Poetry, theatre performances and photography … it’s going to be busy!
Take in this Poetry Weekender
“The Poetry Weekender” is a two-day celebration of poetry taking place at dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire on September 17-18. The programme includes a poetry masterclass with Costa Prize-winner Hannah Lowe, a words and music workshop for teens with musician Farah Elle, and a “gingko walk” around Dún Laoghaire led by poets Rosamund Taylor and Katie Donovan. The main event, on Sunday, September 18 at the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire, is “The Poetry of Margaret Atwood”, during which the 81-year-old author will read from her latest anthology Dearly. It has been described as a “reckoning with the past, that comes from a place of wisdom and control” and explores ageing and absence, endings and renewal; www.poetryireland.ie.
Visit Clifden for this special festival
Former school teacher Brendan Flynn dreamed up the Clifden Arts Festival, now in its 45th year, which President Michael D Higgins has described as a “unique and outstanding experience.” This year’s programme is impressive. Not only are author Margaret Atwood, screen icon Olwen Fouéré and Irish designer Alison Conneely part of the programme, several events will mark this year’s centenary of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Irish novelist Nuala O’Connor will discuss her bestselling book, Nora. Also channelling Nora Barnacle will be NORAMOLLYANNALIVIALUCIA: The Muse & Mister Joyce, Curlew Theatre Company’s “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife as an Older Woman.” www.clifdenartsfestival.ie
Visit this monthly market
You may have been away in August when Hen’s Teeth, in partnership with Square, launched a new series of monthly markets across its two venues in Dublin 8. Fortunately, it’s back this weekend, September 3-4 with more than 20 traders from contemporary homeware to lifestyle and fashion creatives. “Alongside the market stalls there will be food and drinks pop-ups, a barbecue and live music and art events for the whole family,” explains Greg Spring, creative director and curator of Hen’s Teeth; www.hensteethstore.com.
Take in the Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championships
Now in its 50th year, this annual event – the longest running annual national ballooning event in the world – is taking place at Birr Castle Demesne from Saturday September 24 to Friday, September 30. Around 40 ballooning teams from Ireland, Europe, Chile and the USA are expected to take part in the Championships, which is an amazing spectator sport for the public. Guests can access Birr Castle Demesne from 4.30pm to 7pm to see the ballooning event launch. €6 per person aged 4 and over. www.birrcastle.com
Unlock your inner artist at this creative retreat
Knockranny House Hotel & Spa, Co Mayo has an exclusive retreat date for guests to get creative and let their inner artist out this September. This two night experience includes an art class taught by local artist Cheryl Cobern-Brown in her seaside studio, Mulranny Arts. The “Gifts of the Sea” art class uses materials from the nearby shores including broken seashells and other maritime objects to create a beautiful piece of art. Guests will also get to enjoy lunch together while at the studio. Back at the hotel, guests have use of the vitality pool and thermal area at Spa Salveo before getting ready for dinner in the award-winning La Fougère Restaurant. This offer is only available Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday 8 with prices starting from €290 per person sharing in a Classic Room. To book, visit www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie.
Send in your photographs for this innovative installation
Taking place on Friday, September 23 across the country is Culture Night 2022, do check what is happening in your area. If you’re in Dublin check out the walls of the National Gallery of Ireland which will be lit up for “Painting Mirror” an interactive digital display of portraits and landscapes submitted by the public. The Gallery, which has once again come together with the French Embassy in Ireland for Culture Night, is issuing a national callout for photographs to be included on the night. From anywhere in Ireland, France and beyond, children and adults alike can participate by sending a photograph of a landscape or cityscape, along with their name, email address, name of the place and county to [email protected] until September 15. A selection of shortlisted photographs will then be projected onto the exterior of the Gallery on Culture Night. Visitors on Culture Night will also have the option to snap their portraits in a photo booth. These images will then be stylised in real-time and projected onto the walls of the Gallery too; www.nationalgallery.ie
Participate in the European Culture Trail
“Painting Mirror” is part of the European Culture Trail – a EUNIC Ireland (European Union National Institutes for Culture) initiative for Culture Night in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Ireland. Participants include Alliance Française Dublin, Goethe-Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, European Commission Representation in Ireland, French Embassy and the National Gallery of Ireland. Those visiting the European Culture Trail events in person are invited to download the “European Culture Trail Treasure Hunt” passport and collect stamps or signatures at each stop. The passports with the most stamps at the end of the night will then be entered into a raffle for the chance to win some wonderful prizes. Download the European Culture Trail Passport here.
