John breathes life into Leeside Story

John Spillane, Mario Rosenstock, Pat Shortt and Chris Kent are just some of the acts taking to the stages across Cork in the coming week
John breathes life into Leeside Story
Cork singer John Spillane is at Cork Opera House on March 14.

THERE is a first chance to see new, original work by emerging Irish theatre-makers at the Firkin Crane from tonight till Saturday, as Foregrounds 2019 presents Roots/Routes.

Final year students from UCC Theatre Department have tackled the challenge of adapting pre-existing literary texts to the stage, resulting in four different 30-minute performances. Exciting stuff to see in this historic building. 7.30pm start. Book on www.firkincrane.ie or on 021 450 7487.

The last performance of In Your Face tonight at the Opera House, with Mario Rosenstock showing what made and keeps him at the top. He’s followed by the irrepressible Pat Shortt on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday, Keepin’ It Country brings a superb line-up of stars: Sandy Kelly of Patsy Cline fame, Louise Morrissey, Olivia Douglas, Art Supple, Dermot Hegarty, Brendan Quinn, ex-Dixies lead singer Terry McCarthy, and the one and only Donal Ring Junior on accordion. Bound to be a sell-out that one.

Another packed house is guaranteed on Thursday, March 14, when The Leeside Story hits the stage, as John Spillane takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride through our city’s cultural heritage, with original songs and the unique Cork humour. 8pm start. Call 021 427 0022 or see www.corkoperahouse.ie for all bookings.

You already knew that a special celebratory benefit concert for renowned soprano Cara O’Sullivan is scheduled for Sunday, April 14, since all tickets sold out in a week. The good news is the organisers have arranged a second date the night after, at the City Hall, due to the phenomenal public demand.

The concerts will see a huge number of well-known performers unite to pay tribute to and celebrate Cara’s work, led by sopranos Majella Cullagh and Mary Hegarty. Special guests include Anne Marie Gibbons, Bridget Knowles, Lynda Lee, Kim Sheehan, Owen Gilhooley, Breffni Horgan, Ryan Morgan, Jung Soo Yun, John Spillane, Karen Underwood, Evelyn Grant, David McInerney and Elmarie Mawe, supported by a 50-piece orchestra, conducted by John O Brien and Conor Palliser, with pianists Ciara Moroney and Eleanor Malone.

A wonderful event for a wonderful person. Tickets go on sale at the Opera House from 10am today, so don’t delay!

Seahorse, which opened last night at the Everyman, is a razor-sharp and funny play by award-winning stand-up comedian turned writer Christiane O’Mahony and designer Brian Mitchell. It is about the anxiety of being a woman in modern Ireland, the expectations of family and society, and the awkwardness of being alive, and it continues tonight and tomorrow at 8pm. Over 16 age recommendation.

Cork’s much-loved comedian, Chris Kent, is in on Saturday night with his sixth solo show, Things Are Looking Up, while on Sunday All For Me Grog is a great tribute to the unforgettable Dubliners, performed by The Liberties.

Ballina Arts Centre visit Cork with The Big Fellow, by Declan Gorman. An action-packed drama with a powerful score by Colin Blakey of The Waterboys. That’s March 11-13. Booking for Everyman on 021 450 1673 or www.everymancork.com.

The second Finding a Voice festival returns to Clonmel this weekend. A celebration of women composers, organised by South Tipperary Arts Centre, it marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Italian baroque composer, Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677); the 200th anniversary of the birth of German romantic composer Clara Schumann (1819-1896); and the 70th birthday of renowned Canadian composer Alexina Louie, who will be in Ireland for the first time for a concert of her music.

The festival is commissioning a new work to mark the bicentenary of Schumann’s birth. Intentionally, Finding a Voice 2019 starts on International Women’s Day, which is tomorrow, Mar 8. Details on southtippartscentre.ie.

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