Pop is going to eat himself? Ed Sheeran already devoured it
Concert of the Week: Ed Sheeran
April 23 and 24, Croke Park, 70 €-99€, ticketmaster.co.uk
Pop is going to eat itself, predicted an indie band from the 1980s, but they weren’t counting on a red-haired dude from West Yorkshire walking around and taking the whole thing. Ed Sheeran seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each new release and his most recent album yielded the ubiquitous hit Bad Habits. In December, his song Shape of You became the most-streamed song in Spotify history, with over 3 billion streams. His maths tour will take place in Croke Park over two nights this weekend, followed by shows in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Co Cork on April 28 and 29; and Thomond Park, Co Limerick on May 5. Sheeran will do something drastic for the fans – bringing a full band to support him on hits such as Castle on the Hill, Thinking Out Loud, Shivers and Galway Girl. He’s gearing up for the shows with small gigs at Whelan’s (April 20) and Vicar St (April 21) and if you’re lucky enough to get tickets to those shows, they’ll make a tasty starter for the big musical meal.
Frankenstein: how to create a monster
20-30 April (preview 19 April), Gate Theatre, Dublin, 7.30pm (Friday 7pm-9.30pm; Saturday morning 2.30pm), from 15 €
How do you create something big, bold and brilliant with just the human voice? Meet Beatbox Academy, a company that doesn’t need musical accompaniment because it makes all the sound itself, taking the story of Mary Shelley and expanding it to include all manner of modern monstrosities. Six performers take the mic for this kinetic, fast-paced show that draws inspiration from both Pachelbel and The Prodigy and explores how the digital age has spawned new monsters that threaten to engulf our lives and souls. This critically acclaimed production from Battersea Arts Center will demonstrate the power of the human voice to put fifty thousand volts through this timeless tale.
April 19-23, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, musiccurrent.ie
Are you ready for new sound adventures? Music Current is a five-day festival featuring innovative and ambitious music creators. This year he returns to live action with a program that promises to be challenging but also great fun. A fearless approach is in order for the participants, which this year include the Splinter Reeds Ensemble of San Francisco performing a work entitled Hypothetical Islands; and the New York chamber group Loadbang, which will give a concert called Irrational. Performing from the United States and Ensemble Garage from Germany. Dublin Sound Lab will showcase four new works created in collaboration with some of our most interesting composers and performers, and there will be a number of workshops and panel discussions so you can dig deeper into how these creative powers work.
April 20, 3Arena, Dublin, ticketmaster.co.uk
Releasing an album aimed straight at the crowded dance floor at a time when clubs around the world were shuttered might seem like a risky move, but Dua Lipa’s disco-tinged Future Nostalgia proved a tonic in a pandemic and took it from there. sent into the stratosphere. Now, crowds will descend on the 3Arena to dance in the flesh to hits such as Don’t Start Now and Levitating, and the glamor and glitz will be on full display both in the stands and on stage. The London singer, whose parents are from Kosovo, burst into our consciousness in 2017 with New Rules, a guide to weaning yourself off your toxic ex, and recently sang with Elton John on the Cold Heart chart. Wear your dancing shoes.
21 April-14 May, Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2pm), 15 €-45 €
How do you approach a classic piece that has become problematic in our supposedly more enlightened age. American playwright Branden Jacob-Jenkins rewrote Dion Boucicault’s 1859 play The Octoroon, replacing the definite article with the indefinite article and turning it into a big, bold statement about race and power in America modern. And yes, actors use the N-word on stage. The reboot and reimagining of Boucicault’s original has already won over ecstatic audiences in New York and London, but the playwright is understandably keen to see how it’s received in Boucicault’s hometown.
Alan Partridge: stratagem
April 23 and 24, 3Arena, Dublin, ticketmaster.co.uk
North Norwich’s favorite morning radio presenter returns to live action with his latest show, bearing the very Partridgesque title of Stratagem. But what is it? Well, as Alan explains in the show’s promotional video, he’s saddened by the way Brexit and Covid have shattered his beloved Britain. He wants to build a bridge between Brexiteers and Remainers, and between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. In this show, he describes his scheme to reunite the United Kingdom. “What really binds us as a nation is when all of us, together, can’t stand something – like speed bumps or anything changing.” If you’re worried that the series is too Anglo-centric, fear not. We’re sure Steve Coogan has a ploy to bring his Irish fans on the comedic journey.
April 23, St Nicholas Collegiate Church, Co Galway, 5:00 p.m., musicforgalway.ie
How do you pack over 100 singers and performers into a paper boat? No problem for the producers of this new community opera for Galway, which celebrates the history and legacy of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Ireland’s largest medieval parish church and a center of spirituality and culture for hundreds of years. Librettist Jessica Traynor and composer Elaine Agnew weave historical events, ancient myths and current events to tell a timeless story of endurance and perseverance, with the help of Irish National Opera and an orchestra from 36 musicians under the direction of Galway conductor Sinead Hayes. It begins with the arrival of three strangers seeking refuge in the church, and goes from there, continuing to a dramatic and inspiring finale of A Galway Blessing to the tune of The West’s Awake. Production itself has had its share of ups and downs since commissioning for Galway 2020, but finally the Paper Boat is ready to set sail and celebrate the church’s 700th anniversary in style.
Drawda – Drogheda Urban Art Trail
April 23, Abbey Lane, Drogheda, County Louth, droichead.com
Strap on your walking shoes and prepare to step into Irish mythology via this family-friendly art trail around the town of Drogheda, curated by artists Dee Walsh and Brian Hegarty. The route will take you past six new outdoor murals depicting magical events from Irish myth and legend, including the Salmon of Knowledge and the Story of Fionn Mac Cumhail by Irish artist Ciaran Dunlevy, the Story of Tin by Dutch artist Nina Valkhoff and Boann, goddess of the Boyne, by Spanish artist Lula Goce. You can get an audio tour on your smartphone, and there will be plenty to do and see with the family in the city during the day.