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Saturday 10 December 2016

Ten things to do in Dublin this weekend

People enjoy the good weather in St. Stephens Green, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
People enjoy the good weather in St. Stephens Green, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Avengers: Age of Ultron, General Release, 12A

Weekenders, assemble! You’ll have to excuse us - we’re a tad excited about a certain movie opening tomorrow in Ireland.

You know the one. Who cares if the weather is set to turn cold and drizzly in the coming days? There’s plenty to keep us occupied until the real summer returns. Suit up, folks – it’s almost time for the weekend, and things are about to get epic in this fine city of ours…

The Film

Avengers: Age of Ultron, General Release, 12A

This is the movie that has us well and truly psyched. Yeah, so we’re big comic book fans around here…what of it? The sequel to Joss Whedon’s box-office breaking 2012 superhero mash-up, Avengers Assemble, and the eleventh instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (keep up down the back) Age of Ultron picks up where the last Captain America movie left off…seriously, you might need to go back and watch every other Marvel movie first.  Revision, like. Or, you could just go in with an open mind. 

All you need to know is that Iron Man, the Hulk, the Cap, Thor, Black Widow and a few more of their buddies reunite to save the world from an AI mastermind named Ultron (voiced by James Spader). It doesn’t help matters that Tony Stark (he’s Iron Man) created Ultron in the first place, and we’re not sure how it is that that darn evil robot manages to build himself an army to take on the world’s most fashionable SWAT team, but hey, the details are superfluous. What’s important is that a) the aforementioned Whedon (a genius) is back in the director’s chair, and b) every major cast member has returned, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson. In a word? Awesome. 

The Gig: Part One

Dutch Uncles, The Workman’s Club

We gotta say - those band names just keep on getting better. Actually, Dutch Uncles (they’re not really Dutch) have been around a while. The British art pop ensemble (think Talking Heads meets Hot Chip) recently released their acclaimed, fourth studio album, O Shudder. They also lost a member, too (bummer). But fear not: front man Duncan Wallis and his boys make for a fine quartet. 

Saturday. Tickets priced €17 available at www.ticketmaster.ie. 

The Gig: Part Two

Will Butler, Whelan’s

Not to be confused with his elder brother, Win, William Butler is the Arcade Fire member who does everything else. Which is to say that there are no boundaries to the multi-instrumentalist’s talents. Heck, he even wrote and recorded a song a day for a week based on Guardian news articles earlier in the year (they were quite good). Off out on a solo tour while Arcade Fire take a breather from being the best live band in the world, Butler’s got a new album to promote, the warmly-received Policy. It’ll just be a four-piece, garage rock / indie pop band set-up, but again, don’t worry. Will promises that things we’ll get “plenty loud”. We’ll hold him to that.

Saturday. Tickets priced €24 available at www.ticketmaster.ie. 

The Pub

The Thomas House, Thomas Street

Why the Thomas House? Because we’re always walking by this cracking little establishment on our way up to Vicar Street, and it’s been far too long since we popped in for a pint and a head-bop. They’ve declared themselves “Dublin’s premier alternative music bar” over on their Twitter page. Yeah, it’s a pretty good spot, we’ll give them that. It’s all about the rockabilly and punk in here. Just the way we like it, cheers. 

The Brunch

The Big Gay Brunch Club Launch, The Front Lounge, Parliament Street

Now this sounds tasty. Launching this weekend and running every Sunday onwards from 12pm – 5pm, The Big Gay Brunch Club at the Front Lounge is all about delicious food (courtesy of “super chef” Denis Massey), divine cocktails and smashing tunes (oh yes, there will be DJs). We hear there are Sunday papers and – get this - board games involved. Uh, sold. Diners will also have the chance to donate to the Yes Equality fundraising drive, with the venue matching the total at the end of the day. Good on ‘em.

For more, visit www.facebook.com/events/825610834191538/

The Comedian

Abie Philbin Bowman, Civic Theatre

According to Abie Philbin Bowman, Ireland is officially the worst first-date ever. We’ll take his word for it. I mean, come on, the evidence is all there as the talented young Irish comedian and writer, renowned for his work on Irish Pictorial Weekly, Callan’s Kicks and RTE Radio 1’s Arena, sets up shop at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, to examine our country’s relationship with Hollywood’s elite and what happens each and every time we invite a world-famous A-Lister to these shores - we get them a drink and try to figure out a way that we’re related. Yep, Abie has hit the nail on the head there, for sure. 

Sunday at 8.15pm. Tickets: €10 / €12.  For more, visit www.civictheatre.ie.

The Night Out

Le Galaxie, The Academy

On paper, it looks like just another gig, but let’s face it, when has an evening with Dublin electronic quartet Le Galaxie ever been ‘just another gig’? Exactly. Celebrating the release of their second album, Le Club (the boys’ first since signing to Universal Music Ireland), Michael Pope and his fierce band of synth-rock warriors have decided to hijack the Academy on Middle Abbey Street for not one, but two massive album-launch events this Friday and Saturday night with various support acts getting down and dirty in a “custom-made environment of Le Galaxie’s creation”. So, yeah, we’re all set for a visual wonder with some bangin’ electro tunes to get us moving. Best got those dancing shoes on – it’s gonna get wild. 

Friday and Saturday. Tickets priced €19 available at www.ticketmaster.ie. 

The Play

In On It, Smock Alley Theatre

We’re not sure what to expect here, but we do love a good story where various interlocking strands and characters combine for one big blow-out. Or something. Basically, Good Dog Theatre and writer Daniel MacIvor present In On It, a play that “examines and questions life’s uncanny likeness to art” and tells the story of a dying man, a gay couple and a grieving writer. It’s all about finding control and facing up to life’s various accidents…that’s all we know, really. Well, we are told to expect some parody and melodrama – could be interesting. Brian Burns and Owen Martin co-star and a donation will be made to the Marriage Equality campaign from the sale of midweek tickets.

Thursday – Saturday at 8pm. Tickets: €10 - €15. For more, visit www.smockalley.com. 

The Festival 

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, Howth

This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a prawn festival, it’s in Howth and it’s running from Friday to Sunday, with various award-winning restaurants serving up all your favourite prawn dishes. So, we’ve got a food village, we’ve got cooking demos, we’ve got street entertainment, a fun fair, live jazz and lots and lots of prawns. You know what to do. Let’s hope the sun comes out for a while…

For a full itinerary of events and participating venues, visit www.dublinbayprawnfestival.ie.

The Exhibition 

A Breathcrystal, Project Arts Centre

Let’s get deep for a second. ‘A Breathcrystal’ is all about contamination and, well, art obviously. Kicking off tonight, the Project Arts Centre gallery in Temple Bar will transform into a “space for cross-pollination, symbiosis and infestation, uncovering intriguing connections and contradictions between a group of international artists and their artworks”. Got it? Good. It’s all inspired by ancient Australian rock drawings, apparently. I guess we’ll just have to make our way down and see the artworks and experimental films for ourselves. Guest curated by Mihnea Mircan, the exhibition includes works by Jean-Luc Moulène, Katerina Undo and Tom Nicholson, among others. 

Running until May 30, 11am - 8pm (closed Sundays). For more, visit www.projectartscentre.ie. 

Chris Wasser

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