Clonmel Junction Festival has announced the highlights of the 2011 festival which is focussed on community participation. Each year, the festival has a varied and unique theme which this year celebrates participation and community involvement. The theme weaves its way around the entire programme offering everyone an opportunity to be part of the action. From the community bunting project which creates flags to decorate the town during the festival; to the clowning workshops which culminate in a festival theatre show, the choral work shops concluding with two festival concert performances, or just taking part in one of the many workshops that take place daily in the artist cafes, Clonmel Junction Festival’s is committed to offering the possibility for public participation and community involvement.
The theatre programme has an enticing blend of the established and the emerging, prize winning international shows and premiers of new Irish work to delight all manner of theatre goers. The International Theatre Programme includes the Edinburgh Fringe First Winning production BOUND, a maritime adventure story from Bear Trap Theatre in the UK, Flhip Flhop from Rannell Theatre Company also from the UK, and the captivating Sticks, Stones & Broken Bones, a shadow puppetry show from Mr Bunk. From Ireland Clonmel Junction Festival is delighted to present the World Premiere of Barabbas Theatre Company’s City of Clowns which is being co-produced with the festival and The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead from The Theatre Project.
This year, the festival is expanding its support of young theatre makers with the Emerging Artist Series. The newly formed Cork company Cheery Wild, featuring Clonmel actress Aideen Wylde, will premiere LOVE ALL, a grisly tale of the demise of De Vere Gould, Ireland’s only ever Wimbledon finalist. Entres Les Mots return to Clonmel to premiere their latest creation MA-DAM, after the resounding success of A Spoonful of Silence at last year’s festival, Iranian company Anu Artist Group present TRIO which explores the boundaries the young artists in Iran have learned to live with. The last show in the Emerging Artist Series I AM MAN, recounts the life and imagined loves of a cashier, set at a supermarket check out.
In 2009, Clonmel Junction Festival introduced the innovative Cafes Carte Blanche programme, an initiative whereby empty shops and premises were taken over and converted into artists spaces offering along with a coffee the opportunity to engage in a variety of arts activities. Last year over 6000 people passed through the seven cafes during the nine days they were in operation. This year, CJF has commissioned sound artist Maurice Caplice, writer and social choreographer Jeffrey Gormley, story tellers Nina Tanis and Fiona Dowling, Hip hop and break dance facilitator Banxsy and Clonmel Artist Collective Arthive.
Rock and comedy include Declan O’Rourke and his band, Gemma Hayes, Fight like Apes, Jamie Lawson, and Royseven, whose front man Paul Walsh hails from Clonmel. The world music programme includes Flamenco singer Mary Lambourne, French Cuban band La Zikabilo and Chadian afro pop outfit H’Sao.