The Shakespeare Sessions

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - Thursday, April 4, 2019 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Shakespeare Sessions are entertaining and engaging student-centred performances of Shakespeare texts. Each performance includes a scholarly review clarifying the main themes as well as discussions with the students and the opportunity to participate. Cyclone Rep’s Shakespeare Sessions will guide Junior Cert and Leaving Cert learners in their understanding of The Bard’s masterpieces. Cyclone Rep is delighted to come once again to Town Hall Theatre, Westport this year with four different offerings: The Hamlet Session – Cyclone Rep’s Hamlet Session takes a fresh look at Hamlet and asks does Hamlet actually go mad or is it an elaborate strategy? The Macbeth Session – Come and solve the puzzle that is Macbeth! The mystery and magic of The Scottish Play as you’ve never seen it before!, The Romeo & Juliet Session – modern performers are directed on stage by the bard himself whose 16th century attitudes and demeanour clash with today’s: arguments, discussion and enlightenment ensue; and The Merchant Session – the most interactive of Cyclone Rep’s shows, with an entertaining and informative synthesis of analysis and performance, highlighting what a fine comedy it is.

Welcome To The Stranger

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 8:00pm

Ballina Dramatic Society in association with Keepsaketheatre presents Welcome to the Stranger – a new play inspired by the eye-witness accounts of an extraordinary American woman, Asenath Nicholson, who travelled through Ireland during the Great Famine. For this unique production, playwright Rua Breathnach has teamed up with critically-acclaimed Belgian director, Rémi Beelprez. Using a cast of 19 non-professional actors, they have created an epic play that offers new perspectives on the most traumatic event in modern Irish history.

“Rua Breathnach’s epic play Welcome to the Stranger … draws you gently and with grim humour, into the lived experience of the Famine.” Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent “With a strikingly original staging by [Belgian director] Rémi Beelprez, this production re-imagines the Famine from the perspective of a uniquely-place outsider.” West Cork People

Acoustic Yard Music Festival – May

May 10th-12th, 2019

A real draw for singer/songwriters, the Acoustic Yard Music Festival has grown bigger and bigger since it first started out in 2016. In just three years, it grew to feature as many as 30 singer/songwriters from Ireland and beyond who performed around the town in bars, cafés and open-air locations and dedicated venues. Headliners have included Duke Special, Declan O’Rourke, Mundy and the 4 of Us.

The roots of the festival can be traced to The Acoustic Yard – a monthly singer/songwriter session in the Yard Bar of Matt Molloy’s Bar on Bridge Street. Here, musicians were given a platform to perform their own songs, while appreciative audiences got the chance to hear original music in a relaxed environment. The organisers’ key aim was – and remains – to help support, stimulate and invigorate the art of songwriting, while ensuring musician and listener alike have a good time.

Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival

7th-9th June, 2019

Every June, Westport hops, whoops and hollers to the sound of folk, bluegrass and old-timey music. Established in 2007, the festival has gone from strength to strength and is now considered by many as the highlight of the bluegrass calendar in Ireland, attracting large numbers of overseas visitors year after year.

Featuring acts from America, the UK, continental Europe and of course Ireland north and south, the festival spans three days – and each year the music menu features dozens of gigs (many of them free), as well as plenty of jam sessions, masterclasses and workshops. There’s even a luthiers’ showcase, featuring local instrument makers’ work, and a programme of concerts and workshops specifically for kids.

The Matchmaker

SATURDAY, 15 June, 2019 8:00pm

After a SELL OUT show in June 2016 and another SELL OUT in October 2018 THE MATCHMAKER based on the novella “Letters of a County Matchmaker” by JOHN B. KEANEone of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, will return to the Town Hall Theatre, Westport on Saturday, October 6th, 2018 The production stars television favorite Mary McEvoy known for her roles as Biddie in the long running RTE series “Glenroe”. Irish Actor and comedian Jon Kenny who was part of the Irish comic duo “d’Unbelievables” with Pat Shortt joins Mary to complete the cast. Kenny is also best known outside Ireland for appearing in the Channel 4 sitcom “Father Ted”. Together they play a myriad of characters in this hilarious and earthy dramatic comedy. The play follows the efforts of Dicky Mick Dicky O Connor to make matches for the lonely and lovelorn. Keane, an avid observer of people and the cultures that bind and create their view of the world uses “The Matchmaker” as an exploration of rural loneliness. Aware that generations of people became masters of their own destinies late in life, and only then began to look for companionship and love, once their duties as minder of aging parents were concluded or they had finally inherited or were the left over brother or sister. Using his inimitable way with words and his own sense of “devilment” and wit, Keane delves into the longings, hungers, fears and foibles of this collection of lonely county people and creates a marvelously colorful world, taking us back to a simpler time, when phones were few and far between and the only web was one left behind by spiders.

