Scally. Photo by Stuart Hayes

Autumn nights out under LLPS4

Event organisers across Westmeath have been working hard to produce a series of live performances, which continue throughout the county until the end of October.

These events are part of the most recent Local Live Performance Scheme 4 (LLPS4), running in Westmeath since Summer 2021. The scheme was initiated by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and is supported by the Department and Westmeath County Council to assist professional artists and workers in the live event industry to return to work following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and to reignite the live entertainment scene.

Westmeath audiences have lots to forward to, including poetry, music, storytelling, dance and art, from varying genres and cultures.

This round of the scheme launched at the end of August when Mullingar musician Scally performed ‘Behind the Buzz’, a live music show in the Cúige Studios on Dominick Street, followed by a discussion on the making of his latest music video.

During September, singer songwriter and busker Dylan Neeson has visited almost 30 nursing homes, active retirement and social groups and care settings to provide sing-songs; and storyteller and poet, Paul Timoney, debuted his ‘Grand Little Show of Poems and Stories’ called ‘My Delicious Hat’ at Lough Lene Gaels Healthy Club PLACE Group. Paul will perform this show again in Cúige studios and Cluain Lir in the coming weeks.

At the end of September, the scheme will up a gear and there are events place every weekend in Mullingar, Athlone, Moate and Kilbeggan.

Spoken word event in library

A matinee of storytelling, prose, poetry, and extraordinary spoken word performances will take place on Saturday, September 24, at Mullingar Library. With the support of Westmeath County Council, under the LLPS4, screenwriter and author Ronika Merl is bringing her celebrated show from Dublin to Mullingar.

The event will bring to life pieces from Ronika’s book, ‘I Love You, Dave Taylor’, an eclectic mix of deeply felt literary writing, humorous letters and poetry. Performed by some of the best actors in the country, the pieces will remind audiences what it’s like to be giddy in love, what it’s like to grieve, and what it’s like to be a relentlessly fierce artist.

With a musical introduction by Fia Rua, and a reading by the author, the event promises to unique atmosphere in a wonderful venue, and is a refreshing reminder of the fact that Ireland is a land of storytellers, and a land for storytelling.

Local actors Steve and Murt Ennis, and Jemma Curran, who have been long standing pillars of the theatre community in Westmeath, as well as Dublin actor Shane Robinson have come together to create a reading like no other. The actors have a deep connection to the pieces they will be reading, having worked closely with Ronika on the interpretation.

The show begins at 10.30am and is free (there will be limited seating).

Ronika Merl said: “I Love You, Dave Taylor has a special place in my heart. Most of the book was written while I was working in a cottage near Loch Owel, so bringing the show to Westmeath feels almost like coming home. The poetry is connected to the land, and will hopefully bring joy as well as melancholy to our audience. I can’t wait to share the pieces with the people in Mullingar.”

Paul Timoney. Photo by Teresa Doyle

Events up to October 31

‘I Love You Dave Taylor’, Mullingar Library, 24 September

Viking Tours LGBTQ+ Cruise, Shannon, Athlone, 30 September

Peter Doran, Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone, 7 October

John O’Connor and Ailbhe McDonagh; Derravaragh Music Society, Tullynally Castle, 8 October

Robert Mizzell, The Lumber Shack, Kilbeggan, 9 October

‘My Delicious Hat’ Paul Timoney, Cúige Studios, 16 October

International Blues/Jazz Night, Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, 13 October

Cronin ‘Mad For You’, Smiddy’s, Mullingar, 15 October

Celebration of Ukrainian Defenders, Mullingar Arts Centre, 15 October

Music Generation ‘Music Tent’: SingFest and Music Jam, Belvedere, 17-22 October

Indian Summer Music Festival, Smiddy’s, Mullingar, 21-23 October

Banshee Coire Arts and Food Fest, Cúige Studios, Mullingar, 26-30 October

Sheerin Family Culture Night, Tuar Ard, Moate, 27 October

Peddler Macs Bank Holiday Music Festival, Athlone, 27, 30 October

‘Mullingar to Ukraine’, Smiddy’s, Mullingar, 29 October

Ultan Conlon, Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone, 29 October

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