Liverpool’s cultural ties with Ireland come to the fore once again as the Liverpool Irish Festival returns, this year with special performances by The Guilty Feminist (in a dedicated festival podcast) and Kíla. They also celebrate a new partnership with Liverpool Literary Festival, the return of the Celtic Animation Film Festival and IndieCork and a new play by Lizzie Nunnery.
Taking place 18-28 Oct 2018 in venues across Liverpool, including Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, FACT, Liverpool Philharmonic, St George’s Hall, the Florrie and the Victoria and Gallery Museum, the programme, curated by Festival Director Emma Smith and partners, explores the theme of ‘migration’. Artists, performers, musicians, writers and filmmakers explore the relationship between cultural identity and place, and how Irish identity is changing globally, affecting ‘Irishness’ in the 21st century.
The hugely successful podcast (30m+ downloads), The Guilty Feminist, comes to Liverpool Irish Festival as part of its In:Visible Women programme and for its first visit to the city. Comedian Deborah Frances-White records a live podcast in front of an audience at Liverpool Playhouse, discussing 21st century feminism.
One of Ireland’s greatest music acts, Kíla, come to Liverpool’s Arts Club for a tub-thumping, rip-roaring, freewheeling jig of a gig. Supported by Bill Booth, Kíla’s eight members come from different musical backgrounds, including trad, classical and rock, which blend into the bands furiously energetic sound. It bristles with energy and passion and will be an unforgettable night.
At the Everyman Theatre, Lizzie Nunnery presents her new play with songs, To Have to Shoot Irishmen, exploring the events around the death of Francis Sheehy Skeffington during the Easter Rising in Dublin, 1916. Directed by Gemma Kerr (Hitting Town, Southwark Playhouse) and produced by Lizzie Nunnery’s Almanac Arts, the play runs for three nights (25-27 Oct).
Artist Jona Frank curates a new exhibition, It’s the Travelling Life, providing a rare glimpse into everyday life within a Liverpool Irish Traveller Community. Featuring photographs taken by the community themselves, the work will be shown alongside images Frank took 25 years ago in an Irish Traveller community in Tallaght. This project is a collaboration between Liverpool Irish Festival, the Liverpool Irish Traveller Community, Irish Community Care and Liverpool Mental Health Consortium. The exhibition will be show at two sites, at George Henry Lee’s old department store from 18th – 28th October as part part of the exhibition The Art of Falling Apart at The Brink from 11th October – 7 January 2019 as part of Liverpool Mental Health Festival.
For the first time, Liverpool Irish Festival unites with Liverpool Literary Festival, celebrating the writers, both emerging and established, who continue Ireland’s rich literary heritage. Events include Eamonn Hughes’ fascinating exploration and reflection on his work with Van Morrison, navigating the songwriter’s representation of Belfast. This is a joint event with The Institute of Irish Studies.
At one of Liverpool’s newest venues, OUTPUT Gallery, an artist will create a new work responding to the successful repeal of the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution, granting new body autonomy in Ireland. The exhibition will run for the duration of the festival.