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Arts & Culture

Warm glow to the Bridge below the town

Owen Ryan THE 1950s has been getting bad reviews for a long time in Ireland but a play by Patrick McCabe, to show in the Lime Tree Theatre and Glór, looks on the decade with a little more warmth. The Bridge Below The Town is directed by Padraic McIntyre, and he says that some of the more cheerful aspects of life in the far-off 50s are dealt with. “McCabe feels that it’s a time that gets bad press and he wanted to celebrate that joy in small town Ireland where people talked and communicated with each other and there was that sense of characters in the town, that has probably gone now. Whether it’s because of the internet or Facebook people seem to communicate in a different way and he wanted to celebrate that world where people talked or met and had time for each other.” It takes the perspective of a woman looking back on her earlier life and …

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There’s nothing but drama in Scariff

THE stage has been set for the 67th annual Clare Drama Festival, which gets underway in Scariff next week, showcasing some of the best amateur drama in Ireland. Founded in 1946 the festival has gone from strength to strength taking place over the course of ten nights from Thursday March 20 to Saturday March 29 at Scariff Community College Hall. Opening this year’s festival is Fr Brendan Quinlivan PP Scariff who is no stranger to the Scariff stage. Fr Quinlivan picked up a promising young actor award in his teenage years at the drama festival and has appeared on numerous occasions with the local Sliabh Aughty Drama Group. Festival chairman, Alan Sparling says this is a unique opportunity to enjoy ten very different plays, and this year promises the audience in Scariff eight completely new productions to this local stage. Opening night sees Sliabh Aughty Drama Group present Unforgiven by John McDwyer, which earned them their first win on this …

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Teen Week at Shannon and Kilrush Libraries

CLARE County Library branches in Shannon and Kilrush are to hold events as part of Teen Week 2014, which runs from March 18 to 21, featuring a series of artistic and cultural events exclusively for teenagers. This is the fourth year that the library service has run a teen programme as part of Teen Week, which is aimed at raising awareness of reading, art and culture among young adults in County Clare. The programme is supported by teachers and pupils from local second level schools. This year’s events include video production workshops, a novel exploration of great literature and hands-on experience of making music through digital technology. The same events are scheduled for both branches on alternate days and the response through bookings to date has been very encouraging. For more information about the Teen Week programme in visit www.clarelibrary.ie

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Pat Kenny broadcasts from Ennis

THIS Friday,  The Pat Kenny Show will be in Ennis to broadcast live from the Temple Gate Hotel. This will be the first time that Pat Kenny will broadcast from Clare in front of a local audience since joining Newstalk last year. As well as bringing you analysis of news and current affairs, Pat will be speaking to Ciana Campbell, chairperson of the Ennis Book Club Festival as well as local authors and book club members. After each serving 15 years on death row for murders they did not commit, Sonny Jacobs and Peter Pringle will be discussing their incredible story of strength and survival, while well -known priest Fr Harry Bohan will be looking at the problems with rural isolation. The show, which will air from 10am, will also hear from local families, businessmen and farmers about the recent flooding, coastal erosion and the effects these have had on day-to-day life. Musical entertainment will be provided by  Kate Purcell.

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Bursary for music and drama

CLARE County Council Arts Office ‘s 2014 bursary is now open to applicants. One young person is being offered the chance to attend the Meitheal Traditional Summer School and another the opportunity to participate in the Irish Youth Choir Summer School. The aim of the Meitheal bursary is to assist a young Clare musician to attend the summer school to develop their music skills through an intensive programme of master classes and workshops with noted traditional musicians. The bursary covers course fees, accommodation and meals. The bursary for the Irish Youth Choir will enable one young person from Clare to attend the school free of charge and covers all tuition fees and accommodation costs. For both bursaries, they applicants must have successfully auditioned and been accepted by Meitheal and the Irish Youth Choir. Members of amateur drama groups in the county can apply for assistance to attend the 2014 Drama League of Ireland Summer School taking place in UL during the …

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Karen’s poetry wows judges

BALLYVAUGHAN-based writer Karen McDonnell has won the 2014 WOW award for poetry.  The prize is awarded annually by Wordsonthewaves, which publishes an anthology of fiction and poetry by shortlisted and winning writers. Two of McDonnell’s poems were long listed with one, Upstream, the Bliss of Heaven making the final shortlist. Part of a historical song-cycle, the poem’s subjects are Margaret Roper and her father Thomas More, who was condemned to death in the reign of Henry VIII. Commenting on his choice for the WOW! Poetry Prize, judge Knute Skinner wrote: “Is there a word out of place? I don’t think so.” McDonnell’s travel writing, fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in The Irish Times, Crannóg, The Clare Champion, by the Clare Poets, and in Los Angeles by the litzine poeticdiversity which will publish a second extract from Unsettled, a West Bank Journal in its Spring, 2014 issue. McDonnell is currently working on her first poetry collection, People this Little World. …

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Ardsollus feeling the love

By CAROL BYRNE A CLARE group of musicians have made it through to the semi-final of the Le Crunch Apple of My Eye song contest with Today FM, having been selected from nearly 1,000 entries nationwide. Ardsollus, featuring Ennis Gospel Choir, have been selected as one of the 10 semi-finalists. The group is made up of Daithí Moore on bazouki and lead vocals; Tony Walker on keyboards; Tola Custy on fiddle; Siobhán Peoples on fiddle; Blackie O’Connell on uilleann pipes; Zyn O’Halloran on harp; Alf Duggan on dobro and Connor Myers on drums. Ardsollus, which was only formed weeks before the competition opened to entries, chose to do a cover of Rudimental’s Feel the Love, which was selected by competition judges to make it through to the semi-final on The KC Show last week. Tony, who is from Quin, said they have put a trad feel into their version of Feel the Love and he outlined how their entry came about. …

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Make a date with the Calendar Girls

JESSICA QUINN THE Clare Champion is more used to bringing the county the news, however now we are getting behind the nudes. The Ennis Players latest production will be Calendar Girls, based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund England. And The ‘Champion are supporting their performances in Glór, which will raise funds for not one, but four local charities. The Ennis Players are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their revival, launching their charity production of the fastest selling play in British history at a special meeting this week. The Calendar Girls story was famously made into a film staring Helen Mirren and was subsequently adapted for the stage by Tim Firth, spending the last five years entertaining audiences all over the world. And in the spirit of the original Calendar Girls, the Ennis Players have agreed to donate all proceeds from this production to …

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