The Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo has just announced its summer season, offering a jam-packed programme from May through to August 2015 offering the best there is in theatre, music, dance, family fun, comedy, talks, visual arts, workshops and courses to the people of the North West. The Hawk’s Well Theatre has once again delivered a sensational line-up, all under the discerning eye of Director Marie O’Byrne. Ahead of the season O’Byrne had this to say:
“We are delighted to present our new programme which is packed to the rafters with something for everyone. This is festival season and we are delighted to collaborate with Sligo Jazz Festival, the Tread Softly festival and Fleadh Cheoil to provide top acts for Sligo people and visitors to the North West this season. Theatrical highlights include two performances of The Man in the Woman’s Shoes by Mikel Murfi, originally commissioned by the Hawk’s Well and Sligo Arts Service in 2012; DruidShakepeare from Druid and the Abbey theatre’s production of Maeve’s House. We have lots of musical treats in store and are looking forward to hosting two very special Kieran Quinn Film theme nights featuring Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta in May. We are delighted to welcome back our own production with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company The Second Coming for both the Tread Softly festival and Fleadh Cheoil and look forward to a fantastic line-up for Fleadh Cheoil 2015. “
There are plenty of plays to keep theatre lovers entertained this season. The Abbey Theatre on tour present Eamon Morrissey’s delightful one man show Maeve’s House in May. The award –winning The Man in the Woman’s Shoes, written and performed by Mikel Murfi returns to the Hawk’s Well in May and June. This show was originally commissioned by the Hawk’s Well and Sligo Arts Service for Bealtaine 2012 and has since toured around the country, toured to New York and performed its 100th show during a run on the Peacock stage of the Abbey theatre. Rise Productions present The Games People Play, winner of best new play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the sell-out success of Dublin Fringe Festival – also in May. The theatrical highlight of the year DruidShakespeare visits Sligo with an epic theatre event that condenses four action-packed plays – Richard 11, Henry 1V (parts 1&2), and Henry V – into one thrilling drama played out over six hours. DruidShakespeare can be enjoyed over two performances on Tuesday and Wednesday 9th and 10th of June or in a 6 hour cycle on Friday 12th or Saturday 13th. Mark O’Rowe’s distillation of Shakespeare’s tetralogy into a single, continuous narrative explores the nature of leadership and honour while telling a key story in the making of the English nation – including the ruthless suppression and appropriation of the land, language, and people of Ireland. In this unmissable cycle expect suspense, thrills, history brought to life and most importantly, expect the unexpected! The Flamenco Kitchen and The Coffee Cart will be on hand to provide sustenance to those attending the cycle performances. This is Druid’s 40th birthday and the Hawk’s Well is delighted to host this epic new production from one of the world’s greatest theatre ensembles. Toward the end of June The Matchmaker by John B. Keane visits starring TV favourites Mary McEvoy and Jon Kenny.
Local drama groups will be busy over the summer also with Sligo Drama Circle bringing back their popular production of Moll by John B.Keane in July while Beezneez present their new play Thy Will Be Done also in July.
There are plenty of musical treats on offer this season starting with Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan in the ‘I’m With Her’ tour in what will be an amazing evening of music on the 4th of May. All accomplished artists in their own right, this tour will be a culmination of all three artists playing together as one band; sets will include a mix of each other’s songs, cover songs and traditional songs. Seamie O’Dowd & Friends take to the stage on Thursday 7th of May in a very special event to raise money for Baby Rory Gallagher from Cliffoney, Co. Sligo to have pioneering surgery to fulfil his wish to walk. There are plenty of other musical delights in May with performances from Freddie White, Mick Flannery, Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes and English folk singer Sam Lee in a double bill with Sligo’s own The Out of Towners. The theatre also hosts two Kieran Quinn Film Theme nights featuring Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta in what promises to be two spectacular nights of music. In June the Hawk’s Well is delighted to host the world premiere of Téada’s show inspired by the poetry of W.B. Yeats, Where Benbulben Sets the Scene. The Hawk’s Well celebrates local music maestro Donal (The Dude) McLynn also in June with proceeds on this fantastic night of music going to St. John’s Hospital. Lúnasa, one of the finest trad Irish instrumental outfits of recent times also perform in June.
Festivals kick off in July with Sligo Jazz Project celebrating 10 years of world class jazz performance and education. Performances at the festival come from Dhafer Youssef; US/UK quartet The Impossible Gentlemen, Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, Liane Carroll and Friends and SJP All Stars with Ernie Watts, Chuck Rainey and many more.