The Don Baker Band Summer Tour

SATURDAY, 22 June, 2019 8:00pm

Born and bred in Dublin, Don Baker first learnt to play harmonica as a young lad in hospital recovering from a bout of TB. While convalescing, unable to go out like the other boys of his age, he immersed himself in The Blues and most especially The Blues Harmonica listening to the recordings Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf. Fifty years on and Don is still immersed, still listening, still performing to the songs of Blues legends and adding to the Blues canon with songs and compositions of his own as he developed his talent from musician to gifted songwriter in his own right. Indeed, his songs have been recorded by scores of other artists including Sinead O’Connor, Charlie McCoy, Finbar Furey, Declan O’Rourke and Liam O’Maonlaoi. He has released fifteen albums and shared stages with Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor and Van Morrison. As an actor Don played opposite three-time Oscar Winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “In the Name of the Father” and in “Mia, Liebe meines Lebens” opposite Claudia Cardinale while on television he portrayed gangster Thomas Flynn in RTÉ’s “Fair City”. But it is while performing on stage, back immersed in The Blues that Bono’s favourite harmonica player really comes to life. Don is first and foremost a true entertainer.

Hurricane Highway

FRIDAY, 2 August, 2019 8:00pm

Hurricane Highway is an exciting Irish band featuring an American style of country rock. Based out of Ireland, they were formed in 2014 and released their first single ‘Your Man’ to great critical acclaim and this became a radio hit very quickly. This was followed by the release of ‘Yeah’ which also received high levels of air play. Hey Pretty Girl, their next single release was accompanied by a beautiful video which featured an older man looking back on his life. This has already touched over half a million people and won the Irish TV Country Music Award for Best Video of the Year 2016.

An EP CD was released shortly after the release of the Hey Pretty Girl single with all their hit singles largely to meet the demand from radio stations to have back catalogue and a data base of their single because of requests from the public. Then came the release of ‘Keep Them Kisses Comin’ which catapulted Hurricane Highway to new heights and the accompanying video has already reached around a million hits on YouTube.

This was helped by the amount of air play and the exposure of their videos on TV and satellite channels including Sky Ch. 191, Sky Ch. 266, and Sky Ch. 389. Not to mention an appearance on the Ray Darcy Show on RTE One TV and being play listed on RTE Radio 1 in the first instance. National exposure on top of regional radio air play has driven national awareness and recognition for the band. Hurricane Highway won Video of the Year in 2017 for a second year in a row at the Irish Country Music Awards in Armagh. They were also nominated for Best live band and Album of the Year for their EXPOSED album. Hurricane Highway were one of the headline acts at the Harvest 2017 Music Festivals in Enniskillen and Westport for which they received great feedback from both audience and artists alike.

This will be their 3rd performance at the Westport Theatre.

Inside Out – Adult Community Dance Workshop

April 6, 2019 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Time: 11:30am to 12:30pm (room open from 11:15am) Venue: The Top Floor Room, Westport Town Hall Theatre. Cost: €10 per person per workshop pay as you go. Drop In – no booking required. Accompanied by an eclectic mix of music, these dancers led contemporary style creative movement and dance workshops for over 18s, are suitable for anyone who likes to move and dance. No previous experience needed. Explore your creativity through movement and dance or If you are simply looking for a fun relaxed workout you can do at your own pace, this might be for you. Come along prepared to move in lots of different ways, for the hour. Wear loose fitting easy to move in clothing and clean supportive indoor footwear or go barefoot. If you wish, bring along a mat and socks for floorwork.

