Friday 23 March 2018

Critics' guide to going out: 05/03/2010

Literary Death Match, The Sugar Club, Dublin 2

It will be a verbal sparring match to the brutal end tonight, as the Literary Death Match makes its Dublin debut. Under the watchful eye of three well-read judges, Nadine O'Regan, Philly McMahon and Una Mullally, four word-fuelled combatants will attempt to verbally dazzle and defeat. The line-up includes award-winning fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir (author of Nude), Colm Liddy (40 Fights Between Husbands and Wives), Brian O'Connell (Wasted: A Sober Journey Through Drunken Ireland) and spoken-word shining star Marty Mulligan.

Two finalists will proceed to a harebrained finale where words will hurt a lot more than sticks and stones ever could. Expect no cliché to survive unscathed.


Sideshow, Twisted Pepper, Dublin 1

Hilarious striptease -- is striptease ever anything but hilarious? -- cunning stunts and saucy song and dance are all on the cards when Ireland's longest-running burlesque troupe, Pony Girls, takes to the stage. These bridled beauties are back with more of their kick-ass vaudeville for a special night of Sideshow hosted by Gringo.

So what exactly can you expect from Sideshow? Well, it has been described as "burlesque at its bawdy and brilliant best, this dish is traditional sideshow meat 'n' two veg served with a side of contemporary chips". The special guest on the night will be UK burlesque star Crimson Skye, and there will be prizes for audience participation, including the biggest ever Ass-Off contest for the bolder among you.


Alice in Wonderland

Surely no filmmaker has ever been better equipped to deal with the strange stories of Lewis Carroll than Tim Burton, and the flamboyant director does an excellent job overall of adapting Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for the screen. In fact, Burton mixes elements of that book and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, to create a hybrid story that perfectly encapsulates the joyful lunacy of Carroll's world. Australian actress Mia Wasikowska is Alice, now 19 and on the verge of being forced into an unhappy marriage when she tumbles down a rabbithole and into the mysterious Underland. There she meets all manner of odd creatures, including Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Matt Lucas), the languid Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) and, of course, the irrepressible Mad Hatter, sublimely played by Johnny Depp.


Women of Concern, Gallery of Photography, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

How about these for some stats: 70 per cent of the one billion people living on less than a dollar a day are women. Women own less than one per cent of the world's property. They work 66 per cent of the world's working hours while only earning 10 per cent of the world's income. Suitably incensed? Well, this Monday is International Women's Day and how better to celebrate women's contribution to the world than by visiting a wonderful exhibition of photography documenting powerful stories of hope, determination and survival in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and post-earthquake Haiti? The talents behind the lenses are three of our top photographers who just happen to be women -- Kim Haughton, Marie McCallan and Brenda Fitzsimons. And this exhibition is presented in association with Concern Worldwide, which supports women's development projects in these devastated lands.


Aion Experiments, Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2

Visitors be warned: the gallery at the Project Arts Centre will be charged with biofield energy for the coming weeks, as part of Aion Experiments. Readers will be familiar, undoubtedly, with the renowned but controversial Foundation for Aion Research that has promoted such experiments for decades, seeking to establish the origins and potential of "body-oriented energy". Though previous experiments have been more intensive, this one will involve members of the public in briefer exposure to the biofield, with various devices in the gallery to foster cell regeneration and cerebral stimulation. Organised by Pádraic E Moore with a team of international collaborators, many of them proficient in the visual arts, the experiments run until April 10 and entry is free. Prepare to be recharged.


Local Natives, Academy 2, Dublin (€13.50)

Straying slightly off the beaten path this week, you could do a lot worse than wander your way to the Academy on Middle Abbey Street to catch a particularly hotly tipped quintet. Local Natives (below) are a low-budget mash-up of Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire and MGMT -- minus the preening self-seriousness, questionable facial hair and gratuitous drug references. On debut album Gorilla Manor, the Los Angeles five-some move playfully between bouncy electro-pop and afro-beat inflected indie.


Fairport Convention, Whelan's, Dublin 2

Embrace your inner folk rocker this Thursday, as one of the most influential English folk rock bands comes to town. Fairport Convention have been together for longer than most of us have been alive, celebrating their 43rd birthday as a band this year. They formed after bassist Ashley Hutchings met guitarist Simon Nicol when they were both playing in the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra and got their name thanks to their rehearsal space in a house called Fairport. Their album Liege and Lief is considered by many to have launched the electric folk movement. Regardless of whether you're a lifelong fan or a new recruit, this will be your chance to catch a piece of music history.

Irish Independent

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