The Tread Softly festival sees performances from String siblings The Kane Sisters and The Hayden Brothers and Swing Sligo – where Sligo’s Tabby Callaghan and a top class band of superb musicians led by Kieran Quinn bring the swing era back to life. Also during Tread Softly the theatre will host an open mic storytelling night entitled Legend alongside special guest including Neil Horgan. The 56th Yeats International Summer School will be the highlight of the national year of celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats. The summer school runs from Sun 26 July – Fri 7 August. The Hawk’s Well theatre’s collaboration with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company The Second Coming will be performed during Tread Softly and Fleadh Cheoil. This feast for the senses features Irish traditional music and dance, theatre, film and aerial circus, inspired by the return of W. B. Yeats. Produced by the Hawk’s Well and Fidget Feet this production performed at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections in January of this year and tours Germany later in the year. Directed by Mikel Murfi it features an original live score by Michael Rooney and musicians Mike McGoldrick, Damien O’Kane and John Joe Kelly.
Following The Second Coming there is an impressive list of performers at the Hawk’s Well every night of Fleadh Cheoil 2015. Fleadh Fusions on Monday night from Music Generation Sligo features Zoe Conway and John McIntyre joined by Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta and talented young Sligo musicians. Oisin MacDiarmada, Brian Fitzgerald and Michael Rooney perform on Tuesday 11th supported by LOKI – one of Sligo’s most exciting emerging traditional music groups. Cathy Jordan and Friends will perform on Wednesday 12th and Thursday sees Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin and Seamie O’Dowd perform together in an intimate setting. Flook perform on Friday 14th, Danú on Saturday night and the Fleadh Cheoil shows at the theatre finish up on Sunday night with The Songs of Gerry O’Beirne when Gerry will be joined by Maura O’Connell, Seamus Begley, Muireann NicAmhlaoibh, Pauline Scanlon and many, many more. Lunchtime performances will take place from Wednesday through to Friday and performances for children during Fleadh Cheoil include the popular Irish band The Speks on Saturday and a family show The Quiet Tree on Sunday.
Musical performances in September include a celebration night for Sandy Kelly and the return of trad group Cherish the Ladies from the US. The Hawk’s Well has also just announced performances from Albert Hammond on the 1st of October and BellX1 on the 31st.
Events for young children include The Elves and the Shoemaker from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company and The Way Back Home from Branar and two summer camps – BrickFlicks Pirate and Anything Goes Music Camp from Music Generation for older children. Local performing arts schools Chapel Lane and Victoria Walker Dance will also hold performances at the theatre.
The Hermit Collective bring their free pop-up show to the theatre in June, delivering a feast of artistic experiences to be enjoyed by all.
Comedy lovers will enjoy Conal Gallen’s new show A Bit on the Sunny Side in May and a special evening looking at Sligo’s history ‘The Way We Were’ also takes place also in May.
Toddler drama and acting for all courses are continuing this season and those interested in brushing up their presenting skills can take part in an ‘Effective Public Speak’ weekend course in May.
Exhibitions in the foyer this season feature a Still Life exhibition for Bealtaine 2015 from the Rosses Point Art Group which opens on Wednesday 6th of May at 5.30pm. The work on display is inspired by the Yeats sisters, Susan & Elizabeth and their love for the imagery of flowers and plants. This is followed by Mary Plunkett’s Words & Fragments exhibition in association with Lily Colly Craftfest. For this exhibition Mary will be creating books and prints based on the writings of W. B. Yeats and in the letterpress printing tradition of Elizabeth Yeats and the Cuala press. The landscape of the North-West of Ireland will be celebrated in a Wild Atlantic Wayfarer exhibition from Sligo photographer Val Robus throughout August and September.
The Hawk’s Well has teamed up with the Kitchen Restaurant at the Glasshouse to offer a great night out for an unbeatable price. Avail of a three-course meal and a ticket to a variety of shows at the theatre for €39.50. Visit www.hawkswell.com for more details. A Casa Mia are also offering a fantastic pre-theatre deal of 4 tapas and a bottle of wine for €40 when you show your Hawk’s Well tickets.
All events at the theatre are competitively priced and Friends/patrons of the theatre can also avail of special rates and concession rates apply where possible for OAPs and students. The Hawk’s Well has also teamed up with Music Generation Sligo to offer discounts for people aged under 18 as part of a ‘Go See’ initiative.
Brochures are currently being distributed throughout Sligo and the North West. To get a copy call 071 916 1518, drop in to the Hawk’s Well or download a digital copy by visiting www.hawkswell.com.
With over fifty shows programmed for the forthcoming summer season, the Hawk’s Well theatre has a host of wonderful delights on offer which will appeal to all the family. So don’t miss out – get your tickets now, take your pick – there’s something for everyone at the Hawk’s Well Theatre!
Image Credit: ‘Second Coming’ from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre