In May of this year the Socialist Voice, in association with The New Theatre will host its very first week long political/cultural fesitval in the heart of Dublin City. This festival is an extension of the ‘James Connolly Memorial Weekend’, where esteemed national and international guest speakers such as James Petras have given the James Connolly Memorial lecture. This is followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Arbour Hill on the Sunday, to mark the occasion of Connolly’s execution and to pay tribute to him and to the other leaders of the 1916 rising.
In 2015 we will launch the first annual ‘James Connolly Festival’ which host a broad list of cultural and political acts and events – with music, theatre, poetry, films, art, debates and lectures intended for a new risen people. This really is the place where politics and culture meet.
The Revolutionaries – 1916 and beyond
May 4th @ 7.30pm
Songs and poems by Matt Callaghan and Yvonne Moore with author Gabriel Rosenstock
The James Connolly Festival’s first evening show will be launched with songs and stories of some of the great revolutionaries. Mat Callaghan and Yvonne more will bring their extraordinary talent of singing and songwriting to the new theatre, singing songs of Connolly, rebellion and revolt, while one of Ireland’s most distinguished writers Gabriel Rosenstock will cite extracts from his latest book of haiku based on the life of Irish-Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara. This will be a once off performance and a great opener to the festival.
The Socialist Voice
May 6th @ 7.30pm
Tickets : €10
With Fiach Moriarty, Stephen Murphy, Sarah Clancy, Andrew Kearns and Evelyn Campbell.
Wednesday sees some of Ireland’s best singers and poets take to the stage to perform on the Socialist Voice platform. All of the performers share a common understanding of justice, history and social commentary, woven in their particular artistry. The Festival’s mid-week show-case night will certainly be a unique experience and one not to be missed by lovers of poetry and music. With such a varied and mixture of talent, our contemporary artists will certainly let their voice be heard by all those who attend.
by Donal O’Kelly
May 6th – May 8th @ 1pm
Donal O’Kelly’s solo show Hairy Jaysus is a view of pacifist, feminist and socialist Frank Sheehy-Skeffington seen through the eyes of a Dublin beggar today
Called “Hairy Jaysus” by James Joyce because he became an atheist, Frank was also called a crank. He replied “a crank is a small instrument that makes revolutions”. He was close friends with both James Connolly and James Joyce.
A longtime campaigner with his wife Hanna for votes for women, he supported the Dublin workers during the 1913 Lockout. Jailed in June 1915 for making anti-war speeches, he went on hunger-and-thirst strike until released. He was shot dead in Portobello Barracks Rathmines in Easter Week 1916.
Coming up to the 1916 centenary, Sheehy-Skeffington’s spirit of resistance to accepted norms is needed more than ever, according to O’Kelly. “The man Seán O’Casey called ‘the soul of revolt against man’s inhumanity to man, the ripest ear of corn that fell in Easter Week’ is crucially relevant today”
Juno and the Paycock
by Sean O’Casey
May 7th @ 7.00pm
A dramatised reading
This special evening brings two towering socialists and friends together James Connolly and Sean O’Casey.
Considered Sean O’Casey’s greatest play, Juno and the Paycock tells the story of poverty, tenements, dreams and tragedy to the background of the emerging Irish State and the Civil War – A classic.
Ena May, Ronan Wilmot, Daragh Kelly, Anne Brogan and Clare Mullen are among the cast.
Directed by Ronan Wilmot
Music Night with Mark Geary
May 8th @ 7.30pm
The James Connolly Festival is proud to bring you one of Ireland’s best singer/songwriters who will bring his blend of original music and harmony to the stage.
Dublin-native Mark Geary is a celebrated musician who began his career more than 20 years ago. During that time, Mark’s songwriting skills and engaging live performances garnered him a dedicated audience, the respect and esteem of his peers and a reputation as one of the finest song-smiths of his generation. He has some special songs in store specifically for the festival, so fans and newcomers alike will be in for a real treat.