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JULY Roundup: Best of Irish 2020

Welcome to the July edition of The Best of Irish with St. Patrick’s Festival.

Here, we curate a collection of happenings and wonderful content for the month ahead, bringing you the ‘Best of Irish’ from Ireland and worldwide. Join us in celebrating what the Irish do best, from music, dance, theatre and storytelling, to community fundraising, tutorials, interviews and other interesting virtual things to do and enjoy. We hope you find something that interests you in our Best of Irish July roundup below.

MONDAY, 29 JUNE - FRIDAY, 3 JULY: Dancer From The Dance: Festival of Irish Choreography

For this year's edition, the festival will be bringing dance artists together via livestream platforms, free of charge to watch and enjoy. A gathering of 32 Irish and Irish identifying choreographers from Ireland, Africa and the USA, who cross national borders, practices, ethnicities and generations - Hope to continue overseas connections during Covid-19, while spotlighting diversity.

There will be 30 short dance works by 32 choreographers in 3 programmes, workshops and dance classes, panel discussions and ceilis with live music. The highlight for us looks like it will be Morgan Bullock's piece, who you may remember from her viral TikTok video earlier this year, to 'Savage' by Megan Thee Stallion.

Morgan is one of many choreographers invited by festival director John Scott, to present a short film that will be streamed online. Titled "Tall and Straight My Mother Taught Me", her piece is about her journey of becoming an Irish dancer. She is also amongst one of our own, Muirne Bloomer who has choreographed and been involved in St. Patrick's Festival and Parade for many years - We are excited to see what they have put together, no doubt it will be beautiful.


EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY UNTIL JULY 23: Other Voices, Courage 2020: Series 2

The first Courage 2020 series was a great success, if you were following our Best of Irish posts on our socials, you will know all about it. But Courage is back with even more artists and beautiful locations around Ireland. Other Voices announce the lineup closer to the performance time, but the dates are as follows to keep in the diary:

Other Voices Courage Series Schedule:

  • Tuesday 30 June and Thursday 2 July
  • Tuesday 7 July and Thursday 9 July
  • Tuesday 14 July and Thursday 16 July
  • Tuesday 21 July and Thursday 23 July

You can tune into Courage 2020 via the Other Voices YouTube or Facebook page.


WATCH: TG4, Love in the Time of Lockdown

The geniuses at TG4 have created Love in the Time of Lockdown, which is an eight part web drama on Bloc, the platform for their younger audience. Producer Paddy Hayes said of the series: “Throughout the Covid health emergency, I always wondered would it be easy for a young couple to maintain a relationship while being forcibly separated from their partners. And now I know it has its… challenges ”.

This is in the Irish language, but it can be enjoyed with (Irish and English) subtitles too, so there's no reason to miss out on the brilliant show. The series came out on Friday, 26 June and you can stream it on the Bloc YouTube channel.


THURSDAY, 2 - THURSDAY, 23 JULY: Druid Debuts

This summer, Druid Debuts, the company’s annual rehearsed reading series, will be a live online experience featuring four new plays, running every Thursday from 2 - 23 July.

  1. How’s Life by Nina Mitrović, translated by Nina Mitrović and Darren Tighe, directed by Garry Hynes, Thursday 2 July 7.30pm. Set in a care home, How’s life is a story of love and friendship, fears and regrets, life and death. Four people fight loneliness. They try to connect. And in doing so they ask how’s life? Are you living it or have you already given up?
  2. Wall by Edward Lee, directed by Marc Atkinson Borrull, Thursday 9 July 7.30pm. In a destroyed world, two men defend a crumbling city from an enemy they have never seen. But nothing is as it seems, not the city they live in, not the unseen enemy, not even themselves.
  3. Four Days in July by Peter Daly, directed by Aaron Monaghan, Thursday 16 July 7.30pm. Tensions flare up when a group of artists from different ethnic backgrounds workshop a play about a real event of horrific racial violence carried out by Irish immigrants in 1860's New York.
  4. An Honest Woman by Erica Murray, directed by Sara Joyce, Thursday 23 July 7.30pm. Dylan has moved back home to Ireland to live with his parents, Fran and Dennis, and he’s brought his new fiancée, Kelly, with him. Fran and Dennis promise to give Kelly a proper Irish welcome. But they are so happy to have Dylan home that they will do anything they can to keep him there…

Playwrights are given professional support, a director, a cast and a short rehearsal period to develop their script. This year, the writer, director and cast will virtually meet and rehearse before presenting the reading to an audience via Zoom. The rehearsed readings are live-streamed and not pre-recorded. After each reading, audience feedback is invited as a means of further development.