Flat Spin – A play performed by Kilmeena Drama Group

THURSDAY April 11,2019 8:00pm-10:30pm

After several sell-out years in the Town Hall, Kilmeena Drama Group is on the boards again. This time with the hilarious farce ‘Flat Spin’ by Derek Royale. Set in London in the 1960s it’s a frenetic tale of fast paced confusions and laugh a minute misunderstanding. The combination of a mouse, an aspiring model, an out-of-work actor, an incompetent electrician, an Italian film director who can’t speak English and a walk-in cupboard make for hilarious situations which will leave the audience gasping for breath. Add to that an eccentric advertising agent, a bargain hunting busybody, a cheeky young photographer and a pompous ex-army brigadier all wandering in and out at inappropriate moments and you have a recipe for hilarious fun and games. Mistaken identities and cover-ups abound in this uproariously funny farce revolving around the frantic efforts of a young out-of-work actor and his attractive wife who need to keep their marriage a secret so that she can take a much neede d job. A ‘body’ and a police investigation only adds to the confusion – not to mention the comings and goings of a visiting young actress. ‘Flat Spin’ is classic British farce at its very best – good, old-fashioned fun and laughter not to be missed. So find the time to get to Westport Town Hall Theatre at 8.00pm on Thursday 11th or Friday 12th April and prepare yourself for an evening of laugh out loud comedy!

Idlewild

SATURDAY, 11 May, 2019 8:00pm

Dublin 2018 – After a bitter gangland feud between two childhood friends has reached a deadly impasse, only a terrifying sacrifice can end the bloodshed. As the streets of Dublin play host to a bitter gangland feud, two former best friends, now rival gang leaders, meet over the grave of their best friend to finally end the bloodshed. Written by Jimmy Murphy, author of the acclaimed Kings of the Kilburn High Road and starring Rex Ryan and Ruairi Heading, IDLEWILD is a moving tale of betrayal, revenge and forgiveness for the times we live in.

‘This two hander will have you at the edge of your seat’ – Fiona Charleton, The Sunday Times ‘A wonderful, important play… with devastating, seminal performances from Rex Ryan and Ruairi Heading’ – Emer O’ Kelly, The Sunday Independent ‘This spellbinding 90 minutes builds to a dramatic finale’ – Katy Hayes, Irish Independent Show of the Week ‘The writing is sharp and witty, chilling in its reality and graphic detail’ – Michael Moffat, Mail on Sunday.

Westport Food Festival

SATURDAY, 14-16 June, 2019

The annual Westport Food Festival treats locals and visitors to a truly tantalising smorgasbord of local food and drink over the course of a June weekend. Events include talks, food demos, workshops, a banquet, al fresco dining events, a food village, gin appreciation classes, wine tastings, tours and foraging. The festival is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with local producers, and a mouth-watering chance to taste local produce, from oysters, mussels and mackerel to boxty, black pudding and beer.

Seán Keane in Concert

SATURDAY, 14-16 June, 2019

After an unprecented 10-night sellout run in the summer of 2017 and a subsequent sellout run in the summer of 2018, Seán Keane will bring his very popular concert to Westport Town Hall theatre every Thursday commencing July 4th to August 29th. Seán will be joined by Pat Coyne, Fergus Feely, David Doocey and Stephen Doherty Seán Keane from County Galway is described as the “Greatest musical find of the 90`s” – The London Independent. Traditional Irish, folk and even country and blues songs all lend themselves to his unique style and unforgettable voice. Growing up in a family of singers and musicians, Seán learned the Sean-Nós style of singing from his mother and his aunts.

Singing was his life, even in early childhood; by the time Seán reached his teens, he had collected thirteen All-Ireland medals in Fleadh Ceoil competitions. He was by then an accomplished whistle and flute player as well and had taken up the Uilleann Pipes and Bodhraun. When he joined his first group, `Shegui`, he had already served a long apprenticeship; after travelling throughout Europe with the band, he left to join `Reel Union`, a group which also featured sister Dolores and accordion player Máirtín O`Connor. Later, he was part of `Arcady`, with such well-known names as Johnny `Ringo` McDonagh, Sharon Shannon and Frances Black.

