Summer festival season has arrived in Cork

In her weekly Theatre Nights column, Jo Kerrigan looks at the highlights this week
Summer festival season has arrived in Cork

COLLABORATION: Musicians Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill have announced a string of shows for later this year, including at Cork Opera House

WE’RE well into the summer festival season!

Clonmel Junction Arts Festival 2021 begins this Satursday, and runs to July 11, with an exciting new pop-up venue — the Junction Dome.

In a programme featuring theatre, music, visual arts, literature and art trails, the festival explores the identity of Clonmel, with a feast of events both in town and online. Artistic director Cliona Maher says she is delighted to be at the helm of the biggest arts event in her native town.

“We were very excited to hear we may be able to have live audiences in our new Festival Dome, as we have some fantastic theatre and music events planned there.”

The programme is designed to explore the identity of Clonmel in creative and innovative ways, she explains. “We want to bring the town to life with our outdoor visual arts installations and audio trails, and all paths will lead to the Dome.”

Cliona Maher, Artistic Director of Clonmel Junction Arts Festival
Cliona Maher, Artistic Director of Clonmel Junction Arts Festival

A Cork actor who has been waiting impatiently for this weekend is Jack Healy, who will be appearing in Luzern: A Folk Tale of Memory, at the festival. The project is a script development by Asylum Theatre which will work through a 3-day residency and culminate in a performance, followed by a Q&A session. It offers a unique glimpse into the making of a new play.

Lots more to enjoy at the festival too, including The Deliciously Scandalous Life and Times of Miss Peg Plunkett, the story of a notorious Georgian madam, which will be viewable online on July 8. Find out everything from the festival website: or, if you prefer, Facebook: /clonmeljunctionfestival



There is an intriguing exhibition in the foyer of the Opera House at the moment where Cork Printmakers are presenting a display of photoetching prints by artist Miriam Hurley. Captured backstage at Cork Opera House over a number of years, Miriam’s images portray the nervous energy and focus of performers “standing by” for their final call to perform.

By witnessing the solitude that performers experience when given their final call, Hurley recorded and portrayed their nervous energy, hidden vulnerability and sense of trepidation. She portrays the disarming moment when performers become detached and alone in the moments before they emerge from the wings onto the stage.

While audiences and performers alike are still standing by to return to our cultural venues, this exhibition gives viewers a sense of the atmosphere and energy behind the scenes at the Opera House.

For more information about the artist and to purchase artwork, visit or contact enquiries

A new single combining the talents of double-platinum-selling Mick Flannery, and Co. Clare newcomer Susan O’Neill, has just been released. Chain Reaction follows their 2020 duet Baby Talk, which won Best Original Song of the Year at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards and has racked up nearly a million streams. Chain Reaction features on their collaborative album, In The Game, set for release in September. Check it out on

The pair have also announced a string of Irish shows this October and December, including Cork Opera House, Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick, and Whelan’s in Dublin. Those dates are on sale now.

It’s all about outdoor activities this summer, and here is advance notice of Cork city’s architecture, design and food festival, Design POP, set to return both to our streets and online on August 27-29.

Over three days, enjoy architecture, food and design through a series of pavilions, events, talks, exhibitions and conversations. This year’s programme is set to be the biggest yet with seven different outdoor pavilions situated in different locations around Cork city. Make a note in your planners!

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more