Girls Like That
DATE: Wednesday May 8th 2019
A naked photo of Scarlett goes viral. Rumours spread across smartphones like wildfire and her reputation becomes toxic, threatening to shatter the fragile unity of the girls she has grown up with. How long can Scarlett remain silent? Why isn’t it the same for boys? An urgent and explosive play that explores gender equality and the pressures on today’s digital generation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DATE: Saturday, August 24th 2019
Three powerful forces in Irish roots music in their own right, Noelie McDonnell, Noriana Kennedy and Nicola Joyce combine as The Whileaways to create a beguiling tapestry of harmonies, tradition and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is simply captivating. This is a unique combination of songwriters, singers and voices, whose enthralling live performances have secured their firm footing in Irish roots music. THE WHILEAWAYS BIO Instinctive sibling-like harmonies, captivating lyrics and subtle accompaniment mark The Whileaways’ sound, which has been described as ‘perfected simplicity’ (Irish Echo,USA). Since forming in 2012, this trio of songwriters has released three critically acclaimed albums. In their latest album ‘From What We’re Made’, released in July 2018 The Whileaways ‘stake their claim to being among the finest singers in the country’ with an album “laden with absolutely stunning melodies and harmonies” (Edwin McFee, Hotpress). A successful 2018 ended with a performance in Vicar Street as part of the ‘RTE Folk Awards’ in which they were nominated for ‘Best Album’ and ‘Best Folk Group’. Noriana Kennedy, Noelie Mc Donnell and Nicola Joyce had each toured and recorded extensively with their separate projects before coming together as The Whileaways. Indeed, each had played gigs and festivals all over the world and over a dozen recordings to their collective credit when they began to admire each other’s singing at gigs and sessions in their home-town of Galway. When a tour of Australia presented itself in 2012, they decided to test the water as a trio. They were hailed as ‘a knockout of the festival’ at the legendary Port Fairy Folk Festival in Australia, and the success of that tour prompted the release of their critically acclaimed debut album the following year. Acknowledging this coming together of independent forces, The Irish Times in it’s four-star review at the time said : “This is an audacious debut … from musicians whose experience pays ample dividends here”. Following the path carved out by their eponymous debut, the band’s 2015 release ‘Saltwater Kisses’ gave them band their firm footing in the Irish roots music scene. These three singers are cut from the same cloth and weave a tapestry of harmonies and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is true and their delivery is undeniably captivating.
Inside Out – Adult Community Dance Workshop
DATE: Wednesday May 10th 2019
TICKETS: €10/€8 Students €5
Zac is the new boy at yet another school. The teacher is missing, Hazel pretends to be a horse to get through the day while Ally has been mortified into taking a vow of silence. Then there’s the Goths, the Band, the Nerds and the Bully….all working hard to maintain their images. What happens when everything is all shook up? Embarrassment…Harassment…Revelation…Beetroot!
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
Thursdays from 4th July until 29th August, 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.
PAT SHORTT – HEY!
DATE: SATURDAY, JUNE 29TH – 8PM
Pat Shortt is back with a brand new stage show called ‘Hey!’ Following the sell-out successes of ‘The Hall’, ‘Selfie’ and ‘How’s Tings?’ and fresh from starring roles in the hit play ‘A Skull In Connemara’ and the film ‘The Belly of The Whale’, Ireland’s best loved comedian takes to the road with his latest quirky look at Irish life. Featuring brand new material and sketches, Hey! is a rogue’s gallery of odd ball characters, bizarre situations and even a song or two. Pat promises a whole raft of new characters and also promises to get “down and dirty with the audience!” Hey! delivers a peculiar take on modern life that only the unique imagination of Pat Shortt could conjure up. Hey! You have been warned! A show not to be missed.
CODA Live 2019
July 12 @ 8:00 pm€25
A Mayo based group of seven singers and musicians who developed their own richly-harmonised approach to vocal performance from diverse vocal and instrumental backgrounds, including folk, trad, blues, rock and pop music, uniquely complemented by their multi-part vocal harmony experience gained from classical choral music. Coda released their first CD ‘mouth music’ November 2013. Coda offers 7-part harmonies in an eclectic mix of musical styles including Celtic and North American music, traditional and contemporary folk songs, original compositions and popular songs from sources as diverse as Clannad, Tom Waits, Van Morrison and The Beatles. Their repertoire comprises both a cappella arrangements and songs with instrumental accompaniment as well as traditional Irish music. In January this year, they performed at Dublin’s Templebar Tradfest to great acclaim. Most Recent National Media Reviews include: “The west is wide awake and in full voice”. The Irish Times “The brilliance of blending songs from across the time spectrum”. Irish Music Magazine. Coda comprises Declan Askin, Alan Drumm, Conall Ó Domhnaill, Brian Lennon, Mike Cannon, Steve Bryant and Leonard Kelly.
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.
Inside Out – Adult Community Dance Workshop
DATE: Thursday May 16th 2019
One night tiny Tom overhears Mum and Dad talking - there's nothing left to eat so they are going to leave him and his six brothers in the forest! Outwitting his parents and the ogre Tom shows everybody that even though he is small he is still mighty as he protects his brothers, finds the treasure and makes sure they'll never be hungry again. Performed entirely on and under a kitchen table this wee wonder of a show is full of Lyngo magic with feathery spinning birds, a flying house and a portable forest. CBeebies Patrick Lynch, who has been performing it for more than a decade, brings this classic story to life in a playful and fascinating show.
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.
4 Jun — 27 Aug
Town Hall Theatre, Westport
Traditional Irish Showcase Welcome to Atlantic Notes... We're going to bring you on a journey all the way from North to South, from Donegal to Cork, bringing you a flavour of the sights, sounds and feelings right along the West coast of Ireland. Featuring Marianne Knight on vocals and flute, John Flatley on keyboard, Declan Donoghue on drumsand percussion, Karen Hickey on vocals and fiddle, Richard Neylon on pipes and low whistle with narration by Noel Kelly. You'll witness first hand the different accents, sounds and sights of what makes the people and life along the West coast of Ireland so unique. Join us for this truly amazing journey along the Wild Atlantic Way.
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.
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”.
Westport Walking Tours
Westport Walking Tours operates at 10am and 12noon, Monday to Friday from April to September each year. WestportWalkingTours offers a casual walk around the heart of Westport town for approximately 1 hour, whilst listening to some interesting stories of how the town was shaped. Hear stories ranging from how the Ice Age shaped Clew bay and Irelands holiest mountain Croagh Patrick, right up to today when Westport is consistently being voted Irelands tidiest town and even the best place to live in Ireland. For private group bookings out of season please give Stephen a call or send us a mail via our website. The tour cost €5pp includes a complimentary cup of tea/coffee.
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.