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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 1, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend: go between the mountains and the sea

    Laurence Mackin

    There is some class of an event in Stradbally this weekend, so for those of you not heading to Laois, here’s a selection of art and music events to get you out of the house. All events are strictly tent-free, you will be glad to hear.

    Listen: You have to wonder when you see an up-and-coming band rolling into town on the same weekend as the Electric Picnic. Do they play their set wondering where the hell everyone is? The Civil Wars shouldn’t have any problem in this regard, though. It could be the perfect weekend opener before packing your wellies in the morning. Singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White play fresh American bluegrass with style and no small amount of craft. Go along to the Sugar Club tonight to get your folk on.

    Print workshop: Ever looked at a piece of modern art and thought “I could do better than that”? Well go one, lazier step further and live your life vicariously through your children by getting them to create the art while you reap the financial rewards. The Chester Beatty library is holding a Matisse-themed printmaking workshop on Saturday from 2-3.30pm. The only catch? You have to be aged six to 11. Bah. Click here for details.

    Theatre: B for Baby has to be one of the most divisive productions of recent years. I had heard of people crying in the aisles, upset and moved by the drama. I have spoken to several others who sat there a little bemused, scratching their heads and wondering what all the fuss was about. It won best new play at the 2010 Irish Times Theatre Awards and click here for this paper’s review of the production. There’s no doubt that it was a major success for the Abbey and now there’s a chance to see it again, as it tours the country. It’s in the Droichead Arts Centre in Drogheda tomorrow and Saturday before heading for Laois. Click here for more.

    The Mountains to Sea festival is about to breach the sea walls at Dun Laoghaire and take over the town for 11 days of literary and arty carry on. Tonight you can catch a reading with Michael Ondaatje, tomorrow night Emma Donoghue is holding court and on Saturday the pace steps up with The Great Big Book Swap, a Saunter to Sandycove with Flann O’Brien and the Magic Swirling Ship, which features Bob Dylan songs as they were always meant to be heard: as Gaeilge. Click here for more information.

    Sculpture: If you find yourself washed up on the shores of Skibbereen this weekend, you could do a lot worse than wind your way into the West Cork Arts Centre. Eilis O’Connell’s show Part Haptic is in the last few weeks of its run, and this collection of sculptural and other work has been getting an awful lot of critical attention. See it while you can.

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