The Limerick Experiment conference/perfomance this weekend

Arts_Encounter_Logo_RGB_mediumThis weekend (Saturday November 30/Sunday December 1) The Limerick Experiment will be presenting ‘Imagining the Future for the Arts in Limerick; Dialogue and performance’.

This two day conference and performance event intends to draw attention to some of the issues facing the arts in Limerick. The organisers say: “On the eve of Limerick’s designation as the first Irish National City of Culture, it is fitting that public discussion take place between artists and decision makers.”

Guest speakers will be drawn from national and international arts organisations and will include Patrick Gyger, Director of Le Lieu Unique in Nantes (a groundbreaking contemporary arts centre in France) and Limerick born Kevin Wallace, an international theatre producer based in the West End.

Dr Stephen Kinsella from the Kemmy Business School in UL; Dr Niamh Nic Gabhann, Director of the new MA in Festive Arts at UL, Karl Wallace, Artistic Director, City of Culture; Dr Bernadette Quinn, DIT and Sheila Deegan, City Arts Officer and Gavin Kostick, Literary Manager of Fishamble Theatre Company are also amongst the contributors. The topics are delightfully varied (a more detailed programme is below the post). There will also be an informal Cultural Café on both days where there will be an opportunity for attendees to meet contributors and organisers.

Admission to the conference is free to students and unwaged. Donations of €10 per day are sought from other attendees. Tickets to The Limerick Experiment evening performance are available to book separately (see details below).

Advance registration for the conference is essential and further details may be obtained by emailing: limerickexperiment@gmail.com.

Six Short Pieces for Limerick

On the evening of Day 1 of the conference, artists from The Limerick Experiment will showcase a number of devised performance and interdisciplinary works. The 15 artists from different disciplines have come together and, with the facilitation of Gavin Kostick, have created a number of short performances. These works are the outcome of monthly workshops and rehearsals.

The group includes actors, writers, film makers, musicians, visual artists and directors: Ann Blake, Marie Boylan, Mike Finn, Emma Fisher, Kevin Kiely, Maeve McGrath, MagsO’Donoghue, Joan Sheehy, Jo Slade, Monica Spencer, Ciarda Tobin, Shane Whisker and Damien Wilson. The wide range of sources for inspiration include the Shannon, list making, a barber’s chair, conversations over tea and Limerick’s Red Light District…a scattering of topics that will surely make for interesting results!

Tickets for the performances are €10 and are available from the Lime Tree Theatre Box Office on 061-774774 or www.limetreetheatre.ie/limerickartsencounter.

As part of The Limerick Experiment one of the events will be performed earlier in the evening as the performance takes place outside. Tickets are free but limited and must be booked in advance from: red-square-lmk.eventbrite.ie. Red Square involves an audio download (to be made in advance) and there will be two performances at 7pm and 7:20pm.

The Limerick Experiment Flier

Limerick Arts Encounter/Dance Limerick events to note

Limerick Arts Encounter has been running, and will continue to run, various arts events around the city.

I saw the exceptional What Happened Bridgie Cleary by Bottom Dog TC in mid October and reviewed it for Irish Theatre Magazine. Read it here.

The episodic theatre piece, The Boneyard Man, has been running weekly for a month at Dr John’s to great success. The last instalment this Thursday is sold out but don’t fret, there are other delights to sample this week.

Sorcha Furlong & Gemma Doorly- Performing in W.A.G at Theatre at the SavoyTheatre at the Savoy is upon us. W.A.G by Gemma Doorly is in the lunchtime and teatime slots on Thursday and lunchtime on Friday.

W.A.G is a hilarious black comedy about the forced showdown between an Irish Soccer star’s wife and his mistress. Set in the lavish surroundings of the soccer star’s mansion while he is away, his wife has invited a guest around for a drink and a chat – his mistress. Armed with intimate photos of the mistress and a threat to leak the story to the newspapers – W.A.G is ready to fight for her marriage to the death!”

Evening Theatre at the Savoy then follows on this Friday and Saturday at 7pm. Galway’s Fregoli Theatre Company will present Dorset Street Toys.

Dorset Street Toys-Fregoli Theatre Company - Theatre at the Savoy“A child prophet is taken from a basket sent drifting down the Liffey. A young girl clutching a dolly is taken from her home. A man in a superhero cloak hides from the streets he once thought to save. A woman steps out into onto the street to sell the only thing she thinks she can. Fregoli are delighted to present the debut of Dorset Street Toys, a provocative, harsh but ultimately moving exploration of love, lost childhood and the Dublin streets”.

Bookings by phone at 085-8554341 or at www.limericktheatre.com.

 

There are Indie and foreign film screenings going on at the former Belltable Arts Centre at 69 O’Connell Street. A particularly exciting upcoming one (Nov 27) is Before Midnight, the third in Richard Linklater’s masterful Before and After films with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. There’s also an ongoing visual art exhibition there too. Check out the Lime Tree’s programme for even more theatre etc too.

The Dance Limerick programme is in full swing too, with classes and performances galore. It is taking part in Limerick Arts Encounter with The Limerick Experiment in its base, the Dance Limerick Church. This will involve performance and a conference (Nov 29-Dec 1).Fifteen Limerick artists, from different disciplines, have come together with a view to creating a collaborative, developmental work and that’s central to the event

Missing_webAlso, there is a really exciting event on in the same venue on November 7 in the form of Missing by Coiscéim Dance Theatre. I saw the Coiscéim show, Swimming With My Mother, a few years back in the Belltable Unfringed Festival and was absolutely blown away. It’s the only contemporary dance show ever where I enjoyed every single minute. The theatrical elements were fabulous. Rightly or wrongly, I have high hopes for this one! It’s great to see a company of Coiscéim’s calibre return to Limerick.

