Liverpool Irish Festival Returns This Month

Photo: Pete Carr
LIVERPOOL Irish Festival returns with more than 50 events, 80 artists, practitioners, performers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers at venues across the city. With a longstanding vision to bring Liverpool and Ireland together, this year’s festival focus is conviviality. Running 13-23 October it’s an opportunity to explore contemporary and traditional elements of Irish culture and often the tension arising between the two. Through collaboration, cross-discipline and partnerships with arts organisations, cultural institutions and social centres across Liverpool and Ireland, the festival explores what being Irish means at home and abroad.These are the top five events;Three Plays Sat/Sun 22/23 Oct 11am-4pm Treasure House Theatre at World Museum FreeThree Plays: Riders to the Sea, The Shadow of the Glen and Purgatory at the Treasure House Theatre at the World Museum explores the theme of the undead and how the Irish peasantry’s relationship between the living and the dead has been full of mysticism and myth. Originally performed as a trinity of plays by the RSC, Alsop Drama take the three one act plays, by John Millington Synge and William Butler Yeats to consider rural life in Ireland in the early twentieth century, and how superstition and folklore influenced relationships with the spirits, the living and past.Lisa Hannigan Arts Club Fri 21 Oct Doors 6.30pm £22.50 (+ booking fee) Hannigan first came to light as an angel-voiced, somewhat mysterious figure singing harmonies alongside Damien Rice. They played together for seven years, but it wasn’t until the release of her solo debut, Sea Sew, in 2008 that the full spectrum of her abilities became apparent. Now her third album, 2016’s At Swim carries on the success.American artist Heather Woods Broderick (piano, cello, guitar and flute) is Lisa’s support, touring the UK and Europe16 Box Set The Bagelry 13 Oct – 23 Oct 9.30am-4pm (this venue is closed on Mondays) Free2016 marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and is a commemoration of one of the most tumultuous rebellions in Irish history.Curated by Jessie Malone in association with Cork Printmakers, four artists from Belfast Print Workshop, Black Church Print Workshop, Dublin, Cork Printmakers & Limerick Printmakers have collaborated in the creation of 16, a unique box-set and exhibition of prints. Jessie Malone curated the selection of four artists from each print studio. The artist was then invited to make one image, in response to the theme of the 1916 Easter Rising; in an edition of twenty, on paper measuring sixteen inches square.This exhibition forms a unique record of Irish contemporary art in the medium of printmaking and showcases the high standard of skills and variety of techniques currently being utilised in Ireland.A Centenary of Celebration of James Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ 13 Oct 6.00pm Eleanor Rathbone Theatre, University of Liverpool Free, book your space at www.liverpoolirishfestival.comThis December, it’ll be 100 years since the publication of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. As debuts go, it’s a fairly sensational one, but we almost didn’t get to read it. In a fit of fury, because no one would publish The Dubliners, he threw Portrait into the fire, it was saved by his family.The festival opens with a panel exploring Joyce and the novel; the role of Irish writing, of emerging writers and directors, as well as those who wrote a century ago.A panel discussion on James Joyce’s celebrated novel with His Excellency, the Irish Ambassador to the UK, Dan Mulhall, Dr Maria-Daniella Dick (Lecturer in Irish and Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow), Professor Frank Shovlin (Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool) and Professor Andrew Gibson (Royal Holloway, University of London).Festival speeches will be given, marking the official opening of Liverpool Irish Festival 2016Social seisiúns Everyman Theatre, Street Café and Theatre Bar 14 Oct 10pm, 15 Oct 4pm-6pm, 15 Oct 10pm, 21 Oct 10pm, 22 Oct 4pm-6pm, 22 Oct 10pm FreeHalf-hour slots are given to local musicians and performers to perform informal, acoustic seisiúns in this post-show, ‘relax and wind down’ hour.Seisiún performers volunteered themselves in advance of the festival and have been selected for their ability, charm and capacity to share the stage with audiences, who are encouraged to sing along, bring instruments and generally take part in the activityEveryman Theatre and Street Cafe will also act as a social hub for the festival, a chance to chat, read from the materials library and explore the wider themes of the festival.Find out more at