10 fun and free things to do across the country on Culture Night

By Ciara O'Loughlin

After a long, hard 18 months with few cultural events due to Covid restrictions, Culture Night makes a very welcome return on Friday.

Hundreds of events will take place right across the country, with themes ranging from arts and culture to heritage, education, hospitality, tourism and health.

This year's programme includes both in-person and online events.

Here are 10 fun and free things you can do on Friday, September 17, to celebrate Culture Night:

1. GPO Museum – Dublin

The GPO Museum will open late this Friday to celebrate Culture Night 2021. Take a tour through the museum that brings you on a journey through the lead-up to the 1916 Rising, the events of that week, and the aftermath of the rebellion.

Entry is free and ticketed. Due to Covid regulations, places are limited and advance booking online is essential.

  • Time: 5pm-9pm
  • Genres: Heritage/History/Museum/Talk/Tour
  • Features: Family friendly/Wheelchair accessible
  • Address: GPO Museum, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1, Dublin D01 F5P2, Ireland
  • Website: http://www.gpowitnesshistory.ie/
  • Phone: 061 711 2222.

2. Alchemy music concert featuring Mary Coughlan – Wicklow

This concern will celebrate some of Wicklow’s finest musicians and the return of live performances with Mary Coughlan on vocals, Tim Doyle on the uilleann pipes and whistles, Dermot Dunne on accordion and Mike Nielsen on guitar.

  • Time: 7pm-8.30pm
  • Genres: Music/Performance
  • Address: Ashford Community and Heritage Centre, Ashford, Co Wicklow

3. Aideen’s Art Studio – Galway

Visit the studio of award-winning Galway artist Aideen Monaghan. Experience Aideen’s process of art-making.

View her paintings, drawings, greeting cards and limited- edition prints and discover your own creativity by taking part in an art class.

Aideen is also an experienced and fully qualified art teacher and she will guide you through the enjoyable process of painting.

4. Culture lights at Ard Scoil na nDéise – Waterford

This year, students have created a series of lantern sculptures based on Dungarvan’s Poetry Town celebration.

Students from various year groups are involved and have constructed beautiful sculpture pieces which will be illuminated on Culture Night.

5. The Abbey Theatre Last Orders – online

The Abbey Theatre presents a special audio version of Dermot Bolger’s play Last Orders at the Dockside.

Following the death of an elderly docker, his friends gather in the local pub, The Dockside, to celebrate his life.

Emotions run high and a powder keg of friction comes to a head as a dockland community comes to terms with the challenge of building new lives when old ways get swept away.

Over the course of an evening awash with songs, sharp Dublin wit and tales of life on the Docks, hidden tensions expose fault lines in their complex relationships.

6. CADA performing arts class for children Cork

CADA performing school is holding a children’s drama and dance class for all abilities to drop in and participate.

7. Bewley's Café Theatre Excerpts Dublin

Bewley’s Café Theatre will present a programme of theatre excerpts and highlights from its lunchtime programme in The Poet’s Corner on the first floor of the refurbished Grafton Street Café.

People can book in at the Bewley’s Café Grafton Street entrance, for 30-minute slots, starting from 6pm, with the last slot at 9.30pm.

All audience members will require proof of vaccination to enter as per indoor dining guidelines.

8. Brendan J Hynes Walking Tours Galway

Galway has for many generations been a centre of theatre, literature and poetry.

This tour will take you on a journey of discovery that will highlight key aspects of the city’s cultural and artistic side.

  • Book by phone or email: 087 7953785/brendan.hynes@outlook.com
  • Time: 6.30pm-7.30pm
  • Address: Browne's Doorway
  • Website: http://brendanjhynes.com/

9. Battle of the Axe Comedy & Open Mic Club Online

Battle of the Axe will be holding an online open mic club for Culture Night.

The gig is one of Ireland’s longest established clubs and continues to feature impromptu guest performances from established luminaries from the international and Irish comedy circuit.

10. Foróige Satellite Studios art trail Limerick

The Foróige Satellite Studios art trail is an outdoor art exhibition, as nine ESB mini-pillars and one mural are completed as part of this series which is based mostly around The Square in Newcastle West, Co Limerick.

The Foróige Youth Advisory Squad, who are artists aged between 10 and 18, aimed to bring joy to people with themes of identity, individuality, interests and diversity.

QR Codes on each artwork will lead you to information on that piece and the full trail. This is a self-guided trail.

To check out the full programme for Culture Night or for any more information, please visit www.culturenight.ie.

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