After a short flirtation with the theatre when he played in the Druid production of the `Midnight Court` and the Abbey Theatre`s `Sheep`s Milk on the Boil`, Seán embarked on his solo career in 1993. `All Heart, No Roses` received rave reviews and was chosen as `Debut Folk Album of the Year` by Q Magazine. In the years following, success continued with Meteor Award nominations, `Best Male Folk Performer` from Irish Music Magazine (three times) ,a similar award from the London `Irish World`, as well as numerous Irish accolades. `A Portrait`, a collection of Seán`s songs, is a multi-platinum Irish seller. All of his solo albums are platinum sellers and remain in constant demand. Six solo albums later, Seán Keane continues to delight audiences all over the world with his live performances and recorded work. He tours regularly with his band in Ireland, Austria, Germany, the US and Canada as well as appearing at major festivals world-wide.

Seán Keane will bring his very popular concert to Westport Town Hall Theatre every Wednesday commencing June 28 for Ten weeks.

Westport Festival of Chamber Music – September

13-15 SEPTEMBER, 2019

Since it first began in September 2013, the annual Westport Festival of Chamber Music has been attracting music lovers and internationally renowned musicians to the west of Ireland. There’s something wonderfully cosy about chamber music. Composed for a small group of instruments that could fit comfortably into a palace chamber or a large room, it has been described as ‘the music of friends. And where better to experience the genre up close and personal than Westport?

The festival’s concerts take place in three stunning, intimate venues – Westport House, Westport Town Hall Theatre and Holy Trinity Church – each perfectly suited to the charm and finesse of chamber music. A great excuse to get into your autumnal glad rags if ever there was one.

David O’Doherty – You Have To Laugh

FIDAY, 4 OCTOBER, 2019 8:00pm

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH

Unhook your mind bras. David O’Doherty is back in Westport with a brand-new show made up of talking and songs played on a crappy keyboard from 1986. As seen on BBC2’s Live at The Apollo and Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

JERRY FISH – PIANO SHOW

SATURDAY 6th April,2019 8:00pm

He’s one of Ireland’s most enigmatic and entertaining performers to the point where Ireland’s biggest music and arts festival, the Electric Picnic have for the past six years afforded him his very own stage. In fact, in 2018 “The Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow” doubled in size and has become one of the main attractions at The Picnic. In 2018 Jerry also reformed his 90’s alt rock band An Emotional Fish to deliver a mischievous and magnificent set, causing a pitch invasion at Féile Classical and has just returned from a sell-out show in France. An indie legend and ringmaster of exceptional renown, Jerry Fish has evolved into a showman extraordinaire, capturing the hearts and minds of audiences all over with his now legendary live shows, a unique live theatrical experience that dissolves all boundaries between performer and audience. For those who don’t know the back story; Jerry Fish blasted onto the Music Scene in the 1990’s touring the globe as front-man of alternative rock outfit An Emotional Fish, the band who gave us the indie rock anthem “Celebrate” These days the name Jerry Fish is synonymous with Festivals, Carnival Sideshow, Circus and Theatre. Mr. Fish’s genre bending, and idiosyncratic style of entertainment has made him a household name within the Irish Music industry. With two Platinum selling solo albums, an MTV award and IRMA Music Award, and a solid reputation as a supreme and spectacular showman. In 2017 Jerry took his stranger-than-fiction life story to theatre audiences for the first time at the Dublin Fringe festival; “The Songs & Tall Tales of Jerry Fish.” Jerry is currently touring an intimate piano show, performing his favourite songs, old, new, borrowed and blue, from a career spanning over two decades as well as excerpts from his sell-out fringe theatre show. A highly charismatic performer who refuses to countenance audiences having anything but a good time, accentuating the positive and bringing smiles to troubled faces with his swaggering vocal, generous and infectious smile and that fantastic vaudeville moustache.

Wild Atlantic Wildlife Festival

May 17th-19th, 2019

This brand new festival and the first of its kind is set to take place from May 17th – 19th, 2019. Set on the Wild Atlantic Way’s largest archipelago, the festival is going to be a big hit with the nature lovers among you. This years festival programme is set to be confirmed in early Feb 2019 but word on the street is that it will feature well-known wildlife cinematographers and presenters, including Colin Stafford-Johnson, Leave No Trace workshops, Linda Huxley Swift projects, Wildlife pond building and lots more. Watch this space as more details are released.

I Hear You and Rejoice

THURSDAY, 23 May, 2019 8:00pm

Following the sellout success of The Man in The Woman’s Shoes, Mikel Murfi returns with a new one man show. Late in his life, Pat Farnon, a cobbler and all-round contented man, embarks on a journey he had not quite planned and finds that every twist in the road can bring its own surprises. Written and performed by Mikel Murfi I Hear You and Rejoice is a 2nd collaboration between Sligo County Council Arts Service, The Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo, and Mikel Murfi. It was created for the Bealtaine Festival 2016.

