The Hot 100

From film to fashion, movies to music, food to travel, our critics reveal their Hot 100 choices for the summer.

MOVIES

1. Beauty and the Beast 3D out now

The 3D version of the 1991 original should wow a whole new generation. Superb animation and very hummable songs.

2. American Pie: Reunion out now

Jim, Stifler, Michelle & Co get together for their High School reunion, where they discover that a senior is hoping to lose her virginity. Check your good taste at the door.

3. How I Spent My Summer Vacation May 11

Mel Gibson plays a career criminal tossed into a tough Mexican prison. Gritty action and black comedy.

4. Dark Shadows May 11

Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer head a fine cast in a tale about a vampire (Depp) who returns to his ancestral home to help his dysfunctional family. Tim Burton directs.

5. The Dictator May 16

Sacha Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen in a comedy spoof on military dictatorships.

6. Men In Black III May 25

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones return in a take on the Us-vs-Aliens comedy.

7. Moonrise Kingdom May 25

Director Wes Anderson’s latest in which two young lovers run away together, forcing a town to go search for them. Superb cast includes Bruce Willis, Ed Norton.

8. Prometheus Jun 1

Ridley Scott’s latest is a sci-fi tale in which a clue as to the origins of mankind sets humanity on a collision course with its ultimate destiny. Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron star.

9. Snow White and the Huntsman Jun 1

Chris Hemsworth vows to protect Kristen Stewart against evil Queen Charlize Theron.

10. Red Tails Jun 6

A segregated group of African-American pilots are called into action during WWII. Cuba Gooding Jnr. and Terrence Howard star.

11. Woody Allen: A Documentary Jun 8

A documentary on one of America’s greatest film directors features extensive contributions from Allen, along with talking heads such as John Cusack, Josh Brolin, Penelope Cruz, and Diane Keaton.

12. Casa de mi Padre Jun 8

Will Ferrell stars in a comedy spoof on Mexican TV melodramas. Stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Genesis Rodriguez.

13. Rock of Ages Jun 15

This adaptation of the Broadway musical stars Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough as the star-crossed lovers hoping for fame. Co-stars Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

14. The Five-Year Engagement Jun 22

Judd Apatow offbeat rom-com starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt.

15. Red Lights Jun 22

A famous psychic (Robert De Niro) gets investigated by experts in paranormal activities (Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy). A superb turn from Murphy enhances a fascinating tale.

16. Friends With Kids Jun 29

Best buddies Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) decide to have a baby. Megan Fox and Chris O’Dowd co-star.

17. The Amazing Spider-Man Jul 4

Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), investigates his own mysterious past.

18. Katy Perry: Part of Me Jul 4

A documentary which blends on-stage and behind-the-scenes footage of Katy Perry.

19. Magic Mike Jul 13

Alex Pettyfer plays an up-and-coming male stripper who is mentored by veteran Channing Tatum. Matthew McConaughey co-stars; Steven Soderbergh directs.

20. The Dark Knight Rises Jul 20

’The Legend Ends’ runs the ominous tagline for the new Batman flick, starring Christian Bale and directed by Christopher Nolan.

21. The Three Stooges Jul 20

A feature-length movie of the classic comedy shorts finds Larry, Curly and Moe trying to save an orphanage. Bobby and Peter Farrelly direct.

22. Ted Aug 3

John (Mark Wahlberg) makes a Christmas wish, and his teddy-bear comes to life as a crude, lewd and totally inappropriate friend.

23. The Bourne Legacy Aug 17

Jeremy Renner stars as CIA agent Aaron Cross. Ed Norton and Rachel Weisz co-star; Tony Gilroy directs.

24. Brave Aug 17

Pixar animation set in which Princess Merida (Kelly MacDonald) must prove her worth in a man’s world. Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly and Julie Walters co-star.

25. Total Recall Aug 24

Colin Farrell as a spy with no idea of which side he’s spying for. Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Ethan Hawke co-star.

MUSIC

26. Elvis Costello, O2, Dublin May 9

The self-proclaimed grumpy old man of post-punk will play one of his largest Irish shows. A ‘spinning songbook’ will see him perform random tracks depending on where the wheel lands. There are 40 slots, mostly favourites from his catalogue, but some wild-cards.

27. Garbage, Not Your Kind of People, album, May 11

Shirley Manson and Co are back after seven years with a crunching new album that recalls their mid-90s hits, such as Only Happy When It Rains and Stupid Girl. Not Your Kind of People is the sound of four musicians thrilled to be in the same room.

