Embrace your cultural side with something for all the family for Offaly Culture Night, which begins today (Friday) at 4pm and runs until late.
Culture Night is a night of entertainment, discovery and adventure across towns, cities and counties in Ireland. With a host of free events, tours, talks and performances across the county, make sure to take advantage and explore all that’s available on your doorstep.
Culture Night promises to be a busy night with 16 free events right across the county, with 13 venues and three parks throwing open their doors on the night with almost 150 performers set to take part.
A Culture Night celebration at Fancroft Mill in Roscrea is fully booked, with 70 lucky traditional music fans set to enjoy a great night. However, while this event is booked out, there’s still plenty on offer across the county from early evening, with many of the events being drop-in events.
Highlights of Offaly’s Culture Night include a performance from Tullamore Town Band, featuring Diarmuid Guinan, in Kilbride Park; Polish music in Daingean Courthouse; The National Gallery in Belmont Mill; Jazz, dance and singing in the Bridge Centre; storytelling and music in Tullamore Library featuring Pat Speight and a performance by Clara Town Band on the Clara Green.
In Birr, Culture Night will be celebrated with performances by the Tullamore Academy Chamber Choire and The Kerman Dance Company.
Multi award-winning Tullamore Academy Chamber Choir has taken the choral world by storm with an innovative and eclectic collection of choral music, specially chosen for their competitive show-stopping nature.
French dance company The Kerman Dance Company will also perform, with four very accomplished dancers set to present solos and duets.
In Tullamore, events include performances from Tullamore Gospel Choir, storytelling and a performance of 'Brothers of the Brush’.
In the Bridge Centre 'Art to the People’ is sure to entertain shoppers, who can expect an eclectic mix of dance, music and poetry from Man I Pulate, Miles O’Bog Ensemble featuring Kate Flynn and the Tullamore Gospel Choir from 4pm to 6pm.
At Tullamore Library there will be Creative Music for the Family at 4pm, where Noel O’Farrell will lead a music session for families. Also in the library, children’s author and illustrator Patricia Gibney, who wrote and illustrated Spring Sprong Sally, will tell stories and hold an art workshop at 5pm. At 6pm renowned storyteller Pat Speight, who specialises in traditional Irish folk tales from the fireplaces of Ireland, will have everyone enthralled with his stories.
'Random Acts of Poetry’ will see Richard Brennan and the Tullamore Rhymers bring unexpected poetry, sudden outbursts of rhyme and out of the blue singing to various cafes in Tullamore and Birr from 4pm to 6pm.
From 7.30pm to 8.30pm Tullamore Town Band, featuring Diarmuid Guinan, will perform on the site of the new arts centre at Kilbride Park. With songs such as New York, New York & My Way, this performance is not to be missed!
Later that evening, from 8.30pm to 10.30pm, the Broken Bottle Theatre Company will present extracts from Jimmy Murphy’s award-winning play 'Brothers of the Brush’ at Tullamore D.E.W. Visitors Centre, with traditional music before and after the play from Attracta Brady (fiddle/flute) and John O’Connell (guitar).
In Edenderry you can see the biggest band in the smallest venue in Ireland as 40 professional musicians will participate in a collaborative live lounge music festival for a mini rotating audience of about four! Taking musicians out of their comfort zones with covers and some original compositions as well; loiterers are welcome outside to enjoy the music through the window! 'Mór’ takes place at Public Access Arts Edenderry from 7pm until late.
Guitarist and singer Aimee Molloy will play a selection of music alongside poetry recitals at Edenderry Library from 7pm to 9pm, with an open mic session also included and writers and other singers are welcome to participate on the night.
Pianist Dearbhaile O’Donnell will perform at Ballybrittan Castle, Edenderry, from 8pm to 9.30pm. Dearbhaile studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she was taught by John O’Conor. She holds a performer’s diploma from the Royal College of Music in London and won RTÉ’s 'Musician of the Future’ competition. She is a member of the Martello Trio and has broadcast on RTÉ and the BBC and has performed in Ireland, England, France and Italy as accompanist, chamber musician and soloist. Dearbhaile’s programme will consist of 18th Century Music.
Sculpture in the Parklands will see a Hedge School Workshop with artists Tom Meskell and Jean Conroy from 5pm to 6.30pm. They will conduct a workshop on how to make sculptures and temporary landscape interventions, to inspire participants to the limitless potential of making art in the natural environment.
A National Gallery Talk and Tour of the Mill will take place at Belmont Mill from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The National Gallery talk encompasses works from their Prints and Drawing
Collection, the finest works on paper, concluding with Ireland’s favourite painting Meeting on the Turret Stairs.
Leap Castle in Clareen will host a trad night from 8pm to 9.30pm with Irish music and dance with Aoife Kinsella (Concertina), Tadhg Maher (Bodhran, Singing), Conor Harnett (Flute, Drums & Dance) and Ciara Callanan Ryan (Harp, Whistle and Dance).
Classical music and dance is the order of the day at Clonony Castle, Cloghan, where The Lyric String Quartet will perform and selected soloists from Rebecca Armstrong’s Dance Masterclasses will perform a couple of well known classical pieces.
Jacek Lomejko and friends will play an eclectic mix of French and Polish music at Daingean Town Hall, which will feature trumpet, accordion and guitar. The evening commences at 7.15pm with a tour and talk of the restored courtroom by local historian John Kearney. Music at 8pm