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Image / Agenda / Events

Winter Culture Guide: everything to watch, see, visit and do


By Meg Walker
19th Dec 2022

Winterval

Winter Culture Guide: everything to watch, see, visit and do

The days may be shorter, but that just allows more time to explore evening pursuits... and the odd indoor afternoon perusal. Meg Walker unearths a collection of films, exhibitions and festive events that are sure to enrich your downtime throughout the colder months.

Ah, winter… the crisp air, the long evenings spent hugging a warming beverage and sheltering from the cold… and that yearning for inspiration that springs from a creative source.

Over these chilly weeks and months, open your heart and mind to make room for stories, songs and soothing artistic comforts. Here’s a shortlist of just some of the wonderful cultural happenings at your perusal…

The eighth Ortús Chamber Music Festival runs February 26 to March 5 in venues across Cork, featuring eight of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians. The festival was co-founded by Irish musicians Sinéad O’Halloran and Mairéad Hickey (pictured) with the goal of providing performance platforms for some of Ireland’s finest young musicians alongside their international peers. This year will see performances by Sinéad O’Halloran (cello), Eoin Ducrot (violin), Fiachra de hÓra (viola) and Peggy Nolan (cello), alongside Swedish violinist Johannes Marmén, Welsh pianist Jâms Coleman, New Zealand violist Bryony Gibson-Cornish and Swiss violinist Laia Braun. Find out more at ortusfestival.ie.

If you’ve read acclaimed poet and essayist Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s stunning 2020 debut, A Ghost in the Throat, Aisling Trí Néallaibh: Clouded Reveries, directed by Ciara NicChormaic, should be on your watch list. This beautifully intimate exploration of Ní Ghríofa’s world and creative process is a film about memories, motherhood and the mysterious nature of creativity captured through intimate performances of her own work and in-depth interviews, following the writer to the heart of her inspiration, her home place in Co Clare. Out now.

Letitia Wright stars in the title role of Sky Original film Aisha. Written and directed by Frank Berry, this incredibly moving film documents the story of a young Nigerian asylum-seeker caught up in Ireland’s direct provision system. She finds a friend and ally in Conor (played by Josh O’Connor, who many will recognise from seasons three and four of The Crown), an employee at her residence home who has a troubled past of his own. In cinemas and on Sky Cinema now.

The acclaimed Estonian National Ballet makes its Irish debut at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this winter with its lavish production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, January 11-15. Expect sumptuous sets, beautiful costumes, and an extraordinary performance by the classically trained company of dancers, accompanied by the Irish National Opera Orchestra. More details at bordgaisenergytheatre.ie.

Conor McPherson’s acclaimed play, The Weir, comes to the Abbey stage November 26 to January 14. Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, the production brings together a stellar cast, including Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle, Peter Coonan (Bad Sisters), Eastsiders’ Jolly Abraham, Sean Fox (Jimmy’s Hall), and Marty Rea, who’s fresh from a six-month stint in Brian Friel’s Translations.

The first film on our must-watch list for 2023 is Women Talking, written and directed by Sarah Polley and based on the 2018 novel by ex-Mennonite Miriam Toews. It stars Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara and Frances McDormand as four members of an isolated religious Mennonite colony who struggle to reconcile with their faith after realising the men in their community have been drugging and raping them. It hits Irish cinemas February 10.

Marie Kreutzer’s award-winning Corsage, out December 30, sees Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) give a phenomenal performance as Empress Elisabeth of Austria in this fictional account of a year in the life of the 19th-century royal, once idolised for her beauty and style, as she turns 40 and anticipates a future of being considered an “old woman” and fights to maintain her public image.

This season’s controversial big screen release, Bones and All, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) and based on the 2015 novel by Camille DeAngelis, stars Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell and Mark Rylance in a dark yet somehow romantic coming-of-age cannibal road-trip film set in 1980s America. Out now, and it’s not for the faint of heart — but you’ve probably guessed that already.

Irish and international artists, writers and thinkers are taking the Classics as a lens to examine our contemporary cultural and political preoccupations and challenges during the third Classics Now weekend, January 27-29. The three days will present a series of inviting encounters including readings and performances, both live and online, in galleries and cultural centres throughout Dublin. Through interviews, discussions, readings, film screenings, musical theatre performances and exhibitions, you’ll see and hear from artists working in different genres and art forms. Read more at classicsnow.ie.

Sheridan Smith, Pauline McLynn and Ardal O’Hanlon star in Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything, a new Sky comedy series which follows Rosie and her family as she attempts to kick her destructive addictions and set forth on a healthier path. Out now on Sky Comedy.

Cork-based artist Kevin Mooney’s practice visualises underexplored areas of Irish history and Revenants, an IMMA exhibition of his recent paintings, December 1 until March 26, marks the gaps in the record of Ireland’s art history and material culture caused by poverty, famine and mass migration.

FOUR FESTIVE PURSUITS

Wonderlights returns to Malahide Castle & Gardens with The Night Sky until January 3.

Ballet Ireland tours its Nutcracker Sweeties production, a re-telling of the Christmas favourite, nationwide until December 23.

The National Concert Hall presents a wealth of festive performances including Handel’s Messiah and This Way to Christmas! featuring The Snowman.

Waterford hosts the 10th annual Winterval Christmas festival November 18 to December 23.

winter

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of IMAGE Magazine, on shelves now. If you cannot find the latest issue in your local shop, make sure to visit image.ie/magazine to buy your copy and have it delivered to your door, anywhere in the world.