Events: From Language Alive Week to Limerick Jazz, musical theatre to Crystal Swing

A few events this week…

Wednesday (October 19)

10.30am: The Midnight Court is a participatory event by Maeve Collins and Marie Connole in collaboration with The Community Café and St. Mary’s Adult Education Centre, as part of Limerick Language Alive Week 2011. The free event will take place in the café of King’s Island Community Centre. It is based on the famous 18th-century poem by Clare Poet Brian Merriman, widely regarded as the greatest comic poem in the history of Irish literature. Dealing with relationships and sexuality this event is a contemporary adaptation in English. Under judgement at the Community Centre Café are the issues of ‘courtship’; the private and often comic challenges of how men and women can meet to appreciate one another. Come along for a cup of tea, bring a friend or two, and enjoy this entertaining event. Any queries, contact Marie on This event is kindly supported by Limerick Community and Enterprise Department, City Hall.

6pm: The School of Architecture in UL will hold the latest in its Autumn lecture series, Ireland’s Living Space, with Irenee Scalbert speaking on the theme of ‘Tomorrow’. The lecture will be on the SAUL main studio, CG-042 in the Main Building.

8pm: Axis Ballymun present When Jolie Met Christie starring Aonghus McAnally at the Belltable. Directed by Ray Yeates. Christie Hennessy, one of Ireland’s great singer-songwriters and much loved performers was fascinated with Al Jolson and spent much of his boyhood in Tralee imitating the great Broadway troubadour. In When Jolie Met Christie Al Jolson speaks of his admiration for Christie and his new understanding of him now they are together in the afterlife. Al compares the struggles and triumphs of their two careers. Jolson, the controversial superstar meets the humble painter-decorator from Tralee in a 90-minute musical meditation featuring many of Christie’s greatest hits. What is the motivation behind all the great performers? And what sacrifices do they make as they try to follow their dream? This is a quirky, funny and sometimes dark meditation on the price of fame. Tickets from €12.50. See or call 061-319866.

8pm: Vladimir Jablokov & Classical Twist in Glór Ennis. Vladimir Jablokov makes his first visit to Ennis, with his superb band of young Irish and Slovak musicians,Classical Twist. Vlad is a young violin virtuoso from Bratislava, Slovakia, who started playing the violin aged five, making his stage debut at the tender age of ten. His main musical focus at the moment is his small ensemble and the winning hybrid of classics, jazz and pop he calls ‘Classical Twist.’ From the Stones’ Paint it Black to Bach’s Violin Concerto,Classical Twist puts a fresh, contemporary spin on some of the greatest melodies ever written, delivered with verve in an accessible and approachable style. Tickets are €20, available on or by calling 065-6843103.

9pm: Limerick Jazz presents Alex Mathias Quartet featuring Jake Herzog (USA), upstairs in Dolans. Award-winning saxophonist and composer, Alex Mathias, joins forces with critically acclaimed US guitarist Jake Herzog, to present a blend of highly energetic original music, drawing on jazz, funk/fusion and other influences. Having met at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, from which they graduated in 2006, they have both gone on to form successful careers in their homelands and beyond. Tickets are €13/10. See more details on this and other forthcoming events on

Thursday (October 20)

6pm: Launch of the book, Vanishing Ireland, by James Fennell and Turtle Bunburyin the Hunt Museum. Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh will do the honours and it’s a chance to catch the beautiful photography exhibition before it closes on October 23.

8pm: When Jolie Met Christie at the Belltable, see above.

Friday (October 21)

8pm: Barespace Theatre Company & Music Theatre West present Lily at the Belltable. Acclaimed Limerick performer Jean McGlynn brings an exciting world premiere to the Belltable stage. Lily is a theatrical song-cycle of music from across genres, with a common thread running through all of the songs – the lives, loves, worries and worlds of women. Devised by Jean and musical director Noel Lennon, and directed by Mike Finneran, this solo performance with a four piece band is set to be a whirlwind journey, guided by an artist of power and passion. Tickets from €12.50. See or call 061-319866.

