Tadhg Leahy and Friends.

Online mix of music and theatre as Drogheda Arts Festival goes virtual

June bank holiday of eclectic events

Drogheda Arts Festival is back for 2021, with an exciting programme of music, theatre, podcasts, family fun and visual arts taking place over the summer, celebrating everything that is great about the arts.

Kicking off on Friday 4th June there’s an eclectic mixture of music and theatre taking place online over the bank holiday weekend including original music from Tadhg Leahy + Friends; Sharon Carty and Úna Hunt performing a song recital by celebrated and lesser-known female composers, Maria Doyle Kennedy in the intimate and atmospheric setting of Gerrard’s Church, Operation S.P.I.E.S. by Tailtiu Theatre as well as Behind Locked Doors, Quintessence Theatre’s digital debut, based on true stories from across Ireland.

Tadhg Leahy + Friends

Friday 4 June, 8pm (1 Hour) \ €10 per device

Recorded in Sarsfield’s Bar, behind closed doors, Tadhg Leahy + Friends is an exclusive online event for Drogheda Arts Festival featuring original music composed and arranged by Tadhg, much of which is included on his debut studio E.P. In this concert, Tadhg will perform with a number of ensembles (trio, quartet, and quintet) aimed at enhancing the stylistically varied nature of the music, which moves naturally through classical, folk and jazz. Other featured artists include violinist Tadhg Murphy, multi-instrumentalist David Dockery, electric and double bass player Graham Heaney, vocalist Saoirse Kavanagh plus guitar / singer Stephen Carolan. Tadhg is a recipient of the Arts Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Award in 2020

Sharon Carty and Úna Hunt

Saturday 5 June, 8pm (1 hour) \ €10 per device

Recorded in St Peter’s Church of Ireland for Drogheda Arts Festival presented by Drogheda Classical Music Series, mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty and pianist Úna Hunt perform a programme celebrating female composers. Irish mezzo soprano Sharon Carty wowed Drogheda audiences when she sang the role of Orfeo in Irish National Opera’s acclaimed production of Orfeo ed Euridice in 2019. For this concert, which celebrates works by female composers, Sharon joins forces with Irish pianist Úna Hunt, renowned for her championship of Irish composers whose music she has performed and presented to audiences all over the world. France meets Ireland in this eclectic mix of songs and piano music by female composers. From France are Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937) and Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) who join little-known composers of Irish interest, Augusta Holmès (1847-1903), Hope Temple (1859-1938) and Fanny Robinson (1831-1879) whose piano music features in a new two-volume sheet music collection, The Irish Piano Album, edited by Úna Hunt. To open the programme, a collection of songs of the sea by the English composers, Ethyl Smyth and Rebecca Clarke and the haunting ‘My Grief on the Sea’ by Enniskillen-born, Joan Trimble. This programme was initially devised by Sharon Carty and Úna Hunt for a series of concerts celebrating female composers and performed in the National Concert Hall in January 2020.

SOLO: Maria Doyle Kennedy

Sunday 6 June, 8pm (1 hour) \ €10 per device

Solo returns to Drogheda Arts Festival this year in the intimate and atmospheric setting of Gerrard’s Church. Maria Doyle Kennedy has established herself as one of Ireland's most prolific artists and entertainers. She is well known for her hit albums Mutter and Sing (feat: John Prine, Damien Rice, and Paul Brady). Maria writes and performs with husband Kieran Kennedy. Her EP Songs from the kitchen table was released Jan 1 2020, the 11th release on their own label Mermaid Records. They have composed original soundtracks for award winning short films A Different Kind of Day, Colour Code and their songs have also featured in TV series Orphan Black and Outlander. As an actress, Maria has appeared in Outlander and TV roles include Orphan Black, Downton Abbey, and The Tudors. Maria recently collaborated with Feist & Jarvis Cocker on a video for the song Century.

Operation S.P.I.E.S. by Tailtiu Theatre

Sunday 6 June | 2pm. €2

Following the success of Under D'Bed, Tailtiu Theatre in association with Droichead Arts Centre makes its Drogheda Arts Festival debut with a work in progress piece, Operation S.P.I.E.S. Join International Super Spy Rick Danger and absolute rookie Eugene O' Shaugnessy on ZOOM as they set out to save the Irish Secret Service. This is an interactive theatre experience for the whole family! This new online in development theatre show is where YOU control the action. The audience will become players and direct Eugene and Rick through a series of puzzles and challenges. The audience will work with the characters to unravel a conspiracy that goes right to the heart of the Irish Secret Service.

Tailtiu Theatre is company in residence at Droichead Arts Centre

Behind Locked Doors

3rd-6th June (one episode daily, 7:30pm)

Lockdown. Locked up. Locked in. No way out. No way in.

Drogheda, 2020. In the midst of a global pandemic two neighbours each grapple with the gendered shadow pandemics of Ireland – domestic violence and parental alienation. In Quintessence Theatre’s digital debut, based on true stories from across Ireland, Behind Locked Doors explores the lived experience of one man and one woman each trapped in their own cycles of abuse exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions. Behind Locked Doors is a work in progress and will be released in a series of short episodes online across the Drogheda Arts Festival 2021 as a prelude to a full-length live stage production in 2022.

Suitable for ages 15+

Bookings for Drogheda Arts Festival can be made via www.droghedaartsfestival.ie. As restrictions change and the country opens up, the summer festival for all the family, will evolve from online events over the June bank holiday, to live outdoor theatrical events and a mobile offsite sculpture installation in August. And finally in September, watch out for details of a major exhibition in Highlanes Gallery. The Drogheda Arts Festival is generously funded by Louth County Council and the Arts Council.

All live/outdoor/offsite events will adhere to all Covid guidelines.

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