Limerick - Culture

Culture

Limerick is Ireland's first City of Culture. The designation for City of Culture 2014 was bestowed on Limerick by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the 9th of July 2012.

The Belltable Arts Centre on O'Connell Street hosts for local playwriting and drama. Mike Finn's numerous plays have been successful, including Pigtown, set around a century of the city's history, and Shock and Awe, an energetic retelling of Homer's Iliad. The University Concert Hall located in UL is a 1,000 seat venue and provides a large venue for national and international acts to visit the city. Limerick is also the home of several "street theatre" companies, including "Janzo Street Arts" and "The Umbrella Project" street theatre companies.

The Limerick City Gallery of Art on Pery Square is the city's chief venue for contemporary art exhibitions. It is home to a permanent collection of Irish art, which shows works from the early 18th to 20th century. Limerick's major contemporary art event is EVA (Exhibition of Visual+ Art), which takes place in the city every two years. Established in 1977 as an annual event until 2010 when it became a biennial, EVA has become one of Ireland's premier annual exhibitions of contemporary art. Selected every second year by a new curator, it brings international artworks and art by Irish artists to Limerick. The centre of the exhibition is the Limerick City Gallery of Art, but EVA generally uses numerous other venues throughout the city.

Other active Limerick arts groups include Contact Studios, which provides individual studio spaces for visual artists; the Daghdha Dance Company, a contemporary dance company that has adopted a renovated church in John's Square, adjacent to St John's Cathedral, as a performance space); the Fresh Film Festival, which is held each spring, and includes films made by young people (7–18 years) from all over Ireland; Impact Theatre Company; and Limerick Printmakers Studio and Gallery, which provides printmaking facilities, a venue for exhibitions and events and an education programme. The Limerick Youth Theatre provides young people with an opening into acting and production. It received attention in the national media with its 2005 production of Romeo and Juliet, which made comparisons between the ongoing feud in the city with that of the Montagus and the Capulets in the play.

The city has an active music scene, which has produced bands such as The Cranberries and guitarist Noel Hogan's MonoBand, The Hitchers and many more. World-renowned electronic musician Richard D. James, more commonly known as Aphex Twin, was born in Limerick in 1971. The Limerick Art Gallery and the Art College cater for painting, sculpture and performance art of all styles. The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Music Centre are both based in the University of Limerick. The university has a thousand-seat state-of-the-art concert hall that frequently hosts visiting performers. Limerick is also home to comedians The Rubberbandits, D'Unbelievables (Pat Shortt & Jon Kenny), Jimmy Carr and Karl Spain. Dolans Warehouse on the Dock Road has two venues specialising in live music; an upstairs venue which tends to accommodate comedians and folk and jazz acts, and a much larger warehouse venue holding 400, which tends to stage more popular (usually rock) acts, both national and international. Dance music is catered for at Baker Place which holds mainly local underground nights and Trinity Rooms which has regularly hosts big names like Hot Chip, Groove Armada, DJ Yoda and Jazzy Jeff alongside more cutting-edge names like Dan Le Sac, Christian Smith, and Missill.

The city is the setting for Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes and the film adaptation. The Frank McCourt Museum situated in Frank's former school on Harstonge Street opened in 2011 and contains many artefacts from the book, it also houses Frank's Ashes. It is the setting for the contemporary coming-of-age drama Cowboys & Angels and Robert Cunningham's Somebody's Daughter, which was shot in various locations around the city and had its premiere in King John's Castle in July 2004.

A limerick is a type of humorous verse of five lines with an AABBA rhyme scheme: the poem's connection with the city is obscure, however, the name is generally taken to be a reference to Limerick City or County Limerick. sometimes particularly to the Maigue Poets, and may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will you come (up) to Limerick?" The earliest known use of the name "Limerick" for this type poem is an 1880 reference, in a St. John, New Brunswick newspaper, to an apparently well-known tune,

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