Tickets are on sale now and cost €5 for each reading or €15 for all four readings. Patrons will receive an email with log in details before the performance. There is limited availability so early booking is advised here on their website.


SATURDAY, 4 - SUNDAY, 12 JULY: Willie Clancy Week

Willie Clancy Week over in Co. Clare has to be one of the most special little festivals in Ireland, it's an absolute joy to experience and a favourite for some of the St. Patrick's Festival team. As with so many events this year, organisers had to cancel the much loved annual gathering where folks from all over the world have always attended to either learn or listen to the best of Irish traditional music and dance.

However, the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy have announced a collaboration that will involve the sharing of online events and a series of archives, which has been described as an invaluable traditional music archive of national importance.

Director at the ITMA, Liam O’Connor, said that the aim of the project is to help fill the void left after the cancellation of this year’s summer school. He mentioned that there will be a live stream of previous concerts, a special reflective tribute programme to Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, online lectures, workshops and recitals.

You can check out the full programme on their website and keep up to date on Facebook.


VARIOUS DATES IN JULY: Airfield Estate Events

  • Market Every Saturday & Sunday: Airfield Estate's Farmers market is now open on the weekends, which has free market entry and parking. Produce availble ranges from locally grown fruit, veg, preserves, chutneys, jams, bread, pastries, meats, fish and much more are on offer to sample, enjoy or take home. Find out more here.
  • Teen Cooking (Online) from 7 July: Get your teens cooking with Chef Lisa Davies in this four week cook-along class. Chef Davies will bring them through the skills and processes necessary to create healthy and tasty meals at home. Classes are online at 5pm every Tuesday, lasting one hour per class and will result in a meal for the whole family that day. Kitchen safety and basic knife skills will also be covered in the class. Find out more here.
  • Beekeeping Class (Online) 25 July: Have you ever considered bee keeping and honey making at home? This is your chance to join local beekeeper Brian O’Toole from Wildacres for an online workshop on Saturday 25 July. For only €35, he will be giving an introduction to the fascinating world of beekeeping including getting started, managing a hive of bees through the different seasons, extracting and bottling your own honey and the different types of honey you can produce. Find out more here.


VARIOUS DATES IN JULY: Live at The Drive In

Live at The Drive In is a concert series that will take place across Ireland in multiple sites beginning in July 2020. The concert series will provide fans with the opportunity to see their favourite artists live, within the government guidelines to communities all across the country, with the first announcements set in Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Dublin and Kilkenny so far.

The artists will perform live from the stage and attendees (up to 4 people per car) can enjoy it from the safety of their vehicle. The show will be performed live by the headline artist and broadcast via the PA system from the stage and via an FM (radio) transmitter - the frequency details will be supplied on site. It's first come first served when the cars arrive, unless you have booked a front row space.

Could this be the future of big gigs in Ireland? We can't wait to see how it turns out. To find tickets and the schedule, go to the Live at The Drive In website here.


REOPENINGS: Some Things to Look Forward to

  • English Market, Cork: The stunning indoor market is welcoming visitors to come enjoy the fresh produce and roam around the adored, historical venue. Visit the website.
  • Guinness Storehouse, Dublin: They have been readying Guinness for bars and restaurants around the country during the lockdown. Very soon, the storehouse will be open to visitors to explore for themselves - Visit the website.
  • Irish Hotels: Great news if you have a staycation in mind for the summer. Almost 9 in 10 hoteliers across the country are readying themselves to reopen for guests by mid-July according to a recent industry survey undertaken by the Irish Hotels Federation. Find out more information about the timeline of re-openings and find a hotel for yourself on the IHF website.
  • National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin: The Modern European rooms and the Gallery Shop are open as of 29 June, so you can enjoy a peaceful moment with a favourite artwork, or browse some lovely Irish design and art-inspired gifts! More rooms will be opened up by 6 July and full opening planned for 20 July - Visit the website.
  • Roe & Co. Distillery, Dublin: Steeped in history and located in the heart of Dublin’s old brewing and distilling district; Roe & Co Distellery will be opening their doors again in the coming weeks - Visit the website.
  • Waterford Treasures: The team at the award winning Medieval Museum would like to welcome you to Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. Open 29 June - Visit the website.

Check out this sneak peak of Failte Ireland's new campaign 'Make a break for it' which celebrates the re-opening of our country and encourages us all to choose Ireland as our holiday destination this year, if we can.

Feel free to share this article or Tweet us to let us know what you thought of the Best of Irish July roundup.


Know about something happening in August that deserves to be on our Best of Irish list? Submit your event/ content that will be available online in August by filling out the Best of Irish Event Submission form here.