Portumna’s Shorelines Arts Festival 2015 17th-20th September

If your idea of a good time involves top-class drama, art, street theatre, music, comedy and fun for all ages, then Portumna’s Shorelines Festival 2015 is where you need to be between September 17th -20th.  The committee has scoured the country to find the very best readers, writers, artists and acrobats – including performers and artists from the Portumna area. There’s something to please all the varied audiences in the area and while many of the events are free, we have kept prices down to a minimum for the ticketed events.

Portumna's Shorelines Arts Festival 2015 17th-20th SeptemberThe main acts this year include writer Joseph O’Connor (Thursday Sept 17th), singer Mary Coughlan (Saturday Sept 19th), drama with Fishamble: The New Theatre Company  (Sunday, Sept 20th) and the popular group The Lost Brothers (Friday, Sept 18th). All of these events must be booked now to avoid disappointment.

Shorelines are delighted to host a live recording of RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany on Sunday Sept 20th in Portumna’s Christ Church. The programme will feature a mix of new voices and well-known writers as well as live music and will be presented by the programme producer Aoife Nic Cormaic.

Literary guests at the festival include Paul Kingsnorth, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, who will engage in conversation with poet Grace Wells on the role of the writer in this age of ecological change. Poet and scholar, Bernard O’Donoghue talks on Yeats and guests at the annual Literary Brunch include Louis de Paor, Grace Wells and Anne Marie Kennedy. Join in the Lines Learned by Heart annual recitation competition or write in the Pub Limerick competition and nominate your favourite Yeats poem online or in town.

Workshops are a big part of the annual programme. With a prose workshop with John MacKenna (Friday Sept 18th) and a poetry workshop with Grace Wells (Sat Sept.19th) as well as a Botanical Art Workshop (Sat Sept 19th), adults are well catered for.

Children can participate in puppet making workshops, MineVention workshops and students in the local national school will create a collaborative story with writer, Betsy Cornwell. Street theatre with Lulu, Duille Beag and Just a Guy, as well as a Flea Circus and Tegolin’s Tales, will have all the family entertained.

Culture Night will be celebrated in the programme with many free events including drama with The Half-Day Thursday Drama Group, a teatime reading with writer, John MacKenna and guests from Crannóg Literary Magazine – Mary Melvin-Geoghegan, Aoibheann McCann and Pat O’Connor. The Barbara Kennedy Writing Awards will be presented to the shortlisted students of local schools who wrote on the theme Messing about on the Water,sponsored by Waterways Ireland.

The Gallery at the Workhouse will be home for the annual Shorelines Art Exhibition (Sept 4th-26th) that includes work from local artists as well as guest artists: John Brennan, Mark Granier, Aideen Monaghan, Frank O’Sullivan and the Galway Print Studio. Talks on art and photography, a beadmaking demonstration with Mags Mannion and Christy Cunniffe’s exhibition, Losing the Head, will all take place in the wonderful Portumna Workhouse.

Music comes from local singer-songwriters in The Beehive and in The Courtyard as well as music recitals from local music students. Local historian, John Joe Conwell will lead a heritage walk, and outdoor Yoga sessions will start off the mornings for all.

Film Shorts feature throughout the weekend with a series of drama shorts on the theme of Childhood and a series of documentary shorts on the theme of Changing Ireland – all charming, engaging and not to be missed.

The Heritage Boat Association (www.heritageboatassociation.ie) will be putting on a display of historical items associated with the boats and will host events during the festival.

This year’s festival begins on Thursday Sept 17th with Aoife Spillane-Hinks, theatre director, opening the festival. Entertainment will be provided by Declan O’ Brien, writer and radio performer of humorous verse, with music coming from  Four Men and a Bass.

All are welcome and visitors are encouraged to explore our town, where the natural beauty of the lake, the Shannon and the forest provide an ideal backdrop for the arts in Portumna. See www.shorelinesartsfestival.com  or Facebook for more information on events and ticket booking.

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