Playing with Food: John Kindness Exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery
In 2019, when Irish artist John Kindness was asked to make a work for the new Clore learning centre at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down, he indulged his playful side – and embraced the concept of food with gusto. “I was given a free hand in composing a work based on a theme of ‘hospitality’; of course to me that said ‘food’, not just the consumables but also the utensils and accoutrements associated with eating.” The result was ‘A Mummers Banquet’, a seven panel painting now installed in the centre. In an exhibition opening September 1, the Molesworth Gallery presents the gouache studies for the figures, composed of the ingredients for a banquet and of the china, silverware, glass and linen that was once made in Ireland.
The exhibition also features other food-themed works, among them a trifle couple, salad being courted by pasta and a fish & chip baby. While making the work was mostly fun for the artist – and in this we can draw a line from playfulness of Arcimboldo – he couldn’t resist slipping in a few social and political references along the way.
Lost Lear at the Dublin Theatre Festival
Following the national and international tour of A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, Dan Colley and his company have turned their sights on a very (very) loose adaptation of King Lear, examining the self and that part of us that’s inaccessible to others. Fast-paced and thought-provoking, Lost Lear lands us into the world of Joy (Venetia Bowe), a woman with dementia, who is being cared for through a method where people live inside an old memory.
The show will officially open in Project Arts Centre as part of Dublin Theatre Festival from September 26 to October 9 2022, with additional dates at Mermaid Arts Centre post-festival.
The world premiere at Project Arts Centre is presented by Dublin Theatre Festival, now booking: dublintheatrefestival.ie/programme/event/lost-lear.
See this award-winning musical
Forget everything you know about musicals. In Bat out of Hell, Jim Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from Meat Loaf’s albums into this electrifying musical, including You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, Bat Out of Hell, I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad. As for the storyline, it’s about rebelliousness and passion as Strat, the immortal leader of The Lost, has fallen in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler Falco. The rousing show runs until September 10 at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Why not augment your experience by exploring the Circle Club which offers special seats, menus and treats for members and their guests; www.borgaisenergytheatre.ie.
The Car Boot Art Fair 2022 at Russborough House
Join some of Ireland’s most celebrated artists at this always-lively fundraiser for Russborough. Part art fair, part car boot sale – it’s a chance to engage with the artists and their art informally, and enjoy the exclusive opportunity to pick up a temptingly affordable piece. Or two. Perhaps even have your own portrait done on the spot. Participating artists include Vera Klute ARHA, Gabhann Dunne, PJ Lynch, Una Sealy, Blaise Smith RHA, Eamon Colman, Helen Blake and many more.
Coinciding with the autumn ally for the Blessington Vintage Car and Motorcycle club, a fabulous array of rare and antique vehicles can be seen on the carriage sweep to the front of the house. Take some time to chat to the knowledgeable enthusiasts who care for these wonderful pieces of history.
The Car Boot Art Fair tickets can be booked via shop.russborough.ie/collections/tours.
Tickets are €10.00 and children under the age of 16 go free. All day parking is €4.
Have a post theatre drink in Ireland’s Bar of the Year
With Dublin Fringe Festival (September 10-25), leading into Dublin Theatre Festival (September 29-October 16), there’s bound to be a few post performance debriefs. If you haven’t been, pop into Bar 1661 in Dublin 7, which has scooped the Bar of the Year at the Bar of the Year Awards 2022. It also won for Innovative Bar of the Year and bronze for Cocktail Bar of the Year. That definitely merits a visit. Named after the year poitín was banned in Ireland, its mission is to pay homage to all of Ireland’s native drinks, but especially poitín. This month, the team launches a new menu of 32 signature cocktails, each drink created around a landmark date in the history of Irish drinks; www.bar1661.ie.
Take part in Dublin Festival of History 2022
The Dublin Festival of History will take place from Monday, September 26 to Sunday, October 16, with more than 130 events, held across 71 venues free to attend. The festival, now in its tenth year, will be mostly in-person, with many hybrid and some online events, too. It will play host to an international and Irish line-up of speakers, including major authors and historians, as well as walks, tours and exhibitions. Special events for children are also set to take place. For further details visit www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie.