“The Winter’s Tale” at the Lir, Dublin

Performances at the Lir on Pearse Street, Dublin, from Friday 1st December until Thursday 7th December, at 7.30pm. Matinee: Monday 4th December, 1pm.
Tickets: €15 and €10 concession

The dark dramas of violent jealousy, sexual slander and death at the court of Sicilia, lead to a small baby girl being abandoned in the wild reaches of rural Bohemia. There, sixteen years later, the hot midsummer festivities are the background for delight, disguise and denunciation, which in turn carry the tale, replete with runaway lovers, a scalliwag, an old shepherd and his clown son back to Sicilia. The icy mourning of King Leontes begins to thaw as these two contrasting worlds meld, and in a magical finale full of revelations,  Shakespeare shows us his delight in such a vivid, motley collection of characters and his ultimate belief in forgiveness and redemption.

For more information on the production and to book tickets, see the Lir website here.

 

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The Sonnet Man presents Hip Hop Shakespeare to Ireland in 2017

International Hip Hop Artist, The Sonnet Man, is preparing to visit various cities in Ireland.  While in Ireland, The Sonnet Man is also scheduled to present performances and sonnet-writing workshops to schools in Cork, Kilkenny, Carlow, and Wexford (among others) perform school assemblies, beginning with a performance at the Wexford Arts Centre.  Due to the interest, The Sonnet Man is also offering schools, theatres, and other venues the chance to sign up to be a part of The Sonnet Man Ireland Tour.

The Sonnet Man is Devon Glover, a rapper, writer, artist, and teacher from Brooklyn, New York.  The Sonnet Man uses hip hop to put a unique spin on Shakespeare. He sets sonnets first to rap music, singing them as originally written. Then, he raps them again, but with his own unique interpretation on The Bard’s poetry in today’s spoken word.

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The Sonnet Man

On April 24, 2016The Sonnet Man performed a three and half hour Sonnet Marathon, organized by the Stratford Literary Festival. He recited all 154 of William Shakespeare’s famous Sonnets, in Hip Hop, to hundreds of fans in Stratford Upon Avon, to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare at the Stratford Literary Festival.

In addition to his festival work over the last five years, The Sonnet Man has presented live shows, as well as school assemblies and workshops, to thousands of people across the world (Prague, Netherlands, Bermuda, Canada, United States, including performing Sonnet 18 live in Negril, Jamaica, and more). The Sonnet Man has also appeared on NBC’s The Today Show and MSNBC’s (former) Melissa Perry-Harris Show and has been profiled on MTV. He has been honored as the winner of the 2014 LA Times Festival of Books Inspirational Poetry Award and has had his music video, Hamlet by filmmaker Deborah Voorhees, chosen as an official selection in the 2015 Shakespeare Film Festival. A number of other performances and workshops, including a trip to UK, France, and more cities in Ireland, and a Sonnet Man documentary film are also to come.

The Sonnet Man is always looking for more venues to sign up for The Sonnet Man’s Ireland tour. For more information about, please contact: sonnetmannyc@gmail.com or check out The Sonnet Man online at www.SonnetMan.com and on iTunes.

National Heritage Week 20th-28th August – Medieval and Renaissance events around Ireland

National Heritage Week is upon us once again and there’s a wide range of Medieval and Renaissance events taking place around Ireland. We’ve cherry-picked just a few of these fabulous historical, cultural, and artistic events which aim to build awareness and education about Ireland’s heritage. Please see the National Heritage Week website for details on these and the many other events taking place around the country.

Dublin

On August 25th, the Pearse Museum throws open its doors for an evening of dramatic readings from some of Patrick Pearse’s favourite Shakespeare plays. And in case you have missed it, this will be a great opportunity to view the museum’s Pearse and Shakespeare exhibition.

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St. Enda’s – Pearse Musuem, Dublin

The Royal Irish Academy hosts the “Book of Fenagh 500th anniversary exhibition” from August 22nd-26th. Showcasing Irish manuscripts, the exhibit will include the famous Annals of the Four Masters which chronicle Irish history. The RIA will also host a lunchtime lecture entitled “From medieval text to mobile: folk medicine in Irish tradition” on the 24th.

