We went out on the town on Culture Night. It was only somewhat successful. We visited the Mansion House and the Royal Irish Academy which were both fine in their way – beautiful buildings with interesting contents – but as we’ve been to both of them before, we were resolutely underwhelmed. I dare say there are fresh things to see on every visit but we did not appreciate them as we ought.
Probably a highlight of the evening was meeting a misfortunate teacher from the children’s school who was out with her fiancé and not entirely delighted to meet students and their parents in the wild. She left after a quick hello hauling her young man behind her at speed. Who would be a teacher?
It was also the theatre festival and the Dublin fringe festival. We went to see the comedian Alison Spittle in the Fringe. I was unamused but the venue was Dublin Castle chapel royal which was nice to be inside, so there was that.
We went with my in-laws and their friends from London to one of the worst plays I have seen in years. It was called “The Bluffer’s Guide to Suburbia” and the premise was musician who fails in London moves back to Dublin suburbia. Promising I felt. It resolutely failed to live up to the promise of the billing and although I fell asleep half way through and was spared some of the worst, I was quite mortified to have brought everyone there. The English visitors were very nice about it (there was no question but that it was dreadful
The following evening we had tickets for a play called “The Alternative”. The theatre festival is a cruel mistress. We were bringing the children and I was afraid. The premise of the play was that Ireland had never split from the UK and we were now having a present day independence referendum like the one they had in Scotland a couple of years ago. It was so good. We all loved it. It was clever and funny and inventive. The best thing I have seen in years. The children noticed the new deputy principal in the audience but we not to frighten another member of staff at a cultural event and nodded from a distance rather than approaching more closely.
In the visual arts, I forked out €15 to see the Sorolla exhibition in the National Gallery. I had never heard of him before; he’s a Spanish impressionist. I mean, fine, but I was not overly impressed, some nice interesting paintings but overall, I didn’t feel excited or delighted to have visited. In contrast the free Bauhaus exhibition in the print gallery upstairs is outstanding and well worth your time. I was also pretty impressed by the finalists in the National portrait competition which are on temporary exhibition at the moment. The Crawford in Cork is showing an exhibition about children called “Seen not Heard” around the theme of childhood and that’s pretty good. A smaller exhibition upstairs of the works that the Gibson bequest committee bought during the Emergency (known as World War II elsewhere) I found less impressive. One or two things I quite liked but overall, not the finest moment in Cork art collecting.
Herself meanwhile had been invited by a friend to hear Oscar Wilde’s grandson reading his poetry at the Abbey but had to turn down the invitation as she had too much homework. Alas.