Thursday, 28 April 2011

Cork Arts Theatre - May Events


The summer is upon us here in Cork and judging by the weather today it's going to be a lovely one! We also have many events happening in the Cork Arts Theatre to keep you entertained on those long summer evenings.

Firstly (and quite aptly given the season) we have A Midsummer Night's Dream
which is brought to us by the Cork Shakespearean Company (also known as The Loft) and they are offering two tickets for €12 on their opening night so be sure to book your tickets early.

Then we have St. Vincent's Secondary School who are coming on 11th & 12th of May with their "Return of the 80s" Show. Tickets are available from the school - 021 4307730.

We are also delighted to welcome Cork Active Pulse Theatre Group from the 18th - 20th May with their delightful "Stories by the Lee" storytelling show. The show was written and devised entirely by the company and will bring us through Cork through the ages and promises to be a very entertaining evening.

We would like to thank you (as always) for your continued support of the theatre and we appreciate all the good wishes from the people of Cork and beyond.

See the full schedule here

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


current exhibition ....

April 12th - 30th

Exploring Perceptions of Contemporary Craft

Selected by Nuala O'Donovan
Featuring: Denis Brown, Isobel Egan, Pamela Hardesty,
Peadar Lamb, 
Frances Lambe, Mary Mackey, Liz Nilsson, Nuala O' Donovan (image right), Lucia Parle,  Louise Rice & Lesley Stothers.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Bantry Bay


West Cork Chamber Music Festival 
24 June to 2 July
General booking opens 28 April
Concerts from lunchtime to late night
Morning talks, violin making exhibition

Nicola Benedetti, RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Christian Poltera, Barokksolistene, Kaleidoscope, Tai Murray, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
Brett Dean, Mihaela Ursuleasa, Kate Hearne, Cédric Tiberghien, Robin Tritschler, Pacifica Quartet, Quatuor Diotima and much more

Works by Handel, Beethoven, Schubert, Ravel, Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Menotti, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Dean, Stravinksy, Telemann, Bach and many more
027 52788
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West Cork Literary Festival
3 - 9 July
Workshops, Readings, Seminars, Book launches, Music, Children's events, Competitions

Writing for the Stage with Marina Carr, Fiction- Getting Started with Lucy Caldwell, Memoir with Hugo Hamilton, Freelance Journalism with Roisin Boyd, 
Crime Writing with Eoin McNamee, Publishing with Hazel Orme, Poetry with Gerald Dawe, Halfway Through with Gillian Slovo, Travel writing with Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Making History with Adrian Tinniswood, Fiction with John Boyne

Michael Morpurgo, John Banville, David Mitchell, David Soul, Hisham Matar, Michael Holroyd, Conor O'Clery, Linda Grant, Pauline McLynn and many more
027 52788
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Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Cork Opera House Listings
May 2011
Fred May 21st

Tue 3 May 9.45am & 11.30am
The Little Elephant (L’Elefantino)

For children 2 – 6 years.
Bubu’s mummy and daddy have given him the task of washing all the family’s socks. It’s a boring job, and Bubu, during the washing, tells a story to himself. As if by magic, the socks come to life and turn into jungle animals. Bubu will meet animals of all colours and sizes, but he will also be accompanied by many songs, because every sock has a sound that makes him sing. They are sounds that recall Africa, voices that make us dream about the earth, the trees and the green, muddy water of the river.

See The Little Elephant also at:
West Cork Arts Centre Gallery, Skibbereen, Wed 4 May, 11.30am

Free Workshop!
Graffiti Theatre Company will host a free workshop, Theatre and Early Childhood With Bruno Cappagli, on Tuesday 3 May, 4pm, at their venue on Assumption Road. It is open to theatre artists and childcare workers. Places strictly limited. To apply, contact Graffiti on (021) 4397111.
Inspired by a tale written by Rudyard Kipling.

Thu 5 May 6.30pm
Bealtaine Festival 2011: JULIE & JULIA

In 1949, Julia Child is living in Paris with her diplomat husband, looking to fill her spare time. She settles on cooking, and after completing Le Cordon Bleu teams up with two chefs to write a French cookbook for the American market. In 2002 New York, Julie Powell needs something to distract her from her job dealing with claims resulting from 9/11. With the encouragement of her husband, she decides to cook all 524 of Child's recipes in one year while blogging about the experience.
Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Amy Adams, Chris Messina
Director: Nora Ephron / USA / 2009 / 123 minutes / Certificate : 12A

Sat 7 May 8pm
Ireland’s Greatest Voices
The Three Tenors
& Star Violinist

Ireland’s Hottest Trio, John Scott, David Martin, Declan Kelly, with their amazing voices and friendly down-to-earth approach, return to Cork Opera House with an evening packed with magical feel-good songs.
“I would recommend this wonderful concert to anyone –the most delicious box of chocolates your ears could ever have. Knockout vocal performance’’
- New York Times

Tickets:€28.50, €31
Limited Early Bird Tickets Available.
Booking fee may apply

Sun 8 May 8pm

Talvin Singh and Niladri Kumar

Talvin Singh is known for his groundbreaking style in creating original sounds using Indian traditions, and modern European aesthetics, and the resonance presented by the rest of the world. Niladri Kumar is a fifth generation Sitar player,and his exploratory nature will transport you to a unique, musical experience.
Tickets: €21
Limited Early Bird Tickets Available
booking fee may apply

Wed 25 & Thu 26 May 8pm
Alan Carr – Work In Progress
Star of Channel 4’s ‘Alan Carr Chatty Man’ returns to the road for his first UK Tour in over 4 years. Come and join Alan as he tries out new material for his forthcoming 33 date UK and Ireland arena tour.
Tickets: €28, €29.50, €31,
Limited Early Bird Tickets Available

Thu 12- Sat14 May  Half Moon Theatre

As part of Bealtaine Festival 2011
De Ultvalgte (Norway) presents
Shadows (Skuggar) by Jon Fosse  
Skuggar is an enigmatic and surprising performance about the memories of people who have spent all their lives together. In the magically indefinable space of the performance, real-life older people from the present time encounter projections of children’s faces, portraying things passed.
In Norwegian with English subtitles.
Tickets: €21.

Tue 17 – Fri 20 May  HMT, 8.30pm
Written, performed and composed by Raymond Scannell
Directed and designed by Tom Creed
Mimic tells the story of Julian Neary, whose childhood gift for mimicry—from Columbo and Jimmy Stewart to Billie Holiday and Morrissey—becomes his ticket out of 1980s Ireland. He leaves for America, returning only years later on a journey of rediscovery to find a country much changed.

Tickets: €16.

Wed 18 & Thu 19 May, 8pm
Robert C Kelly by arrangement with Avalon® Promotions Ltd in association with Liberty Bell presents
Grumpy Old Women Live
By Jenny Eclair and Judith Holder
Starring Adèle King, Flo McSweeney and Una Crawford O’Brien
Have you reached that certain age?  Are you more likely to be shaking your rolling pin than your booty?  Are you a little bit hot, a little bit hairy?  Then join us for a live grump fest.
“The rampaging, rumbustious show is tailor-made for women” *****  Daily Mail
Tickets: €26 (including levy)

Fri 20 May 
Des Bishop
Following a week of sold-out nights, Des Bishop's critically acclaimed show, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond, returns to the Cork Opera House for one final night.
He had not been prepared for quite how special his week at Cork Opera House would be, as it turned out to be the last series of shows he performed before his father passed away.
Des continues to tour the show, as was his father's wish, and is coming back to Cork on Friday, 20 May for one night only.  Don’t miss this last chance to see this very special show in Cork.
Tickets: €26, €27.50, €29

Sat 21 May 

After the release of ‘Go God Go’ with its string of Indie-poptastic hits ('Skyscrapers', 'Running'. 'The Lights' & 'Good one')  on playlists across the nation, accolades including itunes Canada 'Top ten Indie albums of 2008', Hot-press readers poll 'Top Ten album Irish albums of 2008' & Meteor nomination for ‘Hope of 2009’, the reaction and recognition for Fred was brought to a new level. 'Leaving My Empire' is testament to their ability write and produce songs that go from intimate to epic and back.
Tickets: €19 (including levy, plus booking fee)

Tue 24 May 
Donna’s Dance Studio, the principal training ground for children in Cork theatre for over twenty years brings together a cast of over 300 young people from four to twenty drawn from all parts of Cork City and County in an exciting performance of youthful energy, enthusiasm and talent suitable for all the family.
Tickets: €21, €26

Thur 26 May   Half Moon Theatre
As part of Bealtaine Festival 2011
Re-Live presents
A Story To Call My Own
Following the success of their performance at Bealtaine 2010, Wales’ innovative theatre company Re-Live bring their hit show to Cork. Brave, funny and poignant, this is a show about identity, escape and returning. Three older people take you on a roller coaster journey through key moments in their lives. The show will invite you to think about your own story. After all, everyone has a story to tell…
Tickets: €16

Sat 28 May
Cork Arts Studio presents 
Dance Overtures
Directed by Philip McTeggart Walsh, Cork Arts Studio stage works will present students ranging in ages from 3 to 20 performing tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern dance, musical theatre numbers and music from three dynamic choirs.
Tickets: €21, €23, €26

Sun 29 May  HMT
Sam Amidon
He sings and plays fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Sam Amidon is a musician who glides through unlikely set of genres from traditional folk to free jazz. Amidon has released four solo albums and plays in the New York-based indie-rock bands Doveman and Stars Like Fleas.
Tickets €16

Cork Opera House booking information
Book online: *
Book by phone:  *021-4270022
*Telephone and internet bookings subject to a booking fee of €2.50 per ticket.  All tickets include a €1 restoration levy.  No booking fee for Cork Cine Club.

Monday, 18 April 2011


East Cork rarely hits the tourist pages. Many writers routinely extol the attractions of West Cork and its friendly people. That friendly bit annoys. As if somewhere between Kinsale and Glounthaune, you draw a line between the friendly natives and the unfriendly.

But we know down here that East Cork is a gem of a place to visit and, yes, the people are just as friendly. From the fantastic 13th century St Mary’s Collegiate Church  in Youghal to high class Fota House Gardens and Arboretum , both free to enter, there is a treasure chest of places to visit in the area.

Let me take you on a day trip to see some of it. We’ll have some food in between as East Cork is a foodie’s paradise with top notch restaurants, Midleton’s pioneering Farmers Market and the food mecca of Ballymaloe.

Coming from the city on the main Cork-Waterford road, take the Cobh exit ramp and head for breakfast at Bramley Lodge.  Now, set up for the morning, go over the nearby bridge to Fota Island and its many attractions.

If you have kids, go the Wildlife Park ; if not, from the same car park, walk through the renowned Fota Arboretum  and maybe add a tour of the Georgian House. If you like it around here, you may also try the high class  Fota Island Hotel and Golf Resort

Moving on, go over the Belvelly Bridge and you find yourself on Great Island where the cathedral town of Cobh is situated. Much to do here including the Sirius Art Gallery, walking tours (including the Titanic Trail), harbourside bars and restaurants and of course the Cobh Heritage Centre which tells of forced deportations and the later exodus caused by the famine and also the tales of the ill fated liners, The Titanic and the Lusitania.

Time now to head out of the islands and bear east for Midleton and a tour of theJameson Experience. If you give the right answers here, you’ll end up with a certificate of proficiency in Whiskey!

You may have lunch at the cafe here. I have two favourites just outside on Distillery Walk: Raymond’s and The Pantry. There are many more.

Next stop is Ballymaloe, the home of modern Irish food. You could spend a day here but, with time getting scarce, take a look at the impressive Cookery School gardens and call to the cafe for a mid afternoon coffee.

You could also take that coffee in the Kilkenny Design Shop in Shanagarry village before heading on to the seaside village of Ballycotton.

Take a stroll down to the pier  and see the fishermen come and go. If you feel you need to stretch the legs, then there is a spectacular walk laid along the cliff tops.

Time now for dinner at Nautilus, a French influenced restaurant in the village with views over the harbour and the island lighthouse. Nautilus is a seasonal restaurant and not open throughout the year.

If closed, head back towards the city and make a stop at the estuary village of Glounthaune and the Rising Tide Bar Bistro. Enjoy your meal here, as Lady Gaga did, and take time for a deserved pint of the local stout, Murphy’s or Beamish (Guinness also allowed!), in the bar afterwards.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Bardot Bites & Lucy Bastible.

TooDog Theatre Company Presents: Bardot Bites & Lucy Bastible
Time   Saturday, April 16th· 8:00pm-11:00pm 

Cork Arts Theatre, Camden Court, Carrolls Quay, Cork

Created By

TooDog Theatre Co. are offering a wonderful evening’s entertainment with two hilariously funny one-act plays. This production directed by Cork based Mary Curtin, is on a national tour and has met with considerable critical acclaim. It has been described as ‘great fun, lively, fast moving, fearless.’ 

