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Dance classic kicks off week of fun, frolics and high art

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Judy Murphy looks at the delights in prospect at the 36th Galway Arts Festival

Free street shows, new drama, major artwork, a dance show and a concert performance of of a new home-produced opera form the backbone of this year’s Galway Arts Festival, which runs from July 15-28.

The programme kicks off on July 15 at the Black Box Theatre when choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast Dance Company re-imagines his version of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Keegan-Dolan’s previous production of this ground-breaking ballet was nominated for an Olivier award in 2009 when it premiered in London’s Coliseum. It’s 100 years this year since Stravinsky’s ballet premiered to great controversy in Paris and this new version draws on the same ancient savage forces. For the Arts Festival, the piece is partnered with the brighter work, Petrushka. This dance show runs until July 20 at the Black Box Theatre with tickets costing €20-27.

The award-winning Mies Julie from South Africa’s Baxter Theatre Company in association with the South African State Theatre, which received five-star reviews when it played last year’s Edinburgh Theatre Festival, will receive its Irish premiere at the Arts Festival. Based on the play by August Strindberg it is directed by Yael Farber who previously visited Galway in 2008 with the drama Malora, based on South Africa’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission. That previous association proved vital in getting the play to Galway in the face of fierce international competition, according to the Festival’s Artistic Director, Paul Fahy.  It has also been staged in London and New York.

Mies Julie has been given a new interpretation in post-apartheid South Africa to explore tensions between race, class, gender and the issue of land ownership. Described by The New York Times as ‘stunning’ it is a highly charged work with sexual scenes, and is billed by the Festival as being suitable for those aged 16 and over.  It’s at the Town Hall Theatre from July 22-28, and tickets are €20-29.

Chicago’s Northlight Theatre Company, which enjoyed huge success at last year’s Arts Festival with The Outgoing Tide, featuring John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, returns this year with a new work. Stella and Lou is also written by Bruce Graham and is set in a Philadelphia bar where three kindred spirits find themselves on the brink of change. According to Paul, it’s a funny and poignant play that, like the Outgoing Tide, explores human relationships and the issues that drive people.

Actress Olwen Foeure, who features in Fabulous Beast’s dance show, is also bringing her new show to the Festival. Riverrun takes its inspiration from Finnegans Wake and is performed by Foeure, who co-directs. It’s at Druid Theatre from July 22 -27 with previews from July 18. Tickets are €20-25.

Star of Love/Hate Tom Vaughan Lawlor takes on the roles of Howie and Rookie in Mark O’Rowe’s play, Howie the Rookie. This is not a new play, but it has been re-imagined by the playwright, who also directs, for a single actor rather than being a two-hander. It’s in An Taibhdhearc from July 22-27. An Taibhdhearc will also present its own in-house production of An Tíornálach Drogallach – a translation of Tom Murphy’s play, The Last Days of a Reluctant Tyrant – directed by Anne McCabe and translated by Macdara Ó Fatharta. Based on a 19th century Russian novel, it’s the story of a matriarch consumed by greed, who first prospers and then fails terribly. As her circumstances change she becomes dependent on her favourite son for charity, but it doesn’t end well. This exploration of boom, bust, greed and immorality was first staged in English on the Abbey Theatre stage.

Local theatre is also represented by Blue Teapot with Sanctuary, a bittersweet comedy by Christian O’Reilly that explores issues around sex and disability. Blue Teapot was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre award last year on foot of this production, which is at the company’s venue on Sea Road from July 17-27.

CITY TRIBUNE

TG4 to broadcast Sina’s lockdown Town Hall gig

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German-born Sina moved to Ireland in 2015 to pursue her musical dream.

A concert by German born, Irish-based singer-songwriter Sina Theil, which was recorded at the Town Hall Theatre in December 2020, during lockdown will be broadcast by TG4 this Saturday night, February 4.

This energetic and hardworking artist is currently touring Ireland as special guest with rising folk singer Dan McCabe.

She has previously been named Hottest Act in Irish Country Music (female), won Song of the Year at the Hot Country TV Awards and the Rising Star of the Year 2022 Award at the American Celtic Listener Supported Music Awards. She’s also had 17 number one singles in the Irish Country charts and a number one in the mainstream Irish charts with her latest self-penned song.

Sina relocated to Ireland in 2015 on her own in what she calls “an act of blind faith” to pursue her dream of making music. She knew nobody here as she began funding her musical education by busking on the streets of Dublin, sometimes making just enough in the morning to cover bills that had to be paid in the afternoon.

Sina’s independently released album, Live at THT Galway, for which she crowdfunded more than €16,000 with the help of her loyal online following (50,000+), reached number three in the mainstream Irish charts and songs have had thousands of plays on Irish radio.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Stories, drama and improv at Moth and Butterfly Festival

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The Moth & Butterfly International Festival of Storytelling & Improvisation will take place in Galway City, County and online from this Friday to Saturday, February 3-5.

Events will include improvisational theatre events, children’s storytime, a virtual global story chain, a music workshop and an audio experience in Connemara, according to Artistic Director Órla Mc Govern.

The Moth & Butterfly group have been running monthly events in Galway for 12 years, as well as collaborating with festivals and events globally. Following two successful digital and hybrid festivals in 2021 and 2022, theyre now bringing their first fully live festival to Galway and beyond.  It has a wide range of events for all ages, many free or via donation.

Land of Stories will run from this Friday to Sunday at locations in Connemara and online. In this selection of recorded stories and conversations, local artists discuss their practice and connection to the landscape. It involves recordings being ‘placed’ in various places, using location-based software, so the stories are activated by being in a specific area. Remote access is available via an online map, for those who can’t travel.

At 11.30am this Friday, storytellers Catherine Brophy and Máirín Mhic Lochlainn will be at Galway City Library to present a free, bilingual event, Stories For Children / Scéalta do Pháistí.  At 3pm Tales of Mischief and Magic will be at Oranmore Library, when Antrim storyteller Liz Weir will lead participants on an interactive journey through the imagination. It’s for ages 6+ and is free.

At 8pm, Parenthetical, an improvised theatrical performance with The Jess’ss’ss will be in the city’s Blue Teapot Theatre, Munster Avenue, for audiences of 18+. It’s based on the theme of ‘Parent’.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Artist Gertrude in flying form at Kenny Gallery

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Eat Drink and Be Merry

A collection of 40 original paintings and graphics by renowned German artist Gertrude Degenhardt, will open at The Kenny Gallery in the city’s Liosbán Retail Park on Saturday, February 11th at 3pm.

The show, Flying Melodies, features new and retrospective works and is described by the gallery as something of a Greatest Hits, featuring many images which will be well-known to her Irish fans.

Gertrude Degenhardt, who is one of Germany’s leading painters and graphic artists, first came to Ireland in the early 1970s when she was commissioned to prepare illustrations for a German edition of a book of short stories by Liam O’Flaherty.

She has produced several exhibitions for the Kenny Gallery over the years, including Women in Music –  a series of 70 images of female musicians – Vagabondage, Passes By, Paradise Lost, Dancing Couples and It’s About Time.

Degenhardt, who was born in 1940, is a keen observer of people. Song and wine feature frequently in her distinctive work, as do revolution, vagabonds, dance, musicians, Ireland and her late husband, Martin.

Flying Melodies will be officially opened by renowned fiddle player Frankie Gavin at 3pm on Saturday, February 11, at The Kenny Gallery, Liosbán Retail Park. All are welcome.

The exhibition will run daily from 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday, until St Patrick’s Day in the gallery and online at www.thekennygallery.

 

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