It first premiered in London and now Martin McDonagh's award-winning play The Pillowman has finally made its Irish debut. David McSavage, Gary Lydon, Peter Campion and Michael Forde-Fitzgerald, play two brothers and two interrogators in a totalitarian state in this dark comedy. It's a typically skilful story from the director of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths BOOK: gaietytheatre.ie; everymancork.com
ON THE DRY
For those who would prefer not to get caught up in any alcohol-related festivities on St Patrick's Day, there is a great alternative. Happenings is organising Paddy's Day Unlocked, a drink-free zone in Dublin's Meeting House Square, where there will be live music from Sinead White (pictured right), Ensemble Ériu and Jinx Lennon as well as food, craft and events for kids. The message is not that the organisers are anti-booze but they wanted to create something different.
There's no question of finding interesting things to do and see at Dublin's St Patrick's Day Festival taking place from March 14-17. The parade promises to be as awesome as ever but we are especially excited to see Les Poupées Géantes, three giant dolls presented by Transe-Express and supported by the French embassy in Ireland, who will glide around singing operatic melodies on Monday from 4pm.
LIVING THE LUXE LIFE
What mammy wouldn't be excited about a pampering weekend? Luxury boutique hotel No.1 Pery Square in Limerick is offering all of the above with its Mother's Day package. With bubbly, a stint in the spa with €70 to be used on a treatment of choice, a three-course dinner with drinks, and breakfast the next day, trust us - she'll like this.
BOOK: From €199 per person sharing; oneperysquare.com
Casual elegance, clean lines and complete wearability embody the Theo+George label. Dublin-based designer Katie O'Riordan is behind the brand, which is made in Ireland. Her impressive CV includes collaborations with Paul Smith, Gwen Stefani's label L.A.M.B, and Calvin Klein Golf. Aimed at women aged 18-40, her collection of silk dresses, in various prints and shades of pastels, cobalt blue and black, is all-occasion wear to feel very pretty in.
Do some good with your fashion choices by picking up an ISPCC Shield bangle from Penneys. It's a stylish little bit of arm candy with azure stones and an ISPCC charm. Model Thalia Heffernan is the ambassador, with Barry McCall photographing the campaign and all proceeds from sales go to ISPCC anti-bullying campaign, a very worthy cause, given how many people the problem affects.
BUY: €2.50 from Penneys
Animals Inside and Out is not for the squeamish. The exhibition from anatomist Dr Gunther Von Hagens features nearly 100 preserved real animal specimens, from goats to ostriches, and gives a unique insight into the biology of the natural world. It also questions why bulls have such strength and why reindeer can traverse icy ground. See it at The Ambassador Dublin, from March 12 to April 12.
IT'S A WRAP
Designer Susannagh Grogan's new collection of scarves is a spring-like breath of fresh sartorial style, in vivid hues and fluid designs. Another perfect gift option for the fashionable mammy, silk scarves are emerging as one of spring/summer's hottest accessories. Casually drape it around shoulders or knot around the neck. Susannagh also has a range of floral printed clutches, gloves and passport holders, all of which give the perfect colour pop to any outfit.
BUY: €75, susannaghgrogan.com
FOOD OF LOVE
While it lovely to give 'things' as presents, there's a good argument that giving experiences are worth a lot more. Bypass the usual flowers and chocolates this coming Mother's Day and treat her to something she'll always remember instead, like a voucher for one of Neven Maguire's cookery classes. They take place in his state-of-the-art cookery school in Blacklion, Co. Cavan, with Neven presenting, and are kept small in numbers to ensure a hands-on approach.