By Kernan Andrews (Galway Advertiser, June 04, 2009)
GLAM ROCK legends the New York Dolls and a major dance show by the
brilliant Michael Clark, inspired by the Glam era of David Bowie, Iggy
Pop, and Lou Reed, are just two of the many exciting shows, concerts,
events, readings, and exhibitions lined up for this year's Galway Arts
Festival, which runs from July 13 to 26.
Theatre and dance
Fans of dance and classic rock music will be looking forward to the
show by the Michael Clark Company in the Black Box from July 15 to 18,
which explores, celebrates, and was inspired by the work of David
Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed in the 1972-73 period. This will be the
show's Irish premiere.
theatre company will stage two works by Shakespeare - A Midsummer
Night's Dream and The Merchant Of Venice - in the Town Hall from July
22 to 26. Directed by Edward Hall, the plays will feature male only
casts (as it was in The Bard's day) and be reinterpreted in
contemporary settings. This will be both show's Irish premiere.
No arts festival is complete without Druid and this year the acclaimed
Galway company will stage Tom Murphy's The Gigli Concert in the newly
refurbished and soon to be re-opened Druid Theatre from July 17 to 25.
There will also be the Druid debuts and a celebration of JM Synge in St
Nicholas' Collegiate Church on July 26.
The Irish premiere of Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre's production
of Judith Thompson's Palace Of The End, described by The Guardian as
containing "the most penetrating images of the Iraq war...astonishing",
will take place in the Town Hall from July 14 to 18.
Circe, Australia's premiere physical theatre company will bring its
wonderful fusion of acrobatics, dance, gymnastics, and drama to the
arts festival when it presents the European premiere of its new show
Furioso to the Black Box from July 21 to 26.
Irish theatre companies will be staging works during the arts festival
such as Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape (BofI Theatre, NUI, Galway,
July 20 to 25); Martin McDonagh's Cripil Inis Meáin (Seanscoil
Sailearna, Indreabhán, July 15 to 19); Blackbird by David Harrower
(Nuns Island, July 15 to 25); Dragonfly's production of Reptilian (Town
Hall studio, July 13 to 18); and Galway Youth Theatre's staging of DNA
(Nuns Island, July 14 to 25).
Children will get great fun out of Pignit Productions' Flea Circus in
the Town Hall Theatre foyer throughout the festival. They will also
enjoy Cork Circus' Higgeldy Piggeldy, about the adventures of three
little pigs in NUIG (July 16 and 17) and Your Man's Puppets' The Legend
Of Lowry Lynch in the Town Hall studio (July 23 to 26).
The show at the arts festival that everyone is talking about and
excited by is Bon Iver (US Indie-folk singer Justin Vernon) at the Big
Top in the Fisheries Field on Thursday July 23. If you've heard his
album For Emma, Forever Ago, you'll know why. If you don't have it, get
it now and then you will understand.
Also playing the Big Top are David Gray (July 21 with support from
David Kitt); Femi Kuti, a true giant of African music (July 22); and a
mouth-watering triple bill of Primal Scream, Spiritualized, and DJ
David Holmes (July 24).
Dubh will host a major series of gigs throughout the arts festival and
the Dominick Street's impressive line-up features New Orleans' Hot 8
Brass Band on July 13; the Indie-pop and b-movie mayhem of Fight Like
Apes on July 14; anti-folk singer Emmy The Great on July 16; the
legendary glam-rock/proto-punk band, the New York Dolls on July 17;
Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club on July 18; soul singer Candi Staton
(best known for the hit 'Young Hearts Run Free') on July 19; Brooklyn's
powerhouse Indie-folk band O'Death on July 20; soul legend Brooker T,
former leader of The MGs and the man behind the classic instrumental
'Green Onions') on July 21; and the great Jack L on July 24.
The Róisín will also hold its popular annual Trad Lunchtimes from July 16 to 25.
