Kilkenny Elections Guide

KilkennyElections.com

The local elections take place on 23 May 2014 and in an effort to make sense of what’s happening in Kilkenny, I’ve put together kilkennyelections.com to list the candidates running in the new electoral areas in Kilkenny as well as providing some background information on the areas and the elections themselves.

Contributions of information from those running in the local elections will be welcomed.

Visit KilkennyElections.com.

Some Flood Artwork

Some Flood
Some Flood by The Devious Theatre Company. Appearing in Dublin and Kilkenny in March 2014.

From a rooftop on a cold day in Dublin’s city centre to an underwater world, here’s the final artwork for Devious Theatre‘s Some Flood. I’d showcased the teaser version at the end of January featuring photo work from Kasia Kaminska who again provided the full body portraits of actors Eddie Murphy (left) and Kevin Mooney (right) for this version.

If you want to get your toes wet, check out Some Flood performing in Smock Alley, Dublin, as part of Collaborations 2014 on 5 & 7 March, or catch a week’s worth of performances at Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny, from 11-15 March including two lunchtime shows on 14 & 15 March.

Tickets for the Kilkenny show are available via tickets.devioustheatre.com.

Tujacques, The Fall at Set Theatre

The Fall at Set Theatre, Kilkenny (C) Ken McGuire

Mark E Smith’s The Fall took to the Set stage as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival last night with Dublin-based Toujacques opening the proceedings around 10.15pm or so. Continue reading “Tujacques, The Fall at Set Theatre”

Laura Gramzow’s Go Big Or Go Home Opens

Laura Gramzow - Go Big Or Go Home

Laura Gramzow’s first solo show, appearing at the Upstairs Gallery in the Watergate Theatre, officially opened yesterday afternoon, running alongside Kilkenny Arts Festival and continuing in the gallery space until 3 September.

Laura Gramzow - Go Big Or Go Home

Originally from the US and now resident in Ireland courtesy of meeting an Irishman, I had Laura on the show earlier in the week ahead of the opening. I didn’t get to catch her in person yesterday, but did get to catch some of her work, which takes a different approach to the usual appearance of the Upstairs Gallery.

Laura Gramzow - Go Big Or Go Home

Read on for the full blurb on the exhibition…

Continue reading “Laura Gramzow’s Go Big Or Go Home Opens”

One Hell Of A Bash

While my blogging continues primarily over at AnyGivenFood.com, I’ve been keeping myself busy in the past few weeks with the above – bash:latterday plays by The Devious Theatre Company. It’s been a good year for me so far in terms of theatre, producing three shows with DTC, working with Watergate Productions, bringing shows to festivals in Dublin and Cork and now, moving on to my fifth and final theatrical production of the year.

This year also marked five years on the go for The Devious Theatre Company and has been a massive transition year for us. We spent the first six months of the year working as artists in residence with Kilkenny County Council’s Arts Office on our In The Future When All’s Well residency and having recently gone through the company formation process, we’ve secured a physical home for the theatre for the foreseeable future, allowing us to spend more time developing work and planning and plotting our 2012 and 2013 calendars.

bash, for me, presents a theatrical homecoming of sorts as it’s our first major production to stage in the intimate surrounds of Cleere’s Theatre in Kilkenny since we revisited Heart Shaped Vinyl in 2007 for an updated run of our debut production in 2006. It is, as they say, where the magic happened for us in the first place and we’ll be looking to recreate that from October 17th to 22nd.

What is this ‘bash’ you speak of?

bash was first performed in 1999. It became quickly renowned for its shocking and unflinching portrayals of everyday evil with the New York Times calling it ‘insistently brutal’. Like much of LaBute’s work, it exposes the dark and sinister undercurrents of clean cut middle American life. The play was considered so shocking at the time that LaBute was disfellowshipped by the Church Of Latter Day Saints, of whom the characters in bash are members.

The play consists of 3 stories with a loose basis on Greek mythology, transposed to modern America. Delivered in monologues that are conversational, breezy, natural and ultimately gutwrenching, bash examines the horrific lengths that human beings go to in order to stay in control of their lives.

In iphigenia in orem a young utah businessman recounts a particularly chilling confession to a stranger in a Las Vegas hotel room. It will be performed by John Morton and directed by myself.

a gaggle of saints sees a young couple document the violent events of a romantic weekend away in New York. It will be performed by Amy Dunne and myself and directed by Annette O’Shea.

In medea redux a young woman tells the ultimately tragic tale about a romance with her high school teacher when she was a teenager. It will be performed by Annette O’Shea and directed by John Morton.

Neil LaBute’s plays include The Shape Of Things, The Mercy Seat, Fat Pig, Wrecks and reasons to be pretty. His film work includes In The Company Of Men, Your Friends And Neighbours, Nurse Betty and Possession.

Neil LaBute’s bash: latterday plays runs in Cleere’s Theatre, Kilkenny from October 17th – 22nd at 8pm nightly. Bookings can be made on 056 – 7762573. Tickets are €12 and are available to buy online now (subject to booking fee).

Kilkenomics – Ireland’s first Economics Festival

With THREE festivals taking place in Kilkenny this weekend between the Rockfall music festival, Savour Kilkenny Food Festival and the World Conker Championships / Festival, news comes by mail of another festival for Kilkenny, this time Ireland’s first economics festival. Of course, it’s not just all about business as some of the country’s leading economists and commentators will be joined by some of Ireland’s leading comedians.