Saturday (October 22)

4-6pm: Another Limerick Language Alive Week Event with A Limerick Miscellany in the Daghdha Space, St John’s Square. This will be a celebration of Limerick’s language and cultures, through storytelling, music and dance. At the heart of this family friendly free event is storytelling. Seanchaí, Tim Evans, will tell tales from the city’s past; actor Nigel Dugdale will read excerpts from the city’s literary heritage, rapper Jay Red tells stories from the streets of today and a west African Griot will weave his magic. Connecting the stories will be songs – from ancient ballads to modern classics, sung by three choirs – Elikya, Cantette and Limerick Youth Choir, as well as solos from some of the city’s finest singers. Also in the melting pot are the incredible Brazilian Capoeira Dancers, a Togolese drum choir and a variety of dance styles from local troupe Art and Motion. Running throughout will be activities to keep younger members of the audience entertained, including an art table and face-painting.

8pm: Lily at the Belltable. See above.

8pm: The Crystal Swing All Star Show in Glór, Ennis.
Derek, Dervla and Mary are Crystal Swing, a terrific family group from Cork who are a sensation around the world. Crystal Swing perform in glór with special guests, Louise Morrissey, Art Supple & The Bumper Band in the happiest show of the year! Since coming to prominence in 2010, Crystal Swing have rarely been off our screens and never out of the press, including an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where the trio went down a storm. Crystal Swing have been performing to full houses all over the country, and guarantee a great night out. Tickets are €18/20 and available on or by calling 065-6843103.

Good show for Culture Night 2011

I want to report back that while I didn’t get to sample everything at Limerick’s Culture Night 2011, it seemed to be a great success. The organisations and venues involved put a lot of effort into it. It was especially popular with families, students and people from other countries living in Limerick so Culture Night was a great PR opportunity—which was mostly capitalised upon.

The Hunt Museum was very busy and had lots of stuff on including workshops/ activities for kids, a live orchestra and guided tours. The excellent music by CoMA (Contemporary Music Making for All) added to the special atmosphere and the museum was as charming as ever. The current photographic exhibition, Changing Ireland, is amazing, incredibly moving and it’s on until October 23. The photos are displayed in advance of the publication of the latest in the series of books by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury.

We had a sneak peek at the redeveloped Limerick City Gallery of Art in Pery Square. It was bizarre walking around there with no art in the space! The gallery was giving away free ev+a back catalogues among other books, which was a good idea in the absence of the real thing.

There was tango dancing going on beside the Occupy Space gallery, which made for a bit of voyeurism. After a look around the art exhibition space we tipped across to Conradh na Gaeilge, where they were having a old fashioned sing song and trad session in an chistin. That was good craic.

I have minor complaints…well, the blog is called ‘not good for my rage’. The programme for advertised that the Georgian House and Gardens were open for the night, which was wrong. It used to be open to the public during the week but due to funding difficulties, Limerick Civic Trust had to close it for the time being with the loss of several jobs. I think the restored Georgian-era building is one of the biggest jewels in LCT’s crown and it should have been open on the most appropriate night of the year! (On closer inspection, that online programme had a litany of mistakes and omissions. The ones in the local papers were more accurate and there were plenty of leaflets available at the venues).

The poetry bus wasn’t running to schedule and after 15 minutes waiting at the stop it was supposed to arrive at, we decided to abandon it and head for the Hunt Museum.

My little brother had never seen King John’s Castle so we went down there for a look first. The history of the place never fails to impress but I have to say some of the exhibits and the visitors’ centre look tired and/or dirty. There was a lot of litter outside the entrance and no stewards/special event for the night. BUT the castle’s courtyard had fantastic exhibits of ye olde bright blue wheelie bins and ye olde pile of broken pallets. It made you wonder what year ye olde traffic cone was excavated. The castle is due for a multi-million euro revamp next year and I hope it’ll be spent in the right areas.

So all in all, Culture Night was well worth a look. Kudos to all involved!

Culture Night 2011

It’s that time of year again. Culture Night is on all over the country tomorrow (September 23). It was first organised in Dublin by the Temple Bar Cultural Trust but not to be outdone by the Dubs, for the past few years it has spread beyond the Pale.

