Theatre at the Savoy/Seoda Shows

Although there has been some bad news in terms of the arts scene here in Limerick, there is still a lot of good news. Venues like Dolan’s, The Lime Tree, the University Concert Hall, The Loft, Cobbelstone Joes, The Blind Pig/Dr John’s, The Library (both the municipal and the bar), the Limerick City Art Gallery, Ormston House, Raggle Taggle and the Hunt Museum to name just keep on truckin’ and hosting events.  Here are two more great examples…

Theatre at the Savoy

Fred+and+AliceAfter starting last year, the monthly event, Theatre at the Savoy, is still getting stronger. On the last week of the month, there are two lunchtime performances on Thursday and Friday as well as a teatime performance on the Thursday evening. Performances consistently sell out (and at €10 for a play and lunch, it’s not hard to see why).

I went to see Let Me Be by Fregoli Theatre Company, in the lunchtime slot last month. The young ensemble from the Galway-based company did an excellent job on the original drama by Maria Tivnan (who also starred in the play with Kate Murray). The emotional drama, focusing on two young sisters, was deeply affecting and seemed to really resonate with the audience.

The good people at Limerick Local Heroes and the Savoy Hotel deserve some praise for organising such a popular monthly event. Next month, the play is Fred and Alice, written and directed by John Sheehy. The play by Limerick’s CallBack Theatre Company is billed as “a quirky love story played at a blistering pace” and stars Cora Fenton and Ciaran Bermingham. More information here.

Seoda Shows

387435_117583415092375_713653962_nAfter the great success of Thursday Nights @ Bourke’s, Seoda Shows is picking up where those events left off—showcasing the best in new and established Irish/international musical talent. Having enjoyed many a good band in Bourke’s myself, I reckon if these gigs continue in the same vein, they’ll do well.

“Seoda is the Irish for treasures. Seoda Shows hosts various concerts, shows, shindigs and shenanigans for the party faithful.” The venue is the same and while the events are no longer free, the tickets are very reasonably priced, with an even cheaper advance price i.e. €1/2 off a regular price of €6-8 = bargain.

On April 9, Fang Island is playing with special guests, No Spill Blood. Fang Island is a rock outfit from the USA and No Spill Blood is “a fun new musical group featuring members of Elk, Adebisi Shank, Hands up who wants to die, Magic Pockets”. On April 11, electronic pop twosome, Young Wonder, are launching an EP with support from supercool fiddle player, Dáithí Ó Drónaí. On April 18, the musical stylings of John Smith will be on display with special guest—local gal, Emma Langford.

This new venture is a brave move—one of those Jim Morrison and a bare-assed Indian in the desert but as they say “If you build it, they will come”. More information here.

Theatre at the Savoy in the next few days

Theatre at the Savoy has a packed few days ahead planned with lunchtime and evening performances for the Unfringed Festival and yet another new venture, children’s theatre, this Saturday.

In the regular monthly lunchtime slot tomorrow (Thursday October 26) and Friday, the play, PAYBACK! is on. The show is written and performed by Marion O’Dwyer and Maria McDermottroe.

The plot is as follows: “Welcome to the Invisible World of the Middle-aged Woman! Did you ever want to get your own back? Kitty and Mary do. Mary and Kitty have a plan. For…PAYBACK! Kitty and Mary have been hard done by, but they’re not taking it lying down! In the meantime, they’re having a jar, having a laugh, and hatching a plan.”

It has gotten good reviews with The Irish Times saying it was “neatly structured and with lots of funny lines, it’s an amusing, righteously angry hour” and the Sindo calling it good fun and “a magnificent and comprehensive revenge”.

The routine is as per usual. Doors at 12.50pm and start at 1.05pm. Be warned: half the €10 (includes lunch) tickets are sold already so reserve ahead to avoid disappointment (http://lunchtimetheatreorganiser.eventbrite.ie/We).

Also on tomorrow and Friday in the 6.30pm slot is The Wheelchair on My Face by Sonya Kelly. This won The Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012 and has gotten brilliant reviews all round from the likes of Irish Theatre Magazine and RTÉ’s Arena.

“Part memoir, part theatre and part stand-up comedy” according to the Irish Independent, the play is performed by Kelly herself and directed by Gina Moxley.

“I got my first pair of glasses when I was seven. A nurse came to the school and tested everyone’s eyes. And so it was discovered why I’d thrown bread to the floating crisp packets in our local pond and walked into lamp posts and said,’excuse me’. Until that day the world was a swirl of moving coloured blobs. I thought it was the same for everyone. How wrong I was.”

Admission is €15 per person, payable at the door and that includes a glass of wine or soft drink.

Both these shows—and the sublime, Bandit, last week—were developed as part of Show in a Bag, an artist development initiative of Dublin Fringe Festival, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Irish Theatre Institute to resource theatre makers and actors.

Then on Saturday October 27 at 12 noon the first children’s theatre show will open with Goblin’s, Goons and Witches starring Myles Breen. This will involve Halloween tales with puppets, rhyme and verse. It promises fun for all the family and everyone is encouraged to come in costume.

Admission is €7 per child (€12 for two children or €15 for three children) and adults go free, but they have to stay for the show.

Bookings by phone: 085-8554341 or at www.lunchtheatre.com. More info on all the plays on Facebook and Twitter (@lunchtheatre).

Unfringed runs until Sunday so try and all the listings are on www.belltable.ie.

Unfringed Festival 2012 starts tonight, Oct 16

The Limerick Unfringed Festival 2012 kicks off tonight (October 16) with a specially commissioned play, Siege.

