Critics' guide to going out: 21/05/2010
Whistle Down The Wind, Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin
Jonathan Ansell, who shot to fame as lead vocalist in X Factor runners-up G4, stars in Jim Steinman and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, which comes to the brand-spanking new Grand Canal Theatre direct from London's West End
Ansell (below) plays a mysterious man found hiding by the young Swallow in her family's barn. While the rest of the townspeople are searching for a fugitive escaped from jail, Swallow gathers the town's children, who make a pact to protect their new-found saviour from the cruelties of the outside world.
Based on the Hayley Mills /Alan Bates film of the same name from the 60s, the show features Boyzone's chart-topper No Matter What and other popular hits.
SATURDAY, MAY 22
Rihanna, The O2, Dublin, Saturday and Wednesday (€43.70-€46.70)
A real-life soap opera for all the wrong reasons, Rihanna's career seems in danger of being permanently overshadowed by the horrendous assault she suffered at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009.
She (above right) channelled her fury and sense of hopelessness into Rated R, as angry an outpouring from a mainstream pop star as you will find this side of a Courtney Love Twitter rant.
Fingers crossed her two-date stand at the O2 goes better than a recent appearance in London where, according to eye-witnesses, she lost her footing while stomping around in nose-bleed heels.
SUNDAY, MAY 23
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (General Release)
A summer blockbuster based on a video game that Disney is hoping will spawn a movie franchise, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a surprisingly entertaining yarn set in medieval Persia and starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Dastan, a former street urchin who became the king's beloved adopted son.
When the king is killed by treachery in the holy city of Alamut, Dastan is unfairly blamed and flees to the desert with a beautiful princess who is not his biggest fan.
However, she and a magic, time-bending dagger will be crucial to clearing his name and saving the Persian empire from destruction.
With Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Ronald Pickup.
MONDAY, MAY 24
Mugabe and the White African, Dundalk, Co Louth
This moving Oscar-nominated, feature-length documentary charting one family's extraordinary courage in the face of a relentless campaign of state-sanctioned terror is showing as part of DKIT's Reel Africa Film Festival (reelafrica.dkit.ie).
Now in its third year, the festival has been funded by Irish Aid as part of the nationwide schedule of events to mark Africa Day on May 25.
Producer David Pearson will be present to take a Q&A after the film.
TUESDAY, MAY 25
Arcadia, Gate Theatre, Dublin
In a stately home in Derbyshire in the early 19th century, a young girl suddenly proposes a startling theory beyond her, and everyone else's, understanding.
Around her, however, the adults are preoccupied with secret desires and illicit passions.
Czech-born, England-based playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard continues his fruitful partnership with Michael Colgan's theatre ( which successfully staged his play The Real Thing) with this comic tale of mystery and love.
The cast includes some of the most respected names in Irish theatre, including Ingrid Craigie, Donna Dent, David O'Brien, Hugh O'Conor and Aoibheann O'Hara.
Matinee show starts at 3pm; the evening performance is at 8pm.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26
Aidan Killian's Laugh Out Loud, Anseo, Camden Street, Dublin Aidan Killian is part of the new breed of Irish stand-up comedians and he follows in a very proud tradition that has seen this isle produce some of the funniest people on the planet. Or at least on British TV.
Killian has received plaudits for this relatively new night in hipster watering hole Anseo. Special guests who joined him on previous bills include the award-winning David O'Doherty, enfant terrible Dave McSavage, Cork funnyman Michael Mee and Robbie Bonham.
Similarly high-profile luminaries from the Irish stand-up scene are promised this week.
THURSDAY, MAY 27
Graham Joseph and guests, St Anne's Church, Dawson Street, Dublin
This is one for all the classical music buffs. The grandeur of St Anne's Church near Dublin's Mansion House is the setting for this one-off event -- an evening of arias, duets and ensembles headed by renowned Counter Tenor Graham Joseph and special guests.
The show is to raise funds for the Anticoagulation Service and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght.
Graham and Co will be performing extracts from Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Humperdinck and other surprise pieces.
Tickets €20 (concession €15).