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New Arts Festival play offers a fresh take on topical issue



Trangender and notions of masculinity are dealt with in Luck Just Kissed You Hello.

Bruce Jenner may have been in the limelight last month when he became Caitlyn and featured on Vanity Fair’s cover, but Galway is now about to get its own transgender experience. Luck Just Kissed You Hello by Amy Conroy will receive its world premiere at Druid Theatre as part of the Galway International Arts Festival.

The plot centres on Laura returns home for the death of her father – but Laura is now Mark.  In this dramatic and funny exploration of masculinity, Mark defends his new life to those who know him best, his twin brother Gary and old friend Sullivan. And, most confronting of all, he has to face what it means to be himself.

Amy has worked with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), on understanding, not only what it feels like to be both genders, but also to investigate gender fluidity and masculinity through a transgender lens.

“I feel it is important for the play to convey the uncertainty felt by many men,” she says. “Yet I also wanted to acknowledge the great beauty in so many traditional masculine traits. To examine what it feels like to be a man, but also what it feels like to be a man deemed not masculine enough, or indeed a female deemed too masculine.”

Amy Conroy’s previous plays include I ♥ Alice ♥ I, which explored the love between two women; Eternal Rising of the Sun, about the grit and determination of the young dance student; and Break, about explosive staffroom conflicts. A similar intensity is on the cards with Luck Just Kissed You Hello.

Starring Amy Conroy, Mark Fitzgerald and Will O’Connell, and directed by Caitriona McLaughlin, It’s a co-production between HotForTheatre and Galway International Arts Festival, the first time the two organisations have collaborated.

It will preview from next Thursday, July 9, to Sunday, July 12, nd will open on Monday, July 13, running until Saturday, July 25 at 8pm, with matinees on July 18 and 25 July at 3pm. The show’s  duration is 90 minutes and tickets costing €18 – €20,are available from or at the Festival Box Office on 091 566577 or at Box Office in Galway Tourist Office, Forster Street, Galway.

Luck Just Kissed You Hello marks the first co-production between HotForTheatre and Galway International Arts Festival. The production is supported by an Arts Council play development award with production Support provided by Rough Magic.


Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be



Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce.

Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a  blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.

The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.

It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.

Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.

People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.

The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.

The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at

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All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh



Most of the competitions for young musicians will take place this Saturday in Dunmore Community School. All the competitions are open to the public.

Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.

It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.

The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023.  Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.

Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.

Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.

On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.

Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.

For more information on the County Fleadh, go to


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Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday



Pianist Cédric Pescia.

Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.

This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.

This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as  ‘language and movement at the same time’.

Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31.  These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.

■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.

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