Event Guide: First Fortnight 2015

First Fortnight is a charity-based organisation with the express aim of challenging mental health prejudice through the creative arts. In order to do so, First Fortnight hold a two week festival at the beginning of January every year featuring various events stretching right across the realm of creative arts from film screenings to concerts.This year is quite possibly the best line-up so far! Wed love to attend them all but heres the five we certainly won't be missing!

My Name Is Saoirse - January 8th-10th. Smock Alley Theatre @ 8pm. €12

Set in 1987, My Name Is Saoirse focuses on a young woman who having grown too fond of home comforts is forced to set out on a journey which takes her away from the carefree adolescence she once knew. Produced by the award-winning Sunday's Child Theatre Company, My Name Is Saoirse is a beautiful story of growing up and coming of age. The opening show will be followed by a discussion on the issues raised in the play.

Heaven Adores You - January 10th. Irish Film Institute @ 4pm.

Receiving its Irish premiere as part of First Fortnight, Heaven Adores You tells the story of Elliott Smith's final years.Smith's lyrics often focused on depression, drug dependence and alcoholism ?Beginning in 1998 when he received an Oscar nomination for his song Miss Misery from Good Will Hunting and ending in 2003 with his untimely death Smith narrates the story of his life himself, through the filter of recorded conversations and interviews.

The Big Gig - January 10th. The Button Factory @8pm. €12

Perhaps the highlight of the festival every year, 2015's Big Gig will be no different. Headlining are the impeccable We Cut Corners, whose album ?Think Nothing? featured in our top 10 albums of 2014. You might remember us naming Booka Brass Band in our must see gigs of 2015, well you can get yourselves a sneak peek at what they have to offer as well as music from two of the best upcoming acts in the country in I Have A Tribe and State Lights. If that's not enough, Le Galaxie have just been added to the bill to close off the night in style with a DJ Set. All for €12? You'd be silly not to.

Stories From The Front - January 14th. Liberty Hall @ 7pm. €5

Stories From The Front tells the personal stories of people who have experienced mental ill-health, carers and mental health professionals through recorded narratives and dramatic enactments. Stories From The Front reminds us that in the most challenging of times, human kindness and understanding are some of the most powerful assets we have. Audience participation is encouraged in a creative journey of hope and inspiration.

Conversation Salon - January 16th. Maynooth Library @10am. Free

Hosted by Life Coach Heather Bourke, the Conversation Salon involves a person arriving to a caf? style setting where they will be shown to a small table for four. They'll be served tea/coffee and cake and then given a menu of conversation topics. The person will then be encouraged to sit with strangers and raise questions dear to them as well as selecting topics from the menu. Participants are invited to change tables halfway through the two and a half hour event. Sounds like a whole load of fun!


For a full list of the events taking place, check out the First Fortnight website.

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