EVENT OF THE WEEK
Kilkenny Arts Festival
August 5-15, kilkennyarts.ie
This year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival aims to bring people together (in a safe way) with a mix of online and live events that, once again, will showcase the strong vein of creativity and innovation running through the marble county. The festival kicks off with a bang as the Irish National Opera stages Elektra, the crisp opera by Richard Strauss (Castle Yard, Kilkenny, 9 p.m., € 50). This is an outdoor performance with a full metal jacket, so dress for the weather and follow all Covid protocols. The orchestra will be pre-recorded, but the passion of the performers on stage – including that of famous soprano Giselle Allen as old Lecky herself – will be all too real. Meanwhile, at the Watergate Theater, folk and traditional singer Karan Casey embarks on a personal musical journey in I Walked into My Head, an adventurous play in which Casey tells stories and sings his own songs, and listens to his inner voice (preview the August 5, 7:30 p.m., € 15; August 6, 7:30 p.m., € 25; August 7 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., € 25; August 8, 3 p.m., € 25). On Sunday 8, Rough Magic unscrews the top of his futuristic new production, Tonic, written and performed by Fionn Foley, with Juliette Crosbie and Aoife Kelly, and performed by Ronan Phelan, with music composed by Foley (August 8-11, College St Kieran, € 20). Tonic is set in 2047 and revolves around a wonder drug called Halcyon which is guaranteed to cure you of your doomsday stroke and apocalyptic dyspepsia. As the world draws to a close, a dose of this tonic is your only man, but how do you get ordinary Irish people to try it? Simple – put on a musical medicine show to spread the good news and get the audience to drink the Kool-Aid. There is more in store in Kilkenny, so check out the program.
Of a mind
August 4-15, Bray seafront, 7:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday mornings, 3 p.m.), € 15 / € 12 (preview € 10), sirèneartscentre.ie
Here’s a walk with a difference – a mix of flashmob, silent disco and Sunday mass – conducted along the Bray waterfront, in the company of Irish playwright / producer Hugh Farrell and Brooklyn-based sound designer Tyler Kieffer. This audio guided experience explores our collective memories of going to Mass, attending yoga classes, or attending a GAA game, which now seems so far in the past that it is a thing of the past. . The 50-person audience will gather at the Victorian Bray Bandstand, then travel a designated route along the waterfront for this unique social gathering, designed to help us reclaim our place in the crowd at a time when the crowds are over. become scary places. Don’t worry, you’ll be safe in the hands of Farrell and Kieffer during this meditative, immersive, and ultimately uplifting event.
Synge Out Loud: The Playboy of the Western World – The Musical on Tour
Imma, Dublin, August 5-7; Muckross House, Killarney, County Kerry, August 19-21; Coole Park, Gort, Co Galway, August 27-28, € 25, playboythemusical.ie
The pandemic has yet to send society back to the Stone Age, but the producers of this musical version of The Playboy of the Western World have gone back to the 1950s for inspiration on how to stage the production. safely for a live audience. This ‘playful’ adaptation of Synge’s evergreen drama will be staged outdoors under an old-fashioned stretch canvas – the kind of theatrical set-up used by touring groups in the past. The action takes place in 1959, in a radio station, where a group of actors perform Playboy as a radio play. Good luck with that. It promises to be a roller coaster of a show, with 15 talented actors and musicians giving it bobby sox – including two pop performers to provide hilarious sound effects – plus theater legend Kate O’Toole playing the role. of your not-so-humble narrator. Synge purists don’t need to be too hot under the collar: the script stays true to the original song – it’s just tweaked a little to bring out the good tracks, and added oomph to producer Justin’s original songs. McCarthy, who go from country to country. heavy metal in no time. The show was previously presented at the Town Hall Theater in Galway and elicited a frenzied response from audiences, so get ready to dance the aisles with Pegeen Mike, Christy Mahon and the gang.
