7 days + nights: 03rd - 09th of September
Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co Laois
A music festival where the music is often the least interesting thing on the menu, Electric Picnic has certainly carved a unique niche for itself.
In addition to the now familiar grab-bag of political cabaret, cookery demonstrations, comedy performances and drummers on stilts, this year's festival returns with one of its strongest musical line-ups to date. Tonight, John Lydon's art-punk PiL play their first ever Irish show, while Roxy Music will demonstrate it is possible to be smoove and profound at the same time. On Saturday, meanwhile, LCD Soundsystem, Crystal Castles and Leftfield are some of the highlights. Rounding off the weekend on Sunday, it's the turn of 'boys of bummer' The National, trip hop legends Massive Attack and folkies-du-jour Mumford and Beards... sorry... Sons...
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Metropolis, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2
It was one of the greatest sci-fi epics ever, but after its premiere in 1927, it almost disappeared. Fritz Lang's Metropolis is now recognised as one of the great achievements of early cinema, its dystopian vision and pioneering special effects retaining power more than 80 years later. But at the time, audiences were underwhelmed, and when a quarter of it was cut out for American audiences, the original print disappeared. It wasn't until a copy surfaced in a museum in Buenos Aires a couple of years ago that the full film could be restored, and the IFI and National Concert Hall are celebrating with a screening, accompanied by a live orchestral score, at the Concert Hall tomorrow evening, with a Fritz Lang season this month at the IFI.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Gabriel Metsu, National Gallery, Dublin 2
How better to recover from all the bruising bedlam of the weekend than with a restorative visit to the calm oasis that is our National Gallery? The gallery has just opened a very interesting exhibition celebrating the work of Dutch artist Gabriel Metsu. The son of Jacques Metsu, a painter of Leiden who died in 1629, the year Gabriel was born, Gabriel studied and worked in Leiden until he was 21, when he resettled in the more colourful metropolis of Amsterdam. He began with religious subjects, but sacred art was unsuited to his unruly temperament and he turned to the life of the marketplace and of the drawing room. Despite his untimely death at the age of 37, Metsu produced one of the most awe-inspiring oeuvres by any painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Trust me, this exhibition will provide a welcome salve to even the most battered souls.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Dinner for Schmucks, General Release
Based on an acclaimed 1998 French comedy called Le Diner de Cons, Dinner for Schmucks may lack some of the original's finesse, but it does boast an excellently judged turn from Steve Carell. He plays Barry Speck, a bespectacled twit who unleashes chaos when he enters the well-ordered life of ambitious financial executive Tim Conrad (Paul Rudd). Tim has been asked by his oily boss to attend his exclusive monthly 'dinner for idiots', to which ambitious executives must bring the biggest fool they can find for everyone to laugh at. When he meets Barry, Tim thinks he's on to a winner, but Speck is a kind of vortex of chaos and before he's finished, he'll have destroyed Tim's relationship and fancy apartment and seriously jeopardised his livelihood. Bruce Greenwood and Stephanie Szostak co-star.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
Lunch, International Bar, Dublin 2
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but you can have a very good value and entertaining one if you stray upstairs at 1pm in Wicklow Street's International Bar this week. Animal attraction, talking the talk and coming to terms with clandestine desires are all at the heart of this short piece by Steven Berkoff. This is the story of what happens when two strangers meet during their lunch hour and play a dangerous game of seduction. Tom (Benjamin Musgrave) is an almost painfully sensitive soul, who combines impossible tenderness with barely simmering rage. Mary (Sarah Byrne) has endured a bitter life pitted with disappointment. When they meet, a bit like Hart to Hart, it's murder, well almost. Presented by Peachum and Ophelia Productions, this is directed by Ciaran O'Brien, And, as it's Berkoff, you can expect brutal vulgarity to intersperse the delicately beautiful poetry. If that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, the bargain ticket price also includes a light lunch.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
The Picture of Dorian Gray, James Joyce Tea Room, Bewley's Café Theatre, Dublin 2
Set in decadent Victorian London, is Oscar Wilde's tale a lush, cautionary story of a life of vileness and deception, or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Maybe it's both. After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt, while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. Presented by Wonderland Productions, this stars a cracking cast including Michael James Ford, Simon Coury and Michael Winder, and is directed by Alice Coughlan. What's more, all tickets include dinner, dessert and, of course, Wildean debauchery.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Biorhythm Live: Rhythm, Science Gallery, Dublin 2
As Gloria Estefan prophetically proclaimed, the rhythm is gonna get you. And this is particularly true if you head to the Science Gallery in Trinity College tonight for a unique exploration of the relationship between rhythm and the body. The headliner is none other than Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Scottish virtuoso percussionist who has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12. Other special guests include bassist Ronan Guilfoyle and his trio, and also RSAG in a fascinating collaboration with scientists from the Clem Burke (yes, Blondie's drummer) Drumming Project, who will be exploring the physiology of the rock 'n' roll sticksman. This is the first of three live performances as part of the gallery's wonderful interactive Biorhythm exhibition.