On the 21st, the National Print Museum hosts Printfest where kids can get a chance to be apprentices for the day. Additionally, the Museum’s daily interactive guided tours are free of charge for Heritage Week.

National Print Musuem Dublin - Facebook page

National Print Museum (Photo credit: National Print Museum’s Facebook page)

On the 27th, Archaeofest in Merrion Square Park promises even more fun for the whole family with historical re-enactments and archaeological digs, and make sure to look out for the Bouncy Dolmen!

On the 24th, the National Library of Ireland offers what promises to be a fascinating peak behind the scenes with a talk on conserving manuscripts from the sixteenth century to modern day books.

national library ireland

The National Library of Ireland – Dublin

The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland throws open its doors for special tours that look back over 350 years of medical history (booking required.)

If castles and Medieval history are your thing, then there’s a smorgasbord of choice in Dublin. On the 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, and 27th, the Friends of Medieval Dublin will hold free walking tours that explore the city in the Middle Ages. Throughout the week, there are tours of Rathfarnham Castle where you can see 16th century gun loops, 17th century panelling, 18th century ceilings and hear the story of Philip Wharton, the infamous Rathfarnham Rake! At Swords Castle on Saturday 27th, a range of talks on its history culminates in a tour. You can’t miss either the tour of Archbold’s Castle, a late Medieval tower house located in Dalkey, on August 27th and 28th. Christ Church Cathedral has a range of events on offer, but Medieval and Renaissance enthusiasts may be interested in its “1016-2016 walking tour” on August 22nd, led by historian Mike Neill.

Archbold's Castle Dublin - Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Archbold’s Castle in Dublin (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Kildare

Kildare town will host a Medieval Festival on Sunday 21st August. This event promises fun for the whole family – events include Medieval games and activities, puppet shows, music, a food & craft fair, falconry, street theatre, walking tours and much more. Visitors are most welcome to attend in costume!

Kildare Med Fest 2016

Castledermot Community Library will host a talk entitled “1348 – A medieval apocalypse” on the 26th August. Focusing on the lives of eight people, from earls to outlaws, the talk will take you on a journey through the chaotic world of 14th century Ireland.

On 24th August, journey to Athy for a walking tour of the Medieval town, departing from the Athy Heritage Centre. The Centre is also holding a Medieval festival evening on Friday 19th with the theme of “Introducing the Fitzgeralds”.

Kilkenny

Journey to the picturesque village of Inistioge, on the river Nore in Co. Kilkenny, for a guided walk on Sunday 28th exploring its history as a walled town in the medieval and early modern period, c.900-1700. While there are also a range of tours and talks on in Kilkenny city, Paulstown and Castlecomer during Heritage Week.

Inistoge.ie website

Inistoge in Co. Kilkenny  (Photo credit: inistoge.ie)

Louth

Drogheda Museum will hold a family fun day on the 28th with free guided tours, child friendly re-enactments of an archaeological dig, folklore storytelling for children, firing of the famous Millmount Cannons, music, and battle re-enactments.

A fine offer comes from the Old Mellifont Abbey in Tullyallen, Co. Louth – it invites all epicureans and Medieval enthusiasts to come along to “Taste Medieval Ale and Mead” on the afternoon of 28th August.

Wexford

Wexford will hold a Walled Town Medieval Day on the 27th. Some of the delights on offer include falconry displays, children’s digging pits, Viking shield making, medieval pottery making, a medieval archaeology exhibition, and guided walking tours of town wall.

Cork

On 23rd August you can enjoy a guided tour and animated talk on the history of St Peter’s Church, on North Main St., including a look at how the city has grown and changed around Cork’s oldest church which dates back to 1270.

St Peter's Cork city

St. Peter’s on North Main Street, Cork city

On the 21st and 28th, Baltimore Castle (known also as Dún na Séad castle) will host a talk on Baltimore piracy from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. In the surroundings of this Norman Castle, which housed the O’Donnell clan for several centuries, visitors will learn about the castle history and an infamous historical event – the Sack of Baltimore by Algerian pirates in 1631.