Nine Months – A Collaborative Theatre Performance

THURSDAY,20 June, 2019 8:00pm

“NINE MONTHS” Written,devised and performed by Imelda Reynolds & Frances Moylan. Nine Months, a kaleidoscope of Irish women’s true stories, takes you on a hilarious thought-provoking roller coaster captivating journey with audience participation where characters transform with each narrative. Directed by Michael Irwin.

Special Guests on the night: Mick Brown – Folksinger, Songwriter, advocates change through his heart-warming music. John Graham – Award winning, high energy, crowd pleasing observational comedy style.

Patrick

THURSDAY 15/20/29 July & 5/12/19 August, 2019 8:00pm

Described in the national media as a “tour de force” and following sell-out performances over the summers of 2016, 2017, 2018 “Patrick” returns Monday nights from July 15th to August 19th, 2019. The show centres on original pieces of live music, dance and cinematic imagery as collaborative forms of narration to explore the story of Ireland’s Patron Saint – Patrick. This production leaves the starring role to the story – brought to you by Declan Askin, with original music composed and performed by Des Cafferkey and Bart De Boer. Heading up the majestic dancing and rebel-rousing sean-nós is award-winning choreographer Liam Scanlon, tapped off in equal measure by world champion Ela Kohen-Murray with Liam Taylor, Aaron Glancy and Ryan Owens – each performer displaying their own unique style and place in the performance. One of the most poignant parts of the show is the cameo by young Beibhinn Askin who transports the audience to a time when immigration had the Irish people in its firm grip – all done in the most endearing way with the song “Ellis Island”.

The Fureys in Concert

SATURDAY, 20 July 2019 8:00pm

Legends of Irish music & song The FUREYS, renowned for their hit songs ‘I will love you’, ‘When you were sweet 16’, ‘The Green fields of France’, ‘The old man’, ‘Red rose café’, ‘From Clare to here’, ‘Her father didn’t like me anyway’, ‘Leaving Nancy’, ‘Steal away’ etc return to Westport Town Hall on Saturday 20th July 2019.

The FUREYS have been entertaining audiences worldwide for 41 years, audiences that have included former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Former Irish President Mary McAleese and the late Pope John Paul while Tony Blair has publicly stated his favourite peace song of all time is the FUREYS “Green Fields of France” and President Michael D Higgins attended their last concert in National Concert Hall.

The FUREYS are responsible for some of the most stirring music ever to capture the public imagination. Their folk based music has received standing ovations in some of the biggest concert halls of the world and they credit their musical ability to their parents, Ted and Nora, who were well known musicians themselves. They encouraged their sons to play music from a very early age and there was live traditional music in their house almost nightly. Their emotive songs stir many emotions…. tears and laughter, sadness and joy. A FUREYS concert is always a night to remember

Cliona Hagan in Concert

FRIDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2019 8:00pm

Irish Country Artist and Dancing with The Stars contestant Cliona Hagan embarks on her headline Irish Concert Tour. Cliona will perform hits from her latest album ‘Secret Love’ including all the fan-favourites: Born to Run, 1-2-3, and McCarthy’s Party.

A classically trained singer with a degree in Music, Cliona Hagan’s many accolades include “Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Entertainer of the Year”.

Westival-Westport Music and Arts Festival

24-29 OCTOBER, 2019

Westival, a new festival with an old heart.

Westport Arts Festival is delighted to announce Westival, the festival’s new brand and identity. After 18 months of research and careful consideration on how to build on 42 years of success, ‘Westival’ was devised as the next big step forward. Westival, will continue to foster the thriving local arts and music scene of Westport, but also help solidify and promote the west of Ireland as a destination for significant cultural events, that will attract international talent and attention.

Fans of Westport Arts Festival can rest assured that the charm of the events unique to the original festival will still be part of the rebranded offering, they will be complemented by new and innovative experiences.

Westival 2018’s full programme will be released in early September and will showcase a festival filled with local, national and international music, culture and artistic adventures, world premières and free family-friendly performances for all. The ethos of the new festival is to provide entertainment, connection and celebration for the people of Westport and the people who love Westport.