Critics' guide to going out: 14/05/2010
Silver Jubilee Birthday Bash, The George, Dublin 2
Even though she doesn't look a day over 24, The George turns the ripe old age of 25 this week. The veritable queen of Irish gaiety is ringing in this landmark with a suitably fantabulous fiesta of birthday madness. Tonight sees the celebration centrepiece, with a guest performance by Jonathan Ross's house band, Four Poofs and a Piano. There will be an outrageous birthday cake, champers and even more outrageous performances by the G's resident drag queens. And the grand finale of all things birthday will take place this Sunday night with Shirley's Silver Jubilee Bingo Jamboree. Yes, the glorious Shirley Temple Bar will be debuting her brand new electronic balls (of the bingo variety). Girls just wanna have fun.
SATURDAY, MAY 15
Kele, Cyprus Avenue, Cork
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke (below) recently took the potentially career-changing decision to exit the closet (in a heartfelt interview with Butt magazine, of all places). Meanwhile, he is also about to embark on his first foray as a solo artist. Recorded in New York, The Boxer feels like the dub-step album Bloc Party always wanted to make but couldn't for fear of scaring away their indie-schmindie fanbase. He's touring Ireland with a three-piece band, but says anyone expecting a conventional rock show is in for a shock. What he means, we're guessing, is that he won't be playing any Bloc Party hits. Never mind, The Boxer is a cracking record in its own right and it's hard to imagine even the most die-hard BP fan going home disappointed.
SUNDAY, MAY 16
Africa Day Festival, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2
Africa Day may officially fall on May 25, the day of the African Union, but we Dubliners always like to get the party started, so we're kicking off our own celebrations a wee bit early this year. To mark our strong historical connections with Africa and embrace all elements of African culture, Irish Aid is hosting two major days of festivities, this Sunday in Dublin and on May 30 in Limerick.
Dublin's shindig will take over the beautiful Iveagh Gardens with a diverse programme including Congolese musician Niwel Tsumbu performing with local lad Dave Flynn, family treasure hunts, an African bazaar and a wide range of edible African treats. Other musical highlights include Senegalese kora master Solo Cissokho, the Discovery Gospel Choir and Choice prize-winner Jape. The exotic fun and frolics kicks off at noon.
MONDAY, MAY 17
Robin Hood, General Release
Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott bring us a typically gritty take on the much-loved English legend that's rather slow in parts but boasts a great cast and a spectacular climactic battle scene. Crowe is Robin Longstride, an archer in the army of crusading King Richard. As Richard's forces are about to return to Britain, the king is killed in a French battle, and Robin and his friends end up posing as knights in order to return the crown. But King John turns out to be a bloodthirsty troublemaker, and Robin soon ends up on the wrong side of the law when he teams up with the feisty widow Lady Marian Loxley in the Nottingham hinterlands. Mark Strong and Max Von Sydow co-star.
TUESDAY, MAY 18
Lostprophets, The Academy, Dublin 1
Someone up there likes Lostprophets. What other act, in this blighted age, would be able to get away with shipping out to LA, splashing out half a million dollars on their fourth album, and then scrapping it and starting again? Well, Guns N'Roses maybe, but that's the point: this is a band acting like members of rock's A list.
Luckily, the album in question, The Betrayed, for the most part, has the good grace to sound like it. Their fourth album sounds big -- polished, even -- and, helpfully, that's a quality that suits them rather well. Of all the acts to rise out of the UK's nu-metal and post-hardcore scenes last decade, it was Lostprophets who boasted the firmest mainstream sensibilities, blending impressive riffs with a melodic edge inspired by 80s new romantic pop. Uncool? Probably -- teenage girls like them, which is obviously the kiss of death if you want to be a credible rock band. But it does, at least, feel like Lostprophets' passions was utterly genuine. They're in Dublin for a reasonably intimate gig, with support on the night provided by local band Jody Has A Hitlist.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19
In The Heat of the Night, Ormonde Cinema, Stillorgan
Nothing quite beats a classic film, so say the Cinesemantic Film Club, who are returning to the Ormonde Cinema with another quartet of films over the next two months. They are relaunching this Wednesday with this five-time Oscar winner starring Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs and Rod Steiger as police chief Gillespie. The screening will be introduced by the recently retired Director of Film Classification (ie the Censor) John Kelleher. Next up on June 2 is Blue Velvet, followed by The Magnificent Seven on June 16. And the season comes to a close with Midnight Cowboy on June 30.
THURSDAY, MAY 20
DAY, Abbey Theatre
Sixteen years since she thrilled Eurovision audiences with her electric style of Irish dancing, Jean Butler is back. Like me, many of you will be glad to know that she has left her hard shoes and flashy Celtic costumes behind for her latest dance project.
It sees her perform a new solo contemporary piece entitled DAY, which has been choreographed especially for her by the sought-after American dance teacher Tere O'Connor.
The work was commissioned by the Abbey Theatre and it explores the different ways we can get to know the truth about a person. It premiered on the Peacock stage last night and continues until Saturday as part of the Dublin Dance Festival, which is currently taking place at various venues in the city. This is the second time that Butler will have performed at the festival, since she reprised her first solo show Does She Take Sugar? for the 2008 event. Thankfully, her oily Lord of the Dance will not be joining her on stage for any grand finale.