28. Camden Crawl, Dublin, May 11, 12

A cousin of London’s Camden Crawl, this multi-venue festival features ex-Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, power poppers We Are Scientists and home-grown acts such as Laura Sheeran (cousin of Ed) and Choice-nominated Tieranniesaur.

29. Guns ‘n’ Roses, O2, Dublin May 17

At G’n R’s 2010 Dublin show, singer Axl Rose arrived an hour late, then threw a hissy fit when an empty plastic bottle was lobbed at him. Will he be better behaved?

30. Franz Ferdinand, Pavilion Cork, May 20

Road-testing material from their untitled fourth album, the Scottish new-wave quartet will play a short Irish tour, including Galway and Limerick

31. Sigur Ros, Valtari, album May 25

The ethereal Icelanders return with their anticipated new album Valtari.

32. Ladyhawke, Anxiety, album, Jun 1

Her debut was cracking pop. Now, after several delays, she returns with her second outing.

33. Forbidden Fruit, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, Jun 2- 4

With Oxegen on hiatus, smaller festivals are plugging the gap. The three-day event features New Order, Death Cab for Cutie and Leftfield.

34. Jay Z and Kanye West, O2, Dublin, Jun 8, 9

Kanye and Jay Z take their bling-saturated Watch The Throne album on the road.

35. Gentlemen of the Road Stopover, Salthill Park, Galway, Saturday, Jun 9

Nu-folk act Mumford and Sons’s promotional video for their travelling revue festival is misjudged, featuring the band speaking in cringeful ’Oirish’ accents. This one-day event will feature support acts The Vaccines and Nathaniel Rateliff.

36. Tom Petty, Live at the Marquee, Cork, Friday, Jun 8

Petty’s first European tour in 20 years. Running for two weeks, the Live at the Marquee welcomes French techno-rockers Justice, ska legends The Specials, guitar-wielding boy-band The Coronas and X Factor crooner Olly Murs.

37. Plan B, Ill Manors, album, Jun 15

Rapper-turned-soul warbler Ben Drew’s anticipated come-back is accompanied by a movie of the same name.

38. Rufus Wainwright, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, Jul 18

Recorded in collaboration with Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson, Wainwright’s seventh album is his most upbeat.

39. Body and Soul Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Westmeath, Jun 22 — 24

Spiritualized, Django Django, M83 and Villagers are among the headliners for this unabashedly hippy-dippy offshoot of Electric Picnic.

40. Westlife, Croke Park, Dublin, Jun 22, 23

The Westlife farewell tour will finally rumble through Dublin, and two sell-out nights at Croke Park. Expect tears.

41. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Croke Park, Dublin, Jun 26

Their latest album has tanked but, in concert, the Chilis remain a taut, efficient engine. Support act Noel Gallagher will perform material from his surprisingly solid solo record.

42. Nicki Minaj, Olympia Dublin, Jul 4

The Trinidad-born rapper’s Irish debut sold out in an hour. Her best moments have been cameos on other people’s tunes, but in concert expect a force of nature.

43. Stone Roses, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Jul 5

The Madchester band bring their reunion tour to Ireland, with Primal Scream and Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye supporting. For people of a certain age, it’s a concert they’ve been waiting for since the Roses headlined Feile ‘95.

44. Snow Patrol and Florence, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Jul 8

There’s an enervating sameness about Snow Patrol’s latest album, Fallen Empires. It didn’t live up to Gary Lightbody’s promise that it was the sound of the band ‘going electronic’. Co-headliner Florence Welch has demonstrated it is possible to marry Kate Bush etherealness to a stomping pop sound. Her latest record, Ceremonials, is a cracking mix of singer-songwriter intensity and stadium rock. Australian anthemic rockers Temper Trap complete the bill.

45. Paul Simon, O2, Dublin Jul 11,12

With hip young bands such as Vampire Weekend borrowing unabashedly from his sound, Paul Simon is surfing the zeitgeist. He’ll be performing his landmark 1986 album Gracelands in its entirety. It was one of the first records by a Western artist to draw on African influences.

46. Madonna, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Jul 24

Sorry Madge, your latest record is pants — and not of the sexy leather trousers variety. Expect the set list for Madonna’s world tour to emphasise her classic moments.

47. The Black Keys, O2, Dublin, Aug 22

Starving under-achievers for a decade, Ohio’s Black Keys stumbled headlong into arena uber-stardom. A catchier White Stripes, their music is primal but hummable.

