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Critics Guide to Going Out: 7 Days & Nights

Friday

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue, the Irish author and playwright who sprung to international fame following the release of her most recent novel Room, is in Listowel for Writers' Week – and will give an interview and reading today at 1pm at The Arms Hotel.

www.writersweek.ie monday

Under pressure

There is a grim fixation in this country with middle-class spousal killings – and Under Pressure, written by barrister Rachel Fehily, taps into that perfectly. It's about David Gallagher, a highly respected surgeon about to stand trial for the murder of his wife, and runs until next Saturday at Bewleys Café Theatre, Dublin.

www.bewleyscafetheatre.ie

Friday, May 31

Comedy highlight

Francesca Martinez is currently on tour with her show 'What The F*** Is Normal?' asking the question of . . . well, we'll let you work that out for yourself. The comedian, a BBC regular who has cerebral palsy, examines what it's like to be branded 'abnormal' in a world obsessed with normality – at the Róisín Dubh tonight.

www.roisindubh.net

Saturday, June 1

Ryan Sheridan, Royseven and Frank & Walters – okay, so it's not the sort of line-up that will make your hair stand up on end, with the promise of electrifying performances. But it's not bad either, and it makes Bandon Music Festival worth a look this weekend.

www.bandonmusicfestival.com

We can't blame Steve Earle for what became of his song Galway Girl in the hands of Mundy and Sharon Shannon. Instead, we should focus on the overall cool this man exudes – aided to no end by his appearance as a recovering addict in The Wire. He plays Vicar Street tonight with The Dukes.

www.vicarstreet.ie

Sunday, June 2

It's a weekend of festivals, and the Innishannon Steam and Vintage Rally is one with a difference. Whether you're a full-on trainspotter, or just a nostalgia nut who grew up watching Thomas the Tank Engine, it will be hard not to swoon at the beauty of these old trains and steam vehicles.

www.isvrally.com

As part of Listowel Writers' Week, 'Language: Non Je Ne Regrette Rien' seeks to reconcile the French and Irish cultures – after The Hand of Henry, no doubt – by presenting a selection of iconic French works as Gaeilge. It's on today, 12.30, at St John's Theatre.

www.writersweek.ie

Monday, June 3

Right, just one more and we'll shut up about festivals. For a week. Bloom is back at Phoenix Park, with its colourful mixture of food, flowers and family fun. If the sun comes out for this one, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to spend the day.

www.bloominthepark.com

Tuesday, June 4

The RTÉ 2 New Comedy Awards have been hit and miss so far – but the hits have introduced us to some acts who we'll certainly be hearing more from in the future. And, well, the misses are funny too . . . in a very different way. Tune in tonight, 10:45, on . . . well, RTÉ 2 obviously.

www.rte.ie

Clann Lir, the ancient Irish myth about the mad bitch who turned all her stepkids into swans – social services, anyone? – is the National Folk Theatre's summer show at Siamsa Tíre in Tralee. It runs right throughout the season, and is a fantastic rendering of a weird but wonderful chapter from our folklore.

www.siamsatire.com

Wednesday, June 5

The biggest film in a quiet week, Neil Jordan's supernatural drama Byzantium stars Gemma Arterton as a single mother who makes ends meet as a prostitute and also happens to be a vampire. She and her teenage daughter (Saoirse Ronan) have been knocking around the southern English coast since the early 19th century, and their precarious existence is constantly threatened by the Brotherhood, a kind of vampire police who believe females have no place in the bloodsucking world. Despite moments of originality, Byzantium is a dour and gloomy little film that never quite gets going as a story.

Amy Conroy is a rising star in Irish theatre, and her show Alice – about a love between two older ladies that kicks off in a Crumlin supermarket – is currently touring the nation following a successful trip around Australia and New Zealand. It's on in Bray's Mermaid Theatre tonight.

www.hotfortheatre.com

Thursday, June 6

It's the 300th anniversary of Jonathan Swift's appointment as Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin – what, you hadn't heard? – and, as part of the celebrations, Pat Liddy will be giving one of his excellent walking tours, centring around the Dublin of Swift's day. More than a 'modest proposal', eh? Eh?

www.stpatrickscathedral.ie

Dance highlight

If you love your ballet, but can't ever make it to the theatre to watch it, then you're in luck. Swan Lake in 3D is being broadcast live all over the world today, with screenings in selected theatres right across the country – tapping into the recent trend of using cinema to 'recreate' the stage experience. (Say about that what you will.)

www.mariinskycinema.com

Irish Independent