Monday 18 December 2017

From circus theatre to Stephen Rea - 19 highlights of the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2017

It kicks off on Friday for 10 days

counting sheep
counting sheep
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Ten days of musical and theatrical performances, art, talks, and activities for the kids roll out across Kilkenny on Friday for the Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Here are 19 highlights catering for all interests and ages:

1. The only Irish dates of Counting Sheep, a mix of theatre, music, dance and song and one of the most acclaimed hits of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival, created by Marichka and Mark Marczyk and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

2. The world premiere of Raven Eyed, a new circus theatre show by Loosysmokes (Elaine McCague and Jonah McGreevy), staged in the Brewhouse of the former Smithwicks Brewery in the heart of the old city.

3. Schubert: Dreaming the Sublime, a voyage of musical discovery through the late masterpieces of Schubert, featuring the legendary Alfred Brendel, Quatuor Mosaïques and Ailish Tynan among others, as well as the Irish Chamber Orchestra and renowned composer, performer and conductor Jörg Widmann.

4. Colin Dunne as dance artist in residence, Paula Meehan as poet in residence, and Mick O’Dea as visual artist in residence.

5. The world premiere of a new version of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis performed by acclaimed actor Stephen Rea, with live score by Neil Martin performed by the ICO.

6. The return of the Marble City Sessions, featuring collaborations with musicians from three continents, hosted by Martin Hayes and featuring the Irish debut of Eliza Carthy’s 12-piece Wayward Band as well as Hanggai from Mongolia and Väsen from Sweden.

Architects of Air ALBESILA Photo John Owens as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival 2017.jpg
Architects of Air

7. A series of choral and orchestral concerts telling the surprising story of Handel’s time in Ireland.

8. A gala concert performance by the UK’s Early Opera Company of Handel’s operatic masterpiece, Julius Caesar in Egypt, starring Iestyn Davies, Anna Devin and Rachel Kelly.

9. The Way Things Go: An Homage at the Butler Gallery, featuring newly commissioned work by nine leading visual artists in response to the iconic film by Fischli and Weiss.

10. Hi! Fashion! at the National Craft Gallery, an exhibition of crafted garments and accessories from Japan and Ireland.

11. A series of talks throughout the Festival on Ireland and Europe: Creative Visions, featuring artists and public figures from Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

12. The acclaimed Polish-born writer Eva Hoffman delivering the Hubert Butler Lecture, and the only Irish appearance this summer by extraordinary writer Yiyun Li.

13. Inside Voices, a series of one-on-one musical encounters with extraordinary artist Liam Byrne in the medieval Talbot’s Tower.

Alfred Brendel Photo Benjamin Ealovega.jpg
Alfred Brendel

14. The world premiere of Antarctica, a multimedia work drawing inspiration from early expeditions to the South Pole and created by Linda Buckley, David Power and John Comiskey.

15. Crash Ensemble, with their artistic director Kate Ellis, performing newly commissioned works by Jennifer Walshe and Nico Muhly at dusk in Kilfane Glen as part of their CrashLands project, and also collaborating with with progressive American folk hero Sam Amidon and friends at St Canice’s Cathedral.

16. StormFest, a season of plays for children and their families at The Barn Theatre.

17. Yurt in the Yard, a creative space for children in the iconic Castle Yard, featuring international and Irish storytelling and craft workshops.

18. Surprises await in the Secret Garden Music with free pop-up performances twice a day during the festival - drop by to find out who’s playing in the historic gardens of the medieval city.

19. A brand-new luminarium in Castle Park from Architects of Air

For more information and the full programme check out kilkennyarts.ie

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