Theatre: Spring Awakening

The latest production from Dublin’s exciting Ill-Advised Theatre Company promises to build on the outfit’s reputation for fun, fresh and accessible musical theatre with a spirited take on the much-loved rock musical Spring Awakening at the Smock Alley Theatre. A thrilling, funny and occasionally dark coming-of-age tale set to a brilliant rock score, Spring Awakening’s heady mix of indie rock and teenage rebellion in late-nineteenth century Germany is as inspired as it is unlikely. The original Broadway production of Spring Awakening opened in 2006 and went on to win widespread acclaim and a slew of prizes, including 8 Tony Awards and a Grammy for the original cast album. Nearly a decade later, after numerous productions across the globe including an award-winning West End run in 2009, Spring Awakening still feels ground-breaking. Director: James O’Connor Choreographer: Lesley Moore Lighting Designer: Caoimhe Ní Fhaoláin Set & Costume Design: Fiona Patten Music Director: Sinéad Diskin

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Theatre: Spring Awakening

The latest production from Dublin’s exciting Ill-Advised Theatre Company promises to build on the outfit’s reputation for fun, fresh and accessible musical theatre with a spirited take on the much-loved rock musical Spring Awakening at the Smock Alley Theatre. A thrilling, funny and occasionally dark coming-of-age tale set to a brilliant rock score, Spring Awakening’s heady mix of indie rock and teenage rebellion in late-nineteenth century Germany is as inspired as it is unlikely. The original Broadway production of Spring Awakening opened in 2006 and went on to win widespread acclaim and a slew of prizes, including 8 Tony Awards and a Grammy for the original cast album. Nearly a decade later, after numerous productions across the globe including an award-winning West End run in 2009, Spring Awakening still feels ground-breaking. Director: James O’Connor Choreographer: Lesley Moore Lighting Designer: Caoimhe Ní Fhaoláin Set & Costume Design: Fiona Patten Music Director: Sinéad Diskin You can book tickets here

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Film: Luna Cinema at Madison

Recent years have seen the phenomenon of open-air cinema take off across the UK and Luna Cinema has been at the forefront of a burgeoning trend that looks set to take 2015 by storm. Watching a film with a roof over your head is so last year. Luna Cinema is the country’s leading producer of open-air cinema events, having won a reputation for laying on some seriously special settings for their al fresco film nights in recent years. This summer Luna Cinema is set to up the ante by offering an especially impressive programme of screenings across London. Venues include some of the capitals most picturesque and noteworthy sites, including Regent’s Park, Alexandra Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens and Crystal Palace Park. But some of this summer’s hottest tickets will for a series of screenings at One New Change, where film buffs are granted a chance to enjoy a selection of cult classics complete with St Paul’s Cathedral making a welcome cameo appearance as a stunning backdrop. These exclusive screenings will take place at the Madison Rooftop Bar and Restaurant and come complete with a 3-course moviegoers menu that’s guaranteed to beat a bucket of popcorn. First up is last year’s Oscar winning black comedy Birdman on 26th July.

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Art: PhotoIreland Festival 2015

Ireland’s only dedicated photography festival return’s for it’s sixth year and promises another rich and varied programme of photography and image culture, spread across 40 different locations. Alongside more established exhibition spaces like the Gallery of Photography and the National Photographic Archive, PhotoIreland shows can be encountered in unique settings like the National Botanic Gardens and Dún Laoghaire Pier. As ever the festival will showcase a diverse mix of photographers including up and coming talents and internationally esteemed artists. Among this year’s most notable exhibitions is Under the Influence by award winning artist Dominic Hawgood, which utilises moving image and CGI alongside photography to examine the use of exorcism in London churches, and Christiane Peschek’s 13 Kinder, that explores the imaginative world of thirteen orphans aged between 4 and 10. Further highlights include Korea Special, a fascinating survey of contemporary Korean photography and Island — Australia, which explores some of the most exciting work currently emerging from Australia.

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Art: Stephen McKenna: Perspectives of Europe 1980 – 2014

Charting Stephen McKenna’s experiences of living in a variety of European cities between 1980 and 2014, this retrospective provides a fascinating insight into the on-going themes that continue to characterise the former Turner Prize nominee’s work. The artist’s interest in a variety of natural and built environments such as cityscapes and parks can be seen across an accomplished collection of figurative paintings that draw on McKenna’s six decade-long career and show off a rare mastery of his chosen medium. Form, precision and compositional sophistication are McKenna’s hallmarks and Perspectives of Europe 1980 – 2014 is a wonderful opportunity to survey some of his finest work. Director, Barbara Dawson, said: “His is a keen and original vision which is informed by his metier –the millennia of Western mythology and its history. Alongside his paintings of cities, in this exhibition there is a focus on the artist’s love of nature in his depictions of foliage. He delights in opening his and our eyes to the poetry contained in their painterly representation – ordinary and extraordinary in their compositional structures”.

