Liverpool Irish Festival Announces Lineup

Liverpool Irish Festival Announces Lineup

Liverpool Irish Festival (18-28 Oct) is the largest festival of Irish art and culture in the UK. With over 60 events across the city incorporating visual art, film, performance, music, talks, tours, dance and more, the festival is in its 16th year and celebrates the connections between Liverpool and Ireland.

In 2018, the theme is migration, about how Irish culture is shaped by its global identity, how Irish culture is changing and how the history of Irish politics continues to resonate in modern Ireland.

There are 11 theatre shows during the ten day festival.

Frieling the Music
18/19 Oct
81 Renshaw Street

Taking inspiration from Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa, LJMU Masters student, Corey Harbinson, takes a modern approach presenting new text, music and songs he has written based on Friel's story using hymn, folk and a capella styles

19 Oct
Downstairs at Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

Joanne Ryan's acclaimed, multi-award winning show is a funny, tender and moving exploration of reproduction in 21st-Century Ireland.

Mixed animation with stand-up, monologue and hilarious recorded interjections from Ryan's mother, Eggsistentialism takes a light-hearted but unflinching look at one of life's most compelling dilemmas: should making a life for oneself involve making another?

20 Oct
Downstairs at Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

Sandra is doing her Christmas shopping.

She is loaded with bags and waiting for the bus.

Exhausted and stressed she faints on the bench and when she wakes a bag-lady is leaning over her. Convinced she is being robbed, Sandra turns on her but then realises the scruffy woman was trying to help. The women find a common place where they can come together as friends and Sandra offers Annie a hope for the future.

The Morning After the Life Before
20 Oct
Downstairs at Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

A groggy Sunday morning.

It's 24 May 2015 and 62% of Ireland is #hungoverforequality. Ann gets a text from her brother, which brings the image of a new Ireland into sharp focus: "How's the morning after the life before?". A personal, entertaining tale of weddings, 'coming out' and arguments over who takes out the bins, this play is a celebration of a unique historical moment when Ireland became the first country, in the world, to support marriage equality by popular vote. Be prepared for music, cake and equality.

The Corner Boys
21/22 Oct
Liverpool Irish Centre

Ladies Who Punch in association with Mend & MakeDo Theatre Company are proud to present the UK tour of stage production Corner Boys by award-winning writer John MacKenna.

The time is 1963. The place is a small village in Ireland. For the two young women working in the local drapery shop, the visit of American President John F Kennedy to the country is all important. But for the corner boys, who spend their days on the village square, the concerns are different - women, money, devilment and darker doings fill their empty lives.

Two Plays: Baggage and When Nora Met Jim
23 Oct
The Crown Hotel

#LIF2018 presents Baggage and When Nora Met Jim. Both plays have been written in Liverpool and feature local actors. Expect this presentation to be low-fi in terms of tech, but high-fi in terms of impact. Strong performances, resonant texts and compelling stories.

David O'Doherty: You Have to Laugh
24 Oct
Liverpool Everyman

Unhook your mindbras.

David O'Doherty is back on tour 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.

Rat in the Skull
24 Oct
St George's Hall Concert Room

Set in the midst of 'The Troubles', Rat in the Skull centres on an interview between a Royal Ulster Constabulary inspector and a young Catholic man in London detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Told from the point of view of an Ulster Protestant, it casts a new perspective on the struggle. Their sectarian differences fall away when confronted with 'casual loathing' of their English counterparts.

The Biggest Show in the Country
25 Oct
Downstairs at Royal Court Theatre

It's 2018. Stormont is down.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are tied up in government with the Tories. GB is about to crash out of the EU. Polls show London and Dublin would rather the other deal with Northern Ireland, whilst international headlines scream 'medieval province'. Hardly great craic!

So, when an unexpected discovery changes the fortunes of Ulster, will people be ready for the emergence of Northern Ireland as a global superpower? Inspired by the infamous daily radio phone-in The Nolan Show, 'The Biggest Show in The Country is a dark musical comedy that swaps guns, bombs and bullets for glitter, banter and ballads, whilst exploring what it means to be Northern Irish in 2018, 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement.

This is a rehearsed reading of the script, not a full production. It is an opportunity to see artists at work and get an early insight in to the theatre making process.

25 Oct
Liverpool Medical Institution

Liverpool author, Carol Maginn (Daniel Taylor, Ruin), turns her sights to the 1830s and Derry woman Kitty Wilkinson.

Commemorating the significant influence Kitty played in Liverpool by helping to turn the tide on an epidemic spreading through the city; cholera. Echoing many of the class and gentrification issues still at large today, Kitty's indefatigable work to help the poor of Liverpool in the face of terrific adversity continues to show how migrants help their destination cities, sometimes in unimaginable ways.

To Have to Shoot Irishmen
25/27 Oct
Liverpool Everyman

A new play with songs by Lizzie Nunnery. Easter morning, 1916. Gunshots ring out in the Dublin streets. In her suburban sitting room Hannah prepares for revolution. While Frank walks through the crowds calling for peace, John walks through his nightmares of the trenches, sees a city soaked in blood. 18-year-old William fearfully reports to the barracks for duty, determined to serve the British army with honour. But can honour survive the chaos of conflict, and once unleashed can violence ever be contained?

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