Critics' guide to going out: 26/03/2010
DLR Poetry Now Festival, Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
Annually confirming that poetry isn't for wimps with its energised poetry performances, high-octane talks and lively poetry jams, the 15th Poetry Now festival kicked off last night with a colourful keynote address by Paul Muldoon. Today is the first full day of readings and discussions in this weekend-long event and first up is a children's reading event this morning, followed by a free lunchtime discussion about why poetry matters. And this evening sees poetry being brought to life by such creators as Philip Gross, Derek Mahon and Rosanna Warren. Other big names in the programme include Vona Croake, Kevin Young, John Burnside, Anne Stevenson and John F Deane. If you're ever wondered what poetry is all about, this is your perfect opportunity to find out.
SATURDAY, MARCH 27
The Redneck Manifesto, Tripod, Dublin
Surely the first 'supergroup' to have bonded over pints in Whelan's, The Redneck Manifesto count members of such storied local outfits as Jape, Somadrone and Connect 4 Orchestra among their ranks. They first fused their talents as a band at the turn of this century with their debut album Thirty Six Strings. Their latest album, Friendship, finds the mutton-chopped post-rockers moving gracefully between epic guitar chugs and glitchy experimentation, and is shot through with an infectious sense of fun. But this is a band best served up live and their energy is as fresh as ever.
SUNDAY, MARCH 28
Shen Yun, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin 2
Drawing inspiration from the legends that have defined Chinese culture for centuries, Shen Yun (below) are quite the international phenomenon. This performing arts group has established a reputation for reclaiming disappearing Chinese traditions with their dazzling displays of pageantry, while also being mired somewhat in controversy due to their alleged connections to the practice of Falun Gong. But there are no claims of religious messages in this world-class show. Instead, you get story-based dances portraying ancient tales of valour and modern-day epics of integrity.
MONDAY, MARCH 29
The Blind Side, General Release
Poor old Sandra Bullock -- as her Oscar-winning film, The Blind Side, reaches us she would appear to be in the throes of marital separation. At least she's on fine form in this entertaining if rather over-sentimental drama based on a recent true story. She is Lee Anne Tuohy, a whirlwind of a wealthy Memphis mother and businesswoman who shocks her conservative friends when she decides to welcome a homeless black boy into her home. 'Big Mike' (Quinton Aaron) is a huge but gentle black teenager who has arrived at her son's school on a sports scholarship. He has known unimaginable hardship, but Lee Anne sees the good in him and football offers him a way to change his life.
TUESDAY, MARCH 30
The Schumann Story: Clara & Robert, Borris House, Borris, Co Carlow
Opera Theatre Company celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of the composer Robert Schumann with The Schumann Story: Clara & Robert, a blend of music and words celebrating the relationship between Schumann and his indomitable wife, Clara. One of the leading pianists of her day and a composer in her own right, Clara managed this while raising their large family and caring for her husband through mental illness. Ingrid Craigie plays the role of Clara, while mezzo-soprano Imelda Drumm and baritone Julian Hubbard perform Schumann's finest Lieder, with piano accompaniment by David Bremner. It's at Borris House tonight and then tours to a series atmospheric venues over the coming weeks.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
Nick Kelly and The Fat Lady Sings, Whelan's, Dublin 2
It has been a very long time since you'll have seen Nick Kelly and The Fat Lady Sings on a poster, possibly even decades. But the band are back together for one very special night as part of Kelly's Gestation project. We're now in month seven of this nine-month project, which sees Kelly play once a month with different special guests. But they don't get much more special than his old musical mates from TFLS, who will be jetting in from all over the world. Expect lots of classic TFLS tunes, but they will also be putting a TFLS spin on some of Kelly's new material.
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
Gary Coyle, At Sea, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin 2
Artist Gary Coyle might just have a set of gills. For more than a decade, he has been visiting the 40 Foot swimming spot in Dun Laoghaire, swimming in the icy waters and photographing the changing waves and the dramatic skies -- often while he was actually swimming. Coyle's obsession with the sea goes further, as he has also bottled the water every day and recorded all of his experiences in an intricate diary. The resulting documentary exhibition also features large-scale drawings and presents a fascinating portrait of the teeming waters that surround us.