The premise of Missing is: “It is hard to imagine what it might feel like if a loved one went missing. This poignant new duet broaches the experiences of the families and communities left behind. Missing is a reminder of the fragility and beauty of moments shared. It is a dance poem to those absent and to those left in the abyss of the unknown.”
It is choreographed by David Bolger and will be performed by Emma O’Kane and Tom Pritchard. See the website for more info.

Three exciting new ventures for Limerick arts community

THE LIMERICK ARTS ENCOUNTER

Arts_Encounter_Logo_RGB_mediumLaunched at the birthday party for the Lime Tree Theatre,The Limerick Arts Encounter is a new pilot programme of events funded directly by the Arts Council and the City Council. It is a collaboration between the Limerick City arts office and the Lime Tree Theatre.

What money would have earmarked for the now defunct Belltable Arts Centre is to be funneled directly to theatre groups and arts practitioners to present work in local venues. Many well-known companies and individuals are involved. One event that has already taken place was a rehearsed reading of an adapted version of the Kate O’Brien novel, Distinguished Villa, in the refurbished Boru House (sickened that I missed that).

The programme of events started in mid-September and will run until March. Theatre, film, visual art and literature will get an airing. Venues include the former Belltable at 69 O’Connell Street, the Lime Tree, the Victoria Snooker Club, Dr John’s and the Blind Pig and Dance Limerick—the former St John’s Church, which once housed Daghdha Dance Company.

It is hoped that it will give a boost to the arts sector in the city and all stakeholders are delighted that the Arts Council are still supporting productions and events.

The Limerick Leader has speculated that the funding is in the region of €240,000. While not a long-term solution, it will hopefully lead to one. Further information on the Limerick Arts Encounter programme is on www.limetreetheatre.ie.

DANCE LIMERICK

Limerick Dance. Picture: Alan PlaceA new contemporary dance hub is being launched this Thursday, October 3, in at the dance space at the former St John’s Church (previously occupied by the now defunct, Daghdha Dance Company).

The initiative—a new support and development organisation for professional dance—is also funded by the Arts Council and Limerick City Council.

Director, Jenny Traynor, will attempt to reinvigorate dance in Limerick city. She is a former manager of CoisCéim Dance Theatre, one of Ireland’s leading dance companies, so the future of dance here is in safe hands.

Commenting on the launch of Dance Limerick, Ms Traynor, praised the “phenomenal” facilities at John’s Square and is “delighted to have the opportunity to programme these world class facilities for dance artists and dance audiences in Limerick”.

Choreographer Mary Nunan has been commissioned to create a performance especially for the event. It will feature five female dancers and is set to the 2nd movement of Schubert’s String Quintet. Tickets for the launch are available via its Facebook.

Dance Limerick will offer a programme of performances, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures.

ARTISTS’ APARTMENTS

johnssquareMinister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan, has officially opened a subsidised living space for artists at John’s Square in the city—a unique scheme thought to be one of the first of its kind in Ireland.

Limerick Arts Office is providing use of six newly refurbished apartments at 1-2 John’s Square to contemporary visual artists, performers, musicians and writers. Six artists will take up residency straight away (they can stay for one to three years) and another two apartments are available to local arts organisations for short-term use i.e. to accommodate visiting artists.

The entire square was redeveloped by Limerick City Council and is now being dubbed “Limerick’s living cultural quarter”.

All of these news items bode well for Limerick City of Culture 2014. The applications process is closed for that now so hopefully a programme will soon materialise.

SORRY!!

I’ve slipped back into my complacent ways about posting again. D’oh! Cue summary of some of my cultural intake for the last while…feel free to skip through; I’ll never even know!

I neglected to post about Angela’s Ashes: The Musical, which quickly blasted away my cynicism with a catchy score and fantastic performances all round. I hope it returns again so more people can see it. I didn’t get a chance to talk about the amazing documentary, The Summit, which was premiered as part of Elemental Arts & Culture Festival. The photography was breathtaking, the interviews heartbreaking and the tremendous courage and sacrifice shown by Limerick man, Ger McDonnell, on K2 was conclusively revealed.

I failed to mention the first birthday celebrations of the Lime Tree Theatre, which has totally excelled expectations and brought some outstanding performances to the local stage. The stage adaptation of Tuesdays With Morrie which followed was very moving; I read the book and it was lovely to see it played out so well.

I was seemingly stunned into silence by the dual brilliance of Break, at the Dublin Fringe Festival, and Fleetwood Mac at the O2 in Dublin. Both shows were just unreal!

I saw About Time…yeah I know it’s Richard Curtis and by default (A) Impossibly romantic (B) more than a little sentimental but I really enjoyed it. Domhnall Gleeson really comes into his own and it was very sweet and funny. I read the much hyped, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and I thought it was quirky, tense and had some killer twists—great stuff. I discovered a new bluegrass band, Punch Brothers, who have this fusion thing going on where there’s a bit of country, bluegrass and jazz. It’s a bit mad in a good way.