Culture Night 2020: From a Liffey tour to Cork slang lessons, 30 events not to miss
Livestreamed orchestra, an interactive universe, live dance and theatre and online rap
A trio of images showing Tara Brandel in Tilt by Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company. Photograph: Oran Leong
Culture Night 2020 will be like no other in the event’s 15 year history.
Despite the disruption and restrictions brought on by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is easier than ever to access a whole host of performances and workshops from the comfort of your own home on Friday, September 18th from 4pm till late.
There are still hundreds of live events, all with very limited capacity, strict Covid precautions and pre-booking.
Explore the programme at culturenight.ie and plan in advance, especially for in-person events. You can filter for online and offline and interests, and obviously for online events, you’re not restricted to your locality.
Here’s some highlights from well over 700 events both on and offline:
An online immersive flagship digital show by artist Aoife Dunne, commissioned by Dublin City Council, promises a virtual universe, using sculpture, sound, performance and technology. Viewers are offered options which change the narrative, set in the future. (Here’s a quick preview of what to expect.)
The Liminal Space
Culture Night Dublin commissioned four artists to respond to the urban geography of the city, focusing on the liminal “crossing over” space, where you’ve left something behind, but aren’t yet fully in something else.
Paul Regan’s film On In-Between’s film On In-Between sees him drifting along River Liffey; Tom Lane’s Stream of Consciousness audio walk narrated by Olwen Fouéré guides you on a walk along the River Liffey, with a soundscape about the history and stories behind Dublin’s bridges; Inni-K: Dawn & Dusk Song & Film Project celebrates Dublin city parks through song, heralding the dawn and serenading the dusk in parks, which were a lifeline during lockdown; Weedscapes at the Hugh Lane by Renate Pekowska is an animated celebration of biodiversity set to harpsichord recordings, considering common weeds as sublime and delightful.
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Performing with a maximum 37 players, without an audience, at the National Concert Hall, and livestreamed on rte.ie/culture and RTÉ Lyric FM. Gavin Maloney conducts works including Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the orchestra’s former principal clarinet player John Finucane as soloist and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony No 4.
Liffey Ferry Tour of Dublin Port
A 45 minute tour to see the operating port as you sail along South Wall to Poolbeg Lighthouse. The Liffey Ferry was reintroduced last year, after a 35 year absence. Book for tours, from pontoon at the MV Cill Airne across from Convention Centre; capacity nine per boat, bring raincoat and face mask.
Women on Women
Outlandish Theatre Platform (online): Jeda de Brí and Outlandish Theatre Platform’s film portraits of WoW award winners, five inspiring women who contributed to radical social change and gender equality. Caoimhe Butterly, Catherine Joyce, Éadaoin Kelly, Marie Mulholland and Mavis Ramazani introduce their work and vision. Live at Meeting House Square, Dublin 2; no booking required.
Aerial/Sparks Art on Inis Oírr/Galway 2020 (live)
Connect in person with one of the last unknown spaces on earth, the ocean wilderness, via seven European artists, writers and composers’ artworks, inspired by research expeditions on the Marine Institute Ireland’s RV Celtic Explorer. Viewers walk around Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, to discover sound works.
Patrick Kavanagh Centre
A bilingual evening of music and poetry: at Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, with Culture Night trailblazer composer Michael Gallen, Scullion, and poet Caitríona NiChléirchín. (Live and streamed).
Kilkenny Arts Office poetry trail (live)
Work by 12 local poets displayed in city shop windows (or call the poetry line 1800 272 994 to listen).
A self-guided listening walk through Gorey (offline), immersing people in six sonic artworks along the way.
Welcoming the Stranger (online)
Dance piece from Catherine Young Dance and inspired by stories of migrants and refugees who have made Kerry their home. Plus West African dance workshops.
Poetry Tour, 14 Henrietta Street
Celebrating the story of the building, from Georgian townhouse to tenement, and its people through verse, including some original work inspired by 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin itself, from Georgian soirées to children’s street rhymes Booking required. Live, max group of 5.
Irish Dance Masterclass with the Gardiner Brothers (online)
World Champion Irish dancers and Culture Night trailblazers Michael and Matthew Gardiner demonstrate basic techniques and more intricate, modern moves.
The Barber of Belcoo
A new site-specific play by John McManus, commissioned for Culture Night, with Bríd Ní Neachtain in the title role, directed by Padraic McIntyre, in the wilds of Cavan Burren GeoPark, Blacklion (live, offline, booking essential).
Tilt: Remixed (online)
Tilt by Croi Glan Dance Company at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, live and recorded, remixed for online.
Walking Whid/Walking Story (online)
Led by Tuam Thinker-in-Residence Oein De Bhardúin, with stories and folklore about Tuam and its Traveller community.
Miss Orbit outdoor dance at the Source Arts Centre, Tipperary
Live dance performance by the Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company behind glass, with the boardwalk as viewing area.
The Last Laundry
A 20-minute audio walk by Caelainn Hogan and Denis Clohessy (download audio file on mobile phone) exploring the Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin 1, the last of its kind to close.
Eavan Boland’s poem, Quarantine (online)
Performed at Run of the Mill Theatre by Culture Night Leinster Trailblazer Mark Smith, with Arcade Film, featuring Jackie O’Hagan and directed by Aisling Byrne.
Half hour of newly commissioned works and performances for screen, exploring hope, solidarity, fragility of the natural world and social inequalities. Created by leading Irish artists (including Katie Holton, Amanda Coogan, Tobi Omoteso, Feli Olusanya AKA Feli Speaks, John Scott, Jessica Traynor, Tom Lane, Tadgh O’Sullivan, John MacKenna, Fehdah and Carole Nelson) collaborating with the community in Carlow.
Teenagers from Cork Migrant Centre unveil public artwork drawing on experiences of teenage life in 2020 Ireland, by teenage asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, working with artist Kate O’Shea, at the Glucksman, UCC.
Ball Hopping (online)
Cork Slang Rap presented by Ballincollig Youthreach students. Rap will include slang from both pre-Covid and the “new normal”, plus on life in the city.
Visual art workshops, Mount Henry Art Studios, Laois (online)
Includes a Plein Air session and kids’ workshops.
Original music from female artists. Pre-recorded performances by Gráinne Conaty, Niamh Regan and Denise Chaila in Oranmore Castle, Co Galway.
Irish Institute of Music and Song
Offline programme on its campus in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, including Ireland’s National Barbershop Quartet Champions, Lady Barbalade, plus musical ensembles from Africa, Irish traditional music, St Patrick’s Brass and Reed Band, and IIMS teachers.
Visual art installation in Longford, combining live street art and commissioned music/video art screenings.
At Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar , Co Mayo (live, offline): a short film multidisciplinary project by poet Alice Kinsella and visual artist Paul Kinsella, navigating themes of isolation, restriction, and the relationship between physical and mental space.
Wild Ink Workshop (online)
With illustrator Annie Hogg: learn how to make your own ink from hedgerow/garden or pre-compost plants.
The Secret Rose
An Evening Of Storytelling at Yeats Building, Sligo (live): Stories interpreted from WB Yeats’s The Secret Rose collection, plus watercolour painting lesson inspired by Elizabeth Yeats’s work. Max 12 children.
At An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny: an energetic physical show with slapstick comedy, suitable for all ages, written and performed by Louise Conaghan. (Live, numbers limited, booking essential).
Love Letters to The Parlour (online)
Write a love letter about a place, a memory, a person (anywhere in history) or anything worthy of your love and post it to the Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms in Waterford.