Variety and quality in Galway Fringe line-up
The Galway Fringe Festival kicks off this Friday, July 12 and runs until July 31 in venues throughout Galway City with more than 100 local, Irish, and international acts, including comedy, children’s events, visual arts, music, theatre, cabaret, and literature both in English and Irish.
The theatre programme include Martin Sharry in his one-man show Martin Sharry Tells it Like it is, where Sharry explores the potential for truth and storytelling in the medium of stand-up. It runs for two nights, on July 24 and 25 from 6-7pm in the Townhouse bar. The Bentley will also become a theatre venue, with shows such as The Great Couch Rebellion by award-winning playwright Philip Doherty, which tells the story of how Adam and Eve reach breaking point when they decide to rise up gloriously from the comfort of their couch and lead Ireland in a new rebellion. The show runs from July 16-20, from 8-9pm.
Musical highlights include Julie Hawk, a Galway singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is taking the London unsigned scene by storm. She will be performing this Friday, July 12 at 8pm in The Factory Abbeygate Street. Another performance to look forward to is A Sense of Place; a Place of Sense, at Galway City Museum on July 20 at 4pm. Five international musicians will play eight modern classical compositions from all around the world, including the world premiere of a composition by John Maxwell Geddes.
Dance highlights include One Last Drop, which tells the stories of a man and woman as they struggle with the addiction to alcohol. Written and directed by Claudia O’Sullivan and Kori Kilduff, it runs from July 22-25, at 5.30pm in The Cube theatre, NUI Galway.
Events on the literary front include Like a Marble Rolled, a contemporary epic poem that tells the story of a journey two friends make across a fictional city. Created and performed by Phoebe Dick this will be performed on July 20 and 28 of July in The Cellar Bar at 6pm.
Meanwhile The Poetry Sessions will take place in the Bridge Mills, at 3pm every day from July16-22 will feature a mix of music and poetry performed by Padraic Harvey, Gráinne Ní Fhoighil, Fred Johnston, Paul Mulligan, Seán Ó Coistealbha, Marie Homes and others.
The visual art scene is also well represented at the Festival and includes the exhibition Tell Me Your Real Name, a series of photographic portraits exploring questions of identity and the idea of self. All are welcome to have their portrait taken on site between 2-5pm daily in Galway City Museum, from July 17-19. Another exhibition worth seeing is Craic in Galway by Darius Ivan, who is renowned for his nightlife photography around the city. His exhibition will show different views of life in Galway through his lens.
l See www.galwayfringe.ie for more.
Marian Choral Society to bring Evita to life in Tuam
After more than four decades of performing on stage, the Tuam-based Marian Choral Society are embarking on their latest challenge, with plans to stage Evita in the autumn.
While they have announced details of the new production, they have yet to ringfence a cast for the epic. Auditions will take place over the coming weeks.
Chairperson Stuart Barrows told The Tribune that it was an exciting challenge for the group and expressed his delight that so many new members had joined the society.
The Marian Choral Society welcome back Ronan Lardner as Director for Evita, as well as Shane Farrell as Musical Director. And Jay Molyneux is on board for the first time as Choreographer for this production.
The musical will run from Tuesday, October 31, to Saturday, November 4, and will be staged in St Jarlath’s College Hall, Tuam.
The Marian Choral Society had never missed an annual production since their formation back in 1977 – until Covid struck. The pandemic meant that they had to abandon their plans for a couple of years – similar to other artistic groups.
Covid brought to an end a proud record of 43 consecutive productions, during which time they never missed a year. In fact, in 2013, they embarked on two shows to mark Tuam’s 400 celebrations.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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‘Bring a cushion’ and enjoy Bach’s masterpiece at Galway Cathedral
Galway Cathedral is the venue this Saturday evening, March 25, for a performance of Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion from the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO). It will start at 7.30pm.
