By Des O’Driscoll
Here are some of the best things to see and do over the next week.
This is the biggest weekend of the gigging year, with three major festivals, and a smattering of other events taking place around the country.
Indiependence (Mitchelstown), Beatyard (Dun Laoghaire) and All Together Now (Waterford) — see feature — all have tickets still for sale if anybody gets a late urge to travel.
Meanwhile, American singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant is currently on tour with Irish trad band Lúnasa, and they will be playing Live at St Lukes in Cork tomorrow.
Anyone lucky enough to be on Cape Clear for the weekend can also catch Ye Vagabonds.
The unrelenting march of the Marvel superheroes continues with the release of Ant-Man And The Wasp today, while punters in pursuit of more serious drama could do worse than see The Escape, a break-up tale starring Gemma Arterton and Domic Cooper.
From Sunday, Triskel in Cork has First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke in the latest film by the legendary Paul Schrader (screenwriter for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, etc); and Studio 54, the documentary about the famous New York nightclub.
Angela Carter: Of Wolves And Women (tomorrow, BBC) is a documentary on the English writer who gave us The Company of Wolves, and a number of other influential novels that mixed magic realism with strong female characters.
RTÉ may be wall-to-wall repeats the moment, but it also has an extremely decent film roster over the next week that includes Everest (tomorrow), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Sunday) and The Big Short (Wednesday).
Film fans should also check out Mark Kermode’s Secrets Of Cinema (BBC Four, Tuesday), with this week’s episode turning its attentions to the science-fiction genre.
Martin McDonagh’s play The Lonesome West was launched earlier this week at The Everyman in Cork, with the dark and funny tale of two fueding brothers running until late August.
Anyone heading to London over the next few weeks can catch more McDonagh, with The Lieutenant of Inishmore continuing its run at the Noel Coward Theatre into September.
Aidan ‘Poldark’ Turner and Chris ‘Young Offender’ Walley are among the familiar faces in that cast.
There’s also Cork talent to be seen at the Abbey in Dublin from Aug 17 when the Peacock stage hosts Louis Lovett’s take on Frankenstein.
The Ballinlough native has put a modern double-helix twist on Mary Shelley’s tale, with Victor Frankenstein as a molecular biologist messing about with DNA.
The musical adaptation of Jimmy’s Hall is back on the main stage of the national theatre, and continues its visits to the regions in September with a trip to Town Hall Theatre, Galway (11-15) and Cork Opera House (18-22).
Skibbereen is a hive of arts activity at the moment, for as well as the major Famine art exhibition in Uillinn, the West Cork town also has its annual festival, with drama, readings, music, etc.
Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, is also gearing up for its Town Of Books festival (Aug 24-26), with literature, storytelling, workshops, etc.
Kilkenny city is also about to kick off its annual arts festival (Aug 9-19), with Brahms and Beethoven looming large in the classical strand, and BBC broadcaster Evan Davis delivering a lecture on the era of post-truth.