48. David Guetta, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Aug 24

The most powerful figure in dance music brings his hi-NRG beats and day-glo, arms in-the-air aesthetic to Dublin.

49. Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Bobby Womack, Marlay Park, Dublin, Aug 25

Van Morrison and Tom Jones are of similar vintage — that’s where the similarities end. An evening of contrasts, with support from funk-soul pioneer Bobby Womack.

50. Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Laois, Aug 31 — Sep 2

Solid line-up. Headliners include The Cure, The Killers Elbow and Christy Moore. The festival’s emphasis on spoken word and performing arts marks it out.

FASHION

51. Buy My Dress Royal College of Physicians, Dublin 2 May 26

’Buy My Dress’ — Ireland’s largest, one-day charity dress sale — will see thousands of pristine ‘pre-loved’ dresses sold off in events across the country at the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin 2. All proceeds go to Down Syndrome Centre. Info: 01-6618000; info@buymydress.ie.; www.buymydress.ie

52. The Ultimate Girls’ Day Out May 26 — 27

The Ultimate Girl’s Day Out comes to Cork’s Silver Springs Moran Hotel. €10 (plus booking fee), 01-2405336; www.ticketmaster.ie.

53. The Irish Designer Style Luncheon May 18

The Irish Designer Style Luncheon is at The Pavilion (UL), Limerick to aid the Share a Dream Foundation. Lisa Murphy hosts the event which includes a drinks reception on arrival, a fashion show featuring a/w 12 collections from Ireland’s top designers and a 3-course meal. Count on goodie bags worth €250. Price €50, 086-1983322.

54. Dubai Duty Free Derby Ball Jun 29

Held this year at the K-Club Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort, this black tie event sets the tone for summer’s biggest race — Derby Day. All proceeds from the €125 event go to Irish Autism Action. Info: 044-9331609; Kevin@autismireland.ie.

55. Meet the facialist

It’s time to make like New York and take the Big Apple approach to skincare. There’s no such thing as a one-stop beautician for nails, brows and facials Stateside anymore. Instead, you visit your specialist brow bar, manicurist — and facialist. Lesley Barrett from The Skin Clinic has brought this mindset to Cork. From micro-dermabrasion, to laser treatment, Lesley focuses only on the face. And at €100 for a consultation and treatment, it’s affordable too.

www.theskincliniccork.ie, 021 4851649

BOOKS

56. The Red House May

Richard, the protagonist of Mark Haddon’s The Red House (Jonathan Cape, €13.99), is a recently remarried hospital consultant who invites his sister and her brood to a rented cottage on the Welsh border. Ghosts of former lovers and deceased family members come along uninvited in what promises to be another funny yarn from the illustrator and best-selling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time.

57. HHhH May

Laurent Binet’s electrifying novel, HHhH (Harvill Secker, €18.99), won several French literary awards in 2010. It uses real characters and events for the story of the two parachutists enlisted in London in 1942 for a plot to assassinate the “hangman of Prague“, the head of the Gestapo — Reinhard Heydrich.

58. Triggs: The Autobiography June

There are a number of books coming out to coincide with Ireland’s first adventure in the finals of a soccer tournament in a decade, but the most intriguing is probably Ross O’Carroll-Kelly creator Paul Howard’s ghosted story, Triggs: The Autobiography (Hachette Ireland, €17.99). The golden retriever shot into international prominence while defiantly taking his daily walk with his owner Roy Keane, Ireland’s expulsed captain, during the 2002 World Cup. Expect barking mad stories about Alex Ferguson, Mick McCarthy and others.

59. The Age of Miracles June

Karen Thompson Walker got over a million pounds in advance for The Age of Miracles (Simon & Schuster, €14.99), her first novel. It will be released on Jun 21, the longest day of the year, which is no surprise given its big idea — known as “the slowing” — is that a giant earthquake causes the earth’s rotation to slow down and its days to lengthen. It is told through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl who observes a world which is losing its gravity (birds can’t fly, astronauts get stranded in space) and its sanity.

60. Lionel Asbo, June

Martin Amis, one of literature’s funniest writers, takes another fantastic turn with Lionel Asbo (Jonathan Cape, €15.99). Its protagonist is “a very violent but not very successful young criminal” who learns one morning in his London prison that he’s just won £139,999,999.50 in the NationalLottery, which turns out to be bad news for his ward and nephew, Des Pepperdine.

61. Bright’s Passage June

Henry Bright is the titular hero of Bright’s Passage (New Island, €11.99), the debut novel of singer songwriter, Josh Ritter. Henry, a farmboy from the Appalachians, has a guardian angel who starts speaking to him during his days as a soldier in the First World War. His voice extricates him from all manner of bother in the trenches in France while landing him in a series of fixes.

