Inside the GPO: Go back to a virtual 1916 and six other online events this week

John Spillane, Ben Howard, the Wicklow Screendance Laboratory Festival and more

Inside the GPO
Friday, April 1st-Monday, April 5th, €5 & €10
We're not able to go into the GPO this Easter, but we can virtually visit the iconic building on O'Connell Street visit thanks to this production by Fishamble theatre company. However, don't expect a quiet visit – this is the GPO in Easter 1916, and we're right in the centre of the action at the Rising, so no, we won't be watching people posting letters. This remastered production of Colin Murphy's site-specific documentary drama, performed in the main hall of the GPO, was first shown at the centenary of the Rising in 2016, but now it's been remastered and will be available to livestream right through Easter.

The incredible cast includes Karen Ardiff, Orla Fitzgerald, Liz FitzGibbon, Gavin Fullam, Manus Halligan, Aidan Kelly, Ronan Leahy, Michael Glenn Murphy and Don Wycherley , and the drama follows the action as the rebel leaders occupied the GPO for five days, from where they co-ordinated the rebellion until they were eventually forced to evacuate by heavy shelling from British forces. You’ll feel like you’re inside the GPO at a seminal moment in Irish history.

Your tickets are valid for the full five-day run of this powerful piece of theatre, so barricade yourself in at home and enjoy this special 105-anniversary online event.

John Spillane: 100 Snow White Horses album launch livestream from DeBarra's Clonakilty
Thursday, April 1st, 9pm, €10-€20
John Spillane is a true Cork bard, always ready to perform wherever and whenever, and always willing to write a tune to suit the occasion. And April 1st is truly an occasion – the launch night for his latest album 100 Snow White Horses.


Spillane will be ensconced in one of his favourite haunts – DeBarra's in Clonakilty – to perform songs from the album, along with a few old favourites (and he has a few). Spillane won't be alone – he'll be joined by his long-time collaborator, singer Pauline Scanlon. The album – recorded by Spillane, Scanlon and producer John Reynolds – was inspired by his travels around Ireland, and are filled with musical stories, myths and Spillane's unique sense of wonder.

Wicklow Screendance Laboratory Festival
April 1st-3rd, €20-€80
Screendance is where dance, choreography and film-making come together in beautiful synchronisation, and this year's online festival will deliver intensive courses in both dance and film creation, teaching the kind of skills that can only be gained through a mix of talent, imagination, vision and good old floor-thumping hard work.

The training workshops will be conducted by leading screendance authorities Marisa Hayes, Franck Boulegue and Blas Payri, and the festival – based in Bray, Co Wicklow, will feature six stunning showcases - two of which will be free. If you’re seriously passionate about dance, movement and film, this is a must-attend weekend.

Passio by Arvo Part
Friday, April 2nd, 5pm, €12
On another lockdown Good Friday, we need something really special to help us mark the passion of Our Lord, and Music for Galway and Galway 2020 have come up with the perfect musical accompaniment for this day, a performance of one of the best-known choral works of the late 20th century, Arvo Part's Passio. The Estonian composer put all his faith and devotion into this achingly beautiful and sad piece, resulting in a work which will reach into your spirit no matter what your religious beliefs (or non-beliefs).

The 70-minute work, a setting of the Latin text from the Gospel of St John, will be streamed live from St Nicholas Collegiate Church in Galway, led by musical director Mark Duley, and is performed by some of Galway’s finest musicians and some of the brightest young Irish singers on the scene, so take a pew and get settled in for an inspirational night in. Following the live stream, the concert will be available to view until 5pm on Tuesday April 6th.

Behind the Curtain: The Corner House Session
Friday, April 2nd, 8pm, Adm free, donations gratefully accepted
Another gig, another iconic Cork venue. This time it's the Everyman, which this Easter will host the first in a series of Behind the Curtain gigs, starting with the Corner House Session, featuring the musical talents of piper Eoin Ó Riabhaigh, fiddle and flute player Johnny McCarthy, box player and songwriter Con Fada Ó Drisceoil and guitar and bouzouki player Pat 'Herring' Ahern. This is a tribute of sorts to the Corner House on Coburg Street in Cork, one of the city's most popular traditional pubs, and home of many a great seisiún over the years.

The gig is free (you’ll have to pull your own pints, though) but donations are welcome, and will go towards helping local musicians and artists to keep on creating. The event will be MC’d by Bláithín MacGabhann, whose father ran the Corner House for many a year. “I’m very glad to be presenting this show to you, it’ll be like inviting ye into my home. And after a year with no guests, a virtual visit will be very welcome indeed.”

Big Bang Bubble
Saturday, April 3rd-Monday, April 5th, The Ark, Dublin
This week, parents are stocking up on Easter eggs, and scrambling for ideas to keep the kids occupied while Jump Zone and all the other play centres are off the menu for now. The Ark has planned an online version of its annual Big Bang festival of music that will surely strike the right note for young 'uns. This interactive musical celebration, retitled the Big Bang Bubble, is designed for both children and parents to participate at home, and is focused on encouraging kids to make their own music, so get ready for some bonding over the beats. Among the goodies in store are Amsterdam musical trio Tin Men and the Telephone (April 5th, €10 per family/household), who will be performing an interactive concert - with the audience as the musical directors.

They’ve created their own app, Tinmendo, which you install on your phone before the gig. Then you can swipe, text and shake your phone to instantly influence the trio’s musical direction, creating melodies and accompaniments which are uploaded and incorporated into the show right before your eyes. Smaller kids can snuggle with their favourite blankie and cuddly toy for Soothe Songs (Saturday 3rd, 10.15am & 11.15 am, €10 per family/household), a calming musical performance by singer Fiona Kelleher and composer Irene Buckley.

And how about commissioning your own musical composition, based on your thoughts and feelings? A Piece of You (Saturday 3rd-Monday 5th, every 45 minutes from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 3.30pm) is an intimate interactive show performed for just one family at a time (two kids max), in which composer Greg Sinclair connects directly with you to create a colourful graphic music score which he then performs for you on his cello.

You’ll get a copy of the score and a recording of your own unique piece at the end to treasure forever.

Ben Howard: Global Transmission From Goonhilly Earth Station
Thursday, April 8th, 8pm, €14.50
English singer-songwriter Ben Howard has built up his huge following through that timeless technological wonder – word of mouth – and now his fan base spans beyond his native Devon and Cornwall to take in the entire globe. To celebrate the release of his new album, Collections from the Whiteout, Howard and his band have decamped to Goonhilly Earth Station on Cornwall's Lizard Peninsula for this special one-off global livestream, their first gig since January 2019, when they ended a successful world tour with four sold-out nights at Brixton Academy. Watch this exclusive performance and be reassured that Ed Sheeran is not the only Brit boy with an acoustic guitar on the block.