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Light in The Darkness

THERE will be a bright spot for fans of The Darkness this winter as the Olympia Theatre welcomes one of the rock greats.

The rock/pop group will round off their year with a string of Irish tour dates this November.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of their legendary number one debut album Permission To Land, the boys will hit The Olympia Theatre on Sunday, November 24 and Limelight, Belfast, on November 23.

It will be a case of Costa Del Bray this summer as – Ireland's largest free festival comes back with a bang.

Bray Summerfest returns this year from July 6 to August 5 and will be launching its programme of events on Thursday June 13, at the Porter House, Bray.

Running over four themed weekends, the festival will see the return of the spectacular Airshow on July 21, the Food Festival, the Summerfest fun fair, and many new events which are to be announced at the launch.

Following the runaway success of her hilarious 2008 Fringe hit Little Gem, playwright Elaine Murphy returns to Dublin with another comic tale of female solidarity.

Birthdays, Bacardis and bonding are very much to the fore as five friends look to each other for comfort in a bid to deal with life's travails.

A stellar cast includes Barbara Brennan, Deirdre Donnelly and Ruth Hegarty.

The production runs at the Abbey Theatre until July 20 and tickets start from €13.

Dublin is getting a sprinkling of Italian culture this week as The Italian Institute of Culture, Dublin presents screenings of Verdi operas Rigoletto and La Traviata.

The event kicked off in the Italian Institute of Culture, Pavilion Hall yesterday and continues tonight. The screenings are free and take place from 6pm.

John Banville was back in Dublin last night and with plenty to say as he took part in a special conversation about his career with broadcaster Olivia O'Leary.

Topics up for discussion included talk of a forthcoming adaption of his Booker prize winning novel The Sea. The event took place at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin's city centre.