Sunday 18 February 2018

Going out: Seven days and nights

Nick Kelly


Crash Ensemble -- Young Americans, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1, 8pm

Acclaimed Irish collective Crash Ensemble celebrates the music of a new generation of US composers tonight in Liberty Hall with a show titled Young Americans.

This highly anticipated concert will include pieces by dynamic composers such as Sean Friar (whose Velvet Hammer has been nominated for this year's Gaudeamus Prize); Missy Mazzoli, "Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart" (Time Out NY); Timothy Andres, who Alex Ross says "achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams"; and Ken Ueno, winner of this year's Berlin Prize.

But perhaps the highlight of Young Americans will be the world premiere of a new work written especially for Crash Ensemble by Vermont-born, New York-based composer Nico Muhly, who has worked with everyone from Bjork to Antony & The Johnsons and written Hollywood soundtracks for films such as The Reader.


League of Decadent Bastards, Sugar Club, Dublin 2

In these hard times, what better way to lift your spirits than a night of music, comedy, cabaret and glamour?

The Sugar Club on Dublin's Leeson St tomorrow night hosts The League of Decadent Bastards -- love the risqué title, guys.

The all-singing, all-dancing, all-wisecracking evening features the likes of comedian Frank Sanazi, clown Chris Lynam, burlesque beauty Crimson Skye and the delectably named BigChief RandomChaos, who is described as "half-man, half-woman, half-fish" and -- are you sitting down? -- "Fred Flintstone in French maid attire". Cor blimey!


Daniel Figgis' THE BATTLE oF SPEEDS, The Orangery, Regency Walled Garden, Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin

Described as an immersive fantasy spectacle for all the family, Daniel Figgis's ongoing romance with Marlay Park continues with a phantasmagoric new work, THE BATTLE oF SPEEDS, presented for one day only.

This glorious new show consists of six short fantasy movies, each with a separate original orchestral soundtrack, composed by Figgis.

The six movies will play concurrently on all available surfaces in the Orangery -- four walls, floor and ceiling -- totally immersing or 'suspending' the viewer in the multi-sensory experience. Or something.



A baseball film with a difference, Bennett Miller's Moneyball is based on a true story and stars Brad Pitt as a major league manager who uses statistics to turn his team into giant-killers.

Billy Beane's Oakland A's are a poorly funded bunch of perennial underperformers until Beane hires a young wonk called Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who has developed a whole new empirically based approach to picking players.

Miller's film sounds dull but is actually surprisingly entertaining, thanks to a strong central performance from Pitt and the witty writing of Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Robin Wright, Chris Pratt and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star.


The Frames, The Mary Janes, Vicar Street, Dublin 2

It seems hard to believe, but it has been 10 years since acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Mic Christopher died in tragic and freakish circumstances, losing his footing on some steps in the Netherlands.

Posthumously released, his debut LP Sky Larkin' is probably the best singer-songwriter album to come out of Ireland in the past decade.

This tribute concert will feature Christopher's former band The Mary Janes and The Frames, who were close friends of the Clondalkin native.


The Government Inspector, Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1

According to Vladimir Nabokov, "none but an Irishman should ever try tackling Gogol". Roddy Doyle has done just that and created a new version of Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector, and it provides the ideal entertainment this Christmas.

An Abbey Theatre commission, this lively production started its run on Abbey St on Tuesday and continues until next January.

Directed by Jimmy Fay, the production boasts the best of Irish acting talent including Don Wycherley, Marion O'Dwyer, Gary Cooke, Ciarán O'Brien and Joe Hanley, as well as four actors making their Abbey Theatre debut.


China Through the Lens of John Thomson, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle

This new exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library gives a glimpse into the enchanting world of ancient China.

Images taken by legendary Scottish photographer and explorer John Thomson tell the story of how people lived during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Rituals of daily life on the streets and in the palaces were captured by Thomson, whose work contributed greatly to Europe's view of Asia.

The exhibition, on loan from London's Wellcome Library, is free and runs until February 2012.

Alongside the stunning images there is material and clothing from the library's own collection, including silk shoes for bound feet; a Han Chinese woman's robe embroidered with designs symbolising marital harmony and fertility; children's hats and shoes in the shapes of fierce animals to ward off bad spirits and an assortment of girdle hangings, purses and fans. Lovely.

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