Gig of the week: Tommy Tiernan at the Róisín Dubh

Plus: Lisa Hannigan, a tour via barge, and free festival passes for grandparents

The Grand Auld Stretch
Friday August 13th-22nd Nimmo's Pier, Galway
Many hands make live work, and the good folk at the Róisín Dubh have teamed up with the Galway Comedy Festival and Strange Brew to set up a purpose-built outdoor venue by the banks of the Corrib for this series of gigs, circus performances and works-in-progress featuring the likes of Tommy Tiernan, Jape and Mick Flannery. The shows will be staged under stretch tents to keep you cool and dry, and each gig will have a maximum audience of 200, in pods of four and six, comfortably seated across 40 well spaced-out picnic benches.

The fun kicks off with Mick Flannery, a long-time favourite of the Róisín Dubh crowd, who is sure to deliver an in-tents performance (Friday 13th, 7pm & 9pm).

Next up is Dirty Circus, who will showcase their daring burlesque and cabaret routines (Saturday 14th, 9pm), followed by raucous big band Swing, Jazz and Blues courtesy of John Conneely Inc.

After that, it’s time to clear the way as Tommy Tiernan takes over from Monday 16th to Saturday 21st with his Work-in-Progress, which could well turn out to be even better than the finished thing.


The Chronicles of Oggle
Until August 14th, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin 7.30pm (Saturday matinee
Tickets: €20
Actor Peter Gowen has been seen in Love/Hate, Fair City and The Butcher Boy, but he has taken on the role of writer for this humorous but hard-hitting play based on his own childhood in Youghal, Co Cork, and asking serious questions about how the church treated people with intellectual disabilities. By the sound of it, this will make Angela's Ashes seem like afternoon tea at the Ritz. The Chronicles of Oggle tells the story of Pakie, an orphan who's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but who has a taste for adventure, and a talent for storytelling. Only problem is, the stories he tells about the history of his home town - from pillaging Vikings to paedophile priests - are not exactly what the delicate-eared locals of Oggle want to hear. The play was originally staged in Cork in 2013, garnering full houses and standing ovations, but a performance in Youghal in 2015 was cancelled suddenly following "complaints" from unnamed locals.

Lisa Hannigan
Tuesday, August 10th DeBarras, Clonakilty, Co Cork, 6pm and 9pm,
Tickets: €25 – €100.00

It's one of west Cork's favourite music venues, and finally, after a year and a half of enforced silence, beautiful sounds are once again emanating from De Barra's Folk Club. "DeBarra's is like a big old mythical creature and she's been asleep for awhile… now she's waking she needs her belly rubbed and ears scratched regularly," says the venue's manager Ray Blackwell. And who better to rub the tummy of your soul than Lisa Hannigan, who performs in the venue's intimate outdoor setting especially configured to comply with Covid guidelines. Hannigan will be performing iconic songs from such albums as Sea Sew and At Swim. This is a limited-capacity show, and tickets will be sold in pods of four or two, with table service only. Dress for the weather and don't forget your face mask.

The gigs continue on Sunday 15th with singer and actor Maria Doyle Kennedy (7.30pm €20-€80), who’s been so busy garnering great film and TV roles and acting accolades, we’d almost forgotten what a great singer and performer she is too.

Kaleidoscope presents We Are Family
August 13th-15th, Russborough House, Co Wicklow,
Time to pack the whole family (including granny) into the SUV and head to the scenic setting of Russborough House in Co Wicklow for this special outdoor family-friendly festival, featuring such artists as Ryan McMullan, Lyra, JC Stewart, Dublin Gospel Choir, Bobbi Arlo, Cairde and Tracy Clifford. There are six separate concerts to book, at 12 noon and 4pm each day, so pick the one that fits in nicely with your day out. There'll be food, refreshments and lots of activities and sideshows to keep the family entertained, and, in a nod to the golden oldies who have had to spend so much time apart from their children and grandchildren, the first 100 grannies and grandads go free.

