05 Jul 2022

Eigse festival in Limerick town promises to be vantastic as it goes virtual

Eigse festival in Limerick town promises to be vantastic as it goes virtual

Donal Ryan is one of the headline attractions at this year's Eigse Michael Hartnett

FESTIVAL in a Van is Eigse Michael Hartnett’s novel response to Covid-19 restrictions and it will bring live entertainment to audiences in the grounds of the Desmond Castle, Newcastle West this weekend.

Beginning at noon on Saturday, and taking place every hour on the hour, there will be four half-hour sessions of music with Trevor Sexton, story-telling from Michael Rowsome and poems by Stephen Murphy.

All of the performances will be from the back of a purposely converted van with strict limits of 15 audience members – in compliance with current public health guidelines.

The performances will also be live-streamed online for those who cannot attend in person.

The Festival in a Van concept is led by a team of theatre professionals and supported by Creative Ireland and the performers are all Limerick based.

The Saturday afternoon gigs are part of the exciting, live and streaming programme put together by the Eigse Michael Hartnett Committee which will include readings by internationally renowned authors Colum McCann and Donal Ryan.

Prominent journalists and writers Rachael English and Billy Keane; Limerick novelist Helena Close and poets Thomas McCarthy, Sinéad Morrissey, Geraldine Mitchell, John W Sexton, Annemarie Ní Churréain and Dean Browne will also deliver readings during the festival.

In addition, there will be a special reading by the winner of this year’s Michael Hartnett Poetry Award which the organisers are delighted to announce is Eva Bourke from Galway.

The award, for her collection SEEING Yellow, will be presented this Thursday, the opening night of Éigse Michael Hartnett, which will be live-streamed to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

In their citation, this year’s judges – poets Thomas McCarthy and Geraldine Mitchell – described Seeing Yellow as “stunning“ and “one of the most satisfyingly assembled collections of recent times.”

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