Neil Delamere plays UCH this Saturday evening
Puppets, country music and opera are among this weekend's highlights in Limerick.
You can also see two great comedy shows, revisit the music that made your grandparents sweat and catch one of the few decent tribute bands on the Irish music circuit.
There's lots of variety this weekend!
Thursday (January 16)
The Three Amigos are at the University Concert Hall this Thursday night. Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzell and Patrick Feeney have all had very successful solo careers on the Irish country music scene and a few times a year combine their forces to perform a concert that’s half-country, half-comedy. You can expect a full night of laughter and both of the country music songs you like. There are very few tickets left for this show, so if you’ve a hankering to see it, get your ticket as soon as you can. 8pm, tickets are €32.50.
Friars’ Gate Theatre in Kilmallock is screening Irene’s Ghost this Thursday, part of the First Fortnight mental health festival.
The documentary is the story of a film-maker on a quest to find out more about his mother, who died when he was just three and was never mentioned by his family.
It’s not the heaviest-hitting of documentaries but is a wistfully wonderful watch. As Philip Larkin wrote, your parents may make bits of you, but sometimes they don't mean to. 8pm, tickets are €7.
Friday (January 17)
Portland soprano Nicole Hanig is in St Mary's Cathedral this Friday to perform songs inspired by social justice themes.
Wandering In This Place is a concert that will presumably highlight the history of feminism, class struggle, race battles and forced emigration. You probably wouldn't get that in a Catholic church.
In any case, you're assured of some decent classical music.
Dr Hanig will be accompanied by members of Limerick's Opera Workshop ensemble, so you know it's going to be classy.
It starts at 6pm and it’s a free gig with a retiring collection, which means you can leave a few quid on the way out but nobody's going to burn you if you don't.
People who allow RTE in their house will know Cork comedian Norma Sheahan from every Irish sitcom in the past 10 years, as well as a frequently comic appearance on Ireland's Fittest Family.
She's in the Belltable this Friday with her new comedy show, Heal Your Hole.
You’re probably waiting for me to rise to the bait of the show’s title. I’m not going to do that. As I’ve recently returned to my yoga class and one of the poses is to heel your hole in order to, well, heal your hole, I’m not in any position to laugh at healing any hole.
The show starts at 8pm and tickets are €15 / €13 concession.
The High Kings are bringing their Irish folk ‘n’ roll show to the University Concert Hall stage on Friday night.
They play 13 different instruments between them, usually not at the same time, making them like Prince... but with folk music and with four people.
One of those instruments is the banjo, so this is your legal warning that if you go to this gig you will be exposed to the sound of the banjo and there is no comeback.
They’ve had yet another personnel change since they last played Limerick, losing George Murphy and gaining Laois musician Paul O’Brien, so the reformed quartet will be very eager to show that they’re still the stars of Irish balladeering. 8pm, tickets are €33.
There’s a full weekend of country music at the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare this weekend, kicking off on Friday night with Gerry Guthrie, who’s battled fierce competition to become the finest Irish country singer to emerge from county Mayo.
I can’t name any others, so I assume he killed all the challengers.
He’ll be followed on Saturday night by a double-header of Ciaran Rosney and Stuart Moyles, with the weekend coming to a dramatic pickup-stealing close on Sunday with Derek Ryan. All shows start at 8:30pm and tickets for each night are €15.
Saturday (January 18)
Puppeteer Miriam Lambert is at the Belltable this Saturday afternoon with The Three Little Pigs.
Mammy Pig has raised three fine piglets, all of whom take out loans from the bank to build the houses of their dreams.
Unfortunately, two of them are persuaded by rogue builders that they can get crappy houses made of straw and sticks past the local planning board - and if that wasn't enough to curl your toes, there’s a big bad wolf on the prowl.
He’s probably working for the planning board, so he’s not all bad, but in this story he is.
Lots of fun for children aged three and above and they’ll learn something about decent construction while they’re there. 2:30pm, tickets are €8.
Neil Delamere is making people laugh in the University Concert Hall on Saturday night.
In his 2011 TV show ‘The Only Viking In The Village’, it was revealed that his ancestors poured urine on their clothes.
With a pedigree like that, he’d be a shoo-in for the 2020 US presidential election. But in the meantime he’s got a comedy gig to do. It starts at 8pm and tickets are €25.
Thin Az Lizzy play Dolan’s Warehouse this Saturday night.
Tribute acts don’t usually make it into this column but they’re really fricking good and, as Thin Lizzy’s Philo has been dead for 34 years now, you can’t fault them for doing what they do. Doors at 9pm, tickets are €15.
Sunday (January 19)
It’s showband night at the University Concert Hall this Sunday, with stars of the pre-disco swinging set lining up to remind you of the era when Ireland hadn't yet embraced proper rock & roll.
Red Hurley, Linda Martin and Shaun O’Dowd are headlining Reeling In The Showband Years, the annual tour that will presumably continue until time takes its inevitable toll and they all shuffle off to the great no-alcohol dance hall in the sky.
Ronan Collins compères, as usual, and will insist on singing Joe Dolan songs in his own style. There are worse hobbies, in fairness. 8pm, tickets are €30 / €28 concession.
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!