Tuesday 20 February 2018

Critics' guide to going out: 02/04/2010

Blasphemous, Imoca, Dublin 2

Celebrate all that is good about Good Friday at a suitably controversial exhibition. Blasphemous is a timely protest against Ireland's new blasphemy law. Although a defence of "genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific or artistic value" is allowed, K Bear Koss, director of Imoca, argues that the law prevents intellectual debate. "As much as it is a direct confrontation of this dangerous law, Blasphemous is a celebration of artistic freedom and intellectual discourse."

The provocative exhibition includes a painting carrying the slogan 'God Dates Fags'; a take on the Pieta image of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, which depicts them as a 5ft sculpture of a rat cradling a child and a video installation entitled 'Resur-erection'. At the show's opening, alcohol and meat will be served in symbolic defiance of the ban on the sale of liquor on Good Friday and the Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on that day. Sounds like quite the shindig.



Daniel Johnston, Vicar Street, Dublin 2, €30

Like Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett before him, Daniel Johnston's career has been a storm-tossed affair, afflicted by bouts of mental illness. Singing in a sweet, if at times tuneless, warble, he certainly doesn't hold back when it comes to sharing his demons with the world (demons which are sometimes excruciatingly laid bare in the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston). More no-fi than lo-fi, his songs are fragile, fragmented things, in which a naive, almost amateurish sensibility sits alongside an ear for heartbreaking melodies. At Vicar Street, he is accompanied by the 11-piece Dutch jazz-rock ensemble BEAM Orchestra. Yes, we're having trouble getting our heads around that too.



Crookers, Academy, Dublin 1, 11pm, €26.20

How better to work off all those newly acquired pounds after feasting on chocolate all day than by dancing the night away to tunes mixed and remixed by Italian duo Crookers (right)? They recently released their debut album, Tons of Friends, and their remix of Kid Cudi's Day and Night topped the British charts last year. Their remix portfolio also boasts a suitably diverse range of artists, including AC/DC, U2, Beyonce, Britney Spears, The Chemical Brothers and Lady Gaga. And Kanye West and Will.I.Am are big fans. Need any more encouragement?



Kick-Ass, General release

Big and bold and vulgar, and strangely original, Kick-Ass arrives in our cinemas this week with an explosion of nihilistic violence. Based on a comic book by Mark Millar and John Romala Jr and adapted by Jane Goldman, the film is ostensibly a superhero parody. But it manages to operate as a surprisingly engrossing action romp in its own right.

Aaron Johnson is Dave Lizweski, a geeky Manhattan teenager who decides to don a bright green wetsuit and become an amateur fighter of crime. At first he's more adept at getting his ass kicked than kicking anyone else's, but his courage wins him an internet following and he then teams up with two other masked avengers to bring down a major crime boss. The film trades in jet black comedy, and its most shocking scenes feature a high-kicking, all-swearing 11-year-old girl. Not for everyone, but very entertaining.


The Birthday of the Infanta, Bewleys Café Theatre, Grafton Street, Dublin 2

Oscar Wilde's children's stories have long been a source of magical theatre, and Bewley's Café Theatre has turned its attentions to Wilde again, having previously delighted adult and child audiences alike with adaptations of The Happy Prince and The Remarkable Rocket.

The Birthday of the Infanta tells of the dwarf who performs for a Spanish princess, and who believes her delight in him is a sure sign of her love. Bairbre Ni Chaoimh directs her own adaptation, with a cast of Jill Murphy, Natalie Radmill Quirke and Oscar Hernandez Rodriguez. It's on at lunchtimes from Tuesday, with €15 tickets including the perennial bowl of soup and a family ticket of €45 covering two adults and two children.



Edward Simon Trio, The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow

Wednesdays are a good night to try something a little bit different. So why not immerse yourself in the exotic jazz of Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon? For a series of Irish dates, he's joined by renowned Irish jazz musicians Michael Coady (bass) and Stephen Keogh (drums) and this tour coincides with the release of a new album, which sees Simon merging Celtic rhythms with those of Latin and jazz. Simon has played on several Grammy-nominated jazz albums. And alongside his work with this trio, he also leads the Sexteto Venezuela, the Afinidad Quartet, and the group Simon, Simon & Simon, with his brothers. Simon and his Irish cohorts will also be appearing in Dublin's Goethe Institute tomorrow and then Cork's College of Music, Drogheda's Droichead Arts Centre and Waterford's Garter Lane Arts Centre next week.



The River Tenors, National Concert Hall

Who knew that Bill O'Herlihy, Eamon Dunphy and John Giles could sing opera? Football's likely lads will be giving their vocal chords a serious work out this Thursday -- well, almost. Their alter egoes, Apres Match, will be taking to the National Concert Hall stage as their newest creations, The River Tenors, and you can expect all manner of special guests to turn up. Accompanied by the RTE Concert Orchestra and guest singers Claudio Boyle and Pierce O'Donnell, they'll be blasting their way through familiar arias and lacing it all with their sideways humour. Expect no sacred cow to be safe from a pummelling.


Irish Independent

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