Festival director Nollaig Healy.
Home grown talent is to be granted a platform to perform at this year’s Clonmel Junction Arts Festival which kicks off on Monday.
Festival Director Nollaig Healy said everybody involved was very excited about delivering such a great programme of events to Clonmel.
“It’s been a year in the making now and the final finishing touches are being made on the Festival now; the signs and banners are up, the artists are beginning to arrive and it’s all hands on deck,” said the festival director.
She said it was important to promote local talent during the festival and they set about ensuring that talented locals were at the heart of the event.
“We are so proud of the line-up this year and shining a spotlight on our Home Grown Heroes. We have been able to give a platform to over 25 local actors, artists, and entertainers this year- some have grown up with the Festival so I’m especially proud of them. “ said Nollaig.
She said there was a very attractive programme of events bringing t heatre, music and the arts together to provide a quality programme with something for everybody.
“In terms of theatre, my highlights that I am particularly excited about include Oliver award winner Pat Kinevane who is bringing Fishamble’s three one-man shows to Clonmel- he is one of the most incredible performers I have ever seen, and his shows are very powerful and moving; Tumble Circus’s Unsuitable in the Big Top in Kickham Barracks will be amazing, these guys are just so talented and put on a spectacular high-flying show; Joanne Ryan’s one woman show Eggsistentialism is intelligent and funny; Timmy Creed’s Spliced takes a trip to the heart of a hurling life; and local director Jack Reardon’s Pests will be one of the hidden gems of the Festival.
In terms of music, we have our Home Grown Heroes- the legendary Philip Donnelly, the extraordinarily talented Ruairi De Leastar, and Pale Rivers (whose tracks you will have heard on all our radio ads and video promos!)- The Ruby Sessions are doing a once-off out of Dublin gig in beautiful Old St Mary’s Church- this really is one of the main platforms for emerging singer songwriters in Ireland and everybody from Ed Sheeran to Paul Brady have performed there; and the 6pm Series in Bakers will be the perfect start to a great evening’s entertainment, with performances from Thanks Brother, the new band from Roisin O (daughter of Mary Black), Dreaming of Jupiter and David Keenan.
We have a full art programme with free exhibitions in the County Museum, the Narrow Space, the Main Guard, and South Tipperary Arts Centre, while James Earley, the mural artist, is coming back to work his magic on a number of locations around the town Maurice Caplice is making River Animals to populate the town and encouraging the people of Clonmel to add their own finishing touches to the animals during festival week; Pat Looby has been working with local school children to make a tapestry for the Kickham Barrack’s church; and master artists Cleary Connolly will be holding a week long residency in the South Tipperary Arts centre” said Nollaig.
There is also plenty to do for free for all the family. Among the highlights will be the Camida Street party on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with free food and entertainment on Mitchell Street, and then on the Saturday there is a Family Fun Day with a retro twist where there will be an egg and spoon race, tug of wars and dancer in residence Olywn Lyons will be facilitating a Jane Fonda style workout. Don’t miss lunchtimes Under the Arches and special free events each day at The Showgrounds Shopping Centre including Lego Workshops for the little ones on Saturday and Sunday.
Finally, don’t miss Stephen James Smith and Little John Nee at the Main Guard. After stealing the show at our programme launch in May, we are sure this unique performance from two of Ireland’s top wordsmiths will be one to talk about for years to come.