Spring sparkles

Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber

THE Dunamaise Arts Centre will warm up the cold winter nights with its brand new, jam packed programme of events. With everything from theatre, dance, music, film, family events, visual arts and more, there is lots to look forward to at the centre.

Some of the glittering events taking place this spring were kickstarted on January 5 with Les Troyens (Berlioz), a spectacular live production from The Met Opera in New York. This continues with five other wonderful operas including Maria Stuarda (Februrary 10), Rigoletto (Februrary 16), Parsifal (Wagner), Francesco de Rimini (April 7) and Giulio Cesare (April 27).

The spring programme will also include a feast of theatrical productions, including DruidMurphy’s highly anticipated double bill Conversations on a Homecoming and A Whistle in the Dark; Donal O’Kelly’s Joyced!; Silken Thomas’ Mercury Fur; Decadent Theatre’s A Skully in Connemara; Open Door’s It Runs in the Family; The Great Hunger and Portarlington Drama Society’s The Aquinas Moth.

Students and teachers will also be happy to know that a special performance of this year’s Leaving Cert Shakespeare play Macbeth will also be presented by Waterford’s Theatre Royal on January 31.

Musical treats to look forward to at the Dunamaise will include the wonderful one of the world’s most renowned musicians Julian Lloyd Webber, who will wow the crowd in Portlaoise with classics by Bach, Faure, Debussy and more on Sunday 3rd February. Musical fans can also look forward to shows by Irish music legends The Fureys and Davey Arthur, multi-platinum artist Tommy Fleming, Johnny Duhan, The Illegals with Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh and the award winning Laim Lawton.

A fantastic selection of cultural cinema screenings can be looked forward to, as well as screenings for the Elevenses cinema club. Film fans can particularly look forward to George Clooney’s Irish Roots, a documentary that traces the roots of the Hollywood star by his cousin Fiona Clooney from Abbeyleix. IndianFilmFestivalIreland.ie will also present the film Ek Tha Tiger, that was filmed in Dublin earlier this year.

Local stage schools will also present their end of year shows including Showstoppers A Fairy Mixed Up Tale, Harney School of Speech and Drama, Chatterbox School of Speech and Drama, Jesters Stage Academy, Midland Drama School’s Cinderella, Curtain Call Stage School’s Dancing on the Ceiling and Ceiltis School of Speech and Drama. The girls and boys from Aedeen O’Hagan’s School of Ballet will present Tales of Beatrix Potter and Sleeping Beauty on Saturday May 25.

Local schools St Paul’s NS and Emo NS will also present their show Sing and Be Happy on May 9 and 10 and students from Scoil Chríost Rí and St. Mary’s CBS will present Rhythm of the Night from April 16 to 18.

The gallery will be awash with talent with exhibitions by Fiona Clancy, Carol O’Connor, Portlaoise Camera Club and Vauney Strahan from January to April this year.

For the full programme of events visit the arts centre or take a look at the website.

Tickets for all events are now on sale from the box office tel: 057 8663355 or online at www.dunamaise.ie.


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