First Fortnight festival is taking place in various venues across Ireland over the first couple of weeks of 2017. The annual festival is in its eighth year and uses art to raise awareness and fight stigma surrounding mental health issues. It’s a great chance to see live music, film, theatre, discussion and arts events staged to create open discussion and understanding of mental health problems, and challenge prejudice and discrimination.
Smock Alley Theatre are playing host to a play called ‘Half Light’. It’s based around a ten-year-old boy travelling through the magic, fantastical woodland of his father’s storybook. The story is described as ‘true as it is untrue, simultaneously fact and fiction. Chaotic yet controlled. Childish yet adult. Half dark and half-light.’ 10th – 14th January.
Get your laughs on at the Comedy Corner with Eleanor Tiernan and Gráinne McKeever. Their show will be shared in 2 locations. Wednesday 11th January in St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services James Street, Dublin 8 and Thursday 12th January in Smock Alley Theatre 6/7 Exchange Street Lower, Dublin 8. Catch Eleanor Tiernan – ‘What’s My Motivation Here?’ And the ‘Fabulous Failings of Grainne McKeever’.
The premiere screening of ‘The Wonder Eye’, a portrait of Ivor Browne will take place in the IFI, Irish Film Institute. Due to such demand there will be three screenings of the film on the 14th – 15th January. The Wonder Eye is a thought-proving, quirky and challenging cinematic portrait of the central figure in Irish mental health for many decades. There are contributions from Tommy Tiernan, Tom Murphy, Mary Coughlan, Sebastian Barry, Nell McCafferty and others.
There’s also some great music going on at the first big gig of the year in the Button Factory. The best Irish, musical talent will come together in their united support of mental health and quality music. This year’s acts include Overhead, The Albatross, Windings, Otherkin, Danny Battles and Brass Phantoms. Saturday 14th January.