Conductor Peter Whelan will direct the IBO and the vocal ensemble Sestina Music, with the solo parts being performed by members of the choir and the role of the Evangelist taken on by tenor James Way. This concert of sacred music is being presented by Music for Galway as part of its Bach Season.
The renowned baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote hundreds of sacred pieces while he was director of church music at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig from 1723 until his death in 1750. The St Matthew Passion, which was first performed there on April 11, 1727, is his most elaborate work, with big parts for four soloists.
Its story was drawn mostly from St Matthew’s Gospel but the pieces that Bach put to music were written by various contemporary poets.
This epic work was performed on several occasions during the composer’s lifetime but was then forgotten for nearly 80 years, until Felix Mendelssohn discovered it in the 1820s and performed an abbreviated version in Berlin in 1829.
Mendelssohn would later perform it in Leipzig, with much of the original score restored and it’s now an integral part of the sacred canon. For this Saturday, the advice from Music for Galway is to “bring a cushion and experience this exceptional work performed by outstanding cast”.
Tickets are available from Music for Galway’s website www.musicforgalway.ie or by phone on 091 705962 and cost €30/€27 and €12 for full-time students of all ages. There’s a concession rate of €25 for Music for Galway Friends. To learn more about becoming Friend, visit the website or phone the office.
Sunshine feeling as Raines launch debut album ‘Reverie’
Reverie, the debut album from Galway folk-Americana group the Raines is being officially launched this Friday, March 24 following a musical celebration Galway City on Tuesday evening to mark its release.
The Raines, comprising Ruth Dillon, Yvonne Tiernan and Juliana Erkkonen, have been making waves on the music scene since 2019 and their last five singles have reached Number One in the iTunes charts.
Although they only joined forces four years ago – just before Covid – all three have a long track record in the business.
Ruth (vocals, guitar, ukulele) toured and recorded with singer Dolores Keane, is a former member of the roots group, The Molly Hicks, and has released three solo albums. Yvonne (vocals/ukulele/percussion) has toured internationally with numerous bands, most notably as lead singer with The Chieftains while Juliana (fiddle and vocals) has long been at the forefront of Ireland’s Americana music scene and has released eight albums with a diverse range of acts.
Reverie, with its terrific songs and beautiful harmonies, demonstrates the deep connection between the three women and showcases their unique blend of music.
As Ruth explained: “We worked hard to bring an album that is full of connection, [that is] textured and melodic but that would also honour our own individual voices and styles.”
Guest musicians on Reverie include Cesar Benzoni (mandolin), Sam Wright (bass and bodhrán), John O’Dwyer (bass), Wil Merrigan (bass), Cormac Dunne (drums), Tom Portman (slide guitar and dobro), Justin McCarthy (slide guitar) and Liam Bradley (drums).
The album was recorded by Ivan O’Shea, with additional recording by Cesar Benzoni, Liam King and Justin McCarthy. Except that is for Juliana’s playing and singing, which she recorded in her own studio.
“It has been a such a rewarding experience, as I composed and recorded all my violin/strings and vocals in my own studio which I have been developing over the last few years,” she said. “I am incredibly proud of how it turned out”.
Award-winning producer Brian Masterson, who has worked with The Chieftains, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and The Bothy Band, among others, mixed and mastered the album.
For Yvonne, who has worked in the music industry since she was 17, Reverie has been “a lifetime in the making.
“It a joy to be part of a band that works so well together and to have created this collection of music we love is enough”, she said.
Ruth agreed, saying that, for her, what was most special about Reverie, “is the beautiful musical union and friendship built between myself, Yvonne and Juliana”.
The album is available on https://theraines.bandcamp.com from this Friday, March 24, and from selected retailers nationwide.
The Raines will be playing in Monroe’s in Galway City on June 17 for the Galway Folk Festival. On July 29, they will be in Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr, and on September 21, they will be playing at Clifden Arts Festival.
More information and tickets fortheir concerts is available at theraines.ie.