7 days + nights: 6th - 12th May 2011
FRIDAY, MAY 6
The League of Decadent Bastards, Sugar Club, Dublin 2
Now it's not for us to use this kind of appellation to describe any kind of performer, but there will be a lot of these titular Bastards on stage in the Sugar Club tonight.
Promising the calibre of international cabaret that is sadly such a rarity on this island, The League of Decadent Bastards promises a night of noirish boldness. Under the watchful eye of our own BigChief RandomChaos, who will probably set his hair on fire, international headline acts flying over especially for the night include Mr Pustra, Joe Black and Frank Sanzani. Throw in the launch of Preachers Son's new video, Scarlett Nymph and stage invasions by the Sexy Bastards and you have yourself one heck of a debauched hoopla. Don't forget your feather boa.
SATURDAY, MAY 7
Great Rail Sale, Molesworth Hall, Dublin 2
Can anyone afford to look a gift horse in the mouth these days? Didn't think so. And this is why we will all be donning the knee and elbow pads this morning and preparing for battle at this fashion flurry in Dawson Street's Molesworth Hall today. For this market of pre-loved clothes with a difference, all the rails have been nabbed by stylists and fashionistas and they will be heaving with barely worn items of desire. Located behind St Ann's Church, the Great Rail Sale will be open for business from 12pm to 5pm. But if it's new fashions at bargain breaking prices you're after, the MacLeod Clearance sale in Central Hotel on Exchequer Street is for you. Running from 10am - 5pm, this promises all the latest trends from labels such as Hoss, Gestuz, Qi and Bobi at a fraction of their original cost. And they will also have new stock from Twin Set, By Malene Birger and Patricia Pepe. Get your purses ready.
SUNDAY, MAY 8
Dan Deacon, Button Factory, Dublin 2
With his glowing green skull stage-prop, computer-geek paunch and air of bespectacled befuddlement, Dan Deacon was widely assumed to be somewhat of a joke act when first he crawled out of the Baltimore, Maryland art scene several years ago. And that was before you even listened to his music -- a frenzied electronica featuring spasmodic beats, singing chipmunks and sugar-sweet melodies straight from kids' television. From such unlikely ingredients, however, the Deacon has achieved an unlikely respectability. He's a cult figure for dance fans who value a good time over pouting and posing; among the avant-garde musical community, meanwhile, he has emerged as something of a cause celebre, his pared-to-the-bone grooves earning comparisons to Philip Glass. He visits Dublin having recently finished the score for Francis Ford Coppola's Twist Now And Sunrise.
MONDAY, MAY 9
Pygmalion, Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1
It was first performed in 1913 but it has taken almost a century for this classic George Bernard Shaw drama to receive its premiere at our national theatre. A comedy that's all about class and human relationships, it is actually based on the classical legend from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' about Pygmalion, who carves a woman out of ivory and then falls in love with her. Of course, Shaw's Eliza Doolittle is anything but a statue, she's an illiterate flower seller, but she is invisible, nothing more than a "draggle-tailed guttersnipe". Her unsolicited transformation into society belle is the condescending pet project of one Professor Henry Higgins. But he soon finds himself more involved than he'd ever imagined. For its Abbey debut, Pygmalion is directed by Annabelle Comyn with costumes designed by Peter O'Brien and in the leading roles of Eliza and Professor Higgins are Charlie Murphy and Risteard Cooper.
TUESDAY MAY 10TH
Michael Canning, Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin 1
Weeds become wonders on the canvases of Michael Canning. This highly collectable artist transforms hedgerow plants into emerging sprouts of hope from earthen banks and patchwork fields. Thanks to his instantly identifiable practice of using layers of oil and wax, there is a melancholic air to his settings, though this sadness is often pierced by his green shoots. As he says himself, "I find these plants on daily walks near my home in County Limerick. The names of the plants are not important to me. Many of them I know by local names. Some of them are known to be poisons or remedies. Others have had traditional uses as fabric dyes or colourings." Take a wander up to this Parnell Square gallery to see this exhibition of latest work. His exhibitions do tend to sell out, so if you have a spare shilling to invest, Canning might well be a better horse to back than putting it in the banks and hoping that interest rates will keep pace with inflation.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
Hanna, General Release
In Hanna, flamboyant English director Joe Wright makes a welcome return to form after the truly dire The Soloist, and he's helped by an absolutely breathtaking performance from Saoirse Ronan. She is Hanna, a 16-year-old girl who has been raised by her father Erik in the Arctic wastes of northern Finland in complete ignorance of the modern world. He has also trained her to be a mercilessly efficient assassin, and now sends her out into the world to confront a corrupt CIA agent called Marissa Wiegler. A slowly unfolding plot involves lies, betrayals and secret government programs, but first and foremost Hanna is a visual spectacle, and a pretty impressive one at that. Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett provide strong support, but this is Ronan's show and she holds Wright's ambitious film together brilliantly.
THURSDAY, MAY 12
JM Synge Photography Exhibition, Aras Eanna Arts Centre, Aran Islands
As we all know, Edmund John Millington Synge was an Irish playwright, poet, prose writer and collector of folklore. He was also, and this is the slightly unexpected bit, something of a pioneering photographer. Synge brought his newly purchased second-hand camera on his first visit to the Aran Islands and this rather fascinating exhibition comprises photographs taken on the islands as well as in Connemara, Wicklow and West Kerry between 1898 and 1905. As well as providing a social commentary on island life and concept of Irishness at the turn of the century, they also allow a glimpse into the photographer's imagination and creative process. See them in the most perfect setting of Inis Oirr, perched on the edge of the Atlantic, one of the most westerly points in Europe.
Day & Night