No doubt they’re dusting off the Child of Prague in Kilkenny, as the city prepares for this 12 months’ arts festival, which starts offevolved on Thursday. Two of its flagship events, each Kilkenny Arts Festival collaborations which sound very special, take location outside.
After the final year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Castle Yard, Rough Magic presents every other Shakespeare outside, this time at the Quad at St Kieran’s College, with a modern-day staging of Bard’s screwball comedy Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Ronan Phelan.
Meantime, 20km down the road, the complete city of Callan has been getting ready for an epic promenade overall performance of The Big Chapel X, Asylum Productions’ fictionalized model of a darkish story from the metropolis’s past, tailored from Thomas Kilroy’s novel. Revolving around this is a program of occasions exploring the novel, the effect of Kilkenny on Kilroy’s work, its staging in Callan and an architecture venture.
Rough Magic’s second show on the pageant is Fergal McElherron’s Cleft, a two-hander (inner: on the Watergate Theatre) sparkling from Galway International Arts Festival. Lynne Parker’s route of Simone Kirby and Penny Layden is assured and unsettling in this darkish, powerful story of a circle of relatives on the edge, in all varieties of methods.
The 46th Kilkenny Arts Festival, Olga Barry’s first as festival director, is set to be illuminating, inside the form of light suggests. The multi-sensory fLux in St Canice’s Cathedral, by way of Eat My Noise (composers David Duffy and Peter Power), mixes projections, stay organ, church bells, voice, electronics and tape for an immersive indoor enjoy (August 9th, 9.30pm). And the circular towers and limestone walls of Kilkenny Castle is the outdoor canvas for four unfastened light shows; first-rate vantage factor is the Castle Rose Garden but it’ll be seen around the town, with an offsite soundtrack on KCLR (10.40pm, August 14-17).
Also in St Canice’s, contralto and conductor Nathalie Stutzmann’s Kilkenny debut is along with her new ensemble Phoenix 55 in a programme of Bach cantatas. The Irish Chamber Orchestra returns as orchestra-in-house, joined by means of conductor/violinist Thomas Zehetmair for Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, along side violist Ruth Killius.
One of the pageant’s big names, pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, has cancelled because of illness, however pianist Barry Douglas has joined the road-up, at St Canice’s on August 10th, playing Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky. (Gavrylyuk tickets are legitimate for Barry Douglas or may be refunded).
Other tune highlights encompass the Fews Ensemble and actor Ciarán Hinds appearing Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale; a day chamber music collection which includes terrific pianist Michael McHale and violinist Patrick Rafter gambling some fin de siècle gem stones; Crash Ensemble’s residency, with an Irish most reliable; and young chamber tune collective Musici Ireland.
Martin Hayes’ Marble City Sessions includes his own quartet, a collaboration between the Ní Dhomnaill and Mulcahy sisters, Richard Thomson, and NYC jazz outfit Harriet Tubman with a trad quartet.
This yr’s visible arts line-up includes New York-based totally Amy Cutler’s first Irish exhibition – whimsical allegories of unrealistic expectations imposed on ladies – at the Butler; contrasting nearby artists Eamon Colman and Blaise Smith’s Double Vision of the county; and an exploration of storytelling and creative expression on the National Design and Craft Gallery.
Kilkenny is a great length to host a festival (and it has masses of them), and director Barry points out the metropolis itself is “the appropriate pageant stage, with its high-quality historical spaces and gardens. Its compact, medieval cityscape and generous people has always made Kilkenny Arts Festival a definitely fabulous area for artists and audiences to come together easily and creatively.”