Music theatre fans were indulged with a rare treat in Clonmel last week with an outdoor production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Kickham Army Barracks but it was just the first in a series of open air arts events the town will host over the next few months.
The outdoor Irish premiere of the award winning musical is one of four In The Open/Faoin Spéir projects being organised to bring Clonmel’s thriving arts community back to life after a year and a half of pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.
Cliona Maher, Artistic Director of Clonmel Junction Arts Festival, said Kickham Barracks will again be the venue for the next event in the series - a re-enactment of the Waterford Spraoi Prism Show that closed the Waterford Spraoi Festival during the summer.
The night-time show of music, dance and aerial performances staged in an illuminated tent-like structure will come to Clonmel in late January.
The Prism Show will also feature dance performances from members of Clonmel’s Alison Cronin School of Dance and a community choir.
Local artists are being invited to create large scale outdoor art works in unexpected places in Clonmel for the Inside/Out project in February. This will be a follow on to the striking mural painted on the gable wall of Mani restaurant on Parnell Street.
Ms Maher said the final event of In The Open/Faoin Spéir series will be the Clonmel Song Cycle in April.
It will be a live musical presentation and heritage trail through the streets, back alleys and lanes of Clonmel where audiences will encounter fascinating local historical characters and narratives - some well-known and some less well-known - in the surroundings and environment that shaped them. The event is conceived and composed by Eamon O’Malley.
In the Open | Faoin Spéir is an Arts Council funded programme developed in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Tipperary County Council Arts Office has partnered with Clonmel Junction Arts Festival and South Tipperary Arts Centre to devise the programme of events based on the theme of Come out to Play.
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