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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 20, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    If you only do one thing this weekend … celebrate with a book

    Laurence Mackin

    Read: Save yourself a little over the weekend and celebrate World Book Day in style. Young Hearts Run Free, who specialise in creating small, arty events in aid of the Simon Community, will be literally spreading some good word on April 23rd, when they will be giving out free copies of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle at various locations around Dublin city. Then they are inviting you, dear and not so dear readers, to head to the Parlour in Whelan’s for music, song and shenanigans – on the night, you can expect performances from Groom, Margie Lewis, Aidan Wall, Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh, Ian Maleney, followed by DJ sets Joss Moorkens, Peter Toomey, and Niall McCormack into the wee hours. Entry is free, there will be cake, and don’t forget to be generous towards the donations box. In the words of the heart of Young Hearts, Siobhan Kane: “It is only right to dance on a Monday evening, where the chance is given.” We couldn’t agree more.

    Ukuleles: Yes we did say ukuleles. No we have not taken leave of our sense. At least not entirely. A lone ukulele might sound like a plaintively frail little soul but amassed in great numbers, they can blow the roof off entire venues. At least that’s what the crowd behind the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra are saying. This Saturday, the nine players are rolling into Dublin to boss the Button Factory into submission by blazing a path through 60 years of pop music history, from Lady Gaga to the Beach Boys. Here’s a video to pluck at your heartstrings.

    Theatre: Thisispopbaby are now five years old, and to celebrate they are taking charge of the Abbey and Peacock theatres on Saturday night, with Werk, their cabaret/theatre/club-night mashup. Tickets are long gone for this one, but you can get a taste of what the company is all about at Alice in Funderland or at one of the company’s first shows, now being revived in the Globe bar on George’s Street in Dublin. According to Philip McMahon of thisispopbaby, Danny and Chantelle “is where it all began. When we staged this first, we had no idea if it was good or if people would come. We just staged it on the dancefloor at Pod and hoped that punters other than our parents would come.” Jenny Jennings says “The whole philosophy of the company really came from this play. Uncompromising writing, acting, directing and design told in a way that speaks to a much broader audience than dedicated theatre-goers.” This version comes via Red Bear Productions and Stephen Jones and Eva Jane Gaffney. Click here for tickets.

    Read: The French – they know how to enjoy themselves. So it is little surprise that the theme for this year’s Franco-Irish Literary Festival is pleasure. Among those taking part in the discussions, readings and cafés littéraires will be Seamus Heaney, Jennifer Johnston, Claire Keegan, Belinda McKeon, René de Ceccatty, Colette Fellous, Cécile Guilbert and Mathieu London. All events will be simultaneously translated and are free. It takes place in the Coach House, Dublin Castle and Alliance Française, Kildare Street, Dublin.

    Music: Mick Flannery – the Eoin McLove of the Irish music world (if you’ve been to one of his shows and seen the rows of women simply swooning at the stage, cake jumpers barely concealed in their handbags, you’ll know exactly what I mean) – is currently touring his excellent new album, Red to Blue. He’s exposed his songwriting to bigger, fuller arrangements so we’re imagining the live set will respond accordingly. He’s at Dolan’s Warehouse in Limerick tonight, before heading for Wexford on Saturday and Cork on Sunday. Flannery has one of the most singular voices in Irish music – experience it live for the full effect. And don’t forget to bake a cake jumper.

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