Critics' guide to going out
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15
Up In The Air, Cinemas Nationwide
George Clooney is at his very best in this wise, witty and thought-provoking comic drama from Jason Reitman. Clooney is Ryan Bingham, a commitment-phobic 'terminator' who travels the length and breadth of America firing people as politely as possible.
Bingham prefers hotels and planes to home, and has a horror of all things domestic. He even gives motivational talks about how to get rid of emotional ties, but his travelling show is threatened with extinction when a zealous young executive figures out how people can be fired virtually.
Reitman has created an amusing and surprisingly soulful meditation on modern life.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16
Just For Laughs, Sugar Club
How better to dispel the January gloom than by laughing our way through? The Montreal International Comedy Festival crack team is back in town to find the best up-and-coming comedians we have to offer and they're not taking any half-wits.
This is a very important showcase for aspiring comics, so expect our funny boys and girls to be rolling out their very finest gags in this battle to impress. Among the rib ticklers doling out killer punchlines are Karl Spain, Jarlath Regan, Damian Clark, Paul Tylak and special guest PJ Gallagher. www.ticketmaster.ie.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 17
Paul Potts, Olympia
You've got to admire this lad for his persistence. Determined to prove there's more to his career than winning Simon Cowell over with his rendition of Nessun Dorma when he beat the bookies favourite to win the first series Britain's Got Talent, Potts has been on the road pretty much ever since. He may have faded from many memories, but this Bristol boy has played to such monarchy as the Queen of England and Opray Winfrey. With a new album to plug, he's making his Irish debut tonight and tomorrow night. www.ticketmaster.ie.
MONDAY, JANUARY 18
Theatre Upstairs At The Plough, Abbey Street, Dublin 1
Today sees some New Year's audacity as a new theatre opens in Dublin to defy the bleakness. Just opposite the Abbey Theatre, the Plough is now home to a snug new venue, as the actor/producer Karl Shiels and colleagues have transformed an upstairs lounge into an intimate space. Their agenda is to stage new plays at lunchtimes and readings and revivals at 6pm, with all tickets a tenner, including a bowl of soup at lunch and a pint in the evening. First up is Paul Walker's one-man show, Decked, at 1.10 pm, and Peter McKenna's Missing Football at 6.10 pm.
Good luck to them.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19
Video Killed The Radio Star, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
Or did it? 126, the innovative artist-run gallery in Galway (www.126.ie ) is kicking off the New Year in high style by addressing this most pertinent question with its third annual members' show.
Hosted this year by the prestigious RHA, the members have responded to the challenge with intriguing paintings, videos, sculptures, installations and photography. Artists involved include Kathryn Maguire, Dominic Thorpe and Paul Murnaghan. And Murnaghan has been a busy lad of late, as he launched an impressive solo show last week in Roscommon Arts Centre, putting the underworld straight in the spotlight. www.roscommonartscentre.ie.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20
Boutique Burlesque, Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Boutique Burlesque will be pulling out all the stops for this gathering to celebrate their second anniversary. Special guests on the night include Galway's Cuckoo Savante, one of the hottest bands on the jazz and swing circuit, and Gary Baus, described as one of the best swing DJs on this side of the Atlantic. Other highlights include Orango Tango, The Harlem Hepcats, the delectable Miss Pomme D'Amour and Irishisis & Lolita Lush, who promise to tickle your every fancy. Fun and games kick off at 8.30pm, with tickets available on the door.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
Pete Doherty, Roisin Dubh, Galway
Partnering the ever-errant Pete Doherty with an alcohol brand was never going to be smooth sailing, and so Heineken discovered when the reliably unreliable Doherty was a no-show at their October Green Spheres event in Galway. If at first and all that.
After a big show in the Olympia on Wednesday, fans of Doherty will be able to get up close and personal with the former Libertine in the intimate Roisin Dubh. All tickets for the original show are still valid and there will be more released ahead of the night on www.heinekenmusic.ie. Here's hoping the leading man doesn't take too much advantage of the title sponsor beforehand.