The Royal Moscow Ballet will perform Sleeping Beauty at UCH this Thursday
THIS weekend in Limerick you can indulge in the high arts of opera and ballet, lose yourself in a choral weekend, find yourself through a festival of politics and ideas, discover someone else through theatre and then mosh it all away with one of the finest indie bands to visit Limerick in months. It's a packed weekend ahead!
Thursday (Feb 27)
There was a time when Russia planned on conquering the world through missiles, communism and ballet. These days it’s just ballet - and election interference - and you can see plenty of Russian ballet this Thursday at the University Concert Hall, as the Royal Moscow Ballet will be performing Sleeping Beauty. Now, obviously the "royal" in the company's name is there mainly to make it fancy, as the Royal Moscow Ballet has been in existence only since 2002, a solid 80 years after the last member of the Russian royal family met their end thanks to a hail of revolutionary bullets. The company has a fairly solid pedigree, though, so you're assured that Tchaikovsky's classic tale of a teenager oversleeping will be a joy for fans of all things ballet. 8pm, tickets are €33.50 / €30.50 concession, and if you're happy to sit in the balcony you can get your ticket for €26.
The Limerick Spring Festival of Politics & Ideas is back in the city this weekend, offering three days of workshops, talks and entertainment, all centred around politics and society. You can see the full lineup of events at limerickspring.com and I very much recommend the highlights - Paddy Cullivan's hilarious Ten Dark Secrets of 1798 at the Belltable on Thursday at 8pm (tickets €15), the Our House housing panel discussion in Shannon Rowing Club on Friday at 7pm (tickets €10) and the free exhibition of Alan Kinsella's election ephemera in Ormston House at 6pm on Saturday.
Andrew Maxwell, renowned for his rapier-sharp comedic social commentary, brings his Reality tour to Dolan's Warehouse this Thursday night. His unassuming approach to stage comedy enables him to tackle subjects other comedians skirt away from and his shows are always worth every penny of the ticket price. That will be two thousand pennies this Thursday, as tickets are €20. The show begins at 8pm.
Friday (February 28)
The 2020 Limerick Choral Festival kicks off on Friday night at 8pm in St Joseph's Church with a concert featuring Aoide Voices, the County Limerick Youth Choir and Limerick Chamber Choir. Saturday is the festival's competition day, with 58 choirs hoping that they'll do well and that other singers will fluff a few notes. I suggest that you don't miss the gospel and sacred music competitions, at St Michael’s Church on Saturday at 2pm. If one session isn't enough, you can add the church choirs competition at the Augustinians at 7pm on Saturday. All events are free to see except for the Friday evening concert, which will cost you €15 / €10 concession.
Jon Kenny is at the Glórach Theatre in Abbeyfeale this Friday night with Crowman, Katie Holly's play about Dan Lonergan - farmer, thinker and hater of crows.
As I caught it when it was in the Belltable last November, I'm happy to tell you that Jon Kenny gave the finest stage performance of any play I saw in Limerick last year and you should run rather than walk to get tickets for this show.
It's a wonderful tale of anguish and humour in equal measure and I cannot recommend it enough. 8pm, tickets are €20.
LETSS Rock Dolan's is a fundraising night for Limerick Educate Together Secondary School in Dolan's Warehouse this Friday. It features a packed lineup of some of Limerick's best music acts, including Hedfuzy, Fergal Nash and the O'Malleys. Doors at 8pm and tickets are a tenner.
Saturday (Feb 29)
The Irish National Opera are at the Lime Tree Theatre this Saturday night with Hansel & Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck's marvellous opera about two lost children.
Every once in a while, the INO like to throw traditional operatic settings out the window, so this performance is set in a dank underfunded hotel rather than the usual forest setting.
The undertone is very much a statement on families being forced to live in hotels, though all the arias are the same as usual and, yes, of course there's still a witch and a gingerbread house.
The opera is written about children rather than for children, but if your child is up for a little bit of terror, it's very suitable for them as well. The show begins at 8pm and tickets are €30 / €27 concession. There's also a pre-show talk with members of the cast and crew at 7pm, free to all ticket-holders.
Maura Laverty was one of Ireland's most celebrated writers in the 1940s. These days she's far less-known, partly because Ireland had the nasty habit of banning her novels almost as soon as they were published.
This Saturday night, the Belltable hosts Maura Laverty: This Was Your Life, a play about her rather fascinating journey from broadcaster to novelist to queen of the Irish cooking scene to becoming Ireland's radio agony aunt for thirty years. Starring Bairbre Ní Chaoimh, there's plenty of light wit laced through this play, there might be cake and you'll also get to see an omlette cooked live on stage. Definitely worth seeing. 8pm, tickets are €18 / €16 concession.
Sunday (March 1)
Mancunian pop-rockers Blossoms very deservedly hit the top of the UK charts a few weeks ago with their third album, Foolish Loving Spaces, a blistering return to form after their slightly-derivative second record.
They're one of the most exciting bands on the British indie scene, as comfortable crafting a sound around synths as they are laying guitar riffs to make crowd-pleasing anthems, and you can catch them in Dolan's Warehouse this Sunday night. They'll be supported by up-and-comers The Lanthams from Wigan. Easily the gig you shouldn't miss this weekend. Doors at 7:30pm, tickets are €26.
Elliptical Affinities is at Limerick City Gallery until March 22, joined by extended exhibitions of State Of Print and the Hollander Workshop until the same date. Meandering Inklings is the latest Gallery Interlude at Lucky Lane, open from 7pm this Friday until Monday. All free to see. Best Costume Goes To is at the Hunt Museum until April 14 and will cost you €7.50.
That's your lot for this weekend and, as always, if you go to things, there will be more things!