Economists including David McWilliams, Bill Black, Martín Lousteau, Ha-Joon Chang, Vilhjálmur Bjarnason and Philippe Legrain are world class, all offering intelligent opinion on what just happened and what needs to happen next.

Commentators including John Lanchester, Peter Antonioni, Fintan O’Toole, Constantin Gurdgiev, and Olivia O’Leary all offer a unique take on our current circumstances and creative ideas for our future recovery.

Comedians, including Des Bishop, Colin Murphy, Karl Spain, Fred MacAulay, Neil Delamere and Barry Murphy all know how to find plenty of humour in dark times.

By the read of the release and Kilkenomics.com, they’re also introducing a new currency to Kilkenny for the weekend which can be used against shows, books and anything else on offer under the festival banner.

It all takes place in Kilkenny, November 11th – 14th with twenty four events on over the four days. You can buy an individual ticket for any of the shows or a season ticket for €80/€100 which gets you

  • 5 x shows of your choice (subject to availability)
  • 1 x signed book of your choice from the book list below*
  • 1 x ticket to Festival Club
  • 1 x 20 Marbles to spend in Kilkenny on the festival weekend

For all the info, check out Kilkenomics.com.

Talking Plugins With KLCK Bloggers Network

Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel

I don’t usually go out of my way to speak at events or gatherings, social, business or otherwise. But when Keith Bohanna asked if I could fill in for him at last night’s KLCK Bloggers Network gathering in Kilkenny I figured I couldn’t say no, the event being on my doorstep and all.

I would equate the gathering last night to something akin to Open Coffee only minus the coffee and a bit more formal. The KLCK Bloggers Network was formed by Amanda Webb (of Spiderworking.com, in the running for best videocaster at this year’s Irish Web Awards) and Lorna Sixsmith of Garendenny Lane who I had met previously at Kilkenny Open Coffee (also turns out we’re both writing for a Carlow magazine). The event itself was held in the Kilkenny Pembroke Hotel who were providing one of their conference rooms complete with projector, screen, notepads, pens, all you would need to run an event like it.

While I was the second speaker on the night (which worked out a treat in terms of the content), Marie Ennis-O’Connor was first up to bat leading a great talk on driving additional traffic to your blog, from starting out as a blogger to building a community around your blog through email, comments, guest blogging and more. The audience (about 18/19 of us there) was a mix of beginner and experienced bloggers with some people simply coming in to get an understanding of what blogging is and does for people.

My own talk was quickly cobbled together yesterday on the back of what I call my WordPress toolbox – the plugins I deem essential to any WordPress installation and ones that I keep handy in a zip file whenever I’m starting a new blog either for myself or a client but I felt it went well for something that was a technical overview of additions you can make to your WordPress blog for the both the admin side of things and your theme out front. You can get the list of plugins and links here on Slideshare. The slides also feature a glimpse of the new branding I’m rolling out across the business later in the month.

Last night was the fourth monthly gathering of the network which heads to Kildare for November and should be back in Kilkenny come February or March. The name – KLCK – is an aconym for Kildare Laois Carlow and Kilkenny and they’re actively looking for topics for discussion that would benefit all in attendance, along with speakers. If the rest of the gatherings are along the lines of last night then they’ll be well worth heading along to. Having it hosted in the Pembroke created an opportunity for people to stay on for drinks and further the conversation in the bar but there’s signs there of a good group and network in the making, with everyone being able to contribute on some level from the own experiences. One thing I did note though is that for the 18 people in the room, there were only four men around the table, one of them being me as a speaker for the evening. Makes a change from the male-dominated Open Coffee mornings in Kilkenny.

That said, it’s also opened me up to the notion that I need to get to more events. Outside of Kilkenny, I think Media2020 and the Blog Awards in Galway were the only events I’ve been to for the year. Time to get back on the road, maybe as far as Kildare for the second Monday in November…

Kilkenny Arts Festival Launches

ONE OF the highlights of my calendar year (and that of Kilkenny) is the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Now in its 36th year, this year’s festival runs from August 6th to 15th and is packed to the hilt with the best in music, theatre and dance, visual arts, literature, children’s events and more. A long time spectator, last year was the first year I’ve volunteered on the festival and I’m back (along with John Morton) in the same role last year in producing the online content for the festival duration (and blogging the festival via the KAF blog).

That started yesterday with the launch in Dublin where Fergus Shiel put a group of professional singers through their paces to announce the KAF programme for 2010 through a choral performance. The same will be repeated in Kilkenny on August 14th where Fergus will lead a group of around 200 singers through a performance in St. Canice’s Catherdral where works will include Rossini’s Sabat Mater and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.

Check out the video above, or watch the Qik clip of the launch yesterday as it happened.

Kilkenny Open Coffee For June

2010-01-280087
Creative Commons License photo credit: Yuki Mizuguchi

IT’S THAT time of the month again, tomorrow today is Open Coffee morning in Kilkenny (follow on Twitter).

For almost 18 months now we’ve been operating on the first Wednesday of every month and regardless of whether there’s a dozen people there or two people there, it’s a morning I very much look forward to in the month as a chance to catch up with folk, shoot the breeze over some tea, talk a little shop, sport, tech, gadgets, demos, whatever is going.

Wednesday’s meet takes place, as usual, at the rear of the Kilkenny Café in Market Cross Shopping Centre (map here) and kicks off at 11am. Free wifi and chats are available so if you’re reading this at your desk or on your phone this morning and you’ve got a half hour / hour to spare in your day or just want to pop your head in to say hello, do come along.