62. Canada June

Set in the 1950s, Richard Ford’s Canada (Bloomsbury, €20.99) tells the story of Dell Parson, whose father’s “optimistic and easy-scheming nature” immerses him in a world of murders, bank robbery and life across the border in the vast Canadian landscape.

63. Ancient Light July

John Banville’s novel Ancient Light (Viking, €18.99) mixes the passion of young love with the grief of a man in the autumn of his years. Alexander Cleave is an actor on the wane who casts his mind back to his improbable first love affair in a small town in 1950s Ireland while he also wrestles with the ghastly spectre of his daughter’s death from suicide only a decade past.

64. The Devil I Know August

Claire Kilroy’s The Devil I Know (Faber & Faber, €14.99) takes a prick to Ireland’s property bubble. Tristram is a returned exile caught up in a property development going wrong in Howth, Co Dublin. His saga is full of greed and hubris.

65. Sweet Tooth August

Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth (Jonathan Cape, €15.99) is set in 1972. Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, is in her final year at Cambridge University when she gets sucked into the intelligence service by an older lover which leads to betrayal, intrigue and, maintains the publishers, “a most unexpected twist” at the end.

FOOD

66. West Cork Weekend, Jun 15-17

West Cork food producers are doing it for themselves with this innovative package — a weekend giving guests the chance to meet artisans like Jeffra Gill of Durrus Cheese, smoke their own fish with Sally Barnes of the Woodcock Smokery and eat like kings. The full package, including accommodation, several meals and transport, costs €380pp. See westcorkfood.com.

67. Taste of Dublin, June 14-17

Taste of Dublin has a knack for nabbing the big names, but Jamie Oliver is a coup even by its high standards. The one-man ministry of food will open the festival, before giving his first live cooking demo in Ireland. Tickets from €20. Tasteofdublin.ie.

68. The Irish Examiner Food Festival, July 19

The Irish Examiner Food Festival takes place from Thursday July 19 to July 22, turning Fitzgerald’s Park into a foodie’s paradise. The county’s top restaurants will showcase their finest food and this year there will be a dedicated area for children and families — so there’s something for everyone. For more information email corkfoodfest@prettyreallygoodevents.com

69. A Taste of the Young Turks Jun 1

Pop-up restaurants are ten-a-penny these days, but this once-off ‘banquet’ cooked up by Dublin’s Cake Café is worth getting excited about. Giles Clarke will produce a five-course menu using exclusively Irish produce. Tickets from €30. Book on 01-4789394.

70. Limerick’s Love Gourmet Week Jun 1-10

From Jun 1-10, select eateries in Limerick and the Shannon Region will be offering special menus from €35pp. Love Gourmet Week will also see lots of midweek promotions, cocktail specials and unique seasonal menus. See rai.ie/lovegourmetweek.

TRAVEL

71. Scaling new heights at Croke Park June

You’d think Henry Shefflin has done everything possible in Croke Park, but no. This summer the stadium launches a rooftop walkway experience 44m above the ground, and Shefflin, chosen by the GAA to carry the Olympic torch, is reportedly to take it with him onto the new attraction. Skyline Croke Park is slated to open in early June. Skylinecrokepark.ie.

72. Scotland on the Silver Screen (Jun 30)

Disney/Pixar’s Brave is one of this summer’s blockbuster movie releases, and Scotland is milking it for all it’s worth. The animated feature is set in Scotland, and a ‘Brave Trail’ is planned to capitalise on global interest. Visitscotland.com/brave.

73. Flights of fancy from Cork and Dublin

Capacity at Dublin Airport is up 4% this summer, with 12 new services, including Budapest, Stockholm, Verona, and Warsaw, as well as United’s new long-haul to Washington DC. Cork is serving over 50 destinations, with Aer Lingus Regional flying to Rennes and Jersey from today, in addition to new flights already running to Brussels, Pisa and Palma.

74. Wexford & Waterford’s Garden Trails

Garden trails are like buses. You wait years for a new initiative only for two to come along at the same time. Waterford’s Garden Trail opens in conjunction with the county’s first ever garden festival (May 1-13; waterfordgardentrail.com). Meanwhile, Wexford’s new trail includes 21 attractions ranging from Johnstown Castle to JFK Arboretum (wexfordgardentrail.com).

