Poetry, prose, music and film events to book this month …
Described as an omnium-gatherum of poetry, prose and music, Muldoon’s Picnic is a sophisticated cabaret-style evening, hosted by Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, from Wednesday, August 10-14. The title Muldoon’s Picnic refers to a popular 19th-century New York vaudeville act, which inspired the New York-based Muldoon to begin hosting these carefully blended evenings in 2014. He explains: “It’s one of our most basic instincts; to listen to a song, listen to a poem. Even in this era when people have their noses stuck in their tablets, it still works.” Each show on the tour – taking in Limerick, Letterkenny, Belfast and Dublin – has a mix of artists from the worlds of music and literature. Guests such as Roddy Doyle, Claire Keegan, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Zadie Smith, Zoë Conway, John McIntyre and members of Horslips will join Muldoon for four different evenings of creative and collaborative energy. For further information on all events see www.poetryireland.ie.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
The festival runs from August 4-14, with over 100 performances in this its 49th edition. Live music, alongside exciting theatre, dance, opera and literary events are part of the line-up, which includes a number of festival commissions and co-productions. Highlights include a new take on Shakespeare’s classic – The Tempest in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle Parklands. There’s also the world’s first virtual reality community opera, Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách from the Irish National Opera. Then there’s a chance to see and hear Handel’s compelling Semele with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in partnership with dynamic choral ensemble Sestina. The Irish Baroque Orchestra and Tara Erraught will also be performing songs and arias associated with singer Giusto Tenducci at St Canice’s Cathedral. The Chamber Choir Ireland, led by Paul Hillier, performs Tchaikovsky’s large-scale work, the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. At the Butler Gallery, there is a retrospective of intriguing multimedia works from Kevin Atherton, an exhibition by the young artist Stephen Doyle whose work explores queer identity. Masha Gessen – who has written extensively on Russia, autocracy, LGBTQ+ rights, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump – delivers the 2022 Hubert Butler Lecture. For a full programme of events and tickets visit www.kilkennyarts.ie.
Boyne Valley International Film Festival
“We want to create an environment for filmmakers and audiences to connect, and celebrate film in the inaugural year in the historical medieval town of Drogheda,” explains Frank W Kelly, filmmaker and co-curator of the two-day Boyne Valley International Film Festival, from August 12-13. The Festival will shine a light on the work of writer, director and producer Roisin Kearney, screening a selection of her shorts: Run, No Dogs, The Family Way, We Have Each Other and Paddy. The festival is also inviting filmmakers to pitch a short film idea by email by August 5. Three filmmakers will be shortlisted, awarded a small bursary of €500, and invited to pitch to a panel during the festival. One lucky filmmaker will be chosen, and further awarded a bursary of €2,500 to write the script, plus a studio space for six months in Droichead Arts Centre, Barlow House; www.droichead.com.
National Heritage Week
Taking place from Saturday, August 13-21, National Heritage Week is one of Ireland’s largest annual cultural events, which everyone can take part in and enjoy. This year’s theme of sustainable heritage and biodiversity, comprises in-person events and digital projects and participation is open to individuals, communities and organisations. Events might involve the preservation of native species of plants and animals and their habitats; exploring sustainable farming practices; contributing to urban greening and community gardening initiatives; researching an element of the Irish landscape to increase local and national appreciation and preservation; growing native plants or foods; practicing foraging; or using traditional recipes or cooking methods. In-person events and digital projects should be completed in time for National Heritage Week and submitted via www.heritageweek.ie. Digital projects can be uploaded to the National Heritage Week website until Tuesday, August 23.
The Artefacts Project, The Hunt Museum, Limerick
“The Artefacts Project” by Lorcan Walshe at The Hunt Museum, Limerick runs until September 11, and is inspired by indigenous craft and early Irish religious treasures from a pre-colonial time (his approach has been likened to that taken by Frida Kahlo). Croziers, missals, bells and shrines are transformed in his paintings and drawings. Walshe explains, “While traditional Irish music survived colonisation, unfortunately, visual traditions were lost due to the dissolution of monasteries. Art in Italy and Spain is still evidently connected to its past but not in Ireland. So I decided to work from the artefacts to make something modern while connected directly with our indigenous culture. Many of the objects that inspired the project were augmented or refurbished centuries after they were initially created. Similarly, I have augmented some of my works years after their creation, following in their medieval creators footsteps.” www.huntmuseum.com
Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
The new London Palladium production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will play for a limited three-week run at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from August 9-27, tickets are from €21. Retelling the Old Testament story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers, this new production is directed by Laurence Connor and features songs that are pop and musical theatre standards, including Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me, Jacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph. Olivier Award-nominee Linzi Hateley will make a special appearance as the narrator (pictured) alongside Jac Yarrow in the lead role; www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie.
The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival, Airfield Estate
The colourful, two-day “Totally Terrific Tomato Festival” which champions the culture and diversity of tomatoes celebrates its tenth anniversary on August 27-28. Whether you are a rookie gardener or a professional tomato grower, this festival will help you to get to know your tomatoes better. There will be a series of talks, events and demonstrations, as well as tomato growing tours and all-important taste testing too! www.airfield.ie
Main featured image: Actress Lisa Lambe will be part of Muldoon’s Picnic at Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick, on Wednesday, August 10; www.poetryireland.ie.