Here are 25 things to see and do on September 23rd – The Irish Times

It’s the biggest simultaneous blast of cultural activity on the calendar, and this 17th Culture Night, now under the Arts Council’s wing, returns with a welcome bang this Friday, September 23rd. There are more than 1,000 free activities and events across Ireland: workshops, displays and exhibitions, performances, with some events running up to midnight, for the first time. For those unable to get out there are some online and hybrid events too, and RTÉ has ​​several Culture Night programmes.

Here is just a small selection of what’s on offer. See for more and note some events require booking. Keep an eye on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for more announcements.

In Dublin

1. Culture Night at Spencer Dock

Dublin 1

Discovery Gospel Choir (6.00pm-6.30pm) kick off the night’s line-up with contemporary gospel, traditional, African, popular and Irish-language songs. Canal Art is a workshop in traditional decorative ropework, with boat dwellers Rosie O’Reilly and Louise Gambrill (6.00pm-8.00pm). And there’s a spoken word workshop with John Cummins (6.00pm-6.45pm).

Live performances on The Molly (7.00pm-10.00pm), anchored on the canal, include poetician John Cummins, singer-songwriter Ruby Moss, traditional vocalist and composer Macdara Yeates, actor Roxanna Nic Liam and pop from Dublin sisters Zestra.

2. Awaken the Metropolis

Catch Dublin City Council’s commissions for public spaces.

North Walls (Spencer Dock, 6.00pm-7.30pm) is an open-air exhibition produced by artist Fionnuala Halpin, plus some of Ireland’s top street artists painting live.

Acid Granny (Spencer Dock, 6.30-7pm), a motley collective armed with a shopping trolley sound system, collaborate with passersby, sampling overheard conversations and using mini-synths and drum machines.

Tadhg (Meeting House Square, 8.45pm-9.45pm). The artist/multi-instrumentalist/designer’s music and costume performance is inspired by haute couture and gender fluidity.

3. Painting Mirror at the National Gallery

National Gallery, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2; 8pm-11pm

An interactive live digital-art display in collaboration with the French embassy. Project your own portrait or landscape, in the style of Claude Monet, Mainie Jellett or Harry Clarke, on a grand scale on to the gallery’s Merrion Square facade. Inside, view the national collection alongside live art and performance, join a tour, view The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, visit contemporary artist Hughie O’Donoghue’s Original Sins or see treasures from the Rijksmuseum by Rembrandt in the print gallery.

4. Wood Quay Amphitheatre

Civic Offices, Dublin 2; 5.30pm-9.45pm

An evening of performances in the open-air amphitheatre, including Memory Lane Choir, for people with dementia and memory loss (5.30pm-6.00pm); Samul Nori Drummers’ Korean percussion with acrobatics and folk dance (6.15pm-6.30pm); songwriter Sive’s ethereal Irish alt-folk (7.15pm-8pm); Dance Party with Bollywood Ireland (9pm-9.45pm); and two cabaret-style shows of Taking Flight: Aerial and Acrobatics (6.30pm-7.15pm, and 8pm-8.45 pm) by established and emerging Irish circus artists.

5. Night Shift with Artist Liliane Puthod

Imma, Kilmainham, Dublin 8; 10pm-2am; booking required

An outdoor journey through Imma’s grounds, “framed by eerie interventions”. There’s also a drypoint printmaking workshop, outdoor yoga, music by DJ Nigel Woods and a performance of European Dream by Nigel Rolfe, plus gallery exhibitions.

6. Seeing Ulysses at the Leopold Bloom Press

2 Grafton Street, Dublin 2; 8pm-12am; booking required

Literature and Joycean history in the former Yeates and Sons Opticians building, presented by Frances Flannery, who is an Irish author and founder of Leopold Bloom Press. University of Bristol Joyce scholar Dr Cleo Hanaway-Oakley will discuss how Joyce’s poor eyesight offers a new way of reading Ulysses. And there’s a curated photographic history of artefacts and stories linking the Grafton Street building to Joyce’s modernist classic through themes of sight.

7. CoisCéim Dance Theatre

42 Fairview Strand, Dublin 3; 4pm-8pm; booking required

See inside CoisCéim’s new studio in a historic building, and watch family-friendly dance gems by David Bolger and screenings of their hit The Wolf and Peter.

8. St Patrick’s Cathedral: Through the Ages

St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8; 7pm-10pm; booking required

Guided tours of the cathedral (plus self-guided multilingual audio-guides). There will be family activities and treasure hunts, as well as a competition for visitors to win a behind the scenes tour to the belfry and roof.

9. Dublinia: Exploring Viking and Medieval Dublin

Christ Church, Dublin 8; 4pm-8.30pm; booking required

Interactive exhibition, stepping into the city during the Viking and medieval eras. Explore life on a Viking warship, house or street, or witness the sights, sounds and smells of busy medieval Dublin.