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Comedy: The Vodafone Comedy Festival

The Vodafone Comedy Festival has quickly garnered a reputation for packing a truly formidable number of world-class comedy talents into a long weekend that pretty much guarantees laughs – whatever tickles your funny bone. True to form this year’s programme is packed with some of the biggest names in comedy. As ever, a winning lineup of top Irish stand-ups will be representing the local comedy scene alongside a variety of international comedy stars from further afield. The likes of Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, David O’Doherty, Andrew Maxwell, Deirdre O’Kane and PJ Gallagher will ensure that Irish comedy is especially well represented on a fantastic bill that also boasts big names like Jon Richardson, Reginald D Hunter, Nick Kroll, Adam Buxton, Tim Vine and Adam Hills. Dublin’s beautiful Iveagh Gardens is the perfect setting for a weekend to remember and with over 20,000 festivalgoers expected this year’s Vodafone Comedy Festival looks set to be one of the summer’s biggest and best parties.

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Theatre: Songs for a new world

Triple-Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World comes to the St. James’ Theatre for 3 weeks only! Celebrating 20 years since its first performance Off-Broadway with an all-new London production. Starring a multi-award-winning cast: Cynthia Erivo Damian Humbley Dean John-Wilson  Jenna Russell  Directed by Adam Lenson Songs for a New World takes us on a vibrant, thrilling and moving journey through the life-changing moments that define us.  Jason Robert Brown’s unforgettable songs weave characters, locations and time periods together in one extraordinary evening… “It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” Jason Robert Brown This very special 20th Anniversary production features electrifying vocals from a multi-award-winning cast and a stunning five piece band.  Bringing Brown’s sensational score to life… From the celebrated composer-lyricist of The Last Five Years, Parade, Bridges of Madison County, 13 and Honeymoon in Vegas. ‘One of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim’ Philadelphia Inquirer ‘These are songs to pierce the heart and raise the rafters.’ The Hollywood Reporter Performance times: 7:30pm Monday to Friday, 3pm Wednesday and Saturday matinee Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes without an interval Originally Produced by the WPA Theatre, New York City, 1995 (Kyle Renick, Artistic Director) Original Orchestration by Brian Besterman and Jason Robert Brown Presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of New York TO BOOK TICKETS PLEASE GO TO: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/theatre/songs-for-a-new-world/

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Festival: Greenwich Music Time

Greenwich, the pleasant Thameside district of East London that’s most notable for being the home to Greenwich Meantime (and consequently a sort of timekeeper for the entire globe) has set aside a few days this summer to forget about the whole time thing – always important when you’re hosting a party – and play host to one of the capital’s most exciting and star studded music festivals. Back for 2015 after a successful debut last summer, Greenwich Music Time will once again dedicate four days to a programme of top-notch concerts that seem certain to transform Greenwich from the world’s centre of timekeeping to the home of truly timeless music. If you’re after bona fide musical greats then this corner of East London will be hard to beat this summer. Tom Jones headlines alongside the Gipsy Kings, George Benson and Ray Davies, one of London’s true pop legends, who’ll be bringing his Waterloo Sunsets a little upriver this summer.

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Theatre: Dubliners – A Full Day’s Epic

Few cities can match Dublin’s remarkable literary history. Yet one book stands apart as the most treasured literary portrait of the city – James Joyce’s wonderfully evocative masterpiece Dubliners. A collection of fifteen short stories, first published in 1914, Dubliners presents a tender portrait of Ireland’s capital via a series of brilliantly naturalistic character studies. Of course, in the hundred years since Dubliners was first published the city has changed enormously, and yet and echo of Joyce’s Dublin can still be heard today. Wonderland’s inspired Dubliners audio tour is a wonderful way to amplify that faint whisper and animate the city with brilliantly performed passages from the book. The Dubliners – A Full Day’s Epic tour is the longest and most immersive tour available, promising an illuminating 9-10 hour ramble through Joyce’s Dublin, mostly on foot and taking in three pub-based story stops. “It’s a joyous celebration not just of Joyce but of parts of Dublin that many natives, never mind tourists, rarely see…Joyce would love it.” Arminta Wallace, Irish Times.

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