A PLAY by Maeve Binchy, blood-curdling crime fiction and a film based on famous novel Moby Dick are just some of the promised delights in the Laois Leaves Festival.
Officially launched at a ceremony in County Hall by foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan, the annual literary festival celebrates diverse talent in today’s literary, film and music scene.
Theatre includes a family love story called Minding Frankie by the late and beloved author Maeve Binchy, while music features a classical concert with Anneleen Lenearts on harp and Dionysis Grammenos on clarinet at the Church of Ireland in Portlaoise.
What is invitingly billed as “an intimate evening of readings and music” will be hosted at the recently-opened library of civilisation in Roundwood House, Mountrath. The event, chaired by Seamus Hosey, will feature Peter Fallon and Vona Groarke of Gallery Press, joined by former Laois writer-in-residence Eoin McNamee and musician Colm Mac an Iomaire.
Poetry lovers are invited to a workshop conducted by Mary Ó Donnell, while the festival will also feature the launch of Arthur Broomfield’s new collection of poetry, intriguingly titled Cold coffee at Emo Court.
An open mic event offers a prize of one week’s residency at the Laois Arthouse apartment in Stradbally, which will be awarded to the most compelling presentation. Meanwhile, a crime-fiction night at Dunamaise Arts Centre will bring together writers Louise Phillips, Niamh O’Connor, Andrea Carter and visiting Norwegian Thomas Enger. The evening will be chaired by Seán Rocks, presenter of the Arena show on RTÉ Radio 1, with music by Rachel Clancy.
Children and young people’s events include a visit by Oisín McGann and Dave Rudden, while the scheduled film is In the heart of the sea, inspired by Herman Melville’s great novel Moby Dick.
The festival will run from 9-13 November. More information is available at www.laois.ie or from the Laois County Council arts office on 057 8664033, with booking on 057 8663355.