Culture Unconfined Day #5: “Talk to the dead as you would to the living”

By turning inward towards its own many and varied resources and outwards to its various networks the Institute of Irish Studies’ Culture Unconfined Festival has shown just what latent social value such institutions can bring to bear when even common sense is scarce. When Professor Pete Shirlow flagged it up the week before last, I committed myself on a personal level to watching, listening, and experiencing everything. At just three to four events a day, it was hardly the most …

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Culture Unconfined Day #4: By god, do we need new and gifted storytellers…?

These days people ask what’s the point of theatre, in ways they never did before radio, tv and cinema? It may not be its point exactly, but what defines theatre is: one, it’s live and two, its magic arises from complicity with an audience of real humans. The third theatre in Culture Unconfined is by the Makey Uppers, not be confused with high falutin’ notions of post-truth or rather low brow-ly, fake noos.  Two women and a recasting of thousands …

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Culture Unconfined Day #3: “They made me numb, they made me not feel…”

If there is one theme that linked yesterday’s programme it was ‘recovery’. For Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile it was the discovery of the lives of post-famine Irish immigrants in Philadelphia in over 1200 songs gathered by one priest from people all over Ireland. The delicate paper on which many of the documents were written reflect the passing of a fluent Irish speaking society that was vibrant on arrival. But there’s little evidence that Irish, whilst vibrant amongst first-generation, lasted more …

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Culture Unconfined Day #2: “Only connect… Live in fragments no longer”

One feature of Liverpool Uni’s one-week online festival is just how eclectic it is. It’s an exposition, not a lecture. If you missed Róisín playing in Cardiff yesterday, go back and have a listen. Even if Bach isn’t your thing, the Ciaccona alone at the end is worth it. Documentary Theatre used to be more of a thing in the 1970s.  Judging by the reception of Red Fox Theatre’s Catch of the Day in Dingle, we could do with a …

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Culture Unconfined Day #1: Fishy tales and global wanderings…

O’Searcaigh’s final words in his poem An Tobar, “there will have to be a going back to sources” fits the first day of the Culture Unconfined Festival. In the Catch of the Day documentary, Anna says ‘everyone has a story’, and theirs is a journey home of sorts. Others, today and throughout the week are more biographical and cultural journeys outwards, into the world of contemporary music, classical and traditional, from Co Clare to Los Angeles. Enjoy… 10 am. A …

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