Relative to its size, Dublin’s performance, arts and culture scene is vibrant and the artistic community admirably international. Among the events to include on the calendar is a frequently eclectic lineup of performers on the first Friday of every month at the Annesley House in Fairview, Dublin 1.
At the April show, Irish author Aiden O’Reilly and Irish singer-songwriter BeRn were the natives, book-ending the gig with Scottish-born, sometime-US-resident Maeve Gilchrist, whose harp accompanied percussive footwork from Michigan dancer Nic Gareiss, followed by poetry from Greek-Canadian wordsmith Dimitra Xidous. O’Reilly ably read excerpts from a surreal short story that could be regarded as a critique of the commodification of women in society. As with the best of the form, the tale leads the listener to question and think long after its conclusion.
Gilchrist and Gareiss’s music and dance were accomplished and entertaining, while Dimitra X’s poetry contained some wonderful wordplay based on her own experiences and clever use of New Testament imagery.
BeRn’s songs, with profound lyrics frequently filtered through the protest folk tradition, were complemented with a lack of preciousness in her performance, and an ability to capture the audience’s attention through both comedic banter and musicianship.
Although the artists on the bill were enjoyable in a standalone capacity, the beauty of these multidisciplinary shows is that there is something for everyone.
Chicago-born spoken-word performer Clara Rose Thornton will be among those showcasing their material at the next event. She is 2014-15 Dublin Poetry Slam champion, and with an experienced background in culture journalism, her work is frequently incisive and insightful social commentary in poetic form. An impressive stage presence, meanwhile, only enhances the Whitmanesque universality of Thornton’s pieces.
Irish band Lumberjack and musician Brian Mooney are also on Friday’s lineup.
Events will be held on the first Friday of each month at The Annesley House for the foreseeable future.
The Facebook presence for The House Presents… is here.