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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 14, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend: get kora-fied

    Laurence Mackin

    Kora chameleon: Small concerts in special places of a one-off nature seem to be the hallmark of the live music scene in recent years. As funds have tightened, smaller promoters have gotten creative – and this weekend is no exception. IMC’s Whirligig series is raising the bar for its third edition, with a selection of solo performances followed by the mouthwatering prospect of strawberries and cream, and a jam session.

    Kora blimey

    Guitarist Shane Latimer opens proceedings, followed by Clare polymath Gerry O’Beirne, and Francesco Turrisi will be taking a night off from Tarab to go solo. Heading the bill is the formidable Solo Cissokho, a seventh-generation kora player from southern Senegal, representing the culture and music of the Griot. The kora is a complex instrument of delicate power. It also looks funny.

    Expect a night of the sublime – and all in the elegant surroundings of the Cobalt Cafe on North Great George’s Street in Dublin. Click here for tickets. And if you can’t make it on Saturday night, you could still get a partly African shot in the arm on Tuesday night at the enticing Afrocubism extravaganza in the NCH.

    Young theatrical guns: One of the most inventive aspects of the Irish arts world in recent years has been our theatre, and there are a fresh generation of playwrights and directors producing vital work that feels urgent and exciting. Rough Magic is one of our best-established companies, and through its 3 Seeds programme it has been mentoring young theatre professionals. You can see how good they are at the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire in Neil Simon’s classic Plaza Suite (and there is a fantastically grumpy interview by Arminta Wallace with Simon over here).

    The three-act play has been directed by three of Rough Magic’s Seeds graduates, with Sophie Motley taking on act one, Aoife Spillane-Hinks in charge mid-set, and Matt Torney tackling the coda. Sarah Jane Shiels, another Magic seed, is the lighting designer. Click here for further details.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme: Actually, to hell with theatre and music – give me bright lights, big city, money, money, money, limousines, champagne, hissy fits, demanding divas, red carpets, sharp suits, papparazzi, lights, camera, action – we’re talking Hollywood baby. But if you want to make it big on the silver screen you need to learn the ropes at the bottom rung of the ladder, and there’s no better way of doing that than by being stabbed barbarian #5 in an extras clip on the Game of Thrones DVD is there? Oh.

    That’s me there, Ma. Yeah, just on the left

    Anyway, to get you on the road to success, MovieExtras.ie is holding an open-casting weekend from Friday to Sunday in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel. Anyone can sign up for membership, get their make-up done and have a photoshoot. Your mug goes on to the website, and then you’re on the database for companies and casting directors who desperately need Unclean One-Armed Beardy Bloke #4 for the latest zombie smash. One-year membership is €99. Would-be Penelope Cruzs and Colin Farrells can click here for more details.

    Head for the Hills: Hilltown House will be thriving this weekend, with the Hilltown New Music Festival packing the place out with music and art. Castlepollard, Co Westmeath will be hosting a very slick series of sonic and audio-visual art installations over the weekend.

    On Friday night, Cork-based Quiet Music Ensemble will follow a series of sound improvisations and a tasting plate (nom nom) from the Westmeath Convivium of Slow Food Ireland. Saturday and Sunday will see the Hilltown Ensemble in action, with concerts by Barbara Lüneburg and Johannes S Sistermanns, and on Sunday, Damien Kelly and Alessandro Bosetti will be shoring up the bill. Expect works from Victor Lazzarini, Patrick Connolly, Piaras Hoban, Brian Dillon, Derek Anthony Kelly, Francis Heery, Jesse Ronneau and Ian Wilson. Click here for further information.

    Off the wall: Ah Cork. It always has to do things a little bit differently doesn’t it? And you don’t get much more different than performance artist Johan Lorbeer, from Berlin. Each afternoon, from today until Saturday, he will be performing at Opera Lane, as part of the Gravity exhibition at the Crawford Art Gallery. The organisers say his work is “simple but fairly spectacular” – here’s a picture because I am too lazy to explain further. Click here for details.

    Finbar was unimpressed to find that when he stopped for a wee rest he had magically levitated into the air. A gathering crowd did nothing to improve his humour

    That’s our little line-up for the weekend. Looking a little further into the future, I see that the Kilkenny Arts Festival has lined up the superlative TrioVD as part of its selection. How good are they, you ask? This good, sir, this good.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Were you, as smelly leprous bandit #12348765 in that scene, wearing a wristwatch, Laurence? Like it seems half the FCA were in those Braveheart scenes (if you slow the dvd almost to freeze-frame you can almost count the Timexes on the wrists of the Free Clothes Associate members dressed in 12th century Scottish moss-trooper regalia.)

    • Laurence Mackin says:

      I have done many filthy jobs in my time. Movie extra is not one of them.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      There you go your caption misled me serves me right for taking you artistic types too literally.

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