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The Insider

The Abbey Theatre formed the venue for a one-off reading featuring Patti Smith and Sam Shepard earlier this week. The two legendary stars joined forces on Easter Monday for an intimate evening of songs and readings on the national stage.

The long-term friends have collaborated on a number of projects over the past 40 years and came to Dublin as part of the theatre's New Playwrights Programme.

They were joined on stage by Tony Shanahan, Bill Whelan and Dermy Diamond from the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield.

Attendees at the event included Interview With A Vampire actor Stephen Rea and Fair City star Sean McGinley.

wwwThe owners of some of Waterford's finest historic houses will throw open the gates to their magnificent gardens next month. The move is part of the first ever Waterford Garden Festival, which starts at the beginning of May.

Running over two weeks, the festival will feature a number of older gardens which have been painstakingly restored.

A total of 15 gardens are taking part and some of the historic houses involved include Lismore Castle, Cappoquin House and Dromana House and Gardens.

wwwA number of rising stars have been confirmed to perform at a Gig with a Difference -- Trocaire Live.

A colourful combination of Ugandan dancers and a Filipino guitar group will perform alongside some of Ireland's best-known indie and alternative music acts at the charity event at the Grand Social on April 28.

The gig will showcase the best of Irish and world music.

Among those on the bill are Fred, the Hot Sprockets and Katie Kim alongside Daniel Scannell and DJ act Groovement Soul while the whole night will be MC-ed by Today FM's Paul McLoone, who's also the lead singer of the Undertones.

wwwCharming hotelier John Fitzpatrick will be hosting an invite-only bash in Residence next week. He'll be inviting all his friends and colleagues to join him at a beano in the St Stephen's Green club for his annual New York New York evening. Taking place on April 17, all the usual social suspects are expected to attend the night hosted by the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group.