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Arts & Culture

One-act Festival in Doonbeg

ON Monday the West Clare One-Act Festival at Doonbeg took to the stage in Doonbeg Hall.Shannonside Drama Group took top honours in the confined section with Mickey Kannis Caught My Eye. The Wayside Players were in second with A Little Box of Oblivion, while Amphitheatre Company Kilkee were third with Jack Furey.   Pat O’Reilly as Jack Dolan in The Key took the award for best actor with Mags Clancy picking up the best actress award for her role as Di in Mickey Kannis Caught My Eye. Pauline Maloney from Shannonside Drama Group took the award for best director.In the open section, Insight Theatre Group with Semper Fidelis were in first place, Camross Drama Group  took second with their production of Spring and Kilmant Players took third with A New Woman.Frank Houlihan scooped the award for best director in Semper Fidelis, as Bill Elliffe took the best actor award for his portrayal of Bernard in the same production. Susan Anderson won …

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Refurbishment work to commence on new art gallery

THE arts in the Mid-West Region received a significant boost with the awarding of a €250,000 contract to commence refurbishment of the old museum at the De Valera Library in Ennis.Work on the dedicated exhibition venue, which is being developed by Clare County Council in an effort to address the ongoing lack of suitable gallery space in the county, is expected to be completed by next May.The proposed refurbishment was given special consideration to ensure harmony with the existing building aesthetic. New lighting and humidity control systems, as well as a central multi-function space will enhance the architectural ecclesiastical features and provide quality exhibition space to museum standards.Mayor of Clare, Tony Mulcahy noted, “One of the county council’s objectives is to promote access to the arts and to encourage more people to participate in the arts. It is essential to ensure that proper facilities are in place.”The Mayor continued, “Local authorities have been and continue to be instrumental in creating …

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Heymann brings bardic tradition to Gort

WORLD-renowned expert on the Irish harp, Ann Heymann, will perform in Gort early next month.  The concert will take place on December 4 at 8pm in Gort Library. Ann’s husband Charlie will also perform and read at the event. “This is a particular honour for us,” says the Western Writers’ Centre’s director, Fred Johnston. “It’s a blending of the very ancient format of poetry and harp music. There is a tendency with contemporary poets, especially younger ones, to neglect the traditional bond between music and poetry. We are delighted to have Ann and Charlie visit us.”Under the name Clairseach (Irish for Gaelic harp), Ann and Charlie perform a broad spectrum of repertoire ranging from traditional and historical to Ann’s own compositions throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Their collaboration extends to giving presentations on their research in related areas such as Gaelic harp mythology and the performance of medieval bardic poetry. Ann’s definitive solo CD Queen of Harps documents …

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Buffalo in the Castle in Glór

AN upcoming musical performance that marries two musical traditions and features traditional music stalwarts and devotees of the Appalachian sound will be taking place in Glór.Entitled Buffalo in the Castle, this exploration of music inspired by the traditions of Irish and American Old-time music and song features traditional musicians Máirtín O’Connor (accordion) and Desi Wilkinson, (flute, whistle and vocals), who have teamed up international musicians Frank Hall, (fiddle, vocals), and Lena Ullman, (five-string banjo, vocals).The event takes place on Friday, December 4 at 8pm in Glór and will be followed by a fantastic Appalachian Dance Workshop on the Saturday at 11am.The featured artists have a wealth of experience and talent with Desi Wilkinson, one of the leading exponents of the traditional Irish flute and a fine singer to Indiana’s Frank Hall, who learned to play old-time fiddle for square dancing in his home town of Bloomington.Desi, a Belfast man, has four albums with Cran, his primary musical group, and two …

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Channel Hopping

  Mouthwatering adventures with the Doctor Dr Who returned to our screens this week. It was a highly anticipated episode and it certainly lived up to the hype. The Waters of Mars was one of the darkest episodes since Dr Who returned to our screens in 2005. This latest episode was dark for a number of reasons. It showed that in many ways, the Doctor has lost the plot. Since the prophecy that he is to die, the Doctor, who has been driven to the point of madness by all the lost souls and horrors he has seen, has begun to doubt his true calling.The episode dealt with his demons and the way in which he is torn by his love of the job and his need to let it go. There was a very moving scene in which he spoke of the fact that he could not interfere in moments of history that are fixed in time for a …

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At the Movies

  2012 DIRECTED BY: Roland EmmerichSTARRING: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Oliver PlattCERT: 12A Director Roland Emmerich loves to wreck stuff. And he doesn’t mind if the odd human happens to get in the way.In fact, the man doesn’t seem to be happy unless civilisation as we know it is in grave peril. If it isn’t giant lizards flattening skyscrapers (Godzilla) or aliens hijacking the planet (Independence Day), it’s climate change putting half the world under water and ice (The Day After Tomorrow).How do you top that? Only one thing you can do, really – destroy the place altogether. And so he has.The nail he hangs his movie on is the ancient Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012. The ancients saw it in the stars and sure enough, the sun turns out to be the culprit, overheating the earth’s core until the crust begins to destabilise.Government geologist, Adrian Helmsley …

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On the Couch

Blood the Last Vampire Directed by: Chris NahonStarring: Gianna Jun, Allison Miller, Masiela Lusha, JJ Feild There’s something endearingly weird and cartoonish about Blood the Last Vampire, Chris Nahon’s action/thriller best described as “Blade with a girl in it instead of Wesley Snipes”. A lot of this may stem from the fact that it’s an English-language film based on a weird Japanese cartoon. More, however, is down to the filmaker and cast managing to capture a spirit that eluded the Wachowski brothers when they took their unfortunate swipe at making Speed Racer. Set in the late sixties/early seventies, Saya (Gianna Jun) is a vampire killing half-breed swordswoman who works as an agent for the mysterious Council and searches for the evil uber-demon, Onigen, that killed her father.After insinuating herself into a high school on an American military base, Saya finally gets her chance at revenge but also gets lumbered with looking after the general’s daughter, Alice (Allison Miller), who gets …

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Ennis groups pay tribute to Jackson

  THE Glór Theatre in Ennis will rock to the music of Michael Jackson on Tuesday, November 24, in a special fundraising tribute concert.Five decades of the life and music of the King of Pop will be unfolded during what promises to be a wonderful show performed by the Arch Club in Ennis, Funk Fusion Stage School members from different parts of Munster and the Ennis Gospel Choir.Directing operations for the two-hour show is Marcella O’Sullivan, who runs the Funk Fusion Stage School. A native of Cork and living in Ennis, she explained that for the Ennis tribute concert, three groups – adults and children from different walks of life – are coming together to dance and sing in their tribute to Michael Jackson, who died in June.Rehearsals have been taking place each Saturday since the  beginning of September at Cois na hAbhna and the end product promises to be an enjoyable and colourful show.Thirteen-year-old Mickey O’Donnell from Mitchelstown plays …

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