75. London’s Olympic Burst

London hasn’t just been busy building stadia and swimming pools for the 2012 Olympics. A raft of hotels are opening this summer too, including a luxury Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge (Jun 1), Tune Hotels in Paddington and King’s Cross (Jun 4 and Jul 9 respectively), and a Tokyo-style Trocadero Pod Hotel in Piccadilly. See hotels.com for availability and prices.

76. Super Tuesdays: The Summer Travel Trend

’Dynamic Packaging’ is one of the biggest buzz-terms in travel right now, with companies like clickandgo.com and flexibletrips.ie allowing customers to self-assemble flights, hotels and car hire packages using scheduled flights. Flexibility is a key driver, with Tuesday the cheapest day to travel — saving punters up to €50pp over weekend departures, they say.

77. Cruise Holidays from Cork

The Costa Concordia disaster shook the whole cruise industry, but Irish consumers still can’t get enough of these all-inclusive sojourns. The latest proof is a new dedicated Irish website from MSC (complete with web check-in facility). Its 1,560-passenger MSC Lirica is scheduled to sail from Cork for two tours of Northern Europe on Aug 15 and 26. Msccruises.com.

78. 50 Years of Shakespeare in the Park

For half-a-century visitors to New York’s Central Park have enjoyed free summer Shakespeare shows. The grand tradition continues this anniversary year with As You Like It (Jun 5-30). Visitors can collect free tickets from the Delacorte Theater at 1pm on the day of the shows, and a thrifty overnight option is The Hotel @ Times Square, with rates below €90pp.

79. Knock Airport’s Big Year

Lufthansa launches direct flights from Ireland West Airport today, but it’s far from the only development this year. Ryanair now flies direct from Knock to Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Frankfurt, and a new Turkey charter with Sunway is due in September. The airport expects to serve over 710,000 passengers in the busiest year in its history. Irelandwestairport.com.

80. Immrama Festival of Travel Writing (Jun 7-10)

The phrase ‘punches above its weight’ might have been written with Immrama in mind. Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler and authors Jan Morris, Mary Russell and Colin Thubron head the tenth instalment of the Lismore, Co. Waterford travel writing festival. Lismoreimmrama.com.

TELEVISION

81. Hit & Miss Late May, Sky Atlantic

You’ll probably notice this summer that most networks go into a sort of reverse hibernation and schedule shows that seem to fit with a wider moral agenda of forcing you away from the telly and out playing ball on these summer evenings. Not Sky Atlantic. Its first original drama commission is by Shameless creator Paul Abbott, and features Chloë Sevigny as Mia, a transgender hitman/woman.

82. Eurovision RTÉ One, May 26

There’s only so long those foreigners can resist the twin-pronged attack of Jedward. If the Brothers Grimes make it through the semi-final earlier in the week, they might go all the way in Azerbaijan with the song Waterline. And if not ... there’s always next year.

83. The Late Late Show RTE One, Jun 1

The longest running chat show in the universe celebrates 50 years in existence. RTE is keeping the content of this celebration under wraps but we’re guessing Ryan Tubridy will be joined by Gaybo (above), Mr Kenny and a bishop in a nightie.

84. Euro 2012 RTE Two, June

The first big date for the diary is Jun 6, when the boys in green take on Croatia. From there, it’s Spain (14) and Italy (18). Giovanni Trapattoni has already been given a well-paid contract for another two years, so hopefully this won’t turn out to be the biggest anti-climax in Irish sporting history.

85. Veep Sky Atlantic, June

Armando Iannucci has been involved in such classic TV comedies as The Thick Of It and This Is Alan Partridge. On this HBO series, he puts a jaundiced twist on American politics. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Selina Meyer, the vice president (ie veep).

86. Dallas TV3, July

A remake of the classic series will have old favourites Larry ‘JR’ Hagman and Patrick Duffy reprising their roles alongside a new crop of Texas oil barons. Sons John Ross and Christopher are all growed up, y’see, and have turned out to be very like their daddies. Ruthless and mean V kind and considerate. We’re predicting much interest in the first episode, followed by a downhill slide from there.

87. The Newsroom Sky Atlantic, July

Another biggie from the HBO stable. Arron Sorkin, the driving force behind The West Wing, helms a 10-part series about a TV newsroom. Jeff Daniels is the main man in an ensemble cast that also includes Jane Fonda.

88. Coup Channel 4, tbc

There’s a distinctly Irish flavour to this four-part drama from the novel by Chris Mullin. Gabriel Byrne stars as Tom Dawkins, an honest politician looking for answers after an accident at a US-owned petrochemical company leaves scores of people dead near Middlesbrough. Rught Negga also has a prominent role in the thriller.