Baltimore Castle

Baltimore Castle, Co. Cork   (Photo credit: baltimorecastle.ie)

Youghal Medieval Festival will take place on 21st August. This is the tenth year the event has been held and it takes place in St.Mary’s College Gardens. These Medieval gardens are within the 13th century town walls and showcase Youghal’s unique history and heritage. This year’s festival will feature Medieval battle re-enactments, Medieval cookery displays, archery, and blacksmith displays. The kids’ kingdom will feature traditional Arts and Crafts making (including ‘make your own shield’!) and much more.

Kerry

On the afternoon of Friday 26th, the Schoolhouse at Muckross Traditional Farms will host a special talk on book and manuscript preservation with Master Binder, Paul Curtis.

While in Killarney, you can catch one of the tours of the impressive Ross Castle, overlooking Killarney lakes, on Sunday 28th August. Built by the O’Donoghues in the fifteenth century, Ross Castle was the last castle to surrender to Oliver Cromwell’s roundheads in the mid-seventeenth century.

Ross Castle Killarney

Ross Castle  (Photo credit: Killarney National Park website)

In Tralee, visit the Kerry County Museum for a guided walking tour to discover the vanished medieval town. Free entry to the Medieval Experience before or after the walking tour is also part of this Heritage Week event. Visiting the Medieval Experience is also free on Sunday 28th.

Galway

Throughout Heritage week, you can tour the Hall of the Red Earl, a fascinating 13th century building on Druid Lane and the oldest archaeological site to be excavated in the heart of Galway city. Guided walks on Galway’s Medieval Treasures will held on the 23rd and 25th, and they depart from the Hall of the Red Earl.

Hall of Red Earl

Hall of the Red Earl, Galway

On 25th August, the Woodford Heritage Centre will host a talk entitled “The Burkes of Clanrickard in Tudor Times”, focusing on some famous battles and lives of Irish earls in the sixteenth century.

The Loughrea Medieval Festival, from 26-28th August, has something for everyone – from archery displays to medieval heritage talks, medieval combat displays to medieval cookery demonstrations, and the fantastic Loughrea 780 Parade.

Loughrea Medieval Festival

On 27th August, the Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre hosts “Talk about & walk about the Battle of Aughrim”, a lecture on this famous battle between the Jacobites and the forces of William III in July 1691.

Donegal

On Sunday 28th, Donegal Castle will host a Medieval Fun Day for all the family. Situated on the river Eske, the castle was built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, and has extensive 17th century additions.

Donegal Castle.jpg

Donegal Castle  (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Tipperary

In Clonmel, Finbar Dwyer author and creator of Irish History Podcasts will talk on “Prostitution in Medieval Ireland”. This talk, on 24th August, will present an intriguing account of a precarious life on the fringes of medieval society.

Limerick

On Saturday 20th the Square in Newcastle West will come alive as reenactors from Bran Dubh Living History Group don full medieval costume to present a display of weaponry and medical tools at the castle.

For details on these and other events taking place during Heritage Week 2016, see the National Heritage Week website.

On social media see: @HeritageWeek  and  #HeritageWeek

Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Kildare and Cork

Proving to be a seasonal hit, Shakespeare’s early comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be staged in both Kildare and Cork this month.

In Kildare, Dream will be performed by the Moat Club, an award-winning amateur drama group that began in 1954, in the Moat Theatre, Naas. Directed by Gerard O’Shea, the production runs from Tuesday 14th June until Saturday 18th June. For booking and further details see the Moat Theatre website.

MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM_Moat Club Naas 2016 - publicity photo on Twitter

The Moat Club’s Midsummer Night’s Dream – promotional photo on Twitter

 

While in Cork, Bare Cheek Theatre Company and the Granary Theatre will present the romantic comedy as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival. Suitably, the production opens on Midsummer’s Day (21st June) and will be performed by a cast of Cork’s most promising teen actors. This Dream focuses on the world of magic, the supernatural, fantasy, passion and enchantment in an extraordinary ultra-modern production. The production is set in a mythical post-apocalyptic city and an enchanted forest, where a handsome fairy king, a misguided parent, star-crossed lovers, a weaver who’s transformed into a half-donkey, wood sprites, and elves collide.