Eastern Arts Festival
August 5-15, Belfast, eastsidearts.net
So how do you like your arts festival? Would you like to participate at home, outdoors, in a socially remote audience, or all of the above? The Eastside Arts Festival 2021 is designed to meet all configurations, so that as many people as possible can have access to the more than 80 events on offer, featuring more than 100 artists. This year, the organizers introduced a digital festival pass that gives you access to all virtual events, to watch live or on demand. It looks like the entire Belfast arts and business community have come together to make this year’s festival happen, and the lineup spans all genres, with highlights including an East Belfast inspired album launch by Anthony Toner; comedy night starring Micky Bartlett, Robbie McShane and Sarah Jade Davidson; the Green Lane celebrations in Victoria Park, Billy Boy, an energetic new play by Rosemary Jenkinson with Belfast actor John Travers; West Ocean String Quartet at St Patrick’s Church; and Mary Coughlan singing Billie Holiday at the Stormont Hotel.
Burnaby Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow, August 7 and 8, 3 p.m., € 120 (six admitted), eventbrite.fr
Wicklow has mountains, lakes and woods, and now he has added music to his repertoire with Summer Songs, a series of outdoor concerts in various scenic locations across the county. The idea is simple: Each ticket gives you and five of your friends and family access to your own Covid-compliant pod, where you can enjoy the breezy afternoon vibe. and early evening with some of the best local musicians in the area. It’s all part of the government’s local entertainment programming program, designed to help musicians get back on stage safely after a year and a half of stopping live music. Artists who will perform during the rest of the summer include Hothouse Flowers, Mary Coughlan, Cathy Davey, Wyvern Lingo, Leslie Dowdall and Pillow Queens. Saturday’s concert features the legendary folk-rock-jazz-whatever combo Scullion and traditional Kíla royalty; Sunday, The Gregory Walkers will take audiences deep into the dark woods through music and storytelling, and Sonamus will take us on a magical journey through 500 years of Irish music.
Summer Songs continues with concerts at People’s Park, Bray (August 14), Brockagh Center, Laragh (August 21) and North Beach, Arklow (September 5).
Druide presents La Mouette
August 7-21, Coole Park, Gort, Co Galway, 7:30 p.m., (previews August 6-9) € 26 / € 30, druid.ie
Druid’s summer season reaches its peak with this full-scale production of The Seagull (after Chekhov) by Thomas Kilroy, directed by Garry Hynes and starring Jack Gleeson and Eileen Walsh. The Druids return to the place where they staged the Druid Gregory last year, in honor of the famous resident of the region, Lady Gregory. Kilroy’s take on Chekhov takes place in a country house in western Ireland, where London-based Isobel Desmond (Walsh) and his son Constantine (Gleeson) spend the summer. Are they ready for a relaxing break? Not at all – there will be a lot of artistic rivalries, class conflicts and tangled love knots. Tickets will be sold in groups of singles, pairs, or groups of four, and are extremely limited, so don’t be too disappointed if you can’t get your hands on them.
National Youth Theater: aftertaste
From August 8 to 15, the Abbey Theater YouTube channel
“I dreamed that I was walking the podium, covered in caramel, wearing these shoes. And everyone wanted to lick me. With a mouth-watering slogan like this, how can you not be tempted to sample the assortment of dramatic delicacies on offer in this new play by Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, presented online by Youth Theater Ireland? A cast of 16 talented young actors and six super creative young designers, under the direction of Veronica Coburn, have worked hard over the past 18 months to prepare for this new production, which will air on the Abbey’s YouTube channel from Sunday. 8th. It’s set in a not-so-distant dystopia in which a new super-awakened government has banned all junk food – so now no one can own as much as a muffin without incurring the wrath of the law. But a rebel group of “junk food advocates” are determined to stand up to these heavyweight liberal and leftist watchers and set out to restore junk food to its rightful place in the national diet.