Ballet Ireland's Swan Lake is one of the highlights of a great weekend in Limerick
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting... I don't want to say “fat” so let’s just say that the goose is eating well and wants for nothing. This weekend in Limerick is packed with so many events that the city’s nightlife would be booming all year long if they weren't forced together in December.
Ballet, dance, thunderous live music and a sassy Christmas drag night make this weekend one of the biggest you’ll see in Limerick all year!
Thursday (Dec 5)
Limerick Youth Dance and 2nd Hand Drills are combining their forces for a free live music and dance performance at Dance Limerick this Thursday at 8pm.
You can expect plenty of accomplished and cheeky dance, backed by plenty of foot-tapping percussion. If going through the welcoming doors of Dance Limerick is too much for you, you can catch the same performance on Cruises Street on Saturday at 3:30pm.
We don’t often get free dance shows in Limerick, so more power to their elbows. And to their feet, obviously, as they’re dancers. Both performances are free, though they’ll take donations, as they're dancers, not idiots.
Former Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt is at the University Concert Hall this Thursday evening to discuss his life and career. Obviously he'll be happy to chat about the three Six Nations championships Ireland won in his period as coach and, despite the local audience, will definitely bring up his Heineken Cup wins with Leinster.
There also might be some mention of that game against Japan. 8pm and tickets are an eye-watering €50, though you get a free copy of his new book with that.
Friday (December 6)
Wild Youth are Live At The Big Top in the Milk Market this Friday night. This time last year I described them as “up and coming” and the Dublin four-piece are still up and coming, though they’ve since supported Westlife in two sold-out shows at Croke Park and taken to the main stage at Electric Picnic.
Their guitar and percussion driven sound isn’t exactly pushing back the frontiers of modern rock music but their sound is catchy and they do a great live show. And that’s pretty much all you want from an outdoor gig. Gates at 7pm, tickets are €25.
Ballet makes a triumphant return to Limerick this weekend, with two performances of Swan Lake at the Lime Tree Theatre by Ballet Ireland. It's arguably the world’s best ballet, a tale of love, betrayal, heartache and a woman forced by an evil genie to live as a swan by day. As you do.
Ballet is usually a time for everyone to dress up well and look their best, though I have to confess that the last time I went to the ballet I wore a hoodie and shorts, as I’m not classy.
Swan Lake is a much darker tale than usual Christmas favourite The Nutcracker but it’s still highly suitable for slightly older children. 8pm Friday and Saturday, tickets are €25 / €20 concession / €85 for a family of four.
Southill Community Drama Group are in the Belltable this Friday and Saturday with For The Love And Honour, a comic night set during the Leaving Cert in the 1970s. It’s at 8pm each night and tickets are €7.
Saturday (Dec 7)
Swingers, jivers and people who like standing next to the wall waiting to be asked to dance: your ship comes into Limerick this Saturday. The Gaff are hosting a 60s Dance Night at St John's Pavilion where you can experience all the joys and fun of the dance halls of yore.
The nostalgic evening will be fronted by jive band Tony And The Bluffers and you'll be expected to dance your heart out until your shoe leather is completely worn away. It kicks off at 5pm, tickets are €5 for adults and just €2 for children.
Limerick Choral Union are performing Handel’s Messiah at the University Concert Hall this Saturday night. In the rest of the world, the Messiah is an Easter performance, despite having next-to-no plot and more key changes than a jailer in an infinitely-sized prison, but in Limerick it has become a Christmas favourite because LCU perform it every two years.
They always manage to give a spectacular rendition of the oratorio and you should definitely experience it at least once. Pro tip: it’s customary to stand for the Hallelujah Chorus, so as soon as everyone starts standing up, that’s your cue. Unless it’s over, then that’s your cue to go home. 8pm, tickets are €25 / €22 concession.
Today FM's Dec Pierce brings his Block Rockin’ Beats show to Dolan's Warehouse this Saturday night. He’ll be joined by the energetic Hit Machine Drummers, whose job it is to tear the building from its foundations.
All the biggest dance hits of the past 20 years, backed by the loudest percussion you’ll hear this side of Sunday. You’re just in time to grab a few late tickets if you get booking right now. Doors at 11:30pm, tickets are €15.
Sunday (December 8)
Blindboy Boatclub brings his podcast tour back to Dolan’s Warehouse this Sunday night. He currently has over a million regular listeners to his weekly meanderings and is consistently in the top 10 of Irish podcasts so this is your chance to see one live.
Podcast tours are odd things - you’re not really getting all that much more than you would from just listening to it on your phone but it’s a handy way to handsomely tip someone whose podcast you really like. Doors at 7:30pm, tickets are €28.
Christmas is a time for pudding and presents and being unduly sarcastic to the person sitting next to you. You’ll get at least one of those at the Holly Jolly Christmas Drag Show this Sunday night in Opium at 101 O'Connell Street.
They promise a jam-packed night of entertainment, though they missed a trick by not specifying what sort of jam. Hopefully damson jam, as that’s the best one. Doors at 8:30pm and tickets are a tenner, with all proceeds going to GOSHH.
The Meruna exhibition is at CB1 until this Sunday. Limerick Printmakers' Winter Fair is at the Belltable until December 17. The Hughie O'Donoghue exhibition is at the Hunt Museum until January 26. The four exhibitions at Limerick City Gallery run until January 26. All free to see.
That's your lot for this weekend and, as always, if you go to things, there will be more things!