The festival will run until October 28 and will include new and established theatre, music, dance, cinema and literary events. This year’s festival is curated by Duncan Molloy and the theme is ‘Darkness on the edge of town’.

The Unfringed used to take place in January but I think the new timeslot is a good move and spreading the festival events over 12 days will hopefully encourage audiences. There are a few ticket bundles available too, which might soften the financial outlay for some. The prices for events range from €7 to €22.50. The programme is a heady mix, with a lot of local input, so I would encourage people to support the festival by attending at least one event if they can at all. I’ll get to (and review if possible) a few things myself.

Siege is a local affair—written by Ciarda Tobin, directed by Marie Boylan and starring Aidan Crowe, Erica Murray and Joanne Ryan. The plot outline is as follows: “Pa is missing, Mouse is on the warpath and the houses are burning. This new short play, set in Limerick and inspired by the Trojan war, follows the exploits of Helena and her daughter as they discover Mouse’s secret and are forced to escape his fury. This is a highly charged urban play, which swings from karaoke to chaos and comedy to tragedy. It is rough and ready; it is savage and familiar. The production will be fast paced and physical.” The venue is the Belltable and it runs until Thursday.

Thursday lunchtime marks the first of three shows tying in with Lunchtime Theatre at the Savoy. Bandit—fresh from the Dublin Fringe—is on at 1pm on Thursday and Friday this week. On Friday (October 19) and Saturday nights, the multi award winning, Silent, by Pat Kinevane, is on at the Belltable. Act Without Words II by Samuel Beckett is on this Saturday and Sunday (two shows a night). The venue is site-specific but audiences meet at the Belltable.

Also on Sunday, Molloy’s own work—Mass—is on in the afternoon in the Limerick City Gallery of Art. Mass is on again on Sunday October 28. Interactive dance performance, Chimaera, by Angie Smalis is on Sunday and Monday night. On Tuesday October 23, there is a screening of the George Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead.

Mimic by Raymond Scannell is on Wednesday and Thursday night (October 25). Also on Thursday and Friday, Payback and The Wheelchair on my Face will feature at Lunchtime and Teatime Theatre at the Savoy respectively. On Thursday, The Loft will host Under the Influence where comedian/actor Pat Shortt and playwright, Mike Finn, will discuss their inspirations. Later that same evening, there will be a celebration of Richard Harris presented by Bottom Dog Theatre Company and The Little Apple.

On Friday night, French jazz musician, Tigran will perform and on Saturday, band Scullion will perform. Unique live game, Day Zero, is taking place, every 20 minutes from 1-4pm on Saturday. The idea is that the city has been overrun by zombies and you have to find a way to survive. The venue is site-specific but audiences meet at the Belltable. On Sunday, the festival will conclude with a production of David Mamet’s Oleanna.

Find out more about the Unfringed programme at www.belltable.ie or download it here.

Zocorro Rose of Tralee review/Sept show for Lunchtime Theatre

I went to see Zocorro Rose of Tralee last week (August 31) as part of the Lunchtime Theatre at the Savoy initiative.

This monthly event is fast becoming one of my favourites. It’s novel, casual and always has quality material on show. The latest instalment was no different.

Leonor Bethencourt’s one-act play was a hilarious send-up of the distinctly Irish ‘lovely girls competition’, The Rose of Tralee. The Spanish Rose’s journey to the dome was anything but straightforward but she navigated cultural differences and the cut-throat pageant world with aplomb. The actress, who is actually Spanish, has a brilliant skill for comic timing and delivery. Though it’s like shooting fish in a barrel to lampoon the Rose of Tralee, the jokes, physical comedy and the story/plot were very funny. The audience loved it.

The character, Zocorro returns for the September 27/28 outing of Lunchtime Theatre at the Savoy with her new show, Marilyn Monroe Airlines – Always Late and Unreliable! Ms Bethencourt also wrote the brand new comedy, which will premiere at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin this weekend. The blurb reads as follows: “On the 50th Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death, this show is an original homage to her legendary lateness and unreliability. Zocorro is the air hostess who brings the audience on a flight inspired by her turbulent life: Look around, compare, and if you find a cheaper airline, fly it!”

Tickets are already on sale for these shows and since Zocorro Rose of Tralee sold out in record time, if you want to go, you should book ahead (you just reserve a seat but pay your €10 at the door). The initiative—spearheaded by Limerick Local Heroes—is so popular that there is talk of adding an early evening show at 6pm with the admission including a glass of wine, for example. This is only a possibility but if you have attended the lunchtime show and you think this would be a good idea, be sure to let the organisers know!

Reserve your seat at: http://lunchtheatre.eventbrite.ie/ and for more info, see Facebook.

Lunchtime Theatre this week: Zocorro Rose of Tralee

This month’s edition of Lunchtime Theatre at the Savoy Hotel on August 30 and 31 will feature the play, Zocorro Rose of Tralee.

The play—performed by Leonor Bethencourt—is very appropriate for this time of year, seeing as how the annual lovely girls competition is just over. It’s the story of a “Spanish Rose who entered the Rose of Tralee competition and won it with devastating consequences. If you want to hear her unabridged, uncensored story of what really goes on behind the scenes in Tralee…”

The reviews are very impressive: “I loved this play, and I think you will too,” said the Irish Mail On Sunday; “…impeccable timing…a keen comic talent,” said The Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine added that the play “delivers killer jokes … her wit is undeniable”.

Doors at the Henry Street hotel will open at 12.45pm and the show will commence at 1:05pm. Tickets are €10 to include light lunch and they are nearly sold out for this Thursday and Friday so act fast.

Reserve your seat at: http://lunchtheatre.eventbrite.ie/ and for more info, see Facebook.