10. National Print Museum Demo

Beggars Bush Barracks, Dublin 4; 4pm-8pm

Retired printers and compositors bring machines in the museum’s collection to life, with the chance for visitors to get inky too.

Beyond the Pale

11. Running Up That Hill Paint Switch Challenge

Tudor Artisan Hub, Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary; 6pm-7.30pm

At the Nano Nagle Community Resource Centre, six artists paint for 10 minutes each before passing the canvas to the artist on their right, who continues the idea or changes it. Paintings will be auctioned for charity.

12. Dragon’s Tail film installation

Cork Printmakers courtyard, Wandesford Quay, Cork; 8pm-9.30pm

Premiere of artist Marie Brett’s film projected on to the building, with live straw-girl music installation, and prints by Brett. Dragon’s Tail is an epic folk myth filmed in the west, combining spectacle and magical landscape.

13. The Druthaib’s Ball

Galway Arts Centre; 6pm-midnight

Several events across two venues, Nuns Island Theatre and 47 Dominick Street, around the Turner Prize-winning Síbín immersive installation by Belfast-based Array Collective, which playfully questions traditional Northern identities. Including trad music session, storytelling and Q&A with the artists.

14. Renaissance Music in Kilkenny Castle

Picture Gallery, Kilkenny Castle; 6.30pm-8.30pm

Music that would have entertained the Earls of Ormond from the 16th-18th century, with Siobhán Armstrong, Ireland’s foremost early Irish (wire-strung) harp player.

15. Contour

Moylussa Summit, Classagh, Co Clare; 7.30pm-9pm

Site-specific light installation across the summit of Clare’s highest peak by Tulla artist Tim Humphries. Live event on the Moylussa upper boardwalk (532m) and short video. Good fitness required for the walk.

16. Street Life

Cavan town; 4pm-9pm

Contemporary circus and street theatre on Cavan’s streets. Five shows including Cikada Circus, Curragh Circus, Yer Man’s Puppets, Mr H & Pignuts Dazzling & Spectacular Flea Circus.

17. Polish Heritage Treasure Hunt

Gorey, Co Wexford; 4pm-6pm

Polish history, geography and art family event from the Gorey Polish Cultural Association, with winners announced at Paul Strzelecki exhibition in Gorey Market House.

18. Kampala to Killarney with Afro Trad Ireland

St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Killarney, Co Kerry; 8pm-9.30pm

Music, folk songs and stories from Uganda and Ireland, with Samuel Kiwanuka on vocals/drums, Tim O’Shea on guitar/vocals/drums and Rosie Healy on flute/vocals/tin whistle.

19. West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival

The Avon, Blessington, Co Wicklow; booking required

Two concerts in a marquee by the Avon (food court open). In Bangers & Crash (6.30pm-7.30pm), Irish percussionists Caitríona Frost and Paddy Nolan play music by Elliot Cole, Philip Glass and Casey Cangelosi, and Frost’s own composition. The nine-piece Yurodny Ensemble play international traditional music (8.30pm-9.30pm).

20. The Black River of Herself

JJ Hough’s Singing Pub, Banagher, Co Offaly; 9pm-12.30am

Local artists Sheila and Patrick Hough present artists’ film, paintings, music and discussion about Offaly’s peat bog lands and their relationship to climate change and ecological collapse. Including a screening of Patrick Hough’s film The Black River of Herself; an exhibition of Sheila Hough’s bog paintings; and music by Irish singer-songwriter and anthropologist Dan Maher.

21. Celbridgians: Blessings and Battles

Celbridge, Co Kildare; 7pm-8pm

Site-specific promenade performance about those who contributed to Celbridge, performed by 12 to 17-year-old members of Straffan Drama Club. Outdoors (weather permitting); walking involved.

22. An Artful Brew

Ballyglunin Station, Tuam, Co Galway; 6pm-9pm; booking required

Ireland has the second-highest tea consumption per capita worldwide. Artist Pavithra Kannan’s tea ceremony workshop, A Sip & Beyond, uses tea drinking as a medium for conversation.

23. An Táin Arts Centre

Crowe Street, Dundalk, Co Louth; 6pm-9pm

Family event with School of Music performances, storytelling workshop, gallery, painting workshops with emerging artist in residence Lijuan McQuillan, open studio at Bó Studios and open mic presented by Grow Music.

24. Clay’n’Ceol

Glaslough, Co Monaghan; 6.30pm-10.30pm

Pot throwing agus music at Busy Bee Ceramics in the village. Work with clay, hear trad music and take home a piece of pottery.

25. Suad Aldarra in Conversation with Sue Divin

St Columb’s Hall, Derry city; 7pm- 8pm; booking advised

Dublin-based writer and data scientist Suad Aldarra, born in Saudi Arabia to Syrian parents, fled the Syrian war in 2012 and eventually settled in Ireland. Talking about her memoir, Don’t Want to Talk About Home, with Sue Divin (Guard Your Heart, and Truth Be Told).

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Jorge Oliveira

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