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24 May 2022

Laois town set to ignite with live entertainment in the great outdoors

Laois town set to ignite with live entertainment in the great outdoors

Some of the acts to feature

Celebrating the return of audiences to the arts, Dunamaise Arts Centre is proud to present A Sunday Afternooon in Mountrath as part of re:CENTRING Laois project.

Funded by the Arts Council’s Faoin Spéir/In the Open initiative in collaboration with Laois County Council and Music Generation Laois the event takes place on Sunday, March 27 between 2 and 6pm.

Laois musician Kean Kavanagh who shortly embarks on an Irish tour and performs at Electric Picnic 2022, will join a host of other artists on the day with an eclectic range of music, visual arts, theatre and dance providing the entertainment.

Featuring free live and In the Open, artists Mick O’Dea, Ella de Burca and Dermot Claffey will display their work and present masterclasses for onlookers. A specially built stage will feature performances by Dancers Jean and Ciara Kennedy, musicians Kean Kavanagh and Jonathan Murray and actors / theatre writers Jimmy Kavanagh and Emma Finnegan, all curated by Kevin Kavanagh.

The Bandwagon will also be parked up in Mountrath with performances by the re:CENTRING Ensemble musicians, presented by Laois School of Music and Music Generation Laois.

Shannon Street will be a hive of activity and as Sunday 27th March is also Mothers Day, this will be the perfect opportunity for members of the community to stroll through Mountrath and explore and enjoy the arts on their doorstep!

The festivities in Mountrath will kick off at 2pm with Mick O’Dea, an award-winning and highly renowned artist, born in Co. Clare but no stranger to Laois. Mick will be under a marquee between 2 and 6pm, painting portraits of two of the most active members of the community in Mountrath – publican Johnny Purcell and Niamh O’Hara.

On stage at 2pm will be the Kennedy Sisters. Jean and Ciara Kennedy from Mountrath started Irish dancing in St. Fintan's Hall when they were just three years old. They danced competitively with The Lynam School of Dance for over 20 years, winning All Ireland and International titles. The pair started dancing professionally during their degrees in Dublin City University and have been gigging all over the world since.

Both school teachers, the sisters are also completing their TCRG examinations to qualify as Irish dance teachers and look forward to inspiring the next generation. The Kennedy sisters are delighted to get the opportunity to perform at Faoin Spéir for their family and friends.

The Union Key Quartet will take to the stage at 2.45pm. This quartet are a new, young group made up of musicians from across Ireland. Each member is a student studying Music at Cork School of Music, Located at Union Quay, Cork City. The band performs Jazz Fusion and Classic Jazz Standards. Members include Jonathan Murray (Piano), Daniel Brazil (Drums), Michael Riordan (Bass), Darach O’Torna (Saxophone).

At 3.30pm, Theatre Maker Jimmy Kavanagh will perform a piece he prepared especially for Faoin Speir / In the Open Mountrath, with Emma Finnegan.

At 4.15pm, artist Ella de Búrca will take to the stage. Ella works through performance, sculpture and poetry to focus on how humans construct meaning, particularly from a female perspective. She is especially interested in how we perform as 'viewer,' and the discourse surrounding active versus passive experiences. She will perform on the stage at 4.15pm.

Music fans will eagerly be awaiting a performance at 5pm by Kean Kavanagh, from Portlaoise, who performed at Electric Picnic in 2019 and is set to perform there again in 2022, following his Irish tour this spring. A long-time collaborator with Dublin artist, Kojaque, who he tours with in the US and Canada this May, he has also performed at Glastonbury, Other Voices and All Together Now as well as warming up for Lana Del Rey in Dublin.

Cofounder, producer and A&R of Irish Label Soft Boy Records, Kean, had previously pulled the strings behind the scenes; but is now becoming one of the most exciting names on the emerging music scene. A story-teller, word-smith and dexterous musician with a strong imagination, Kean’s career is set to project far beyond his Irish roots.

A sculptural installation piece by artist Dermot Claffey will also feature on the day in Mountrath.

re: CENTRING is a county wide arts initiative developed by Dunamaise Arts Centre, in partnership Music Generation Laois and Laois Arts Office and is funded by the Arts Council Ireland’s In the Open / Faoin Spéir programme and Laois County Council.

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