Culture Night in Skibbereen

Skibbereen Theatre Society is delighted to be involved in ‘Culture Night’ 2011. Friday, September 23rd, has been designated ‘Culture Night’ nationwide, with cultural events and exhibitions being made available free for the general public to sample.Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service is co-ordinating the events throughout the county – details of which can be found on the website Most towns will be staging free events and there is a busy line-up in Skibbereen, which starts at 3pm on the 23rd with a recital by St Patrick’s Youth Band at the Gaelscoil.

From 4 to 5.30pm. Veronica O’Driscoll will be giving a free photomontage workshop at Skibbereen Library. The recently-formed Baltimore Choir will be performing at Abbeystrewry Church in Skibbereen from 6 to 6.30pm.

An artist’s talk will be given by Amy Walsh from 6.30 to 7.15pm at the West Cork Arts Centre before the official opening of her exhibition there at 7.30. Over at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, from 8 to 9pm, the acclaimed documentary, The Great Famine: Remember Skibbereen, will be screened.

Skibbereen’s much-loved St Fachtna’s Silver Band will be giving a recital in The Square from 8.30 to 10pm, coinciding with an exhibition, poetry and music in the Working Artists Studio in North Street.

‘Culture Night’ in Skibbereen will be rounded off by a performance in words and song at Baby Hannah’s by members of Skibbereen Theatre Society of the pageant, The Boldest Fenian Man, about the life and times of O’Donovan Rossa, from 10 to 10.30pm.

The Boldest Fenian Man was devised and is directed and narrated by Con Downing, editor of The Southern Starnewspaper. This 25-minute piece was commissioned by Skibbereen Comhaltas for the opening of the Munster Fleadh Cheoil in 2003 and has been performed a number of times each year since at various arts, heritage, historical and festival events, as well as for secondary school students.

With Frank McCarthy playing the lead role of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, the pageant charts how his singleminded radicalism stemmed from the horrors and degradations he witnessed as a young boy during the famine years in his native West Cork and led to the founding of the Phoenix Society in 1856 and, subsequently, provided inspiration for the leaders of the 1916 Easter rising. Brendan McCarthy is the balladeer in the production.