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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 6, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend . . . ready, steady, Christmas

    Laurence Mackin

    Yule better: It’s well into December at this stage and high time to kick out the festive jams. If watching Die Hard in the Light House cinema during the week didn’t get you into the Christmas spirit (what do you mean you weren’t there?), than the Young Hearts Run Free crew should finish the job nicely. On Saturday night, they are holding their annual Yule fundraiser for the Simon Community, and for your entertainment on the night they’ve corralled Donal Lunny, the Spook of the 13th Lock, David O’Doherty, Dylan Tighe, Thread Pulls, Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, The Strypes, Margie Lewis, OCHO, Niamh de Barra, Pearse McGloughlin and plenty more into the Dublin Food Co-Op on Newmarket Square. It’s BYOB, they are promising cake, mulled wine, hot cider, raffles for Christmas trees and plenty more. The first live performance is at 8pm and just €16 gets you in the door. Christmas comes early for some, eh?

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    Join the musical dots: Few gigs this weekend are most anticipated than the XX in the Olympia Theatre, which is solidly sold out after their stellar performance at this year’s Electric Picnic. However, for a few local equivalents to the local trio, you could do a lot worse than rock up to the Joinery gallery in Smithfield on Friday night. It’s tiny room will be hosting Katie Kim, Ickis Mirolo and Chequerboard, who will previewing tracks from his upcoming album The Unfolding. BYOB and all for €10. Lock it in.

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    Ultra cool: You can shortly expect Ultraista to be the name on every muso’s lips, and on Saturday night at the Button Factory there’s s chance to find out why. Nigel Godrich has taken a break from producing Radiohead and climbed out of his studio sanctum to put together a band with artist Laura Bettinson and drummer extraordinaire Joey Waronker. If it’s half the sum of its parts it will be well worth catching, and if this track’s anything to go by it could be a rock-solid stunner.

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    Suga plum picks: If dance be your thing, this could be a very busy week ahead indeed. The Tchaikovsky Perm State ballet is in Dublin with its world-class productions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Meanwhile, Ballet Ireland is touring its production of The Nutcracker around the country in the coming week. And if early next week you fancy getting your teeth into some new work, choreographer Kyle Abrahams is brining his piece Outsider to the Project Arts Centre with the John Scott Dance Theatre. A feast for those with busy feet.

    Hark of class: Performance Theatre Company from the Gaiety School of Acting has collected hundreds of hours of interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds to assemble its latest show, Hark! Heaven, Hell and the Holidays. The result is a devised piece of theatre that is at Smock Alley Theatre until Tuesday. A different, varied and no doubt thoughtful take on the season.

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