In Limerick, it will run from 5 to 10pm and offers free entry into museums, galleries and arts events all over the city and county. It’s an incentive to go and see things all in aid of broadening your cultural horizons.

Some of the things on include (all for a recession proof ‘free’):

Walking tours of the walls of Limerick from 5-8.30pm.

Limerick Tango (Thomas Street) offer a free hour-long introduction to Argentine Tango. A session will go ahead at 7pm and another at 8.30pm with a maximum of eight couples per session. Bookings on 085 1434479.

Life-drawing classes at UL in the Foundation Building and guided tours of the UL art collection.

Entry into King John’s Castle (5-8pm); the Thomond Park Museum (5-8pm); Munster Masonic Centre; the Georgian House and Gardens; Limerick City Museum; all artists’ studios available to see late into the evening i.e. Faber Studios, Occupy Space, Contact Studios.

There will be children’s workshops in Limerick City Library, the Hunt Museum and Limerick Printmakers (Printmakers at 5a Sarsfield Street: 6-8pm Kids tote bag
silkscreen printing and 8.30-10pm Adults tote bag silkscreen printing).

There will be a free memoir writing workshop at Limerick Writers Centre (based at the Frank McCourt Museum in Hartstonge Street, which you can also see on the night).

The Limerick School of Art & Design is staging an exhibition.

There will also be music performances at the City Library, LCGA, The Hunt Museum and Conradh na Gaeilge.

The SpiritStore Art Project boards a double decker bus with their Poetry Depot (a pop-up poetry shop). “A place where poets compose personalised poems for you on the spot, based on topics, themes or forms suggested by you. Inkstorm poets will compose poems for you as you circle Limerick’s cultural landscape, hop-on hop-off, then end your tour with a poem in your hand

From 6-9pm, Limerick Youth Theatre will show an audio visual installation, displaying video footage of recent productions, combined with photographic images documenting their activities with local youth in the field of theatre and performance. The public will be able to talk on a one to one basis with members and management/facilitation staff in the LYT offices at 73 O’Connell Street. In conjunction with LYT, Orchard Theatre Company will stage four performances of the Michael Chekhov short The Proposal in the studio space for maximum audience capacity of 20 people at each performance.

The Belltable have a few events for the evening including a reading by Peter and Natasha Murtagh from their new book Buen Camino at 5pm; a film screening of The Way with Martin Sheen at 6pm and live music by Karen Underwood and jazz band at 8.30pm.

The Limerick City Gallery of Art have quite a lot going on too. On Culture Night, it will open the doors of three venues to mark the end of the off-site programme. They are: Istabraq Hall (at City Hall), Ormston House (9-10 Patrick Street) and the Carnegie Building (Pery Square).

At the Carnegie Building at 5pm and 6pm, there will be a lively Sing Out, led by musical director Liz Powell from the Association of Irish Choirs. In just 40 minutes you will learn some songs from scratch, learn some vocal and physical warm-ups and vocal techniques. Anyone interested can just show up.

At Istabraq Hall at 6pm, you can go for a curatorial tour of Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions, curated by Dr. Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes. The exhibition features work by twenty artists and artists groups.
Ormston House opens from 5pm for a ‘house-warming celebration’ from 5-10pm and enjoy a guided tour of the current exhibition with our friendly staff from 7pm. Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions presents work by a host of international artists who are influenced by writers such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien.

Especially interesting is the sneak preview of the Carnegie Building at 8pm. This is ahead of the grand opening of the newly extended and renovated Limerick City Gallery of Art. The architect John A. O’Reilly and the project architect Hugh Murray will be available to show and tell people about the new development and how it compliments the extension that is now known as the South Gallery that opened in 1999. Since May 2010, a Phase II Development, funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through the Access II scheme, has provided a large scale redevelopment of LCGA, adding three extensions to the historic structure, in order to upgrade facilities for the visiting public and staff.

It seems like Limerick has lots going on for Culture Night. The Arts Office and all the organisations involved have made a serious effort, and will continue to do so tomorrow, so here’s hoping for a big turn-out.

More information is available on the website.