“Do you know the Five Lamps?”
This classic bit of Dublin-based wit—usually dropped in response to what the listener deems a stupid or silly question—references a particular lamppost in the northeastern corner of Dublin’s City Centre. This peculiar bit of lighting has not only inspired the above test of one’s Dublin heritage—non-Dub culchies won’t understand the line, and will be identified as blow-ins trying to pass as Dublin natives—but also a community-sourced celebration of art, music, and theatre.
Since 2007, the organizers of the Five Lamps Arts Festival have been supporting and developing the community of local artists and creators by showcasing their work in a variety of local venues and bringing their work to a new and larger (and local again) audience. The 2016 festival kicks off this weekend, and events run through St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the schedule of events for a full list, or read on for a few of my favorite picks.
Wed March 2, 7:30 p.m.
This concert, held to benefit Swan Youth Service, showcases the talents of some young musicians in the Swan program. Donations are accepted at the door.
Punch Lion Kids’ Comedy Club
Sat March 5, 5:00 p.m.
A family-friendly stand-up comedy show? It’s real, and it’s coming for the festivals. Bring the kids along for some fun with knock-knock jokes and nonsense stories. Admission is free but booking is required.
Magician Brendan Lambe
Wed March 9, 12:30 p.m. & Sat March 12, 3:00 p.m.
A free, hour-long magic show for all ages? Yes, please! Don’t miss this performance of tricks and illusions for kids and adults. Admission is free but booking is required.
Author Roisin Ingle Reads from Public Displays of Emotion
Thu March 10, 9:00 p.m.
Cusack’s Pub, North Strand Road
Columnist and author Roisin Ingle will give a reading from her new book, Public Displays of Emotion, a collection of columns and stories about Irish life and culture. The book also collects her important writings about women’s issues in Ireland, including her own experience having an abortion in her 20s. Admission is free, no booking required.
Fri March 11, 9:30 p.m.
Liberty Hall (Connolly Room)
Singer/songwriter Brenden Devereux has won international acclaim with his original folk song stylings. Join him for a free performance on Friday night, booking is required.
Cliona Cassidy and Niamh Molloy
Sun Mar 13, 2:00 p.m.
Hugh Lane Gallery
Join Dublin-born classical musicians Cliona and Niamh for a free afternoon performance of “Akhmatova Songs” by contemporary composer Sir John Tevener. No booking required, first-come, first-served seating.
Catch a few of these performances and get to know the Five Lamps a little bit better. For many more events, and for booking information, head over to the Five Lamps Arts Festival website.