MERRIMENT AND What Not’ will be the jolly and joyous theme of this year’s Múscailt, NUI Galway’s on campus arts festival, for both students and the Galway public.
The festival, now in its 13th year, runs from Monday February 4 to Friday 8 with a programme of art, music, performance, dance, literature, and film.
“Our theme this year, ‘Merriment and What Not’, comes courtesy of Eyeore in Winnie-the-Pooh,” explains NUIG arts officer Fionnuala Gallagher. “It encourages the creative act that bursts forth with unexpected results. Everyone is welcome to participate.”
Among the theatre highlights at Múscailt will be a performance of Francis the Holy Jester, written by Nobel-prize winner Dario Fo. It will be performed by Mario Pirovano, the only actor Fo has permitted to perform this piece. See it in The Cube, Áras na Macléinn, on Tuesday February 5 at 8pm.
Triko Cirkus Teatar, who this year were voted the Best Independent Theatre Company in Croatia, will bring their hit show ‘Slavuj/Nightingale/Rossigno to Galway in what will be their only Irish show. It includes four theatre clowns in the style of Jacques LeCoq and three musicians. It is directed by Lee DeLong.
Múscailt will also host the premiere of new performances including Glowpunk, written and performed by Frank Cronin, a student who has been living in a tent on campus since September. The play is a distillation of his experiences in this state.
Fans of musicals can look forward to Galway University Musical Society’s performance of the rock opera RENT in the Black Box Theatre, from February 5 to 9 at 8pm. RENT, featuring music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, is based on Puccini’s La Bohéme. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive in New York’s Lower East Side.
Local artists Esti Siles, Judith Bernhardt, and Helen Caird will perform MOVE, a new dance meets painting performance. Solo Show will showcase seven original ‘five-minute monologues’ by NUI Galway’s students and staff and the Colours Theatre Company premieres a new one-man show The Statue.
The highlight of the festival’s music programme will be The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert at 1pm on Thursday February 7 in the Bailey Allen Hall.
The specially chosen programme, entitled ‘A brief history of classical music from Bach to Beatles’ includes ‘The Arrival of Queen of Sheba’ by George Friedrich Handel, ‘Meditation’ by Jules Massenet, and ‘Rag Time’ by Scott Joplin, performed by the ConTempo Quartet.
Another highlight will be Chorchestrad’s performance on the opening night of the festival. NUI Galway Orchestra, Choral Soc, and Trad Soc will join forces to perform traditional music. There will also be performances from students of the Dioplóma sna Dána (Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta ).
There will also be a concert from new band Immis - Una Ní Fhlannagáin, Brewen Favrau and Ger Chambers - on harp, pipes and accordion, and The Witless Band Competition final in the Student Union Bar on Tuesday February 5.
Current NUIG staff and alumni will be reading from their various works while the university’s Writers Society will present an evening of new student writing.
Múscailt will also host a number of exhibitions during its run, including Conor Gallagher’s installation Channels, an ambitious, mixed media show mixing original paintings and driftwood sculptures.
The foyer of the Bank of Ireland Student Theatre will house new installations and art objects by Nick Hitchcox, Maria Hitchcox, and Hannah O’Reilly. Robin Jones will blur the distinction between drawing and sculpture in his outdoor Temporary Work. Artsoc will present their annual show in Áras na Mac Léinn. Paul Kearney and Podge Daly will exhibit new oil paintings, entitled Reflections & Fragments in the University Art Gallery.
Nick Danziger, the photographer, film-maker, and adjunct professor at NUIG’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media will display The British, a collection of photographs of Britain in the 1990s.
The Women’s ID Project will portrays women in their lives and communities in the Westside and Ballybane.
Live artist Áine Phillips will perform Spectral, with sound by Trevor Knight. She will also deliver the opening address at a one-day seminar on interdisciplinary artistic collaboration, entitled All Collaborators Will Be Shot. During the seminar professional artists and collaborators will give presentations, and the public are invited to join proceedings.
Galway photographer Aengus McMahon will exhibit a large-scale original photographic work for Áras Moyola; there will be exhibitions from painting and drawing classes on the balcony of Áras na Mac Léinn; new work by artist Marina Wild in DERI ‘Art’ Café; and a revamp of the Yarn Bomb Sculpture by the NUIG knitting and crochet group.
Exhibitions are open to the public, with many events free to attend. For further information, or for a copy of the programme, see www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or contact the Arts Office on 493766/495098.