Pale moon rising on the Lee
As the year reaches its pivot point, stretching towards the longest day and growing keen to fill the time in the best ways possible, the Cork Midsummer Festival gladly returns. It may seem strange that a festival with so much access to daylight should put at the centre of this year’s programme an enormous moon. But, arriving on Midsummer’s Day (June 21) and staying for three nights,
Luke Jerram’s seven-metre wide, hyper-realistic celestial body will beam down from the rafters of CIT’s Nexus Hall for Museum of the Moon against Dan Jones’s soundtrack, safe in the knowledge that Cork Midsummer Festival has always been wired to the thing.
It’s fitting that this is a full moon, because, following a recent dimming, the multi-disciplinary programme is back to its most voluminous display. In theatre, we get the long-awaited Irish premiere of Lynda Radley’s play Futureproof (Everyman Theatre, June 13-24), set among the worried performers of a travelling freak show, with a premium cast directed by Tom Creed.
Festival perennials Corcadorca return with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away (Meet at Kennedy Pier, June 19-July 1) about a world at war with itself, staged as a prome- nade performance on the tiny Spike Island. And the runaway hit of last year, ProdiJIG: The Revolution (Cork Opera House, June 14-25), returns with its contemporary assault of Irish dance. For good measure its composer, Peter Power, also collaborates with Conflicted Theatre on Neon Western (Marina Commercial Park, June 16-24), part theatre show, part rave, set in a saloon and played out in the wee small hours.
Elsewhere there are more conspicuous accords between the generations. There is the snappily-titled Susanne R Day’s Toliers – Her Lost Play – as reconstructed by Painted Bird (Stack Theatre, June 15-25), in which the early 20th century Irish feminist’s neglected work is undertaken by three young women today. And there is Like Mother, Like Daughter, in which four real mother-daughter pairs ask each other questions about the world and inheritances before inviting you to dinner.
Dance and contemporary circus also express a kinship in the double bill Samskaras/Boa Noite (Granary Theatre, June 24-25), while family entertainments of more traditional sort are available in Mike Kenny’s The Gardener (Graffiti Theatre, June 16-25), a show about aging for 6-8 year olds, and a new spectacle from Japanese physical conjuror Riuchi, Dream of Light (The Granary, June 16-18).
A series of artists talks, panels and conferences, together with the literary trail of Crosstown Drift (June 24-25) accentuate the festival’s imaginative, cerebral and political dimensions. But it’s the various outdoor events, among them Picnic in the Park, The Jig in the Park and Long Table Dinner (all June 18), that reflect back on that Corkonian moon and the nature of a festival with cosmic effect and a strong gravitational pull.
A series of artists talks, panels and conferences, together with the literary trail of Crosstown Drift accentuate the festival’s imaginative, cerebral and political dimensions