New year line up excels at the Linenhall

Open mic at the Linenhall; poetry, prose and more

The Open Mike, an informal evening of poetry, prose, music and sometimes ‘even a step or two of dancing’ takes place at the Linenhall Arts Centre on Thursday January 29 at 8pm.

The Open Mike is an occasion when writers from all over Mayo are invited to read from their own work in front of an enthusiastic audience of peers, pundits, and the public in general. This is the fifth evening of its kind, and takes place in the Linenhall Café, where refreshments will be available to enhance the general enjoyment and bonhomie. The evening will be MC’d by Westport poet Ger Reidy. Come along to share your own work, or enjoy the work of others. Admission FREE, all welcome. Further details from the Linenhall. Tel: 094 9023733

Fresh traditional music at the Linenhall

The Sullane Session featuring Fiona Kelleher brings its vibrant and heady brew of traditional music to the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Wednesday February 4 at 8pm. Cork musicians Fiona Kelleher (vocals ), Jim Murray (guitar ), Richard Lucey (accordion ), and Ciaran Coughlan (piano ) present an evening of exciting new arrangements of traditional songs from Fiona's debut album My Love Lies together with fresh, energetic, arrangements of well-known tunes. All four musicians are well known and highly regarded, having worked with the likes of North Cregg, Altan, and Sharon Shannon. The dynamic combination of Ciaran's jazz-influenced piano and Jim's sublime guitar with Richard's accordion mastery give exciting and inventive new interpretations of the traditional tunes, and provide a perfect backdrop to Fiona's pure crystal like vocals. A breath of fresh traditional air is on the cards. The concert is grant-aided through a Music Network performance and touring award. The Sullane Session performs at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Wednesday February 4 at 8pm. Booking advised. Tel: 094 9023733

Yew tree theatre

Ballina-based Yew Tree Theatre brings its heart-warming new family show The Magic Boy to the Linenhall Arts Centre on Thursday February 5 at 8pm. The Magic Boy is a coming-of-age story about a magician, a bittersweet tale about a man who is forced to realise that he is never going to make it as a magician himself, but that his young son (whom he has only recently discovered ) has the gift: his son is the Mozart to his Salieri. The Magic Boy is “a small sweet story suitable for family viewing” written and directed by John Breen, author of that contemporary classic of Irish theatre, Alone It Stands. The show features live magic as part of the action. Looking for a magical evening? Look no further.

London classic theatre at the Linenhall

London Classic Theatre brings its acclaimed production Humble Boy to the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Wednesday February 11 at 8pm. Following up on last year’s superb production of Abigail’s Party, London Classic Theatre’s Humble Boy is an award-winning comedy with a delightful sting in the tail. Following the sudden death of his father, 35-year-old Felix Humble, a Cambridge academic, returns to his Middle England home and his difficult and demanding mother. After a chaotic funeral, and the disappearance of his father’s prized bees, it becomes clear to Felix that life at the Humble home will never be the same again. Past and present collide with love and uncertainty in this original and captivating play by Charlotte Jones, directed by Michael Cabot. NB. Contains strong language. Recommended for 14yrs+

Halloran brothers back in Castlebar

Mayo’s own Halloran Brothers give a taste of their musical prowess at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday February 12 at 8pm. Newly formed three-piece band The Halloran Brothers from Westport present an evening of original music and song, described by Liam as “soul/blues with a jazz influence”. Featuring Liam Halloran (guitar, vocals ), Joseph Halloran (keyboard, drums ), and Michael Halloran (electric bass ).

Lucy Hill and Almha Roche exhibition

This week is the last chance to see the intriguingly titled exhibition Crickets Sing With Their Legs at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. The colourful and engaging exhibition comprises recent paintings by Tuam-born Almha Roche and Newport-based Lucy Hill, two artists with contrasting styles but similar objectives. The quirky title of the exhibition comes from a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Almha and Lucy explain: “Having each created a body of work, it seems odd to formulate an explanation for something that can't be captured in words, as with the cricket attempting to explain its 'song' through another language. Images are made, music is composed, as the result of a natural need to absorb and reflect the world around us. For this exhibition we have each made our own particular 'song' and presented it in unison to see what new sounds it can make.” The exhibition runs until Saturday January 31.

The Linenhall Gallery is open to the general public Monday-Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday from 11am to 5.30pm. Admission to exhibitions is free. Further details from the Linenhall. Tel: 094 9023733 Website: www.thelinenhall.com

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