Critics' guide to going out: 16/04/2010
Now that's What I Call Music, The Academy, Dublin 1
No prizes for guessing that this is an 80s night, but it's one with a genuine difference. Sinead DeLorean and Serena Sloane spin a mix of quality pop nuggets from the Human League, a-ha, Beastie Boys, the KLF and loads more. They'll be joined by a special DJ set from local noiseniks Fight Like Apes. Two cocktails are only a tenner, so this one looks like the new surefire hit to start the weekend's partying in style.
SATURDAY, APRIL 17
Whitney Houston, O2, Dublin 1
She may not be the most obvious rocker, but Whitney Houston (above) has certainly experienced the more extreme excesses of a rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Houston may have lived with demons, but she knows that the show must always go on and this trooper will be in town for three nights to belt out her classics. I'm Every Woman, Run to You and our favourite slice of heartbreak gold, Didn't We Almost Have it All. You may deny it, but bet you could sing along to "and I-eye-I will always love you-oooh".
SUNDAY, APRIL 18
Vintage Fashion Fair and Ball, Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire
Taking retro to the next natural level, it's all about vintage this spring. Banish all thoughts of mothballs and your granny's twinsets -- unless they are cashmere and rather gorgeous -- and think instead of the fabulous 40s and 50s at this vintage fiesta. With almost 50 stalls selling fashion, furnishings and décor, you'll be able to transform yourself into Grace Kelly or Carey Grant just in time for this evening's glamorous ball. And in case you're not all that adept at the period hairdos or make-up, there will be demonstrations and makeovers throughout the day. And if that wasn't enough old-school chic, there will also be dancing displays and classic cars on show. Roll back the years.
MONDAY, APRIL 19
The Ghost, General Release
Roman Polanski's stylish conspiracy thriller based on a book by Robert Harris stars Ewan McGregor as a hack writer who is approached by representatives of a former British prime minister to ghost write his memoirs. Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) has been under a cloud since stepping down because of his complicity with the Iraq War, and when the writer arrives at his island retreat he finds a tense and unsettling atmosphere.
Lang's wife is clearly unhappy about the writer's presence, and Lang meanwhile has begun an affair with his assistant. But that's only the start of the dirt the writer will find as he digs into the politician's past. It's atmospheric and nicely made, if slightly spoiled by a silly ending, and McGregor is very good in the demanding central role.
TUESDAY, APRIL 20
Cuirt International Festival of Literature, Galway
Galway's annual literary love-in is celebrating its 25th birthday this year with a lavish six-day programme that's sure to prove a page-turner with anyone who likes a good read.
The festival opens tonight with readings by Roddy Doyle and acclaimed American writer Mary Gaitskill.
Claire Keegan, National Book Award recipient Colum McCann, US luminary Joyce Carol Oates, Poet Laureate of America Charles Simic and Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin are among others also reading from their work during the week.
The spoken word and song are being marked with gigs by British hip-hop duo Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday, while Sheffield balladeer Richard Hawley plays the same venue on April 25.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21
LCD Soundsystem, Tripod, Dublin 2
A purveyor of dance music for grown-ups, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy (above) marries ageing hipster disaffection with peerless dance-floor ennui. Granted, comeback single Drunk Girls is a pale riff on 2007's North American Scum. Rest assured, however, the rest of new album This Is Happening is a gorgeously melancholic affair.
Probably just as well, as Murphy has announced the LP is to be their last. At least we'll always have All My Friends, possibly the best song about growing old ever written.
THURSDAY, APRIL 22
The Habit of Art, IFI, Temple Bar
It's not often that you go to a cinema to watch a play being staged, which makes this latest collaboration between the Dublin Theatre Festival and the IFI all the more special. They have teamed up to present Alan Bennett's highly acclaimed new play, The Habit of Art, live via satellite from the UK's National Theatre.
Starring the rather wonderful Richard Griffiths, this presents a play within a play as it looks at the ever choppy waters of desire and imagines a meeting between WH Auden and Benjamin Britten. Arriving laden with resounding reviews from its West End premiere, this has been described as "another absolute cracker, often wonderfully and sometimes filthily funny, but also deeply and unexpectedly moving". You can see it in Dublin for one night only.