We sat down with John Scott, artistic director of Irish Modern Dance Theatre, ahead of the premiere of Body Duet at the Watergate Theatre. In the video above he discusses the background of the show and what people can expect from this new production from IMDT.
The living legend that is Jaki Liebezeit took time out from rehearsals this afternoon to chat with our Wired Curator Matthew Nolan ahead of tonight's gig in the Set Theatre.
The RTE Radio One Today show arrived in Kilkenny this morning to broadcast live from Set Theatre and celebrate all parts of the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
The show featured Colm Tobin, Fintan O'Toole, Paul Muldoon, Hanggai and a debate on natural resouces.
They say you shouldn't meet your heroes but, frankly, that's usually said by people with a very poor taste in heroes.
Thankfully, Steve O'Rourke has brilliant taste and it was with a spring in his step that he and Ken McGuire went along to chat with the living legend that is ex Microdisney and Fatima Mansions man Cathal Coughlan ahead of his gig this evening.
Here's the result:
In my time reviewing shows for Kilkenny Arts Festival, it’s always been the case that the opening of the theatre strand has caused me to write things like ‘That’s going to be a hard one to follow’.
Well, that’s certainly going to prove to be the case this time. Banana Bag and Bodice’s production Beowulf – A Thousand Years Of Baggage is really going to be a hard one to follow. The show kicked the Theatre and Dance strand off in ferocious style. I was quite excited about this production (probably my most anticipated of this years programme) so expectations were riding high. What I wasn’t expecting however was how reverent this production was to the source material.
The epic English poem (or long story poem in epic story poem form as it was so elongatingly described) was turned into a rowdy, raucuous and rollicking musical performance that recreated all the famous scenes of Beowulf with impeccable style and invention. It offered everything you’d want in terms of music and comedy and presented something thats been so often told in the freshest manner imaginable.
This was the first theatrical production from Kilkenny Arts Festival to take place in Set Theatre and despite being a beautiful venue, it does have its limitations when it comes to theatre. Props must be given to Banana Bag and Bodice for utilising the venue to maximum effect, making use of the floor, the upstairs stalls and the overhead balcony in a variety of inventive ways that thrust the audience into the thick of the action and made sure the upstairs audience stayed involved.
It was loud, messy and literally blasted off the stage with furious energy. It’s probably going to be one of the best night’s of entertainment that you’ll get all festival. For anyone who wants to grab a frosty beverage and feel like they’ve been transported into a Scandinavian mead hall, this is exactly the ticket for you.
All you need to do now is grab one of those tickets and learn everything you need to know about Beowulf.
And a little bit more.
His work has been proclaimed as being intimate, moving, soothing, heartfelt, close, mind opening, and more. It has brought happiness, sadness, smiles, tears, joy and sorrow. He's performed in large venues, small venues, pubs, theatres, houses, kitchens, roadside tents and this week, Adrian Howells brought Footwashing For The Sole to Kilkenny's Hole In The Wall (restored 16th century tavern and house) for thirty performances. Though in reading the reviews and speaking to those who have paid a visit, it's more of an experience than a performance. Each one this weekend, as with some of his other work's like Held, has been for an audience of one.
John takes the reigns on this one as we caught up with Adrian yesterday on his lunch break (hopefully he got to eat that sandwich) at The Hole In The Wall for a chat about the show, which is an Irish premiere, and how it has been received both here and abroad.
We hope you've been enjoying the festival interviews this year, a new addition to the blogging side of things from last year's coverage. In continuing the interviews, myself and John went along to the festival hub at Left Bank yesterday afternoon and invited Martin Bridgeman (one of the venue managers at this year's festival and presenter on KCLR96FM) along to have a chat with Brian Cash, see what goes into Halves, the gig, the music, the new album and what lies ahead in the future.
I've been a fan of the band myself since their previous incarnation as Skylight several years ago and as Irish bands go, they've come an awful long way since. The new album is due out Hallowe'en-ish and they're looking at coming back to Kilkenny and Set Theatre around the release of the album as well. We'll let Brian fill you in on the rest, check it out above.
Between the mayhem and melody of the Konono no.1 and Damo Suzuki gigs at Set Theatre last night, we tracked down children's curator Joe Brennan and members of La Baracca ahead of the opening of their show, On-Off which started at Barnstorm Theatre earlier today. There will be two stagings tomorrow, at midday and 2pm respectively. The show itself is designed, in a way, to help young children overcome their fear of the dark by introducing them to the "language of light". It's aimed at children in the 1-4 years age-range, and their families, and according to Joe it's an absolutely beautiful piece and a must-see from this Italian group.
You can take his word for it, or check out the video above...
US author David Vann took time out to chat to us ahead of his appearance at the Watergate Theatre later today with Ed O'Loughlin. We found David at the festival hub at Left Bank and had a word with him about the festival, his book Legend of a Suicide and what he's got in the pipeline.
Take a look above, and if you get to see the post before 3pm, he'll be reading from his book, along with Ed, as part of the final literature strand event of this year's festival.
Day 8 of the festival and we finally cornered music curator Gerry Godley to find out how the music strand of the festival has been going. Though, that's partly a lie, he did come in and offer to chat with us so we took the opportunity to grab a break at Chez Pierre this morning and look back at the past week's music and what's in store for the weekend ahead. The programme of music put together by Gerry has drawn all kinds of traditional, world and jazz musicians and after a week of dancing and whooping to the sounds of Ale Moller, Evan Christopher, the Kilkenny County Sessions and more, we've still got another two days from Gerry's programme of events to take in.
Take a look and listen to the man himself above - then dip into the programme proper with Konono no. 1 on in Set tonight from 8pm (though now hearing rumblings that it's sold out, always worth chancing your arm at the door for last minute returns), and Tarab, Fidil and the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra all performing tomorrow. Folk rockers Scullion round things out at the festival party on Sunday night.