TALKING WITH TONY Culture Vultures Set Theatre, Kilkenny, Friday August 11, 7.30pm ¤15. set.ie
Co-curated/overseen by music booker Andrea Keogh, the first Culture Vultures event this weekend takes place on Friday night as part of the Alternative Kilkenny Arts Festival, and features music from Little Green Cars, spoken word from that band’s Stevie Appleby, and a public interview with Tomm Moore of Oscar-winning animation company Cartoon Saloon. Culture Vultures then drives like a demon on Saturday to Beaulieu House, Baltray, Drogheda, Co Louth, where – in association with the town’s Highlanes Gallery – the event features an exclusive public interview with visual artist Alice Maher, alongside music (Marlene Enright) and spoken word (Colm Keegan). Your host for each event is me, myself and I. Tony Clayton-Lea
GIGS IN THE GARDEN 2017 Stockton’s Wing, Ulaid & Duke Special, Donovan and The Whileaways
Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, The Naul, Co Dublin. Friday August 11th to Sunday August 13th, 7pm. ¤25 & ¤27.50. tseac.ie A robust line-up marks the first of three outdoor concerts in this well-established north Co Dublin venue. Fingers crossed for the sunshine as Mike Hanrahan, Steve Cooney and their compadres carry on their 40th anniversary celebrations in Stockton’s Wing. The Ulster piping and fiddle combination of John McSherry and Dónal O’Connor anchor the powerhouse repertoire of Ulaid, and Duke Special (right) will occupy that ephemeral space in between, where folk, rock, trad and world music happily collide. On Saturday, listen up for Sixties folk-pop legend Donovan and The Whileaways. Siobhán Long
FEAKLE FESTIVAL Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Cherish The Ladies, Mary McNamara, Sorcha Costello and Geraldine Cotter Glór, Ennis, Co Clare, Friday August 11th, 7.30pm ¤30. glor.ie
Feakle Festival finds its feet in style with this mighty line-up. Home boy Martin Hayes and his regular musical partner Dennis Cahill share the genteel contours of Hayes’s east Clare fiddle music with the townies of Ennis, while Joanie Madden and her band bring the chutzpah of their New York roots to the mix. Concertina mother and daughter duo McNamara and Costello bookend this celebration of Clare’s richly patterned musical heritage, accompanied by pianist Cotter. Feakle Festival ends on Monday 14th. SL
SCHUBERT IMMERSION Schubert: Dreaming the Sublime Kilkenny Arts Festival, Friday August 11th to Sunday August 20th kilkennyarts.ie
Kilkenny Arts Festival’s main composer focus this year is on Schubert, with a smaller focus on Handel. “Dreaming the Sublime” offers an immersion in the late works of Schubert that’s spread over 10 days. There are string quartets and the string quintet from Quatuor Mosaïques, piano sonatas from Christian Blackshaw, songs from Ailish Tynan, Benjamin Appl and Roderick Williams, trios and the Trout Quintet with the Fidelio Trio, and largerscale works from the Irish Chamber Orchestra under Jörg Widmann. The music is supplemented through a strand of talks given by Gerry Murphy, Lorraine Byrne-Bodley, Alfred Brendel and Ian Fox. And if your taste is for something more up-to-the-minute, there are events featuring works by Linda Buckley, Jennifer Walshe, Donnacha Dennehy and Nico Muhly. Michael Dervan
HANDEL’S CAESAR Giulio Cesare St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, Friday August 11th, 7.30pm, ¤44, ¤55/¤9.50, ¤44. kilkennyarts.ie
Handel’s take on Julius Caesar is doing well in 21st-century Ireland. Opera Ireland staged the work in 2001, Dublin City Council’s Opera in the Open in 2009 and Leeds’s Opera North brought it to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in 2012. It’s back again for the opening night of Kilkenny Arts Festival in a concert performance featuring the Early Opera Company under Christian Curnyn with Iestyn Davies as Caesar (Davies can also be heard in recital with lutenist Thomas Dunfort on Sunday night), Anna Devin as Cleopatra, Rupert Enticknap as Tolomeo, Rachel Kelly as Sesto, Hilary Summers as Cornelia, Callum Thorpe as Achilla and James Hall as Nireno. MD
TRADITIONAL KNITS Soften The Border – Rita Duffy Blacklion-Belcoo Bridge and Keegan’s Shop, Co Cavan / Co Fermanagh, Until August 13th. ritaduffystudio.com
Rita Duffy’s Souvenir Shop, a highlight of the 2016 Centenary art projects, saw such gems as Black and Tan boot polish and Carson’s orange marmalade on sale. Duffy’s wry but piercing view of the traditions that hold us together, and the ones that keep us apart, gets another chance to shine with a project that quite literally “knits” the Border together.
Discover the bridge full of woolly things, plus a posse of handmade dolls to “make this little patch of Border soft, curious and comfortable for a few days”.
The Souvenir Shop will also make an appearance at Keegan’s, the former post office, grocery and funeral parlour on the Blacklion side, where you’ll be able to buy Belcoo water reputed to cure stomach trouble and mental illness. Duffy plans a series of shops across the country, “getting out of the cities and embedding art in the rural community”. Watch this space. Gemma Tipton
Rita Duffy: Crossroads Dancing 2015