Engage Arts Festival, Bandon

engage_logoIt’s great to see so many cultural events happening and here’s an event I hadn’t heard of before.

Taking place over 22nd-26th of September the Engage Arts Festival takes place in Bandon, Co. Cork, which coincidentally crosses over Culture Night. The festival will highlight contemporary music, visual arts and literature. Things to watch out for include electronica from Crash Ensemble, exhibitions from artist Clare Langan, readings from Philip Ó Ceallaigh and the premier of a new play ‘Voices From The Cailleach’, written by Paula McGlinchey.

It’s pretty cool too that as most of us have very little spare cash at the moment, 80% of the event will be free of charge.

In advance of the Festival, a fundraising concert will be held on Friday, August 26, at 8 pm in St Peter’s Church, Bandon, featuring Honor O’Hea and Robert Andres, a piano duo from Ireland and Croatia.

Here’s the full blurb:

Featuring over 25 events, highlights of the 4-day programme in Bandon’s historic town (often called the ‘Gateway to West Cork’) include music from world-renowned music/video/electronics masters Crash Ensemble; screenings and exhibitions from artists including Clare Langan; readings from writers including Rooney Prize winner Philip Ó Ceallaigh; and the world premiere of a new play, ‘Voices From The Cailleach’, based on the work of multi-award winning poet Leanne O’Sullivan, in one of the last of the summer festivals.

‘Voices From The Cailleach’, a new play written by theatre-maker, actress and dancer Paula McGlinchey, is inspired by the poetry collection Cailleach, The Hag of Beara by 2010 Rooney Prize winner Leanne O’Sullivan. The Cailleach is a naturally occurring stone figure on the Beara Peninsula which embodies local mythologies around concepts of Hag, Witch, Earth Mother and Supernatural Woman. The play, a Theatre Makers production in association with Metamorphic Theatre Company, gives voice to an elderly woman who has returned to the peninsula to die, evoking personal memory and native lore. ENGAGE presents the premiere of this highly-anticipated new work with local resonance at the Town Hall in Bandon on Thursday, September 22.

To celebrate Culture Night on Friday, September 23, the Festival offers a diverse selection of artistic entertainment until long after dark. Philip Ó Ceallaigh, an Irish short story writer living in Bucharest whose awards include the Hennessey Prize (1998) and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (2008), will read, as will Billy Keane; author, journalist and publican and son of John B Keane. His debut novel Last of the Heroes, a semi-biographical novel of family life, is widely acclaimed. The 16-piece Cantabile Vocal Ensemble will perform, and taking to the streets with outdoor performances on Culture Night are Snatch Comedy with their ImprovGames Show, and Passepartout, a spectacular fire choreographic troupe.

Another anticipated element of the Festival is The Green Village. Following on last year’s success, the colourful Green Village, with yurts and tents beside the river, will offer a series of talks, workshops and exhibitions on the theme of sustainable living where all of the family can be entertained and educated.

Throughout the weekend, the exhilarating programme of events to mark the Festival’s fourth year also features Whitbread Prize winner Bernard O’Donoghue, novelist Maurice O’Callaghan, artists Andrew Vickery and Margaret O’Sullivan, and youth art performances, while the streets of Bandon will become an open gallery accessible to all, with 200 works from 40 artists, including sculpture and glass pieces, exhibited around the town and in shops and business premises.

Festival Director, Eugene O’Hea said “This festival is a celebration of musicians, poets, writers, actors and painters. Its ethos is to showcase both established and emerging artists with an emphasis on promoting up and coming artists of every discipline.”

With over 80% of events free of charge, an emphasis on showcasing the best of Irish contemporary talent, and in a beautiful County Cork location, ENGAGE is rapidly becoming a Festival to be included on the annual ‘Must-catch’ calendar.

NB. In advance of the Festival, a fundraising concert will be held on Friday, August 26, at 8 pm in St Peter’s Church, Bandon, featuring Honor O’Hea and Robert Andres, a piano duo from Ireland and Croatia respectively. “Exuberant brilliance … hugely impressive … perfect was their voicing.” – Irish Examiner

ENGAGE Bandon Arts Festival is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Cork County Council.

Full Programme details will be on the website from September 5 www.engageartsfestival.com

MUSIC LISTINGS

HONOR O’HEA & ROBERT ANDRES PIANO DUO | St Peter’s Church, Bandon | Friday, August 26 | 8 pm | €10

A Festival fund-raising concert by acclaimed Fulbright scholars and tenured teachers at the Madeira Music Conservatory in Funchal, Portugal, where Andres is also head of the keyboard department, O’Hea and Andres have met with enthusiastic response from critics and audiences alike, all over Europe.

“Highest creative level … pure poetry.” – Primorske novice, Slovenia

CANTABILE VOCAL ENSEMBLE | Methodist Church | Friday, September 23 | 8.00pm | FREE | Culture Night Event

This 16-piece, all-female choir has rapidly gained a reputation for excellence since its foundation last year. After winning awards at the Llandudno Choral Festival and Feis Maitiu Corcaigh, the choir won first prize in the AIMS Choral Festival in New Ross in May.

CRASH ENSEMBLE | St Peter’s Church | Saturday, September 24 | 8.30pm | €20/€15

Crash Ensemble’s innovative and masterly blend of orchestra and electronics is lauded internationally and at home, and has been enjoyed by audiences in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, the UK, USA and Canada since its foundation in 1997. Grá agus Bás, the recent album released by co-founder and composer, Donnacha Dennehy, has been named by NPR as one of its Top 25 Albums of 2011 and critically acclaimed around the globe, with a 5* review from The Guardian.

“[Crash Ensemble] … the Irish new-music band that plays with the energy and spirit of a rock group.” – The New York Times

THEATRE/PERFORMANCE LISTINGS

VOICES FROM THE CAILLEACH | Town Hall | Thursday, September 22 | 8.30pm | €10

The world premiere of Voices From The Cailleach, a new play written and performed by theatre-maker, actress and dancer Paula McGlinchey, is inspired by the poetry collection Cailleach, The Hag of Beara by 2010 Rooney Prize winner Leanne O’Sullivan. The Cailleach is a naturally occurring stone figure on the Beara Peninsula which embodies local mythologies around concepts of Hag, Witch, Earth Mother and Supernatural Woman. The play, a Theatre Makers production in association with Metamorphic Theatre Company, gives voice to an elderly woman who has returned to the peninsula to die, evoking personal memory and native lore. Enjoy a wine reception before the performance. Director: Jack Healy of Theatre Makers. Cast: Caroline Hart, Rosie O’Regan, Paula McGlinchey, Jack Healy.

IMPROVGAMES SHOW | Outdoors @ Howard Court | Friday, September 23 | 8.00pm | FREE | Culture Night Event

A rollercoaster of absurdity, originality and amazing spontaneity which will amuse all of the family, from Snatch Comedy Improv!, a Cork-based Improv Comedy Troupe which has performed all over Ireland and Europe for the last 9 years. Everything completely unscripted, unrehearsed and spontaneously combusted!!!

EMBRACE THE FIRE | Outdoors @ Town Centre | Friday, September 23 | 9.15pm | FREE | Culture Night Event

Performed by Passepartout, a troupe of three of Irelands leading fire artists, this show follows on from the acclaimed success of the Arts Council commissioned fire show, Fire on Water, in 2008. A fully choreographed performance of Fire Hoops, Fire Juggling & Fire Poi, against the night sky, in a performance guaranteed to be spectacular. Passepartout will also perform on Saturday, September 24 at Green Village.

LITERATURE LISTINGS

BERNARD O’DONOGHUE | Town Hall |Thursday, September 22 | 6.00pm | €5

A noted contemporary poet and academic from Cullen, Co Cork, Bernard is currently fellow and tutor in Old English and Medieval English, Linguistics and the History of the English Language at Wadham College, Oxford University. His published poetry collections include Poaching Rights (1987), The Absent Signifier (1990), The Weakness (1991), Gunpowder (1995, which won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry), and Here Nor There (1999), Poaching Rights (1999) and Outliving (2003). He is the senior member of the Oxford University Poetry Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. Followed by a wine reception.

MAURICE O’CALLAGHAN | Bandon Library |Friday, September 23 | 1.10pm | FREE

From Newcestown, West Cork, Maurice is the author of the acclaimed short story collection, A Day For The Fire And Other Stories and the novel, A Man Who Was Somebody, a meditation on the demise of the Celtic Tiger. He graduated from University College Cork and practised law for over 20 years. His epic new novel War and Independence, a dramatic fictional reimagining of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War, was published earlier this year.

