News

Skibbereen Arts Festival draws inspiration from its river and the coast

Skibbereen’s own River Day will be held on Wednesday 30th July. The River Day will be held in celebration of one of Skibbereen’s dearest treasures, the Ilen River. The day will begin with a trip to the Fastnet, leaving from the Ilen River. Attendees will be joined by Ger Butler, one of Ireland’s last lightkeepers. Now an attendant at the Galley Head Lighthouse, Butler was previously an assistant keeper at the Fastnet, Bull Rock, The Old Head of Kinsale and Mizen Head Lighthouse. The Lightkeeper was an attendant at the Fastnet during the tragic 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race, which resulted in the loss of 18 lives.

A kayaking trip will be available for those wanting to see Skibbereen from a different view, and a river dance will take place at the Steam Mill Quay. Skibbereen musicians from Comhaltas Óg will be performing on a boat as they travel through the town, and will stop at the Quay at 7pm to provide music for the dance. Later at 9pm, a Séisiún will be held in the West Cork Hotel. The Séisiún will give a real taste of Irish traditions, providing Irish song, dance and stories.

Mark Boyden and Stephanie O’ Toole will be presenting ‘Streamscape Ilen’. ‘Streamscape Ilen’ will be a presentation on the innovative Streamscapes Ilen Enviromental Education Project. Those who attend will learn about Biodiversity and Socio-economics benefits of a healthy river, and will get the chance to be involved in an open discussion afterwards.

Finally, the river will be a source of  inspiration for participants of Toma McCullim’s outdoor painting workshop, on Wednesday 30th, so people can paint their version of the Ilen River.

For more information please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfestival.com, or for ticket information please phone 087 1260327.

4 plays

A little bit of Broadway in the heart of West Cork!

On Tuesday 29th July, the Skibbereen Arts Festival is presenting a selection of performances at four landmark locations in ‘4 Plays in a Day’.

To start the day, Wild Productions will wake us up with their comedic play ‘Mrs. Shakespeare’.  Performing at the stately Liss Ard House, Irene Kelleher will play a female patient in a mental hospital, who thinks she is the reincarnation of writer, William Shakespeare. Back to set right her mistitled ‘Hamlet’, she is set on a rewrite for a new play with a more feminine perspective called ‘Ophelia’.

Following on from there, Karen Minihan of Playacting Theatre will present her one-woman play, ‘Eileen’ at West Cork Arts Centre. The story of a middle-aged country woman facing the divorce from her farmer husband. The play deals with the stigma of being a divorcee in a traditional, rural town.

Schull Drama Group will present five revue sketched by Harold Pinter. Written in the late 1950s, these are all early works by Pinter. They all focus on an aspect of an incident which may or may not have happened. The five sketches are ‘Special Offer’, ‘Request Stop’, ‘Last to Go’, ‘The Black and White’ and ‘Trouble in the Works’.

To finish off this rather dramatic day, the award-winning Kilmeen Drama Group will present their production of JM Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World’. Winner of the 2013 RTE All-Ireland Drama Finals, and performed at the Abbey Theatre, Kilmeen are now bound for America where they will tread the boards in October. Make sure you see it here first!

Each performance is individually priced but for the hardcore theatre buff there is a special day ticket for all of the performances at €20.

For more information and booking please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfesitival.com , or phone the box office at 087 126 0327 for ticket information.

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Mick Flannery and Martin Stephenson among musicians to perform at Skibbereen Arts Festival

Cork singer songwriter Mick Flannery, who has just released his fourth album, will perform his best known songs in the acoustic surrounds of Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, on Saturday August 2nd.

Martin Stephenson will be playing in Baby Hannah’s Beer Garden on Thursday July 31st. The British musician, whose career spans over thirty years, has gained critical acclaim alongside his band ‘The Daintees’, and has a discography amounting to an impressive 40 albums.

Other music events to take place in the festival include ‘The Annual Canon Goodman Concert’, which will be held on Sunday 27th July. The concert which is held every year in recognition of influential Irish piper and music historian Canon James Goodman, will see musicians Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin, and Alexander Suarez Mendez play their mastered instruments.

Uileann Pipe player Liam O’Flynn is seen as one of Ireland’s leading musicians. O’Flynn has played with the likes of Irish folk group, Planxty, whose members consist of Christy Moore and Andy Irvine, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Paddy Glackin is Ireland’s leading fiddle player. The Dubliner was the first fiddle player in the traditional music group, The Bothy Band whose original line-up included Matt Molloy and Tony McMahon.

