The Guide: The events to see, the shows to book, and the ones to catch before they end

December 9th-15th: The best movies, music, art and more coming your way this week

Event of the week

Lisa O’Neill

Saturday, December 9th, Vicar Street, Dublin, 6pm, €33 (sold out),

Lisa O’Neill’s fifth album, All of This Is Chance – “the first indisputable classic of 2023″, according to Uncut magazine – cemented her reputation as a singular performer outside Ireland. It has been a long time coming for the Cavan songwriter and singer, but she has proven her worth by sticking to her artistry and refusing to consider even remotely changing her creative directions. Her special guest is Seamus Fogarty. (This concert, by the way, will be one of the last times O’Neill will play in Ireland for quite a while as she travels to Australia soon for a series of performances.)


Ice Cube

Saturday, December 9th, 3Arena, Dublin, 7pm, €88.50/€84.50/€71,

Prepare for hordes of rap fans to descend on this one: royalty is in town. As a founder of the formative gangsta hip-hop trio NWA, Ice Cube needs little introduction – one of music’s most influential rappers, the man steered NWA to success with landmark albums such as Straight Outta Compton and has enjoyed a solo career with the likes of AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate and The Predator. Special guests on this hip-hop triple bill are The Game and Cypress Hill.


Tuesday-Wednesday, December 12th-13th, 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 7pm, €27.40,; Thursday, December 14th, Nerve Centre, Derry, 8pm, £25.50

For a same-but-different kind of hip-hop experience – except with a bilingual twist – Kneecap provide the goods. The Belfast group, who have been around since 2017, when they released their debut single, Cearta, have gradually woven a spell with tongue-tripping songs that outclass most if not all of the competition. As for their live performances, riotous isn’t the word. Also Thursday, December 21st, Ulster Hall, Belfast; and Friday, December 29th, City Hall, Cork.

Glen Hansard

Wednesday, December 13th, Vicar Street, Dublin, 7pm, €42 (sold out),; Friday, December 15th, Leisureland, Galway, 7pm, €39,

The troubadour returns from far-flung places with a new album – All That Was East Is West of Me Now – and a renewed outlook on life. By this point Hansard is as proficient a performer as you can imagine, as adept at delivering calm-before-the-storm songs as he is at guiding the audience through tumultuous outpourings. Catch him at these smallish venues while he’s here – they don’t come around too often. Also Saturday, December 16th, St Columb’s Hall, Derry; Monday, December 18th, Ulster Hall, Belfast; and Tuesday, December 19th, City Hall, Cork.



Wednesday, December 13th, Cube, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 7pm, €18/€16,

Making its world premiere, Nournimity is one of those potent immersive experiences where performance and music mingle. Electronics, dance and flutes might sound to some like fractious bedfellows, but when you have three artists of the calibre of Lucia Kilger (composer), Lina Andonovska (flautist) and Ria Rehfuß (choreographer), there’s an awareness of the way collective developments of new forms of art can work without undue fuss. Dive in.



Friday-Friday, December 15th-22nd, Arc Cinema, Cork city, various times and prices,

IndieCork gathers pace this year in providing a line-up of world premieres, themed programmes, praised documentaries and – something the festival holds very dear to – a sizeable selection of short films (of which the curators received, they say, “a record breaking number of entries”). Matt Winn’s whipsmart The Trouble with Jessica (starring Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell) is the festival’s opening-night treat (Winn will be in attendance). The closing film is Wim Wenders’s Perfect Days, which won best actor for Koji Yakusho at this year’s Cannes Festival (and which is Japan’s entry for best international feature at next year’s Academy Awards).


Listen Closely

Wednesday, December 13th, Big Romance, Dublin, 7pm, sold out,

Listen Closely is a monthly series of vinyl listening sessions wherein Niall Byrne, the person behind the Nialler9 online magazine, and the writer Andrea Cleary dig deep into albums they love and like to talk about. The December choice is Sufjan Stevens’s 2005 album, Illinois, which will be played from start to finish on the venue’s high-end sound system, then discussed in a casual but structured way. These are intimate events for lovers of music and smart discourse, and they pretty much always sell out – there are only 40 tickets for each event.


The Giggler Treatment

Until Sunday, January 7th, Ark, Dublin, various times, €17.50 and €12.50,

“If adults are mean to children they get the giggler treatment. It’s smelly. It’s squishy. And it sticks to your shoe ...” What can this mysterious treatment be? There’s Peter Pan at the Gate Theatre, and there’s The Giggler Treatment at the Ark, and each bears the imprint of Roddy Doyle. This festive musical, however – which is about 45 minutes long, making it ideal for children – is enhanced by the finer touches of Fionn Foley, who wrote the stage treatment (based on Doyle’s 2000 book), as well as a bunch of smart, toe-tapping songs. Sophie Motley directs.

Still running

2023 Kinopolis Polish Film Festival

Until Sunday, December 10th, IFI, Dublin;

The diversity of new Polish cinema is fully represented at this year’s festival, which also welcomes several film-makers and actors. The closing film, on Sunday, December 10th, is Ultima Thule, which is followed by an interview with director Klaudiusz Chrostowski and actor Jakub Gierszał.

Book it this week

Kevin McGahern: Liberty Hall, Dublin, April 26th,
Two Door Cinema Club: Fairview Park, Dublin, June 22nd,
The Staves: Button Factory, Dublin, May 31st,
Madness: Galway Airport, August 10th,