PHILIP Ó CEALLAIGH | Venue | Friday, September 23 | 6.45pm| FREE | Culture Night Event

An Irish short story writer living in Bucharest whose awards include the Hennessey Prize (1998) and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for his collection Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse (2008), Philip has spent many years living in Romania, Russia, Spain, Kosovo, Georgia and Egypt. Much of his work is set in Eastern Europe.

BILLY KEANE | Howard Court, Seats – Wine Bar | Friday, September 23 | 10.00pm| FREE | Culture Night Event

Author, journalist and publican, Billy, son of John B Keane, writes for the Irish Independent. His debut novel Last of the Heroes, a semi-biographical novel of family life, is widely acclaimed.

PATRICK MORAN and JOSEPH HORGAN | Town Hall | Saturday, September 24 | 3.00pm| €5

Patrick Moran, from Templetuohy, County Tipperary, is a winner of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Prize, a winner at Listowel Writers’ Week and the 2008 Éist Poetry Competition. His poems have appeared widely in major Irish publications including Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, Cork Literary Review and The Stinging Fly, and he has published two collections of poetry: The Stubble Fields (Dedalus Press, 2001) and Green (Salmon Poetry, 2008).

Joseph Horgan was born in Birmingham to Irish parents and currently lives in Cork. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for poetry in 2004. He writes a weekly column for the Irish Post, reviews and contributes to radio and television. His first collection, Slipping Letters Beneath the Sea, was published in 2008. Last year, he published his second collection A Song at Your Backdoor.

VISUAL ART/FILM LISTINGS

OPEN ART EXHIBITION | Around Bandon | Thursday, 22 – Sunday, 25 September | Variable Times | FREE

More than 200 works, including several sculpture and glass pieces, from 40 artists.

SCREENING | METEMORPHOSIS by CLARE LANGAN | Town Hall | September 23, 4.00-6.00pm | September 24, 12 noon-4.00pm | September 25, 1.00-4.00pm | FREE

Film-maker/artist Clare Langan has received many awards including Arts Council bursaries and a Fulbright scholarship. Her much acclaimed A Film Trilogy – Forty Below, Too Dark for Night and Glass Hour was presented at many important venues and biennales worldwide, such as MoMA in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and she has exhibited across the world. Her 9 minute film Metamorphosis, with visual qualities of beautiful washes of colour by her hand painted filters, concerns the relationship between man and the forces of nature and won the Principal Prize at the Oberhausen International Film Festival, 2007.

ANDREW VICKERY | Town Hall | September 23, 4.00-6.00pm | September 24, 12 noon-4.00pm | September 25, 1.00-4.00pm | FREE

Born in Devon and based in Dublin, Andrew creates paintings with an instant appeal; they are charming yet contain an underlying subversive element. Intended to function as theatre scenes, his paintings invite the viewer into a world where something is happening, has happened or is about to happen. Andrew aims to promote the memory and imagination of the viewer.

MARGARET O’SULLIVAN | Town Hall | September 23, 4.00-6.00pm | September 24, 12 noon-4.00pm | September 25, 1.00-4.00pm | FREE

Margaret’s work is informed by nature and the forces within nature. She paints in landscapes such as Allihies in West Cork, Cloghroe, Co. Cork, Achill Island, Co. Mayo and Crete, Greece, and is particularly regarded for her kinetic sea studies.

WORKSHOP LISTINGS

PHILIP O’CEALLAIGH | Fionn Uisce | Saturday, September 24 | 10.00am-1.00pm

This workshop with Rooney Prize winning author O’Ceallaigh will explore the different ways a story can be written up, examine how it finds its form, how it might be cut, or how the narrative can be approached from a more fertile angle, and should interest those who like to read and want an insight into how stories are put together and edited, and writers, particularly short story writers.

THE GREEN VILLAGE | Town Hall Garden | Saturday, September 24 | 2.00-5.00pm | FREE

With yurts, tents, gazebos and colourful characters along the riverside, eco activities, workshops, crafts, children’s entertainment, demonstrations and exhibitions all based on the theme of sustainable living, The Green Village has something for everyone. Children’s workshops include yoga, sock wrestling, scrap art, junk modelling, and creating musical instruments from recycled materials. Adults can enjoy workshops, films and informative exhibitions. The Green Village will culminate in a colourful, noisy, all singing and dancing Children’s Green Parade at 5pm.

ENGAGE is committed to an ethos of sustainability throughout the Arts Festival.

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