Sean Tyrrell will present his Message Of Peace show in The Crane on
July 18 and 25. Campbell's Tavern in Cloughanover, Headford, will host
acoustic guitar wizard Andy McKee on July 13 and songwriter Mary
Gauthier on July 25.
music enthusiasts have much to look forward to with the Kronos Quartet,
premiering work by Blur's Damon Albarn in the Radisson SAS Hotel on
July 14; the left-field classical meets avant-garde meets pop of The
Penguin Café Orchestra (Radisson, July 17); and jazz from the highly
promising Neil Cowley Trio (Radisson, July 16).
ConTempo will join the award winning Galway singer and composer Julie
Feeney for a concert in St Nicholas' on July 16 and then perform with
Alexander Balanescu for a show entitled Inner Journey in the same
location on July 18.
Latin music fans can look forward to the New York salsa sounds of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra in the Radisson on July 19.
No arts festival is complete without street events and this year will
see two events which will take place at night. The Macnas parade Orfeo,
directed by Noeline Kavanagh, based on the idea of Orpheus' journey to
the underworld takes place on July 19 at 10pm. It will begin at the
Spanish Arch, travelling to Flood Street, Merchant's Road, Lower
Abbeygate Street, William Street, Eglinton Street, Francis Street,
Salmon Weir Bridge, and into the Fisheries Field.
Germany's Theatre Titanick will present Firebirds in the city centre on
July 14 and 15 at 2pm and 10pm, so expect to see daredevil pilots,
driving crazy machines through the streets. Dance Theatre Of Ireland
will present its new show Bloc Party in Spanish Parade, Spanish Arch,
on July 23.
The mighty Tommy Tiernan will play a run of shows at Cuba*, Eyre
Square, from July 13 to 18. Also playing Cuba* are David O'Doherty
(July 20) and Maeve Higgins (July 22). The inspired comedy meets
pop-rock band antics of Dead Cat Bounce return to the Laughter Lounge
in the Róisín Dubh on July 15; while Mark Thomas will be exploring
matters financial in It's The $tup£d €conom¥ in the Radisson on July
Niall Stanage, author of Redemption Song: An Irish Reporter Inside The
Obama Campaign will read on July 17; One In Four founder and amnesty
International Ireland executive director Colm O'Gorman will speak on
July 18; Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist Of Sarajevo, will read
on July 24; BBC/Discovery Channel reporter Ben Anderson will be looking
at everything from football to September 11 at his talk on July 25. All
take place in the Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square.
ABSOLUT is the new partner of the Festival's ABSOLUT Visual Arts
Programme. With the establishment of ABSOLUT ART in 1981, the company
commissioned a broad range of international artists from Louise
Bourgeois to Andy Warhol to create new work. This exhibition, featuring
a selection of work from the ABSOLUT Collection, includes Louise
Bourgeois, Pierre et Gilles, and Miguel Barcelo. See a selection from
the collection in the Festival Gallery (McDonagh's/Instore, Merchants
The great British artist
David Hockney will exhibit his visual interpretations of stories from
the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales in the same venue. Also in the Festival
Gallery, the photo exhibition Child Soldier will be held.
The Galway City Museum will host a photographic exhibition by Russia's
Varvara Shavrova who will contrast images of Bejing and Ballycastle, Co
Mayo. Other photographic exhibitions include Colm Hogan's depiction's
of Cork Travellers (Galway City Museum) and John Minihan's classic
depiction's of Beckett and Francis Bacon (The Kenny Gallery).
Other exhibitions include Sean Cotter and Ger Sweeney (Festival
Gallery); Lars Laumann (Galway Arts Centre); John Barry (Festival
Gallery); Mart (thatch cottage, Henry Street); Lisa Sweeney (Norman
Villa Gallery); Lorg (NUIG gallery); Tracy Sweeney (UHG); Dolores Lyne
(White Room Gallery); and John Kingerlee (Kenny's).
All exhibitions run for the duration of the festival.
Tickets for the Big Top shows are on sale now. The festival box office
will be opened on Merchant's Road (McDonagh building) from June 22. For
more information go to www.galwayartsfestival.com