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10 things to do in Dublin this weekend


It's the last weekend in January and these are the things you need to do to keep yourself entertained over the next couple of days

Time to say goodbye. To January, that is. Yep, it’s the last weekend of the month and you don’t want to spend it indoors now, do you? Of course not. Wave adios to January and ring in the month of heart-shaped cards and candy boxes with this fine selection of weekend treats. Go on, you know you want to…


The Gig

Darling at the Sugar Club / Girl Band at the Twisted Pepper

That’s right, we’re going to be hip (or, just awkward) and flag two separate gigs for your listening pleasure this Saturday night. First up, Irish duo Darling (Gary Harding and James McGuire), release their second EP this weekend, and to celebrate, they’ll be touching down on Leeson Street for their first headline show of the year.

We’ve only heard a handful of tunes so far (check out the brilliant ‘Sail Away’ this instant) but already we’re excited about this most melodic and uplifting of local rock outfits.

Alternatively, you could always wait and see if any spare tickets become available for Dublin “noise rock” quartet Girl Band’s highly-anticipated midnight show at the Twisted Pepper (also on Saturday). Yes, unfortunately, it’s sold out – but you might know a mate who can’t make it on the night (there’s always one).

Beg, borrow or steal, folks, for there’s a lot of buzz about these young fellas (it’s not actually a ‘girl band’). In fact, they recently signed a worldwide record deal with Rough Trade...very impressive.

Tickets for Darling at the Sugar Club, priced €12, are available from www.ticketmaster.ie.


The Pub

The Long Hall, South Great George’s Street

It’s a lovely little spot, isn’t it? All red and warm and inviting. No messing about with the Long Hall bar men, either - they’re on the ball, that’s for sure. Squeeze your way in, find a spot and stay there, because if there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from one of our favourite city-centre boozers, it’s that it gets very, very busy at the weekend.

So, you know, they may run out of stools. But we don’t mind standing. Cosy setting, cracking pint, great atmosphere – what else could you ask for of a Friday evening?


The Meal

Saba, Clarendon Street

We literally just found out what the name means (it’s Thai for “happy meeting place”, would you believe). Rest assured, that’s a pretty appropriate title for this most excellent of Thai and Vietnamese eateries. Oh yes, even the thought of Saba’s delicious Phad Thai noodles are making us hungry. And don’t forget to try a cocktail!

Open seven days a week from 12pm till late. For a full food and drink menu, visit www.sabadublin.com.


The Play

Mavericks at Bewley’s Café Theatre

We love the plot. Indeed, Mavericks is a story about two young struggling actors who set out to write and stage a play about, well, writing and staging a play. Sounds complicated, right? Just a tad, but it’s also a hoot.

Co-writer Rebecca Grimes stars alongside David Fennelly in this delightful two-hander that attempts to lift the curtain and remind audiences of what really goes on backstage.

It’s funny, it’s fast and maybe a little bit subversive, its leading man and woman racing through a hugely entertaining series of vignettes and flashbacks, from dodgy auditions and rehearsals, to scary job interviews and post-work coffee chats. But with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mavericks gets by on the charisma, charm and chemistry of its star performers. The dance segment in the middle is worth the ticket price alone.

Friday and Saturday at 1pm. Tickets priced €12 are available from www.bewleyscafetheatre.com.


The Film

Big Hero 6 (General Release, PG)

One for all the family, this. Inspired by the Marvel comic book series (is there a big-budget actioner these days that isn’t?), Disney’s Big Hero 6 tells the story of a young robotics prodigy named Hiro who strikes up a friendship with an inflatable robot named Baymax, the pair later combining forces with Hiro’s clever mates to form a brand-spanking new superhero alliance in order to fend off a masked supervillain and save the city of San Fransokyo.

Just another superhero movie? We don’t think so. For a start, this computer-animated gem ran riot at the box-office upon its US release last November (almost half a billion dollars and counting) and reviews thus far have been glowing. Methinks the big kids will love Big Hero 6 (featuring the voice talents of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit and Damon Wayans, Jr.) just as much, if not more, than the little ones…


The Night Out

Pygmalion, Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street

You know what? Every time we swing by this spot after work on a Friday, a note is left at our table. What’s it say? Oh, something to do with an impending dance floor alert. And then we head off somewhere else. Well, not this time. Tonight, we’re sticking around and signing up for the PYG Friday / Culture Shock Dublin event, featuring French DJ Molly (straight out of Rex Club, Paris, we believe). We have absolutely no idea what to expect, but we reckon there may be a few bangin’ tunes involved. Yes, that would be a clever bet.

Doors: 10pm. Admission: €10. Visit www.facebook.com/PygmalionDublin for more.


The Comedian

The International Bar, Wicklow Street

Okay, so there may be more than one comedian. According to the website, Sunday night is new night: “Big names come down. You never know who might be on! It’s a surprise…”. What, so Ireland’s most popular funny guys and gals test out brand new material every Sunday night upstairs at the International? And for just a fiver at the door? Well, I’ll be damned – that’s us sold. Maybe keep an eye on Twitter to see who’s popping by…

Doors: 8.15pm. Visit www.theinternationalcomedyclub.com for more.


The Festival

Tradfest 2015, Temple Bar

Five whole days of traditional Irish music in the heart of the city…well, that’s what you’d think, but the annual Tradfest also incorporates folk and rock, we hear. Heck, the bloody Undertones are on the bill as part of this year’s 10th anniversary celebrations. An audience with Donovan (House of Lords, tonight); Eleanor McEvoy (The Front Lounge, Sunday); Mundy (The Porterhouse, Friday); there really is something for everybody in there. And we’re serious about that Undertones gig, by the way. They’re in the Button Factory tonight. See you at the front.

For a full list of events and ticket prices, visit www.templebartrad.com.


The Coffee Break

The Stage Door Café, Essex Street

You’re going to be in the area for the Tradfest, right? Maybe skip on down a little earlier and take shelter from the madness in the cool, jazzy surroundings of the Stage Door Café, where – and we aren’t exaggerating here – you’ll find the best hazelnut coffee and lemon meringue pie in the city. You’re welcome.

The Show

The Nutcracker, Bord Gais Energy Theatre

The Moscow City Ballet troupe is in town, bringing us The Nutcracker, a mesmerising ballet that involves a girl named Clara going on some mad adventure of sorts with her Nutcracker Prince, taking in a trip to the “Land of Sweets”. Wait, hold up - the Land of Sweets? Mmmm…sounds tasty. All jokes aside, this amazing production features gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes, an incredibly talented ensemble of dancers and, of course, that fine, celebrated score courtesy of the great Tchaikovsky. Enjoy.

Ends tomorrow night. Tickets from €30 are available from www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie.