Spring has sprung with Múscailt 03

Friday, 31 January 2003

Release date: 30 January, 2003

Spring has sprung with Múscailt 03

NUI Galway's third annual Springtime Festival Múscailt 03 is sure to banish winter blues with its exciting programme of music, art, drama, dance and film. 'Múscailt', meaning to awaken, will take place from the 17-23 February 2003. All events are open to the public and take place in various venues throughout the campus. Sean McGinley, currently starring in the RTÉ series On Home Ground, will officially open the Festival on the 17 February.

The theatrical highlight of the festival is Dublin-based Loose Canon Theatre Company's The Duchess of Malfi. This production of John Webster s Jacobean tragedy was critically acclaimed at the 2002 Dublin Fringe Theatre Festival.

The musical highlight of Múscailt 03 is the Cole Porter favourite Anything Goes which includes such favourites as I Get a Kick Out of You, You're the Top! and Blow Gabriel Blow and will be presented at the Black Box Theatre. The comedy takes place on a ship bound for England from the United States, it includes an arranged marriage, mistaken identity, gangsters, Wall Street millionaires, stowaways, and nightclub singers.

Music of a different kind can be heard in the Aula Maxima on Wed 19 Feb, when the superb concert harpist Máire Ní Chathasaigh who will perform with her husband virtuoso guitarist Chris Newman. Ní Chathasaigh has been a major influence on Irish harp playing and is one of Ireland's leading exponents of the instrument.

Also on Wed 19 Feb, the NUI Galway Writers Group will host a special evening of prose and poetry. Guests include Jamie O'Neill, author of the acclaimed novel At Swim, Two Boys, Emily Cullen, former NUI Galway Arts Officer who will read excerpts from her poetry and Rab Fulton, who will read from his new e-novel, The Kiss.

Poet, critic and editor of The Burning Bush, Michael S. Begnal, has chosen Múscailt 03 to launch his first collection, The Lakes of Coma. Begnal's work has been widely published and he is currently working on his next collection, Ancestor Worship. The 2003 edition of NUI Galway's own arts magazine Criterion, whose patron is Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, will be launched on Thursday 20 February at a literary evening, which will include readings from contributors to this year's publication.

An event not to be missed is the double act of John Spillane and Louis de Paor on Thursday, 21 February. Spillane's voice has been described as "full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity". Poet Louis de Paor, currently the Director of Irish Studies at NUI, Galway has a string of awards to his credit. Their regular, successful collaborations, have been referred to by Spillane as the Gaelic Hit Factory'. A traditional music intervarsity, including workshops in uilleann pipes, sean-nós singing and traditional instruments, will take place throughout the weekend.

NUI Galway has a particularly strong art collection of more than one hundred and fifty works representing Irish painting and sculpture across the 20th century. These include paintings by Walter Osborne, Mainie Jellet, Nathaniel Hone, Ann Madden and Robert Ballagh. An exhibition of selected works will be on view throughout the Festival in the University Gallery, Quadrangle.

What amounts to a 'festival within a festival' will take place during Múscailt 03 when a film festival will run concurrently with Múscailt. The programme features Italian, American, French and Spanish film with a romantic theme.

The Student Societies have a big involvement with this year s festival programme. "Without the vitality, creativity and commitment of the Societies, we wouldn't have such an ambitious and exciting programme" said Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway's Societies Officer. "They have done Trojan work in the last few months and we are confident that Múscailt 03 will be a memorable event." Tickets and Festival programmes are available by contacting: Festival Office at Tel. 091-512062. View programme on http://www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie/

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer. NUI Galway Tel. 091-750418

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