Weâ€™re making a Virtue out of Vice at the Kinsale Arts Festival 2012 as the themes of Irelandâ€™s favourite summer arts festival look at the darker and lighter sides of life. Plus thereâ€™s a mouth-watering feast on the menu with a focus on one of our favourite guilty pleasures: food. Itâ€™s all being done in the best possible taste...
Kinsale Arts Festival aims to make a â€˜Virtue out of Viceâ€™ for audiences this July. Weâ€™re hearing plenty about vice these days with corruption, scandals and sordid goings on. But what about virtue? Does that get a look in at all? What is virtuous in our society today? These questions and more are being asked at the Kinsale Arts Festival this year as artists, actors, writers and thinkers come to the beautiful seaside town of Kinsale to get to the heart of the matter and entertain the thousands of people attending the nine day festival.
The Festival team also looked at what Kinsale is most famous for (apart from atmospheric pubs, eclectic shops, excellent accommodation, adventurous sailing and all that stunning scenery) and came up with what is both a guilty pleasure and a virtual necessity â€“ food. An entire strand of the 2012 programme will offer audiences a delicious taste of Kinsale, with a twist! This will be the eighth year of the Kinsale Arts Festival, one of Irelandsâ€™ favourite summer festivals. The dates are July 7 to 15, and limited advance tickets have just been released on www.kinsaleartsfestival.com. Full programme will be announced in May.
Guest Artistic Director Gemma Tipton says she chose the themes because â€œwho doesnâ€™t like eating and drinking, and dabbling in a little vice? Plus we all feel virtuous after enjoying arts events, so we decided to wrap it all up in one delicious â€“ and intriguing â€“ package for summer 2012,â€ adding â€œI think the programme should be just the tonic we all need.â€
The full programme including art, drama, music, literature, free family events and workshops will be launched in May, but a sneak preview of confirmed talent includes: the Leviathan Political Cabaret, former Irish Times Editor now crime writer Conor Brady, Mark Patrick Hederman Abbot of Glenstal, Eden Project founder Tim Smit in conversation with Lord David Puttnam, Dragonâ€™s Den star Sean Oâ€™Sullivan, pop comedy with Frisky and Mannish, Shakespeare as youâ€™ve never seen him before in Text Messages, and a special mini classical festival-within-a-festival as international stars Roustem Saitkoulov, Gerald Garcia and Jan Hendrik RÃ¼bel, join Irish performers Elizabeth Cooney, Finghin Collins and Carol McGonnell for some unforgettable listening.
Plus thereâ€™s a murder mystery dinner at the stunning Ballinacurra House, food workshops with Fishy Fishyâ€™s Martin Shannahan, and an architectural project to build Kinsale again â€“ out of cake and jelly... Itâ€™s the tastiest fun you can think of. The Festival team also announced today that this yearâ€™s Festival Hub will be the Pop Up Playhouse, Irelandâ€™s only inflatable arts venue.
To celebrate the growth in audiences and maturity of the festival that now attracts over 15,000 people from all around the country and internationally, the title has changed to Kinsale Arts Festival. Reflecting on the rationale for the change of name Gemma said â€œWell, itâ€™s always been more than just a week and this year itâ€™s fuller of flavour then ever. We felt its time had come to recognise the scale of the programme and event.â€ The festival has a new online home as well. For information and booking people can log onto www.kinsaleartsfestival.com
Kinsale Arts Festival Highlights include:
Food Events include a murder mystery dinner at Ballinacurra, the country house that Michael Jackson made his Irish base, fishy workshops with Martin Shannahan from the famous Fishy Fishy restaurant, plus a psychological dinner with ArtforEating â€“ you may never look at food the same way again.
Return to Eden Tim Smit, founder of Cornwallâ€™s Eden Project, in conversation with David Puttnam (Midnight Express, Chariots of Fire, The Mission) about how it is possible to change the world.
How to Live: Mark Patrick Hederman, Abbot of Glenstal, with his unique insights into being human.
Afternoon Teas: weâ€™re serving up tea and cake with some sage advice. Sarah Bakewell, author of the best selling How to Live: a life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer, on how the finest minds in philosophy have looked at life, love and the universe. She also has plenty of answers. Plus psychologist Zelda di Blasi on how happiness and money may, or may not be connected...
Murderous Intent: Conor Brady, former Irish Times editor, has turned to a life of crime. He reads from his new novel A June of Ordinary Murders.
All of Human Life is There: Shakespeare knew the human heart better than most, and Text Messages takes some of his best known scenes and lets Irelandâ€™s hottest young directors reinterpret the action for a theatre event that is funny and heart wrenching in equal measure.
Serving up Love and Death: who remembers Vere St Ledger Goold? He was Irish tennis champion in 1879, but ended his life on Devilâ€™s Island. Love All is a sparkling comedy about love, death and tennis...
Heavenly Music: thereâ€™s a concentration of delicious music with a mini classical festival-within-a-festival. International stars Roustem Saitkoulov, Gerald Garcia and Jan Hendrik RÃ¼bel, will join Irish performers Elizabeth Cooney, Finghin Collins and Carol McGonnell in Kinsale this July.
Virtue and Vice on and off the Walls: the main art exhibition looks at the Festival themes through the eyes of our leading artists. Jackie Nickerson and Abigail Oâ€™Brien explore faith and the cardinal virtues, while Nevan Lahart squares up to 18th century maestro William Hogarth for a contemporary take on sin. Plus The Ethics of Objects asks whether things can have a soul...
Photo: John Allen