7 days + nights: 02/07/2010 - 08/07/2010
Friday, July 2
Rob Schneider, Vicar Street, Dublin 2
Although you have probably only encountered Rob Schneider on the big screen in films such as The Hot Chick, The Animal or the Deuce Bigalow, you would be wrong to assume his live shows tap into these zany performances.
This is a comedian who honed his funny bones on the cut-throat Saturday Night Live stage and you don't survive there on wacky humour alone. He has spent most of the past two decades on Hollywood sets, so this return to the live arena is long overdue. Schneider began writing jokes as a teenager, appearing at local venues. In 1990, he was spotted on HBO's 13th Annual Young Comedians Special and hired to be a regular on Saturday Night Live. During his four seasons at SNL, Schneider was nominated for three Emmys. Yes, this lad has got real comedy pedigree.
SATURDAY, JULY 3
Biorhythm, Science Gallery, Dublin 2
What makes your toes tap, your hips swing, your bottom boogie? Why does one particular song get lodged in your brain for the entire day just by the mention of its infuriating title (Macarena anybody?), while genuine classics can be frustratingly hard to remember? Well, scientist Steven Pinker recently claimed that music is "auditory cheesecake", designed to tickle parts of our brain designed for more serious purposes such as speech and abstract reasoning. Or was George Bernard Shaw right when he more racily described dancing as "the vertical expression of a horizontal desire"? Biorhythm allows you to feel how music moves your body through an interactive bazaar of unique sonic experiences, installations, experiments and performances from musicians, engineers and neuroscientists from around the world. Today sees Cian Sayles present a masterclass in human beatboxing.
SUNDAY, JULY 4
Shrek Forever After, general release
In what we are promised will be the last Shrek film, the lovable ogre is knee-deep in domesticity and yearning for the carefree days of bachelorhood. Be careful what you wish for, because when Rumplestiltskin tricks him into signing a magic contract that gives him a day of freedom, Shrek wakes to a world in which he never existed and in which Rumplestiltskin has taken over the entire kingdom. Even Donkey has no idea who he is, and neither does Fiona, but Shrek soon realises that the only way to restore the natural order is to persuade a dubious Fiona to kiss him. The story zips along nicely, there are some good jokes along the way, and Eddie Murphy's Donkey, yet again, steals the show.
MONDAY, JULY 5
Les Parfaits Inconnus, Junction Theatre@Chadwicks, Clonmel
Don't be fooled by this seemingly elegant French name (aka The Perfect Unknowns en anglais), this group are completely bonkers. Is it a rock concert? Is it a clown show? Is it a circus? Heck, it's all three combined in a blitz of madcap comedy and wacky music. Six eccentric characters, armed with a bicycle, a table, a barrel, a board, a ladder and some balls, meet on stage and try to outdo one another in a contest of increasingly outrageous antics. They will be performing at 9pm as part of the Clonmel Junction Festival. Other highlights of this festival, which runs from July 2-11, include performances by Cathy Davey, Republic of Loose and Mick Flannery, comedy from Neil Delamere and a new show about the recession from Alan Shortt, and even a full-blown circus symposium.
TUESDAY, JULY 6
Snoop Dogg, Olympia, Dublin 2
From public enemy and scourge of the moral majority to cuddly elder-statesmen of hip-hop and cultural totem (apparently he is responsible for the widespread adoption of the term 'shizzle'), Snoop Dogg has certainly travelled quite a distance this past decade. If anything sets him apart from his peers it is the fact that he regards hip-hop as an end in itself rather than a springboard to a career in cinema or fashion. He was one of the few good things about Gorillaz' damp firework slot at the UK's Glastonbury festival recently. In the (relatively) intimate space of the Olympia, expect the self-proclaimed uber-pimp to dazzle and charm. It's gonna be a gangsta's paradise.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7
Quadrophonic, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Donegal
We do like a dash of lateral thinking here at Indo HQ and it doesn't get much more sideways than this unique celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of one Chopin. Combining elements of music, theatre, spectacle and a good old shindig, two pianists -- Emilia Sitarz and Bartek Wasik -- and two drummers -- Magdalena Kordylasinska-Pekala and Milosz Pekala -- will render a very individual interpretation inspired by the voice of the master, Frederic Chopin. Quadrophonic will interweave motifs and phrases taken from Chopin's compositions with traditional Polish folk music using a diverse range of instruments including a vibraphone, bongos and even Tibetan singing bowls. The result promises to be quite unique. If you miss them at this Earagail Arts Festival performance, you can also catch them in Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre on July 9.
THURSDAY, JULY 8
Michael Palin, Maritime Hotel, Bantry, West Cork
"I always wanted to be an explorer, but it seemed I was doomed to be nothing more than a very silly person." So said one Michael Palin, but how wrong could the former Python be as he has since become a globetrotter without equal. The key to his most successful travel programmes are his honesty, as Palin soon realised it worked better if he didn't pretend to be David Attenborough and instead made us able to relate to his fears and foibles. Well, this exploring legend will be in Bantry tonight to talk about life and writing as a guest of the ongoing West Cork Literary Festival. Other highlights of the festival, which runs from July 4-10, include novelist Margaret Drabble on Tuesday, the Arabist and travel writer Tim Mackin- tosh-Smith on Wednesday and Fay Weldon on Friday.