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Arts & Culture

Fleadh Nua is ‘back, bigger and better than ever’ in Ennis

ORGANISERS of this year’s Fleadh Nua say they are “making up for lost time” with a packed schedule of events planned for when the festival returns to Ennis this weekend. After a two-year break Fleadh Nua will be back on the streets of the county capital for a week of traditional music, song, and dance culminating in three headline concerts at glór over the June Bank holiday weekend. An annual event in Ennis for more than four decades, the Fleadh went online for the last two years due to Covid-19 to ensure the continuity of the event. Now, however, with all restrictions lifted, the ‘Fleadh down in Ennis’ is back, bigger and better than ever, as chairman of the organising committee Frank Whelan explains. “With this year’s Fleadh Nua, we’re making up for lost time, so we have a packed programme of events with everything from concerts, céilithe, singing and storytelling to sessions, film, CD launches and workshops in music, …

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Scene set for Mountshannon Arts Festival

MOUNTSHANNON Arts Festival gets underway this Thursday, May 26, showcasing a wealth of talent and creativity in music, visual art, literature and more.  The theme of ‘Community’ is at the heart of this year’s event, which will involve performances, workshops and exhibitions, running until Sunday, June 6. As always, the festival’s focus will be on erasing the boundaries between artists and audience. Events range from Full Circle Playback Theatre, a songwriting workshop, Origami workshops, a community art installation and the inaugural Mountshannon Maracatu, a family-friendly community parade.  Mel White, Chair of the Volunteer Committee said the return to full, live, in-person activities is particularly welcome after the pandemic restrictions. “We are so excited for this festival after two years of lockdown and we have been supported by the local community in every way,” she said. “We have brought together an eclectic mix of actors, musicians, artists  and creative writers to create an experience like no other this year. We would …

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Cracking climate change creatively in Clare workshop

CLIMATE change and creative responses to it will be the subject of a week-long workshop for young people, taking place in Clare in July. The Rising Tide project was initiated in Lahinch last year by Alex Gill and Maeve Stone of Cracking Light Productions. The event, which took place in May of 2021, invited people to decorate small ceramic boats as a way of reconnecting as a community after lockdown. This year, Cracking Light is inviting young people aged between 14 and 18 to join a local event from July 11 to 15. The Clare-based workshops will involve musicians, filmmakers and artists. It will involve learning new skills and considering responses to climate change, and will put the focus on creating an artwork to be exhibited in Dublin in the autumn. Clare is one of the counties at highest risk from rising sea levels and coastal flooding, but the project aims to find different ways of thinking about and feeling …

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Dinan School of Ballet Follows Yellow Brick Road for Milford

THE Yellow Brick Road leads to glór theatre in Ennis this week as the Dinan School of Ballet hosts their annual production, which this year will see all proceeds donated to Milford Care Centre.   The school’s annual summer show makes a welcome, post-pandemic return, with Over the Rainbow, their own unique adaption of the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz. The two performances, on Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26, bring the talents of students of all ages to the fore with a brilliant mix of dance and drama, creative choreography, colourful costumes and quirky characters, and a guarantee of something for all the family.   Now in its 35th year, the Dinan School of Ballet, founded and run by Niamh Dinan, has, with the exception of over the course of the pandemic, produced a school show every year since 1988. This year will be of particular importance to the entire school community with all proceeds from the shows being donated to support the invaluable …

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Ennis to host 18th European Culture Week this summer

A CELEBRATION of European dance, music and song will be held in Ennis this summer as the county capital has been chosen to play host to the 18th European Culture Week. The five day festival will start in Ennis on August 8. The festival is a celebration of European cultures with eight groups participating from seven European countries. The participating groups are travelling to Shannon Airport from France, Spain, Sardinia, South Tyrol in Italy, Romania, Lithuania and Hungary. Ireland will be represented at the festival by Clanna Mileadha- a group of musicians, dancers and singers based predominantly in County Clare. The European Culture Week is bi-annual festival which returns this summer to Ennis for the first time since 2002 following a two year delay due to Covid restrictions. This festival’s history is particularly special as it was founded in 1986 to promote friendships across cultures and regions within Europe. These groups are coming together to celebrate their unique individuality. Each …

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Call for equality in artists’ income scheme

AN APPEAL has been made for equal access for artists with disabilities to a new pilot scheme introduced to support the sector. At the May meeting of the local authority, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy said she had been delighted to hear Minister Catherine Martin introduce the Basic Income for Artists Pilot Scheme. “This is for those who haven’t been able to perform or create any great income due to the pandemic,” Councillor Colleran Molloy said. “A total of 2,000 applicants at random will be picked to receive €325 per week, paid monthly. This is a very positive thing and it will last for a number of years. “There has been a call from the music and entertainment industry who have highlighted that the scheme will not be applied equally. Those who have disabilities will not be treated equally. “This is a very straight forward motion. It is a call on Department of Social Protection to equalise the application of the …

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Decks and Drums and Rock ‘n’ Roll

THE world’s biggest dance anthems, live tribal drummers and some very special guests are just some of what to expect when Today FM DJ Dec Pierce brings his massively successful Block Rockin’ Beats tour to glór next week. On Friday, May 27, the Ennis venue will host the last date on a tour which has sold out venues throughout the country, with Dec telling The Champion it is “going to be a pretty magic night”. However he won’t be the only DJ on the glór stage that night, as teenage Clare DJs Dave Falconer and Shayne Mulrooney have been invited to perform as the support act for the highly anticipated show. Speaking to the Clare Champion ahead of the gig, Dec told us he is thrilled to be able to give “the next generation” of DJs, an opportunity to perform at the show which also looks set to be a sell out. And he explains how Clare is a “home …

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Wonderland – A Twisted Tale’ by Clare Youth Theatre in glór

IN September 2019, Clare Youth Theatre outlined its plans to work to create a devised production in glór that would be written, directed, produced and acted by the teenage members. On Sunday, May 22, at 7pm this ambition will be realised with the production of ‘Wonderland – A Twisted Tale’. It has been an incredibly difficult time for all of the young people involved, but the show has emerged via Zoom sessions, outdoor meetings with social distancing and in recent times a focus and desire to perform the piece that has been so long in the making. “The young people involved have shown so much resilience, courage, dedication, creativity and sense of humour,” says Siobhán Mulcahy, County Arts Officer. “The essence of Clare Youth Theatre is to work with our young members to give them a voice through drama and theatre to explore issues and items of interest to them.” ‘Wonderland – A Twisted Tale’ is a dark interpretation of Alice …

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