CLASSICAL Ardee Baroque Festival The two-day festival closes today with a guest lecture from Aideen Morrissey on music in the age of the Battle of the Boyne and a closing recital with Malcolm Proud (harpsichord), Roísín O’Grady (soprano) and Aoife Nic Athlaoich (cello) performing works by Gabrielli, Monteverdi and Bach. ART Reports to an Academy Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s Reports to an Academy takes its title from a Kafka short story, in which an ape assumes a human identity as a survival strategy. Ní Bhriain’s imagination prowls a west of Ireland landscape, the Museum of Natural History (above), an artist’s studio and a library, exploring how our perceptions are shaped by expectation and context. Simon Jermyn (left) plays an instrument of his own devising: a hybrid guitar/bass specially made for him in New York, where the rising Dublin-born improviser is based. Spirit Spout (a Moby Dick reference) explores the intersection where composition and improvisation meet, with new works from David Crowell ( Bang on a Can), Caleb Burhans ( Alarm Will Sound) and Belfast composer Frank Lyons, linked by Jermyn’s own absorbing, utterly unique spontaneous creations. Based on the true story of Patrick O’Brien, a Limerick teenager and ship’s apprentice who was killed and eaten by his ship-wrecked crewmates in 1835, Mike Finn and David Blake’s show for Gúna Nua might make for an unlikely musical – if there was ever such a thing as a likely musical. With an initially bouyant tone that becomes ever more maudlin, the show is guided by respect rather than grisly humour, slowing into a lament. The production and multi-roleplaying performances are shipshape, and the music often lovely. But would it lose the injustice to have more wicked fun with it?