THIS coming weekend in Limerick is so packed with great events that it's impossible to include all of them. Experimental theatre, spectacular aerial dance and the world's best bassist in the city will have you juggling your timetable just to have a chance to make the lot!
And a special welcome to all the new students in Limerick this week. Visit the city, enjoy it, and if you're looking to wear a traffic cone as a hat, check out the king's ransom of cones on Parnell Street near the train station. You're welcome.
Thursday (Sept 12)
Oneday, at the Belltable for one night this Thursday, is a theatre piece probing what happened on a single day in 2012 and how the media covered it.
It's written by Dick Walsh, who's built up a deserved reputation for writing probing experimental theatre about the world and how we perceive it, and co-produced by Pan Pan Theatre, who make left-of-field shows like nobody else in the business.
The last time I saw a Pan Pan performance, I ended up standing on the Abbey Theatre's main stage during the show, looking out at the auditorium.
I can promise you that it will be in your face and weird and will make you think. And isn't that exactly why theatre exists? Never miss a Pan Pan show when it comes to town - you shouldn't miss this. 8pm, tickets are €18 / €16 concession.
Singer-songwriter Emma Langford makes a trip to west Limerick on Thursday night, taking to the stage at the Glórach Theatre in Abbeyfeale. After her summer tour of the US and Europe this year, it's a real pleasure to see Limerick's finest folk singer doing an intimate gig in her home county.
And with her second album on the way, you might be lucky enough to hear a few sneaky tracks from it. This is easily the best entertainment to be had in the west of the county this weekend. 8pm, tickets are €10.
Peter Hook is in Dolan's Warehouse this Thursday night with his band The Light, formed when he decided that he and fellow New Order founder Bernard Sumner couldn't stand to be in the same room as each other.
He'll be playing music from New Order's Technique and Republic albums, which I'd class as being at the shallow end of the pool when it comes to the group's career, though I'm sure someone will eventually shout at me across a crowded room that I'm wrong.
You can also look forward to an opening set of nothing but Joy Division music. Peter Hook is probably the greatest bassist on the face of the planet and has been in two of the best bands the world has ever seen, so this is a must for any fans of 80s synth. Doors at 7:30pm, tickets are €24.50
Friday (Sept 13)
Tommy Tiernan brings his Paddy Crazy Horse tour back to Limerick this Friday and Saturday, with two shows at the University Concert Hall.
Ireland's favourite comedian has been in Limerick more times in the past year than the Minister for Health, which I think means he's now in charge of our local hospitals. You might as well have a laugh while you're on that trolley.
There are very few tickets left for either show and the only tickets left are singleton seats so if you're thinking of a TT date night, best if you bring someone you don't want to sit next to. 8pm each night, tickets are €30.
Fidget Feet Dance Company are at the Lime Tree Theatre this Friday and Saturday with their new show Bingo Wings. Sure, there's a narrative - the show is based in 1974 in a small town where everybody dreams of winning the local bingo jackpot. But that's not why you'll want to go.
You will want to see this show because it blends circus and aerial dance in the trademark Fidget Feet way that has made them the country's go-to aerial squad for everything from the Edinburgh Fringe to Dublin's St Patrick's Day. Friday's show is at 8pm and Saturday's is at 6:30pm. Tickets are €19 / €15 concession.
Dublin three-piece band Gif headline a night of decent indie rock at Pharmacia this Friday. They'll be supported by The Turn and Red Sun Alert. Doors at 8:30pm and tickets are just a fiver.
Saturday (Sept 14)
Saturday entertainment for the kids is back at the Belltable from this weekend, kicking off with puppetry and magic from Tony Baloney and his talking dog Leroy.
The Man Who Was Magic is a fantasy tale about a real magician who visits a small town entirely populated by stage illusionists, teaching them to throw aside their cynicism as there really is a thing called magic.
It's based on the rather wonderful 1966 children's book of the same title by Paul Gallico, usually better known for having also written The Poseidon Adventure. The show is aimed at 4 to 10 year olds, starts at 2:30pm and tickets are €8.
Saint Sister play Dolan's Warehouse this Saturday night. They call their music "atmosfolk" - a mixture of celtic harp, folk music and electropop - and while it might annoy purists, their debut album last year was a wonderful blending of vocal harmonies, harp music and drum machines.
Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty aren't sisters and they may or may not be saints but their music is about as close to heaven as you can possibly get as long if you want an ethereally spooky soundtrack for the trip. Highly recommended. Doors at 8pm, tickets are €20.
Sunday (Sept 15)
There's a family fun day at Coolcappa GAA Field this Sunday, offering a full afternoon of bouncy castles, egg & spoon racing and, of course, cake. It's a fundraiser for the Ardagh astro-turf pitch fund. It runs from midday on and entry is free.
Sheila Richardson's Hetertopias exhibition is at Limerick Museum till September 27. Mariele Neudecker's Sediment exhibition is at the Limerick City Gallery until November 17.
Both free to see. Tickets are €10 for the Lavery & Osborne: Observing Life exhibition at the Hunt Museum, which runs till September 30.
That's your lot for this weekend and, as always, if you go to things, there will be more things!