Laois Culture Night programme announced with host of free events

Michelle Hogan


Michelle Hogan

A variety of events are on the cards to bring Laois to life this Culture Night.

The programme for Culture Night in Laois has been released and it is jam packed full of brilliant, free events for everyone to attend on Friday, September 21. 

The Laois Culture Night ambassador is actor Emmet Byrne, a native of County Laois. He most recently starred as Sean Bourke in “Cell Mates” at The Hampstead Theatre, London and in RTÉ’s “Striking Out”.

There is something for everyone this Culture Night in Laois for art lovers, music lovers, history enthusiasts, children of all ages and even those who want to know more about circus skills!

Some of the free events include a guided tour of Emo Court, a pop up art exhibition in collaboration with the owners of Roundwood House in Mountrath, The Ashling Art Group will exhibit their work at the Gallery in Mountmellick Library, there will be music with the residents and friends of St. Vincent’s community nursing unit in Mountmellick, a puppet show and storytime with Julie Rose McCormick in Portarlington and Traditional Evening with Spink Comhaltas to name a few.

The Laois Arthouse will open for a specially commissioned exhibition in honour of Culture Night by Arthouse resident studio artists from Japan, UK and Ireland including Maria O’Brien, Caroline Keane, Jen Donnery, Eriko Yano, Cathy Whelan, and David Tully.

There will be a circus skills performance workshops with Maria Corcoran – including stilt walking, juggling, hula hoop, balance, acrobatics and more for all the whole family to enjoy at The Plaza, Áras an Chontae, from 4:30pm - 5:30pm.

Explore cultural connections at the Parish Centre in Portlaoise through music, dance, conversations and displays in a unique opportunity to explore the many cultures living in Laois, to promote the richness of diversity, sanctuary and inclusion.

Dunamaise Arts Centre will host ‘A Painted Otherworld’ a group exhibition at the Dunamaise Arts Centre curated by Rebecca Deegan. It brings together eight artists working with the medium of paint, from Laois and across Ireland, whose work focuses on the surreal. 

Laois Writers Group will host a Writers Showcase to include local and visiting writers. This event is for anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a writer.

Laois Youth Dance Ensemble is offering an amazing three events in one for Culture Night.

The Mountmellick Embroidery Portlaoise Group will celebrate the completion of a work left unfinished by a former deceased member. The group as a collective have finished this work and will exhibit it at an open evening where the public
are invited to take part or view how this age old craft is made and to encourage new members to join at Parish Centre, Portlaoise.

Catch a performance by singer songwriter James O’Connor and his band at the Dunamaise Arts Centre to showcase new and original work from his forthcoming album, ‘A Cluster of Narratives’. Presented by Music Generation Laois.

In Abbeyleix, celebrate stories from the past as children from primary and secondary schools in Laois will read stories collected during the schools collection initiative in the 1930s and add new stories of their own to this collection. 

Arles Art Group will host an exhibition of Arts and Crafts in the community hall. All exhibits will be the work of members who meet every Monday for classes.Entertainment will be provided by local talent and refreshments will be served.

For gaeilge enthusiasts, enjoy a Pop Up Gaeltacht in Ballyfin - Míle Fáilte do gach duine to come and use cúpla focal in this Bliain na Gaeilge. This will be an informal evening of chat as Gaeilge with cupán tae nó caifé.

Experience a tour of Donaghmore Workhouse led by Trevor Stanley and explore the history of the famine in Laois, and introduce visitors to the great agricultural and country life collection at the museum, reflecting its importance as a farmers’ co-operative in the early years of the State.

Fold and Rise at Castlewood Farm in Durrow, is a perspective on the folding and unfolding nature of time. The metaphor and material of the folding and rising of dough will be used to have a conversation around women, labour, politics and culture in our time and in the adjacent time of Constance Markievicz.

For event times and further details see the full brochure here.