PICK OF THE WEEK
belfastfestival.com Thomas Ostermeier, the director of Berlin’s Schaubühne theatre, has a simple but radical policy: treat classic texts like new plays and new plays like classic texts. Recently that has made for thrilling versions of Hamlet and Hedda Gabler, which arrived to these shores to delight and enrage. Here, Ibsen’s whistleblower fable gets a shock update to make the audience participants in its heated debates while allowing its hero to front a rock band. GUINNESS CORK JAZZ FESTIVAL Lock up your sons and daughters – it’s the annual jazz-themed bacchanal on the banks of the lovely Lee. Every year there are fewer and fewer actual improvisers on the bill, but the redoubtable Triskel Arts Centre continues to buck the trend by programming, you know, jazz.
UK trio Quercus (above), with legendary singer June Tabor and saxophone master Iain Ballamy, fuse English folk songs with improvisation and are The Ticket’s pick of the festival on Saturday night. Also worth checking out at Triskel Christchurch are two excellent Irish groups: Ensemble Ériu on Friday and Francesco Turrisi’s Taquin Experiments on Sunday.
Oscar-winning pianist and composer Michel Legrand is in the Everyman on Friday, and US vocalist Diane Reeves, with a powerful rhythm section, will raise the Everyman’s roof on Saturday.
So this weekend once again, the hordes will gather, the pints will settle and the city’s taverns will pulsate to anything but jazz. And there too, huddled in some dark corner, will be the jazz police, swearing out a warrant under the trade descriptions act. See listings and guinnessjazzfestival.com for full details.