Cork Midsummer Festival launches its dynamic 2018 programme today (2 May), comprising of new works, site-specific commissions, and engaging performances at over 40 spaces.
This year, Cork’s largest annual multi-disciplinary arts festival runs from 15-24 June and features 56 events. Over 55,000 people are anticipated to attend the 10 days of theatre, literature, dance, music, visual art and family-friendly festivities. For full details, visit www.corkmidsummer.com.
Highlights at this year’s Festival include Camille O’Sullivan with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra (22 June), and the world premiere stage adaption of Asking For It by author Louise O’Neill at The Everyman (15-23 June). Picnic in the Park – featuring special performances to celebrate 250 years of circus – is back at Fitzgerald’s Park (17 June) and includes the Midsummer maypole dance.
Cork Midsummer Festival Director, Lorraine Maye said: “Working in collaboration with our programme partners, the Festival is presenting over 30 Irish premieres this year. Across those 10 days in June, Midsummer magic descends on Cork, and we invite everyone, of all ages and interests, to take the cultural adventure with us.”
In keeping with the Festival’s ongoing theme of unique events at unexpected places, hip hop/circus fusion Union Black comes to Neptune Stadium (15-17 June), while dance theatre company, Junk Ensemble performs Man At The Door (Number 54) in Sunbeam Bingo Hall, Blackpool (15-17 & 22-24 June).
Major participatory project I Could Colour Between the Lines But I Choose Not To sees artists Mark Storor and Stephen King work with Knocknaheeny residents on an installation at a house in their community (22-24 June). Other participatory events include the renowned Cork’s Long Table, an outside banquet on South Mall showcasing 10 of Cork’s best restaurants (24 June); 10 Minute Dance Parties inside a shipping container club on Emmet Place; while in Church Nightclub (16 June), Scottish performance artist FK Alexander performs the intimate (I Could Go On Singing) Over The Rainbow.
In theatre, Katie Holly’s Crowman, starring Jon Kenny (D’Unbelievables), will premiere at The Granary (15-20 June) while Corcadorca Theatre Company’s The Numbered by Elias Canetti takes place at Fitzgerald Park (18-30 June).
A musical highlight will see composers Peter Power and Michael Gallen join creative forces for In Clouds (15-17 June), to celebrate 40 years of the Triskel Arts Centre.
Bristol-based installation artist Luke Jerram, creator of last year’s hit Museum of the Moon, returns with 1000 Flowers. The unique experience, where flowers are passed from person to person, will be documented using #1000flowers.
Other international artists include Oscar-nominated composer Hauschka at the Cork Opera House (23 June), while award-winning Catalan-based street theatre company, Kamchatka takes to the streets on the Festival’s opening day.
The Festival’s first artist-in-residence, bilingual poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa presents Nine Silences with artist Alice Maher at St Luke’s (17 June); A City In Flames with composer Linda Buckley at St Peter’s (18 June) and Life In Art, Art In Life with artist Aideen Barry at The Glucksman (21 June). Crosstown Drift presents a new event, A Night at The Gallery at the Crawford Art Gallery (23 June), with readings from Pat McCabe and Lisa McInerney.
Marking Midsummer’s Day, 21 June, events will take place from dawn to dusk. Cork schoolchildren launch art installations created for three city bridges, while an evening of music takes place at Tory Top Park, Ballyphehane, and a visual art performance Rolling Hills will be held at Patrick’s Quay.
The Festival Talks programme includes a conversation between Louise O’Neill and Tara Flynn at Crawford Art Gallery (21 June) and insights from Ellie Kisyombe into the Our Table project (15 June) at the Farmgate Café, on the campaign to end direct provision in Ireland.
For families, DJ Dónal Dineen holds Tiny Dancer: A DJ Set For Kids in St Peter’s, North Main Street (16 June), while Seoid/Jewel – An Opera for Babies and Small People takes place in the Graffiti Theatre, Blackpool (15-17 & 22-24 June).
Speaking on the programme launch, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “From the very first events, right through to closing celebrations, from dawn until dusk, for 10 days the Cork Midsummer Festival inspires artists and audiences alike to make new connections and tell new stories, to re-imagine what it is, and what it can be, to live in this great city of Cork.”
Lorraine added: “We are so grateful to our core funders the Arts Council, Cork City Council and Fáilte Ireland, and all of our individual programme funders, sponsors, patrons and friends, who have supported the Festival to ensure that Cork Midsummer Festival remains one of the most vibrant summertime events in the country.”
Cork Midsummer Festival is proudly supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council, Fáilte Ireland and by media partners RTÉ Cork, the Irish Examiner, 96FM and C103, and RTÉ Supporting the Arts.
Tickets for all events go on sale this evening, Wednesday 2 May, from 7pm at www.corkmidsummer.com.