89. London Olympics RTE Two, Jul 27-Aug 12

As close to a home event as we’ll ever get, so hopefully there’ll be a few medals. The boxers are probably our best hope, and Katie Taylor, right, should make her final on Aug 9. Other than that, the big night will be Aug 5 for the Men’s 100m final when Usain Bolt attempts to reestablish the credibility of a drug-tarnished event.

90. Celebrity Big Brother Channel 5, August

Who said this format was dead and buried? After a revival last year, Channel 5 is to follow its ‘ordinary people’ Big Brother with another batch of hard-up celebs. Early housemate rumours have included Julie Goodyear, the 70-year-old actress better known as Bet Lynch in Coronation Street and Samantha Brick, the journalist who infamously wrote that women resented her beauty.

ARTS

91. EVA International Biennal, Limerick May 19 — Aug 12

Limerick’s EVA festival of the visual arts is curated by Annie Fletcher and runs at various venues about the city from May 19. The theme this year is After the Future, after the book of the same name by media theorist Franco Berardi. The work is drawn from more than 2,000 proposals from 76 countries.

92. Fastnet Short Film Festival, Schull, West Cork May 24-27

Screening this year are over 200 international short films. There will also be guest appearances by directors Mike Leigh, Ken Wardrop and Carmel Winters. The festival, as always, will feature premieres, workshops and open platform discuessions.

93. DruidMurphy, Galway May 25 — Jun 9

Druid’s Garry Hynes (above) will direct three of Tom Murphy’s greatest plays — Conversations on a Homecoming, A Whistle in the Dark, and Famine — at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, before transferring to London and New York, and returning to tour Ireland in the autumn. Murphy’s The House opens at the Abbey on Jun 7.

94. Listowel Writers Week May 30-Jun 3

Ireland’s best-loved literary festival returns with another stellar line-up that includes the novelists Patrick deWitt, Colm Toibin and Anne Enright; the poets Paul Durcan and Simon Armitage, and the polemicist and broadcaster Germaine Greer. Music acts include The Dubliners and Duke Special.

95. Cork Midsummer Festival Jun 21-Jul 1

New director Tom Creed presents his first programme of events. Among them is Rian, a collaboration between musician Liam Ó Maonlai and choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan; the Irish premiere of Culdades Paralelas/Parallel Cities, a multi-disciplinary arts project; and the world premiere of Dylan Tigue’s Record, an “alternative opera” based on his album of the same name.

96. West Cork Chamber Music Festival Jun 29-Jul 7

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival has put Bantry on the map for lovers of classical music. This year’s guests include the Signum Quartet, from Germany; Apollon Musagete, from Poland; Chiaroscuro, led by Alma Ibragimova; and the resident RTE Vanbrugh Quartet. Soloists include violist Lawrence Power and pianists Thomas Larcher, Antti Siirala, Peter Nagy and Ewa Kupiec.

97. Kinsale Arts Week Jul 7-15

This year’s programme includes presentations by the authors Conor Brady and David Park; film producer David Puttnam in conversation with Tim Smit; Afternoon Tea and Philosophy with Sarah Bakewell; and Summer Classical Trio with Elizabeth Cooney, Carol McGonnell and Finghin Collins on viola, clarinet and piano.

98. West Cork Literary Festival Jul 9-14

The veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson is among the guests at Bantry this July. So too is John McCarthy, who was kidnapped and held for five years on his first assignment to Beirut in 1986. The festival will also feature Writer Idol, which affords aspiring writers the opportunity to have their work critiqued by Suzanne Babaneau, Senior Consulting Editor with Simon & Schuster.

99. Galway Arts Festival Jul 16-29

Galway’s feast of the visual arts, theatre and music will announce its full programme later this month. Last year the festival scored big time with Misterman, written and directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy, which recently opened at the National Theatre in London. Already confirmed for GAF 2012 are musicians James Vincent McMorrow, Lisa Hannigan and the Coronas.

100. Kilkenny Arts Festival Aug 10-19

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre visit Ireland for the first time this August, bringing their acclaimed production of As You Like It to Kilkenny. The production will be staged in the original stables of Kilkenny Castle, The Castle Yard at Kilkenny Design. Other highlights of Kilkenny Arts Festival include the Early Music Ensemble, Le Concert Spirituel: The Golden Age of French Sacred Music, and the trad collaboration DAN.


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