I’ve been meaning to do a post on the Belltable Arts Centre’s autumn line-up so here is a preview of what’s coming. The programme for the next two months includes film, theatre, music and visual art.
Tomorrow, Wednesday August 29, the Belltable Youth Musical Project will preview Crusade. Crusade “is the epic musical story of the ‘Children’s Crusade’ which took place in medieval France in the early part of the 13th century. This factual and remarkable episode in history takes us into the world of medieval France, into the innocence and naivety of blind faith, into the treachery and darkness that lives in the minds of men, as the Crusade explores the power and survival of the human spirit against all odds. It is a journey of hope!”
Crusade is an Irish premiere and has a cast of 30—most of them young actors—and was produced by Richie Ryan (a well known figure in local theatre, who is also the director) and Michael Young. It will run from August 30 to September 8 at 7.30pm nightly.
Film is prevalent with screenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Cine-Club includes some interesting offerings such as Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom, and David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel, Cosmopolis and more. There are some tie-ins with Limerick Writers’ Centre with documentaries, Barbaric Genius and We Are Poets as well as three films from the Southern Mediterranean region in association with Access Cinema.
Bottom Dog Theatre Company will do rehearsed readings of four new plays—one on each of the first four Sundays in September. On Saturday 22, Blood in the Alley will present Woman and Scarecrow by Marina Carr. From September 28, Breda Cashe presents a stage version of Mitch Albom’s sob-fest, Tuesdays With Morrie. Surefire Productions is giving Stephen King’s disturbing tome of fan obsession, Misery, an airing from October 4. Fawlty Towers: The Dining Experience is back by popular demand on October 9 and 10.
All the music events are jazz themed to tie in with the Limerick Jazz Festival in September. On September 13, the Joshua Redman Trio will perform and as part of the actual festival, Crisis Point will play on September 30. On Culture Night (September 21), the Belltable will host a jazz photo exhibition, film screening, performance and a talk.
The visual art exhibitions are: Regia, featuring artists, Patrick Corcoran, Carl Doran, Maurice Foley and Laurence Weiner, which runs until October 13. Painter, Magdalena Jitrik’s International Lantern, will run from October 19 until November 24.
It’s good to see that there is a new youth musical project to complement the in-house community theatre project. The Belltable has given the stage over to Limerick Youth Theatre already this season with its successful production of The Miser. Leading local company, Bottom Dog, will do a series of rehearsed readings with new work to the forefront. The emphasis on jazz for September is a good idea too.
I can’t help thinking that the venue is playing it safe by showing a lot of film. Cinema screenings are cheap to run. On the plus side, they seem to be drawing a crowd. The theatre selection errs on the careful side too with three popular literary/TV adaptations. But is it better to be safe than sorry in this economic climate? This programme is obviously trying to strike a balance and I hope it pays dividends in the box office. As always, I would encourage people to attend as many events as they can. Audience support is vital to all branches of the arts.