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10 things to do in Dublin this weekend


Des Bishop

Des Bishop

Des Bishop

There goes the shortest month of the year. Is it just us, or is 2015 flying in?

As long as you’re making the most of your time off, then that’s all that matters, right? Buckle up, folks – it’s the weekend again. And you know what that means: lots and lots of tasty treats across this fine city of ours. Oh, and some rugby, too. Yeah, we hear there’s an important game on Sunday. Enjoy…


The (Beer) Festival

Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair at the Convention Centre, Dublin Docklands

Everything you need to know is in the heading. More than 60 international breweries will be serving up the goods here. There’ll be plenty of artisan food delights on offer, too. So, yeah, gourmet grub and tasty liquor. But wait – there’s more. They’ve also got some live music in store (Jerry Fish closes things out on Sunday), and the inimitable Hector O hEochagain will be on hand to judge something called the ‘beer grand slam’. And yes, they will be showing the Six Nations on a big screen over the weekend, including the Ireland v England match on Sunday afternoon. A ticket will cost you €15, and that includes a complimentary branded glass and four food/drink tokens. Nice.

Friday to Sunday. For a full list of events and door times, visit www.theccd.ie.


The Film

Focus (General Release, 15A)

Will Smith started rapping on live television again this week. It can only mean one thing – dude’s got a new movie to plug. Indeed, the golden boy of chat-show interviews has got all the right moves, but let’s face it - Big Will could really do with a hit. We are, after all, talking about a man who was once the most bankable star in Hollywood before starring in After Earth with his teenage son, Jaden. You know, that weird sci-fi actioner from the guy who gave us the god-awful The Happening? Yikes.

Early reports suggest that Focus, a romantic comedy-drama co-starring Margot Robbie, might actually do the business. Basically, Smith plays a suave con-man named Nicky who makes the unfortunate mistake of mixing business with pleasure when he decides to teach his girlfriend, Jess (Robbie), the tricks of the trade. It doesn’t work out. Alas, these things always come back to bite you in the behind, and before anyone can say ‘I told you so’ Jess and Nicky begin crossing paths. Because, you know, she’s now as good as he is. And, she’s sort of in the way of his latest con. Sounds fun. Oh, come on, it’s the Fresh Prince in sunglasses and nice suits. Go for it.


The Play

The Hole, Bewley’s Café Theatre @ Powerscourt

The Bewley’s Café Theatre is on the move, taking up residency in the Powerscourt Townhouse while the Grafton Street haunt undergoes refurbishment. It’s 60 seconds away and totally worth it. First up in the new digs is John Sheehy’s The Hole, a dark comedy about a reclusive farmer who assists a grieving neighbour in the digging of a giant hole (that title isn’t a metaphor). Confused? Me too. But they actually dig a 50ft hole out the back of the house. Yep, it’s an existential crisis-and-a-half, with some interesting insights on religion, grief and loneliness. It’s also a one-man show with a stellar Bren Barnett taking on an entire cast of characters, from the local village drunk to the aforementioned farmer whose life takes something of a dramatic turn following the tragic death of a young girl. Oh yes, things get deep in The Hole (sorry). A tad too clever for its own good, mind, but definitely worth a look…

Friday and Saturday at 1pm (running until March 7). Tickets: €12. For more, visit www.bewleyscafetheatre.com.


The Comedian

Des Bishop at Vicar Street

The show is called ‘Coming Home’. Why? Because Des Bishop, everyone’s favourite Irish-American comic, has spent the best part of two years living in China. And now, he’s back in Dublin for two nights at Vicar Street. He’s also turned what was a glorified holiday into a cracking power-point presentation (Des Bishop on everything he learned about the Far East in 90 minutes or so). Yep, we caught this show late last year, and it’s a doozy. It also comes with clips of the time poor Des appeared on the Chinese version of popular dating show, Take Me Out. That one segment is worth the ticket price alone…

Friday and Saturday. Tickets priced €25 available at www.ticketmaster.ie.


The Pub

Blackbird, Rathmines

Can’t make it to the craft beers festival in the Convention Centre this weekend? Then why not pop into Blackbird on the Rathmines Road for a cheeky pint or two? Yes, we know what you’re thinking – this place used to be The Rathmines Inn.

Not anymore. First of all, there’s a fine selection of beers on offer. Secondly, your eyes (and ears) are not deceiving you – it has, indeed, gone all hipstery and dark in here. But in a good way. That is Jack White blasting from the speakers. There are Star Wars spaceship models hanging from the ceiling. And yes, the rumours are true: stick around for a second or third drink and the bar staff will throw a complimentary bag of crisps / sweets your way. Now that’s what we call service.


The Night Out

Apres Work Karaoke Knights at Buck’s Townhouse and Bar, Leeson Street

“Corporate karaoke”? That’s what the website tells us. We take it that means it’s open to businesses booking in groups so as everyone who worked so hard all week can unwind with a spot of singing of a Friday evening. Or something. Look, it’s karaoke, it’s in Buck’s and there are spot prizes, food platters and plenty of music in the system. Get on up to get on down, we say.

Friday at 9pm. Exclusive group bookings and party packages available 6pm - 9pm. For more, visit www.buckwhaleys.ie.


The Tribute Act

Queen Classical at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre

This might get loud and a bit silly.  Internationally renowned, German-based Queen tribute act, MerQury, touch down in Dublin this weekend with Queen Classical, which sees Canadian lead singer and Freddie Mercury impersonator Johnny Zatylny (what a name) and chums join forces with the Hibernian Orchestra, Gloria (Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir) and Irish soprano Lynsey Curtin to celebrate one of rock music’s greatest catalogues. In case you were wondering, MerQury have played more than 1,500 shows across 16 countries since forming in 1991. So, you know, they’re pretty good at this Queen stuff…

Saturday. Tickets priced €39.50 - €69.50 available at www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie.


The Gig

The Kooks at the Olympia Theatre

Remember the Kooks? Those messy-haired Brighton boys who gave us that song about a girl who moves in her own way (now you remember)? Well, they’re back. Technically, they never disappeared, and although recent album, Listen, failed to do the business chart-wise, they’ve only gone and sold out a night at the bloody Olympia Theatre on Saturday. But fear not – a second date has been added for Friday. You know what to do.

Tickets for Friday’s gig, priced from €33.50, available at www.ticketmaster.ie.


The Gig (Part Two)

Grant Nicholas at Whelan’s

After 20 years in the business, Feeder front man Grant Nicholas has decided to go it alone (for the time being, at least). He’s also grown a beard…but that’s not important. Debut solo album Yorktown Heights proved a welcome departure from Feeder’s fuzzy, anthemic, day-time radio rock tunes. Yep, Grant’s now an acoustic folk man. And whaddaya know? It actually suits him. Should be special, this.

Saturday. Tickets priced €26 available at www.ticketmaster.ie.


The Meal

Dine in Dublin 2015

Care to embark on a culinary adventure this weekend? We’ll keep it simple. Before you even think of booking a meal anywhere, why not head over to the Dine in Dublin website for a, erm, taste of all the ‘Dine Participants’? Yep, there are plenty of restaurants and chefs on board. We’re talking fire cocktail master classes, food and whiskey tasting events and something called the ‘Gospel Brunch’. Mmmm…we’re in.

Running until Sunday. For more, visit www.dineindublin.ie.