The programme for the 2016 Alternative Kilkenny Arts (AKA) has just been launched. The festival is a collaboration of people living in Kilkenny who have an interest in the arts.
Running July 28th – August 14th, it offers a platform for the different creative talent in the city and county as well as a diverse, alternative programme of national and international work.
There’s a hugely diverse musical programme happening this year. Cleeres Theatre will be jam packed with Irish acts such as David Kitt, Nick Kelly, The Casey Sisters, The Whiskey Kings and international acts Dom Flemons, August Wells, Yorkston Thorne Khan, Dick Valentine of Electric Six fame and Spirit Family Reunion.
Over in Billy Byrnes there’s an eclectic line up including the legendary Andy Irvine, the returning Mixtapes From The Underground, Frankenstein Bolts and Sing Along Social on August 14th. Brewery Corner welcomes up and coming acts Rusangano Family, MMOTHS and Bad Poster Girl as well as the Songwriters In The Round monthly. Other gigs include Anne McCue in Ryans, Jimmy Crowley in the Home Rule Club, Soul Power in The Pumphouse and the ever popular Eddi Reader in Ballykeefe Amphitheatre.
The visual strand features a vast selection of local and national art and craft with exhibitions from Blackstack Studios who celebrate five years at their home at 42 Parliament Street, The Kilkenny Art Gallery with a pop up gallery on John’s Bridge, Fintan Whelan (Rothe House), Helena Gorey (The Lodge, Burnchurch), Dathaí ÓhUallacháin (Harry’s Bar, Langtons), Mary H Hickey (Kilkenny Castle) Tony Oakey (Clubhouse Hotel), Agnieszka Lech (Ryans) and Nicky Anthony (Bosco’s Café). None Of The Above from Steve Aylin and Ale Mercado takes place in Kilkenny Arts Office and Recapture from Louis Buggy, Matthew Hickey & Lynda McDonald is presented at 41 Parliament Street. Photographic exhibitions include Anthony Griffin’s An Uncommon Beauty in Cleeres and Project Migrants, a study of the refugee crisis in Loughboy Library. Craft exhibits include Made In Kilkenny with Rhythms In Making at Butler House, Crossover in The Rudolf Heltzel Gallery and Peter Scroope on Williams Lane.
For fans of theatre, comedy and spoken word, Devious Theatre will be presenting their new production The Hellfire Squad in The Watergate Theatre (July 28-30). In Cleeres Theatre, acclaimed comedy troupe Dreamgun present Mimes In Time (August 1&2), Clear Blue Flaming Red is a night of spoken word from Siobhán Harte, Helena Duggan and Amanda Kelly (August 4th), Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (August 8th-10th) and the panel discussion Hot Air, a community response to climate change on August 6th.
An Evening With Liam Nugent sees the cult comedy oddball play Brewery Corner on August 4th, A Hungry Feelin’ a night of Dublin themed work in Ryans on August 5th and Understanding Beckett takes place in the Pembroke Hotel on the same date.
These events are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s happening in Kilkenny over the festival.
Keep up to date with the festival