Gay Byrne recently described Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell as "probably one of the best things the Abbey have ever done." Well, that's enough for us!
Running until February 6 and directed by Conall Morrison, You Never Can Tell is the story of Mrs Clandon returned to England after 18 years abroad, with unruly teenage twins Philip and Dolly and a no-nonsense daughter Gloria in tow.
Beset by an estranged husband and lovestruck suitor, a dentist, she somehow finds herself turning for advice to the mysterious waiter (Niall Buggy) at their seaside hotel. What transpires is a zippy, witty battle-of-the-sexes comedy, entirely modern and fresh despite the period setting.
For Genevieve Hulme-Beaman, a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting, her role as Dolly is her Abbey debut, although she has appeared on stage many times - at the Gate, with Smock Alley Players, Guna Nua and more - and on TV and film, as well as writing and starring in her own play Pondling, at the 2013 Fringe Festival. It is experience which stands to her, as she makes Shaw's brilliant, hilarious lines entirely her own.
Poppy Melia absorbed much of her aesthetic while travelling around the Polynesian Islands with her mother, Pauline Bewick, and sister Holly Melia, both also artists. Since then, she has travelled extensively around Europe, Turkey, Nepal, America, New Zealand, and China, all of which she brings to her detailed, stylised paintings, some of which take up to a year to finish, and many of which are sold long before that comes to pass.
Right now, a limited number of Poppy Melia prints, hand-signed, are available with free delivery worldwide. The prints, many of which combine an understanding of mythology and heritage with an appreciation of nature, animals, birds and flowers, are all dated on the back, embossed by the Copper House - Ireland's longest established fine art printing studio - and signed and numbered individually by Poppy.
Recent years have seen a regeneration of Waterford Crystal, ushering in a new era for the venerable company, complete with a series of sharp, stylish, contemporary ranges. The newly-launched Rebel Collection, designed by the award-winning Jo Sampson, is cool and urban, mixing rough textures with smooth, combining golden metal with crystal in shades of amber, purple, blush, plum and pink to create cocktail glasses, decanters, jewellery, photo frames and napkin rings. The more traditionally-styled Lismore Connoisseur is a new range of tumblers and barware designed for the perfect enjoyment of whiskey. The Snowflake Wishes Collection celebrates the beauty of a snowflake, while the Mixology Collection includes tumblers, decanters, coupes, shot glasses and bar accessories in four distinctive patterns. Finally, following on from a fruitful 17-year collaboration, John Rocha introduces Red Cut to his traditional palate of black, white and grey, producing a range of high-end crystal giftware.
Stonechat Jewellers was set up in 2012, creative brainchild of Ann Chapman, jewellery designer and entrepreneur. Having trained in France and at the Crafts Council of Ireland's prestigious goldsmiths' course in Kilkenny, Ann set up Stonechat, a showcase for her own designs and those of other designers, including up-and-comers such as Michael O'Dwyer and Helena Malone, as well as more established designers such as Niessing, in the Westbury Mall, Dublin. Ann's signature style is clean lines, sharp silhouettes and confident femininity, and Stonechat has become the place for handmade contemporary jewellery, as well as accessible advice, and a ring re-designing service.
This is a clever idea whereby customers can bring in an old ring, and have it transformed by the four resident goldsmiths at Stonechat Jewellers, who work on a collaborative basis with customers. For something old, something new, something beautiful this Christmas, pop into Stonechat.