The first play in the double bill, Bardot Bites centres on 45 year old Bid who has led a sheltered life looking after her ailing mother. On her mother’s death Bid is manipulated into the world of work by her older sister ‘Francine The Beauty Queen’ who epitomes the sister from hell and is a super b***ch of unparalleled proportions! In her new career on the Cheese Counter of the local Deli Bid meets twenty-one year old cousins Leandra and Leonie, both man mad and experienced hands in the dating and relationship game. Under their none too gentle tutelage Bid makes her first tentative and fiercely funny forays into the world of men and romance and in the process succeeds in teaching Francine a long overdue   lesson. As one critic said ‘the audience loved Bid’ and there is no doubt you will too!

If you were a woman of consequence, a doyenne of your social set, a snob from your fingertips to your toes, just how would you deal with a straying husband? In the second play, the darkly comic Lucy Bastible we enter the world and crumbling psyche of the privileged Lucy whose husband Jeremy succumbs to the youthful charms of the ‘impudent, predatory, puerile’ Patrice. Lucy,(described by one critic as ‘larger than life and highly comedic’) is not a woman to bear this betrayal lying down and she plots and executes a truly terrible vengeance on the errant Jeremy !

Tickets €15/12 conc. Show at 8pm.
For bookings call 021 4505624

Sunday, 10 April 2011


This baby blackbird's first flight landed him in trouble; dogs and grandkids had to be quickly cleared from the back-garden. Then the blackbird parents ushered him into a quiet corner as he regained his strength and courage (hopefully)! There were still babies (at least one) in the nest and Dad got a goodie for him while Mum fed the refugee. A pidgeon dropped in for a look.
Click on collage to enlarge


Spring colours are gradually forcing back winter in the gardens and arboretum at Fota House, one of the great free visits in the county. Primroses and magnolias are prominent in the displays among the trees where the squirrels are at play. Oranges and lemons fruits are on the trees in the Orangery and there are fine displays of tulips and daffodils in the more formal areas. A delightful stroll for a Sunday or indeed any other day of the week.
Click on collage to enlarge

Saturday, 2 April 2011



“A partnership initiative of Mayo County Council Arts Office, South Tipperary Arts Service and IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) Altered Images  is an exhibition of art works from the collections of all three organizations. Accessible, interactive and inclusive in ethos, the exhibition aims to stimulate engagement with the visual arts for the general public and particularly for disabled people.”

Here, some seven artists present (each with the aid of an audio description) an original work (not the kind you’re likely to see on sale in the commercial galleries) and side by side is the altered image, a relief model, all the work of Loz Simpson of Topografik. In some cases, I found the relief model more interesting than the original.

That was the case with the 2004 “snail” paintings of Alice Maher. After feeding live snails a diet of vegetable dyes, Maher used the drawing made by the coloured snail trails and added her own dream-like imaginings to the nebulous swirls and marks made by the snails. “The prints express Maher’s fascination with the minutiae and largesse of the natural world”. 

The large work by Caroline McCarthy (above) is sure to grab your attention. “The Luncheon is a large scale photograph of a still-life made from wet toilet paper, resulting in a pastiche of 17th-century traditional still-life painting, replete with fruit, vegetables and vanitas-style flies”.

The exhibition, which is a few years old and has been seen around the country, has the aim of stimulating engagement. Why not take up the invitation and see for yourself. The Crawford  is a convenient city centre location. Drop in if you have 20 minutes to spare.

Altered Images is at Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland until 29 April 2011

Friday, 1 April 2011



Upstairs in the Crawford Art Gallery, in a room adjacent to their current major exhibition (Altered Images), there is a collection of watercolours.

It is quite a varied collection. There is some relatively modern stuff, including a painting of St Remy de Provence by Evie Hone, but much of it contains various scenes of Cork as it used to be.

Some of these are very interesting even if it is just to compare the then and the now.  There is a small series recording the building of the various viaducts on the Cork-Mallow Railway and also a painting of a rather stumpy Blackrock Castle where the people are greeting the returning Lord Mayor who has just cast the traditional dart into the waters of the harbour.

A few months back, I followed the South Parish walk and the leaflet pointed out a blocked “bridge” on French’s Quay between South Gate Bridge and the cathedral (in photo). But a painting here shows that bridge open and the Lee flowing along in front of St Finn Barre’s with an intact Elizabeth Fort also very much in the view.
Many more like that there and certainly worth a visit if you have a few minutes to spare when in the city centre.