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Gig of the Week: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

Plus: Travis, Westlife, Waterford Walls, Paul Muldoon and Kilkenny Arts Festival

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Tuesday, August 9th, to Saturday, August 27th; Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin; 2.30pm and 7.30pm; from €21;

Close your eyes, draw back the curtain and get ready for a blinding burst of colour and sound, as the London Palladium production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber’s classic musical bathes the Dublin stage in its starry light. The smash hit West End show has already wowed audiences in 80 countries, and this show features stars Linzi Hateley and Jac Yarrow in the tale of a favourite son whose fab new coat elicits admiration but also jealousy. You already know the songs; all you have to do is book your ticket for this kaleidoscopic production and sing along.

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Until Sunday, August 14th; various venues, times and prices;

More marvels are in store in the Marble City as Kilkenny Arts Festival continues right through until Sunday, August 14th. A definite highlight that’s worth your headspace is the world’s first virtual-reality community opera, Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách, a 360-degree digital experience presented by Irish National Opera, and developed over three years in collaboration with residents of Inis Meáin, in Co Galway, and Tallaght, in Dublin, along with teenagers from rural areas around the country. When you put on the (sterilised) VR headsets, you’ll be transported to a magical animated world that you can move around and interact in. Performances will be shown to small groups every hour between noon and 6pm at the Old Nightclub in the Ormond Hotel, and tickets are €7. Another highlight is Éiru and Amergín, a collaboration between the poet Theo Dorgan and the composer Colm Mac Con Iomaire. It’s a sort of musical origin story of Irish poetry, with Dorgan’s words delivered by the actors Aaron Monaghan and Bríd Ní Neachtain, and Mac Con Iomaire performing the music live with a six-piece ensemble (August 11th and 12th; Watergate Theatre; 7pm; €25/€22).


Thursday, August 11th; Millennium Forum, Derry; £34.50;; and Friday, August 12th; Waterfront, Belfast;

The Scottish band rose in a late-1990s Britpop wave with their album The Man Who, which featured hit tunes such as Writing to Reach You and Why Does It Always Rain on Me? They followed that with another successful album, The Invisible Band, which saw such hits as Sing and Flowers in the Window coming into plain view. Now the band are playing that 2001 album in full, in a delayed 20th-anniversary celebration, along with some of their other classic hits on their current tour, which rolls into Derry and Belfast. At the time of its release, a sniffy rock critic (that was me) couldn’t see the appeal of The Invisible Band, considering it a misstep into the middle of the road. But the fans didn’t agree, putting the record at the top of the chart, and putting this critic firmly in his place.


Friday, August 12th, and Saturday, August 13th; Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork; 6pm; prices from €59.50;

Going on an extended break has been good for the Irish boyband. After a six-year hiatus, the foursome got back together in 2018 and have enjoyed a rollicking return to business, selling out stadiums in double-quick time and topping charts with their comeback album, Spectrum, and their most recent release, Wild Dreams. They played two sold-out shows at the Aviva Stadium in July, and just last Saturday they packed them in at Wembley Stadium, their first gig at the iconic London venue. This weekend they’re doing two nights at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and for these gigs their special guests are the fab Emeli Sandé and the up-and-coming Irish popsters Wild Youth.


Waterford Walls

Friday, August 12th to Sunday, August 21st; various venues, time and prices;

You won’t have to squint to see the artworks on display at the eighth annual Waterford Walls International Street Art Festival, but you may have to step back a few metres to take in the full impact of these large-scale murals, which will be adorning walls, facades and gable ends across the city and surrounding areas during the festival. More than 28 artists from Ireland and abroad will descend on the city and bring a splash of colour to the local community, and there’ll also be live art, digital art programmes, music hubs, workshops, guided tours and more. It’s all free, but if you’re enjoying the gigantic arty party, then consider subscribing to the festival’s Patreon for a small-scale €3 a month.

Muldoon’s Picnic

Sunday, August 14th; Peacock Theatre, Dublin; 7pm; €20-€25;, #MuldoonsPicnic

Rock’n’roll has always been the thumping backbeat for Paul Muldoon, and here the poet hosts an eclectic picnic of poetry, prose and music, with guests including Iarla O’Lionaird, Nick Laird and Zadie Smith, along with house band Rogue Oliphant, whose lineup includes the former Pogues bassist Cait O’Riordan. The show has enjoyed 10 sold-out seasons at the Irish Arts Centre in New York, where Muldoon is now based, and has toured Ireland in 2017 and 2019. Since then the Pulitzer Prize-winning Armagh poet has recited Van Morrison’s lyrics as part of special tribute shows, and collaborated with Paul McCartney on McCartney’s book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, so with luck he’ll have a few stories to tell about working with Macca.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist