PORTUMNA’S 2012 Shorelines Arts Festival will be officially opened this evening at 6pm, paving the way for a weekend of music, poetry, theatre, film, and children’s events.
The festival will be launched by Joan Bergin, one of Ireland’s leading film costume designers, whose credits include My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Dancing at Lughnasa, Veronica Guerin, and The Tudors. There will also be a performance by the Omna Singers.
The opening night concert promises to be a feast of trad titans, featuring master accordionist Máirtin O’Connor, fiddler, Liz Carroll, and guitarist Dave Flynn. They will perform their own compositions and works by East Galway composers, Paddy Fahey, Finbarr Dwyer. The show takes place in the Church of Ireland at 8.30pm.
The church will also play host to Tapestry- A Flower Festival designed by Richard Haslam, who will also give talks in the church and invite questions on aspects of the exhibition’s designs, techniques, and content.
Rita Ann Higgins, one of Galway and Ireland’s finest poets will read at the church on Saturday, September 22. She will be joined by Portlaoise poet and broadcaster Pat Boran, singer-guitarist Darren De Burca, and No Strings Attached - Cliodhna Donnellan (fiddle ), Frank Downey (accordion and guitar ), Muirne Hurley Goode (harp and vocals ), Ann McGhee (flute, whistle and vocals ) and Bill Tierney (bodhrán, guitar and vocals ).
Theatre enthusiasts can look forward to a retrospective on the writings of Declan and Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy, founder members of the Focus Theatre Company in Dublin in 1967. Readings and performances, curated by writer, poet and director Neil Donnelly feature actors from Dublin’s Focus Theatre Company including Tom Hickey (The Riordans ), Michael Ford, and Bairbre Ni Chaoimh.
Voices In The Loft, a new book by Aideen O’Reilly on the history of Portumna Players, will be launched to mark the drama group’s 60th year. The Portumna Players are also staging The London Vertigo; children’s drama The Upside Down Twits, and a series of comic sketches over the weekend.
There is also I’ll live till I Die, where Carmen Murphy will read from Two Sisters Singing, loosely based on Delia Murphy’s life. There will be musical accompaniment from Mairin O’Donovan and Gerry Anderson. Tegolin Theatre will stage Hunger, which includes a reading by writer and poet, Eamon Grennan, in the Irish Workhouse Centre on Saturday 22.
Children can enjoy street games, magic, ventriloquism, comedy, storytelling, pavement art, face painting, target shoot, and giant jenga.
There will also be a screening of Aughty by visual artists and filmmakers Tom Flanagan and Megs Morley, exploring the Aughty mountain region.
There will be workshops and sessions for textiles, art, drama, dance, song, and stories in Portumna’s Town Hall, school hall, youth café, retirement village, The Irish Workhouse Centre, the VEC, and local pubs.
For more information see www.shorelinesartsfestival.com or call 087 - 2931055.