7pm, RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, Friday 23rd September
Presented by RTÉ, in association with the Arts Council
This Culture Night, presenter Annie MacManus will host a very special evening of music, theatre, dance and spoken word live from the edge of Lough Boora in County Offaly. This Culture Night celebration of Ireland’s unique boglands is presented by RTÉ, in association with the Arts Council.
Live from Bord na Móna’s Lough Boora Discovery Park, right in the heart of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will be joined by a range of artists across the evening including local artists and friends Tolü Makay and Felispeaks who have come together in a unique celebration of their shared heritage along with the Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath choir; songwriter, musician and one of Ireland’s top electronic music producers Elaine Mai is joined by MayKay, Loah, Sinead White and Ailbhe Reddy in a TV first; celebrated East Clare violin master Martin Hayes will lift the roof on the Lough Boora venue with his unique interpretation of traditional tunes while Cork singer-songwriter Jack O’Rourke promises to bring us gently into the autumn sunset with Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ which turns 30 this year.
From the west coast, Susan O’Neill brings us a Culture Night performance from Galway’s Claddagh Basin while Damien Dempsey performs Peat Bog Soldiers on location at Lough Boora Discovery Park – a symbol of resistance that has become a universal anti-war anthem made popular by Pete Seeger and our own Luke Kelly. Damien brings his heart and soul to this performance in a song for peace.
Also at Lough Boora, the premiere of a specially commissioned dance work: ‘It’s All up in the Air on Bogland’ Rhona Byrne in collaboration with Laura Murphy while, along the Claddagh Basin in Galway Fíbín Sa Taibhdhearc premiere their surreal and satirical pocket opera ‘Raic’ by Philip Doherty – a cautionary tale that we might not be ready to listen to.
Checking in with what’s happening around the country for Culture Night – Jessie Buckley visits artist Pat Curran at the Matt Talbot Community Trust in Ballyfermot where he’s preparing for his Culture Night Exhibition; composer Eamon O’Malley takes us on a live musical and heritage trail through the streets and lanes of Clonmel where the Clonmel Song Cycle will encounter local historical characters; Colm Tóibín heads to Heuston Station to check out the Art’s Council’s Read Mór Book Gifting scheme and we go live to Dublin’s Spencer Dock where Evelyn O’Rourke will capture the atmosphere in the Capital on Culture Night.
Ann Marie Power, Group Head Arts and Culture, RTÉ said: “We are delighted that our participation in Culture Night this year has a fresh look and feel, featuring a vibrant show on RTÉ One television that’s live from Lough Boora in the heart of the midlands. It will be brimming with talented artists performing alongside the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and we’ve found a way to weave in a flavour of just a few of the many activities taking place on Culture Night in other parts of the country. It’s our contribution to a ‘live’ Culture Night that looks all set to live up to its ‘One Night for All’ billing!”
Arts Council Director, Maureen Kennelly said: “Our partnership with RTÉ is really important. For people at home who can’t get out and about, it means that they can feel part of the depth and breadth of artistic and cultural expression in Ireland today. Coming live from Lough Boora in Offaly, in the heart of the country, with its amazing Sculpture Park is inspired; the local audience and national viewers are in for a real treat.”
Ger Breen, Head of Land and Habitats, Bord na Móna said; “Bord na Móna’s focus is on delivering climate solutions and Lough Boora is a wonderful showcase of what we are achieving in rehabilitating our peatlands for future generations. We are delighted to bring the beauty of Lough Boora to a national audience, while at the same time celebrating the talents of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the many performers taking part in Culture Night.”
Photograph by Martyn V Harris