese voodoo funk sensationsOrchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou; rising Malian star Rokia Traoré; and creative revolutionaryJah Wobble with his new project The Nippon Dub Ensemble. And among the special 10th Anniversary events are Homeland a collaboration between 4 fascinating world voices – Iarla Ó Lionáird, Tanya Tagaq and duo Adjágas; dancing in the streets with the Birthday Bloco Carnival;and Radio Hemisphere, the festival’s first internet radio. Loads more besides, check it all

National Chamber Choir

The National Chamber Choir give the world premiere of a new work by renowned South African-born Irish composer Kevin Volans in the Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle on Thur 22. Canciones del Alma – Songs for the Soul – was commissioned by Elizabeth Chatwin, widow of the celebrated British author Bruce Chatwin (whose brilliant The Songlines I’ve just finished re-reading) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death. It will be performed alongside renaissance masterpieces from Spain, Portugal and Italy, including Monteverdi’s Magnificat, in a programme conducted by Paul Hillier and appropriately entitled Walking Home. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo on Fri 23, the same concert will be repeated FREE (but ticketed - 094 9024444).

The Plough and the Stars

There’s more classic theatre coming up at the Abbey, with Sean O’Casey’s masterpiece The Plough and the Stars previewing from Wed 21 and opening on Tue 26. Set against the backdrop of the Easter Rising and written a mere 10 years after those momentous events, it’s a play that has graced the Abbey stage many times, but this time around upcoming young director Wayne Jordan, who greatly impressed as director of Tom Kilroy’s recent Christ Deliver Us should give things a fresh perspective. The large cast includes the likes of Barry Ward, Cathy Belton, Denise Gough, Frankie McCafferty, Gabrielle Reidy, Joe Hanley, Karl Quinn, Laurence Kinlan, Natalie Radmall-Quirke and Peter Hanley.

Slattery's Sago Saga

Always on the lookout for something different, The Performance Corporation take over historic Rathfarnham Castle from Fri 16 to Sun 25 for their latest show Slattery’s Sago Saga, adapted by Arthur Riordan (of Improbable Frequency fame) from the unfinished novel by the late great Flann O’Brien. One part carnival, one part surreal (of course) satire, Tim Hartigan’s quiet life at Poguemahone Hall is shattered with the arrival of a Scottish woman with an evil plan, not to mention the chaos surrounding a politically correct leprechaun, a beautiful typist and a tycoon TD bent on bankrupting the country. Sounds like fun. Jo Mangan directs a terrific cast including Malcolm Adams, Clare Barrett, Darragh Kelly, Lisa Lambe and Louis Lovett.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Death of a Salesman

Another big name takes to the Gate stage in Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Death of a Salesman. Heading the cast as Willy Loman is American film and stage actor Harris Yulin – you mightn’t know the name but you’ll definitely recognise the face: he first popped up in 1983 as crooked cop Mel Bernstein in Scarface, and has since appeared in many big-budget movies such as Clear and Present Danger, Ghostbusters II and Training Day, and on the small screen in the likes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Entourage and Frasier. Other familiar (Irish) faces in the cast include Stephen Brennan, Deirdre Donnelly, John Kavanagh, Barry McGovern, Elizabeth Moynihan, Rory Nolan and Stephen Swift, and heading the creative team is American director David Esbjornson. Previews from Thur 15 and opens Tue 20.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer in the City

Things get swinging this weekend (8-11 July) with Temple Bar’s Summer Sensational festival (don’t know about that name tho). Lots of (mostly) free stuff to do in the city come rain or shine – the Contemporary Music Centre is inviting you to Play With Music – two interactive multimedia installations: Dioneye, which distorts the participants’ images while using their movements to generate different sounds; and Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd, which exploits the multiple sound interactions of people as they sit on a park bench. There’s also circus and storytelling including a live Where’s Wally?; sean-nos singing and dancing workshops (that should be fun); a Dance Social with Coisceim; music including Julie Feeney and Balkanarama; a whole rake of short movies at various venues courtesy of Filmbase; a family festival at the IFI; and Movies on the Square including Stand by Me, Dirty Dancing and Jaws.