A Wild Atlantic Way En Plein Air
Thursday August 12th, Hunt Museum, Limerick 12-7pm
Tickets: €15 Children: €5

The Hunt Museum is bringing the easels outside this month and encouraging visitors to paint in the open air, with a series of outdoor painting classes and workshops in its beautifully landscaped gardens by the River Shannon. Thursday's event is tied into the museum's summer exhibition A Wild Atlantic Way, featuring works by 30 artists. Get inspired by these evocative works and travel the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kinsale with just a brushstroke, under the guidance of local professional artists including John Shinnors, Roger McCarthy, Henry Morgan and Shane O'Donovan. Don't worry about gear – easels and paints will be laid on, so just bring a snack, lunch and a drink. There will also be free entry to the exhibition.

Ye Vagabonds: All Boats Rise
Until September 7th, Ireland's waterways
So, you want to play some live shows for your fans, but Covid restrictions means your options are limited. What do you do? Music-making brothers Brían and Diarmuid MacGloinn, aka Ye Vagabonds, have come up with a novel way to stream their music: get on a barge and take a slow trip down Ireland's waterways during the month of August, stopping off at various locations to put on a live, Covid-compliant show for whoever pulls up alongside the river or canal.

They set off on August 7th, cruising from Vicarstown, Co Laois to Banagher, Co Offaly, and the plan is to play their first show at Banagher on Thursday 12th, at Belmont Hill, Co Offaly on Friday 13th, at Pollagh, Co Offaly on Saturday 14th and Ballycommon Jetty, Tullamore, Co Offaly on Sunday 15th.

Of course, that could all change if the barge decides to go extra slow, or the lads get sidelined in some reeds or down a historical rabbit hole. “A river tour has been a pipedream of ours for years but there’s never been a more perfect time for it,” says Diarmuid. “Most tours we see the venues and one corner of each town before we jump back into the monotony of motorways. This time it’s really about the journey too and it’s also time-travel. Waterways are the oldest roads and time moves differently when you’re on the water.”

They’ll be chronicling their journey on their patreon page, so check in to see where they’re stopping and tuning up near you. They’ll be meeting and collaborating with talented friends along the way, including Laura Quirke, Cormac Begley, FeliSpeaks, Manchán Magan and Leo O’Kelly, and film-maker Myles O’Reilly will be travelling with the lads to capture the whole journey on celluloid.

Summer Songs: Cathy Davey, The Booka Club and Wyvern Lingo
Saturday, August 14th, People's Park, Bray, 1.30pm-4pm; 6.30pm-9pm
It's a busy day in the People's Park in Bray this Saturday, as the Summer Songs series continues with two concerts in a safe, Covid-compliant outdoor setting. First up is a rare appearance from the wonderful Cathy Davey, who's been busy with her My Lovely Horse Rescue and My Lovely Pig Rescue charities. She'll be joined by The Booka Club. Then, in the early evening, it's the turn of local band Wyvern Lingo, whose soulful harmonies are guaranteed to send you into a twilight trance, and their pop, rock and R&B-influenced songs are sure to get you dancing in the park.

Kilkenny Arts Festival
Ends Sunday, August 15th, Kilkenny
The festival in the Marble City enters its second week, with a packed calendar of events, only a few of which we have space to list here. Check out The City Is Never Finished (August 13-15th, St Francis Abbey @ the Abbey Quarter, from 8.30pm, €15), an installation by visual and sonic artist Peter Power, in collaboration with composer Michael Gallen, examining how cities have become monuments to both human power and human folly.

What Is The Word (August 11th and 13th 6pm and 9pm/August 14th 3pm, Watergate Theatre €10) an audio cinematic experience in which some of Ireland’s leading actors present a curated collection of poems by Samuel Beckett. And Innovative musician Martin Hayes will be gathering musical friends including Steve Cooney and composer Cormac McCarthy for a weekend of live shows (Saturday, 14th 6pm and 9pm, Sunday, 15th, 8pm Watergate Theatre €25).