Monday, November 2, 2015


VIEWTempleBar is an upcoming event in Temple Bar about arts and politics. It'll run from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd November 2015.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: 'Dancing at Lughnasa', DTF2015

This year's Dublin Theatre Festival features a production of Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa by Lyric Theatre Belfast.

Here's how the theatre festival describes it: "Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa, the play tells the story of the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away. The story is told by the sisters’ nephew, Michael, who recalls the summer spent with his aunts when he was seven years old. As August gives way to September, Michael recounts his memory of childhood in Ballybeg, where his aunts raised him in their crumbling, rural home and where once they danced."

This was my first time seeing the play, and I won't try to critique it. I'll just say: I enjoyed it, the production quality was high, and it's usually a good sign if a play is still being performed long after it was written. RIP Brian Friel.

Dancing at Lughnasa runs in the Gaiety Theatre to 11th October 2015 as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Tickets cost from €15 to €45. The show starts at 7:30 pm and runs for about 2 hours 30 minutes including an interval.

Friday, July 24, 2015

And we're back...

Welcome back. After several quiet months, we're back for the festival season. So, here are a few of the key dates ahead. Enjoy!

Dublin Horse Show - 5th to 9th August
Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival - 27th to 29th August in the RDS
Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival - 7th to 20th September
Culture Night - Friday 18th September
Dublin Theatre Festival - 24th September to 11th October
Open House - 16th October to 18th October

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: 'Men Like Us' in Smock Alley Theatre

Mouth on Fire is a theatre company set up to perform the plays of Samuel Beckett. They're in Smock Alley Theatre today at 3 pm and 8 pm with their production Men Like Us, featuring three Beckett plays: Matalang, Rough for Theatre II and The End. This approach of combining several Beckett shorts works well and is, in my experience, more enjoyable than watching a full-length Beckett play.

"Matalang", you ask? It's an Irish-language translation of Catastrophe, one of Beckett's best-known short plays. This is a good choice for translation - the physicality and snappy, repetitive dialogue makes this relatively easy for anyone such as myself with poor Irish. And if you've no Irish at all that's fine too; English-language text is projected above the performance.

I hadn't previously seen Rough for Theatre II or The End. Both were good, and performed well by Mouth on Fire. As always the Boys' School theatre in Smock Alley was helpfully atmospheric. I'd suggest sitting in the front row: you'll be wonderfully close to the action, and the dimensions of the venue mean that the high ceiling is mostly out of view when you're looking at the actors.

Tickets cost €15 / €12. The three pieces take about two hours including a 15 minute interval.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tradfest 2015

Not long now - Tradfest 2015 runs from 28th January to 1st February in Temple Bar. Although most of the music is Trad, you don't have to be a Trad fan to enjoy this. The venues and atmosphere are a major plus, and this really is the right time of year for a Trad festival. Feck it, I hope it rains, because it'll just make it all the cosier.

As is the way these days, there's a foodie add-on (Temple Bar Taste Trail), a photography exhibition, talks, workshops, and free events in many of the local pubs (Tradfest Music Trail). If you life craft beer I'd recommend the Norseman, and if you don't like craft beer I'd recommend the Norseman and drinking craft beer. The Porterhouse should be good too.