This theme of this year’s Múscailt Arts Festival is ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’ and features artists at play all over NUI Galway (and beyond).
On Tuesday 11 Feb, A Victorian Funfair will be in situ in the Mechanical Soils lab, a Victorian Building, from 12pm to 5pm, allowing you to enjoy a walk back in time to learn more about the Amazing Victorians, their art, science, literature and pastimes, all recreated with fun and games by the popular new Victorian Society at NUI Galway. Wipe your feet, come on in and have a cup of tea, pies and sumptuous delicacies. NUI Galway knitting and Crochet group have even created an enormous doily named Doily-icious that will hang in Áras na Mac Léinn alongside a group show of staff and student artists entitled ‘Wonder’.
Are you brave enough to have your portrait painted? Well, think how scary it is for the painter? You may not like the portrait, it may not be a likeness, or a monster may emerge. Joe McCaul loves to paint portraits. Throughout the week of the Múscailt Festival, in the midst of students, staff and public, in the atrium of Aras na Mac Léinn, Joe McCaul and his palette knife, paint and easel will paint anyone who will sit for half an hour (twice). This is a chance for Joe to be free, to be an artist at play. He just needs you the public to take part. No pressure. No fee. All the new portraits that he paints during Múscailt will be added to the walls and be on show until 1st. March.
Once again, the Mechanical Soils Lab next to the BOI Theatre, will act as a magnificent Exhibition Space. Here, the works of 3 artists will be on view. NUI Galway is honoured to have, on loan, five large paintings by the late Sharon O’Malley. a singular, internationally established artist with close links to Galway who held a life-long interest in classical mythology. Additionally, Susanne Keane will present ‘Where Sea meets Sky’, an exhibition of atmospheric, abstract, sea-scapes, painted with swathes of bright colours. And Joe McCaul will show a selection of his new and recent portraits and sculptures. Exhibitions will run until 1st. March.
Múscailt will host two special, illustrated, visual art lectures on Wednesday 12th. February 11am-1pm. Joe McCaul,artist, will deliver an illustrated lecture on portraiture entitled ‘Getting A Head’ and Conor Newman, Chair of The Heritage Council and lecturer in Archaeology at NUI Galway will give a presentation on Insular Art (early Medieval), entitled ‘Portraiture through Possessions’. Also Ancient Music Ireland aka Simon O’Dwyer and Maria Cullen O’Dwyer will present and demonstrate a musical exploration through pre-historic instruments up to 700AD on Tuesday 11th. At 8pm in The Cube.. All welcome.
Gums, Galway University Musical Society, will perform the musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, at the Black Box Theatre from 11-15 February. This colourful comedy takes place in the glitz and glamour of the 1920s with frantic preparations for a wedding. Sit back and enjoy great music, with fun surprises and laughs guaranteed. The Witless Band Competition Final takes place in the Student Union Bar with judges AND public vote, while Arts in Action features the remarkable young musician Padraic Keane on uileann pipes, accompanied by his sisters Maisie-Kate and siobhán on fiddles. DJ Society will play at the opening launch on Monday lunchtime and Dansoc will showcase hot off the planet new choreography on Monday evening in a variety of styles, hip-hop, ballet, modern, salsa and Irish Dancing.
Another special event will be Hello, Delia Murphy, a show on iconic Irish ballad singer Delia Murphy, written by her niece Carmen Cullen. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere of the 19402 through songs like If I were a Blackbird, The Spinning Wheel and Lovely Lassies. Hello, Delia Murphy takes place in the BOI Theatre and includes a dramatized reading and family photographs among the songs performed by Carmen Cullen and Máirín ó’Donovan with accompaniament by musician Gerry Anderson. Also in the BOI, in its fifth year, the Solo Show: Múscailt Monologues, presents new writings and performances from NUI Galway’s students and staff and visitors.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde, featuring a powerful performance by Rab Swannock and directed by Sandra Coffey,is back by popular demand after a successful début in the inaugural Oscar Wilde festival last October. This dark and lyrical show takes place on thursday 13th Feb. For more see The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Dramsoc will perform the show Overcast Teacups and Colours Street Theatre will début a new show -The Seat, written and performed by James Fleming.
Múscailt is proud to launch the book, Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo, a children’s story by Lionel Gallagher and illustrated by Marina Wild. Rab Swannock Fulton will read from his sci-fi blog-novel Marcus Marcus & the Hurting Heart.
President James J. Browne extends an open invitation to the public to attend the closing event of Múscailt, ‘The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert’, at 1pm on Friday 14th. February in the Bailey Allen Hall. The specially chosen programme for Valentine’s Day –‘Viennese Classics’ includes works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, performed by ConTempo Quartet.
Special Guests, Triko Cirkus Teatar, from Croatia, who starred in Múscailt 2013 present a new Clown Cabaret- with performers and traditional musicians from NUI Galway featuring alongside Triko clowns in Night of the Living Clown, written and directed by Lee DeLong to a live musical score. The Cabaret, specially prepared for Múscailt will be performed for 3 nights in An Taibhdhearc, under the banner Múscailt-Clown Cabaret, on the later dates of 27, 28 Feb and 1st March, two weeks after the festival. The show is suitable for all ages.
Commenting on this year's line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer says, “Our theme this year, ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’ allows us to look within us, have a laugh and highlight our strengths in all of the art-forms. Everyone is welcome to participate”
All exhibitions are open Monday – Saturday until 1st. March. For up-to-date and further information see www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. For a copy of the programme contact the Arts Office at 493766 or 495098. Tickets for events and info on Society events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Drowsy Chaperone tickets are also available from Town Hall Theatre www.tht.ie or 569777. Múscailt-Clown Cabaret tickets are available from An Taibhdhearc www.antaibhdhearc.com or 562024.