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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 24, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend … develop a superpower

    Laurence Mackin

    Music: Today is Thanksgiving day – observe as it has absolutely no effect on your routine. When I began that paragraph I expected a fluid segue to magically assert itself, but that hasn’t happened so let’s plough on with this awkward contextual judder, shall we? Tomorrow night, Crash Ensemble will still be celebrating in typically bravado style with its Young Americans programme, featuring groundbreaking work by composers from across the water (no, the other direction). Taking pride of place is a premiere of a new work by Nico Muhly, who might be only 30 but is already getting classical types all hot under the collar. He’s already premiered two operas this year – one’s about gay internet hook ups and murder, and the other is about polygamy and sexual exploitation – and he has worked with the likes of Antony and the Johnsons, Björk and Jonsi. You may have already seen him this year as part of the Whale Watching Tour in the National Concert Hall. Also on the bill are pieces from Sean Friar, Timothy Andres, Missy Mazzoli, and Ken Uen. Click here to flaunt your love of all things starry and stripy.

    What is is about Russians and Irish that seems to chime in a theatrical fashion? An in-built cynicism? A bleak sense of humour that never fails to raise a smile in the most ghastly of situations? A love them or loathe them approach to the political class? When Vladimir Nabokov said “None but an Irishman should ever try tackling Gogol”, he was on to perhaps an essential truth of drama. And so Roddy Doyle has set out to prove him right with a new version of Gogol’s The Government Inspector, which is at the Abbey from tonight. The National Theatre is throwing all its acting weight behind this one, with Jimmy Fay directing and a cast that includes Don Wycherley, Marion O’Dwyer, Gary Cooke, Ciarán O’Brien and Joe Hanley. Click here for more.

    Craft: The Crafts Council of Ireland is sort of launching its own version of the Occupy movement (just look at the quality of the stitching on those tents) in the RHA from tonight, with an exhibition featuring the cream of Irish craft. It’s the first time the CCI has been allowed through the doors in this fashion, so expect contemporary and cutting-edge work from the likes of Joe Hogan, Jack Doherty and Joseph Walsh. The show is for five days only, so catch it while you can. Click here for more.

    Sci-fi and fantasy: Wexford will be home to slightly more than its fair share of unusual folk this weekend, with sightings of UFOs and extraterrestrials expected to go through the roof. There will be a fine brace of superheroes to keep them in check though, thanks to the Wexworld Sci-Fi and Fantasy Festival. Among the guests are Eoin Colfer, Alex Scarrow, Nick Roche, Cáca Milis Cabaret, Sciencetastic, and Legitimate Bodies Dance Company. There will be talks and discussions, a sci-fi and fantasy bazaar, lots of workshops, and a competition for the best super hero – don’t forget to come up with a really kick-ass superpower. And no, invisibility won’t cover it. Click here for more information.

    Jazz: The Jazz Is …. mini festival is already well under way but you can still catch a bunch of acts in this Prime Collective initiative. Foluain Trio and Roller trio are at the Mercantile tonight, while Sandra Melo and Emilie sings Elis are at the International Bar. Tomorrow, the action switches to the Back Loft on Augustine Street, with Leafzang sextet, Bryan Quigley and Gordon Delap, Rhombus, and Paul Roe and Danny Roe bringing things to a close. Click here for all the necessaries.

    Dance: There isn’t an awful of dance out there, so when a clutch of shows are touring, they are worth shouting about. The National Ballet of Ireland is currently touring its version of Scheherazade, which is based on 1,001 Arabian Nights. You can catch it in Carlow on Saturday, before it heads for Carlow and Dublin next week. Colin Dunne is continuing his interrogation of Irish step-dance culture with Out of Time, which went down a storm in New York. He’s in UL Limerick on Monday before heading for Portlaoise. And the I.F.O.N.L.Y Dance Festival, concentrating on solo works, draws to a close this weekend in Offaly, with a performance of four new works from an international band of dancemakers, including Romanian Madalina Dan and Ireland’s Liv O’Donoghue.

    • Dave McG says:

      Why am I only finding out about this Wexworld Sci Fi & Fantasy festival now?
      Man, I’m really out of the loop here- Thank you, Laurence, for bringing me right back into it!

      Now, to try and change all of my weekend plans to go to it…… if that fails, I’ll take in as much jazz as I can!

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