Performance run: Tuesday 21st June at 5pm and 8pm,  Wednesday 22nd June at 5pm and 8pm, and Thursday 23rd June at 5pm. Booking is via the Cork Midsummer Festival website, by phone (021 421513) and in person at the Festival Box Office, Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street, Cork.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Granary Theatre, Cork 

Related events of interest

The Bed, a new one-act play about Shakespeare’s widow, will premiere as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

Fortune’s Fool will tour Ireland with Measure for Measure in July and August. The production comes to both Kildare and to Cork. For details and for the full tour schedule see the British Council ‘Shakespeare Lives’ webpage.

Theatre: “The Bed” – Cork Midsummer Festival

When Shakespeare died, 400 years ago, his will made detailed and extensive provision for his substantial property portfolio but included only one mention of his widow, to whom he left his “second best bed”. The Bed is a new one-act play by Ger FitzGibbon and will premiere as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival next week. Taking the known facts about their marriage, families and children, the play explores Shakespeare’s death from the point of view of his widow, Anne Hathaway – a tempestuous, sensuous, and passionate woman, baffled and furious at her husband’s will.

Shakespeare Will and Testament

William Shakespeare’s will (1616)

The production, co-directed by Jack Healy of Theatre Makers and Ger FitzGibbon, stars Paula McGlinchey and features original music by UCC composer Irene Buckley. McGlinchey has previously performed as Gremio in Fortune Fool’s Taming of the Shrew, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Portia in The Merchant Of Venice both with Cyclone Repertory Company, and Sebastian in The Tempest at St John’s Mill in Cork.

unitarian church Cork

The Unitarian Church, Cork

Dates/Times/Venue: 1pm and 4.30pm on June 17th, 18th, 19th and 24th, 25th, 26th in the Unitarian Church on Prince’s Street, Cork city. For this production the Unitarian Church has been transformed. Seating capacity is limited, so book early.

Booking is via the Cork Midsummer Festival website, by phone (021 421513) and in person at the Festival Box Office, Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street, Cork (opens 11th June, Monday to Saturday, 12-6pm / Sunday, 1-6pm.)

Ger FitzGibbon is a former Head of Drama & Theatre Studies in UCC, and recently directed Juno and the Paycock at the Everyman Theatre, Cork.

Related events of interest

Bare Cheek Theatre Company & the Granary Theatre will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 21st-23rd June as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.

Fortune’s Fool will tour with Ireland with Measure for Measure in July and August. The production comes to Cork – to Fota Arboretum and to Doneraile – on 14th, 15th, and 17th July. For details and for the full tour schedule see the British Council ‘Shakespeare Lives’ webpage.

 

 

Theatre: “The Incomplete Works” – Footsbarn at the Kilkenny Arts Festival

The world-renowned Footsbarn will visit the Kilkenny Arts Festival this August with a newly-created show to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The company describe The Incomplete Works as a Shakespearean cabaret filled with humour and gravitas, magic and humour, where anything is possible – a three-headed Shakespeare, an audition of male Juliets, a duel between two of the Bard’s greatest villains, and a giant apparition of the Dark Lady from the Sonnets.

Founded in Cornwall in 1971, Footsbarn’s name comes from its original rehearsal space (a barn belonging to the Foot family) and the company settled in central France in the early 1990s. Since its foundation, Footsbarn has produced over 60 plays and has performed around the globe, becoming Europe’s leading travelling theatre ensemble. Footsbarn’s past Shakespeare productions in Ireland include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1995), The Tempest (2005), Perchance To Dream (2005), and The Indian Tempest (2012), and this will be the company’s first visit to Kilkenny.

The Incomplete Works plays at the Kilkenny Arts Festival from August 5th-13th, 2016.

Tickets are available now from the Kilkenny Arts Festival website.

 

Workshop: Shakespeare, Here & Elsewhere

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Join Prof. Mark Thornton Burnett (Queen’s University Belfast) for a workshop on Shakespeare and world cinema, among other things.

Saturday, 14th May, 2.00 pm – Studio Theatre, dlr LexIcon, Dun Laoighaire

Booking here: www.ria.ie/events/shakespeare-here-and-elsewhere

This is part of the ‘Shakespeare Lives Across the Island’ programme, which can be downloaded here. More #Shakespeare400 and British Council #ShakespeareLives events can be found on the blog using the tag #ShaxIRL400. Follow us on Twitter at @ShakesinIreland.