Okay, it’s the weekend before Christmas.
You’ve actually managed to get all of your shopping done in advance. You’re sick of the pub. And you want to spend some time in the city without getting sucked into last minute mayhem? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s what to do this weekend in Dublin that doesn’t involve forced festivities.
Guys and Dolls
(IFI, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
Marlon Brando dancing? Singing? Pull the other one. No, really we’re serious – the Godfather did apparently have a sense of humour and that's pretty evident from this 1955 musical. Brando and his co-star Frank Sinatra play a couple of New York gamblers (and ne’er-to-wells) who place a hefty wager on the virtues of an angelic Salvation Army worker (Jean Simmons). And that’s about as complicated as things get in terms of plot as the pair of them sing and dance their way through the lightweight but thoroughly enjoyable plot.
The fact that Brando can’t really sing and wasn’t a trained dancer just adds to the charm. But the songs are infectious and there’s plenty to enjoy here. And since it’s on mid afternoon, you’ll miss the worst hell of Christmas shopping.
www.ifi.ie, tel (01) 679 3477
We are in the hell of Christmas party season where best forgotten '90s popstars still think it is perfectly acceptable to get back together and churn out their second rate nonsense. But there are also some welcome gigs. Take that Imelda May. For the last couple of years, Ms May has been making it something of a tradition of playing in her home town at Christmas. The Liberties woman returns to the 3Arena to blast out her rockabilly hits tonight and tomorrow.
3Arena, tonight Friday 18 December and tomorrow Saturday 20 December tickets from €44
We could recommend Elf but there are barely any tickets left for this weekend and there will, no doubt, be many children shouting loudly. Not fun. So go for Wuthering Heights to get away from the Christmas messing. Emily Bronte’s classic tale of passion, betrayal and love is given the once-off by Anne-Marie Casey. Kate Stanley Brennan plays Catherine while Tom Canton smoulders away as Heathcliff. The set design by Paul O’Mahony is pretty spectacular but it’s the central performances which are the stand-outs. Still, whatever you do, resist the temptation to warble out “Heathcliff, it’s me!” in your best Kate Bush-falsetto at any stage in the proceedings. You’ll only let yourself down.
Tickets from €25. See www.gatetheatre.ie for more details
The Little Museum of Dublin
Everyone else is shopping this weekend. They’re getting stressed out and they’re buying for the sake of buying. But you’re not – even if you’re on Stephen’s Green. Because you’re visiting the Little Museum of Dublin. The Little Museum of Dublin tells the story of the city through an electic bunch of items that characterise the city in the last 100 years or so. You can find everything from election posters to bullets to their much lauded U2 room. But we won’t hold that against them. And if you’re in the market for a bit of lunch, Hatch & Sons is in the basement. But you’ll probably have to deal with those damn shoppers. Grrrr....
http://www.littlemuseum.ie. Tickets from €7. Concessions are available. Tel: (01) 6611000
The Iveagh Gardens
Yes, you’re in the city and you have zip interest in battling the masses down at the St Stephen’s Green market. What to do to get away from the heaving mobs? Take a stroll up Harcourt Street and duck into the Iveagh Gardens. Although the world and his mother knows about this place know thanks to the gigs and the Taste folks, this is still a wonderful park and a lovely place to go for a stroll. If the weather is crisp and cold, the gardens have a festive air to them and the various rockeries and the pleasure garden dating from 1865 are quite something to behold. Yes, the old chestnut of the Iveagh Garden being the worst kept secret in the city is true, chances are you might actually have it to do yourself this weekend as everyone else will be shopping. The fools.
Clonmel Street Open until 3.30pm Saturday from 8am and Sunday from 10am. Closes at 3.30pm