Cuban Galician Pipe player, Alexander Suarez Mendez will be playing along on The Sunday night. Alexander’s passion for uileann pipes began in 2011, after Gay McKeon from Na Píobairí Uileann held workshops in Havana.  The 23 year old musician now teaches the uileann pipes and tin whistle back in his home town.

A Sean Nós session will bring the craic agus ceol to the festival on Friday August 1st at Abbeystrewry Church with music from Nell Ní  Chróinín, Caoimhín Ó Feargahil and The Sean Gnóstics. The Vespertine Quintet are set to bring a flare of Chamber Music to the Festival on Friday August 1st, at Liss Ard. While four part acapella group, The Cork Sacred Harp singers are back to perform again this year at the Abbeystrewry Hall on Saturday August 2nd.

For more information on the festival, its events and bookings, please check out the Skibbereen Arts Festival website at www.skibbereenartsfestival.com, or for ticket information please call 087 126 0327.

Martin Stone Exhibition

West Cork Crafts hosts new exhibition by local artist Martin Stone

West Cork Crafts in Townshend Street, Skibbereen is hosting a show of new work by well-known local artist Martin Stone. The show is now open from 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday (including the Arts Festival), and Martin will be in residence to demonstrate his painting style and talk about his work. All work is for sale, at significant reductions over normal gallery prices. During August, Martin will be joined by local watercolourist Peter Mabey, for a joint exhibition.

Adrian Brentnall, Secretary of West Cork Crafts – the popular arts and crafts co-operative, said ‘We’re delighted to host Martin’s exhibition again this year. West Cork Crafts is dedicated to promoting the work of local artists and craftspeople – and we currently feature some 18 individuals, with everything from Art to Woodcraft – and lots in-between. Because we work as a not-for-profit co-operative, we don’t charge any mark-up on anything we sell – so customers can purchase unique, locally-produced art & crafts at very affordable prices.”

Adrian continued – “We’re finding that more and more customers (visitors and locals alike) are wanting to buy gifts that have been hand-made in the local area, in preference to items manufactured overseas. We are lucky in West Cork to have such a vast array of local talent – and it seems pointless to import items, when higher-quality work is available from local artisans.

Although our shop currently has a full complement of artists and craftspeople, we’re always happy to talk to new people who might be interested in joining us later in the year – for full details of what we do and how we work – take a look at our website – www.westcorkcrafts.ie. West Cork Crafts is open at 61 Townshend Street, Skibbereen from Tuesday to Saturday – 10:30 to 5:30 – call in & prepare to be amazed!

Backstage 2 main

Backstage Performing Arts Adacemy for Skibbereen!

BACKSTAGE PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY FOR WEST CORK 

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Backstage has been in existence for fifteen years and has a number of Performing Arts Academies throughout the country. The staff are a unique combination of teacher and performing arts practicioner, all well known in the industry and of the highest quality-as demonstrated to parents and students at the recent Summer Camps.

Backstage is open to 7-18 year olds, grouped by age. Students will come together for two and a half hours each week and during that time they will undertake three workshops on a variety of subjects ranging from Drama, Musical Theatre and Mime to Singing,Dance,Comedy and Production. There is an emphasis on teaching students core performing arts skills and the work encourages self confidence, critical thinking and fluency of speech.

Production work is also undertaken from plays to flash-mobbing,musicals,stand-up comedy and site specific work with always the emphasis on the different experiences for the student rather than just ‘putting on a show’. At present a team of Backstage students are performing at the Edinburgh Festival and students are sent for auditions and castings as appropriate. Students can be seen in a variety of productions from the TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Moone Boy’ to the recent production of ‘Grease’ at the Cork Opera House.

Backstage West Cork will have three locations-

St.Josephs School in Skibbereen on Friday evenings from 6pm-8.30pm beginning on Friday, 30th August,

Briery Gap Theatre in Macroom on Saturdays from 10am-12.30pm beginning on Saturday, 21st September 

Clonakilty Parish Centre on Saturday afternoons from 2.30pm-5pm beginning on Saturday, 28th September.

Fees are 15 Euro per weekly, two and a half hour session, paid weekly.

For further information and application form, contact Backstage-Ireland on 091-590706 or e-mail backstageireland@eircom.net.

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