Clifden Arts Week Exhibitions: Tradition and Innovation; John Behan Past and Present; Margaret Irwin: West – Dream and Dalliance; plus Rosie McGurran, Mary Donnelly, Dympna Heanue, Angie Williams and more
Until Sep 25
Printmaker/painter Margaret Irwin has been based in Connemara since 1991. For West – Dream and Dalliance (marking her year “of becoming 90”, she notes) she has made monochrome etchings from early and more recent plates. It’s one of the fine solo shows that form the spine of Clifden Arts Week exhibition programme. The centrepiece group show, Tradition and Innovation, is an intriguing selection of more than 30 pieces by many of Ireland’s foremost artists, from the RHA Collection.


Workman’s Club, Dublin 8pm €14

Cross-cultural (half-Japanese/ half-American) singer and songwriter Mitski Miyawaki has stepped slowly but surely beyond niche tastes since her 2012 debut album, Lush. The moderate success of this year’s Puberty 2, however, has brought her to a much wider audience. Fans of sonically distorted indie-rock favourites Liz Phair and Jessica Lea Mayfield may wish to form an orderly queue.


Grace Jones
Olympia Theatre, Dublin 8pm €45

Pull up to the bumper, baby, and don’t damage the cameras! Welcome to a gig with a difference by one of pop’s iconic figures; this concert is being filmed as part of a documentary, Grace Jones – The Musical of My Life, so you know what to do: smile a lot and try your best to look cool.

Modern Experiments
FE McWilliam Gallery & Studios, Banbridge, Co Down Until Nov 26

Fascinated by accounts of perceptual oddities and paranormal phenomena, Susan MacWilliam explores specific historical cases via extensive research and ingenious reconstruction, with a keen eye to the techniques and conventions employed by parapsychologists, and paying careful attention to the subjective experiences of the individuals involved. Some 15 videos and installations made since 1998 are on view.

13 North Great George’s Street 7.30pm/9.15pm Until Sep 25 €15/€13

The daring Bottlenote collective have occupied a deserted house on North Great George’s Street annually for the past few years, turning a dilapidated ruin into one big, improvising instrument in a way that defies conventional notions of music making, for players and audience alike. This year’s team of intrepid explorers includes respected UK bassist Barry Guy; Clang Sayne guitarist and vocalist Laura Hyland; and the sorely missed but welcome home for the summer Carroll brothers: Brooklyn-based keyboardist Justin and Berlin-based sonic manipulator Roy. Limited numbers, so book early.


Pick of the week: The IFI Documentary Festival 2016

Good news. The latest Werner Herzog missive is upon us. Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World sees this singular artist turn his attentions to the internet.

Herzog’s film is just one of many enchantments and oddities on offer at this year’s IFI Documentary Festival. We love the unique collage of Cameraperson, a Sheffield Doc Fest prize-winner from Kirsten Johnson, the DOP on Fahrenheit 9/11, Citizenfour, and The Invisible War. We’re also citing Tower, an innovative recreation of the 1966 shootings at the University of Texas at Austin. Film-maker Keith Maitland’s ethically minded staging uses testimony, actors and animation to ensure that the film’s focus is always on the victims and not the perpetrator.

In Who’s Going to Love Me Now? a 40-year-old London- based gay chorister attempts to reconnect with his estranged Israeli family; Life Animated sees a profoundly autistic boy learning to communicate by reciting from Disney films; Colm Flynn’s Mattress Men traces the evolution of Mattress Mick; The Lovers and the Despot chronicles Kim Jong-il’s bizarre 1978 kidnapping of a South Korean celebrity couple.

Socially minded viewers should also check out Pieter- Jan De Pue’s Afghani chronicle The Land of the Enlightened, or Des Henderson’s historical account of Project Children in How To Defuse a Bomb. Long-time documentary fans are advised that A Family Affair is this year’s Capturing the Friedmans and The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is this year’s Buena Vista Social Club.

The IFI Documentary Festival begins on Thursday 22nd and continues until Sunday September 25th. For more, see

Picture This
Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co Louth 9pm €12 (sold out)

You will by now have read about the success story of Picture This, the core of which is Athy musicians Ryan Hennessy and Jimmy Rainsford. This gig kick-starts a debut nationwide tour. Remarkably, all dates are sold out, including three November shows at Dublin’s Olympia. Bigger venues in 2017? You betcha.

Off Centre
Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda Until Nov 4

Marie Hanlon’s playful, lyrical abstract paintings have given way to other means of expression – or expanded means of expression, because Hanlon’s concerns remain the same, rooted in the dynamics and ambiguity of perception. Here she continues her exploration of the moving image and 3D constructions. And she makes a wall drawing.

Everyman Theatre. Ends Sep 17 8pm; Hawk’s Well Theatre. Sep 22 8pm €15/€7.50

Fresh from its award-winning performances in Edinburgh, and recipient of the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play, Stacey Gregg’s monologue piece Scorch now undertakes an Irish tour, produced by Belfast’s Prime Cut Productions. Inspired by the details of a real court case, it follows the story of Kes, played by Amy McAllister, a gender-curious teen who identifies implicitly as a boy, watching sci-fi movies “through the dude’s point of view” and seizing an alternative identity allowed by internet avatars. “She thinks I’m a guy,” Kes says of an online acquaintance. “And I don’t correct her.” The consequences for a gender-fluid individual who comes up against much more inflexible systems of identity are tragic, but Gregg’s play is equally engaged with the gendering and sexualisation of culture. Or, as the gamer Kes might put it, who gets to be Player One?


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