DRAMA and dancing, love poetry, workhouse tours and mischievous puppets were just some of the treats served up on 2019 Laois Culture Night, which offered a vividly varied menu to suit all tastes.
The county’s arts office was delighted with the turnout for the national celebration of culture and arts on Friday 20 September, which attracted thousands of people to events throughout Laois.
It was a night to journey into the past, as Donaghmore Famine Workhouse hosted free guided tours and the Slieve Bloom Association presented ‘Life Stories’ at the MDA centre in Mountmellick, a fascinating documentary with memories of traditional music, dance and life over the years.
Among the highlights of the night was a concert at Dunamaise Arts Centre, where the Henry Girls were joined by young musicians from Music Generation Laois. The local Youth Dance Ensemble delighted audiences with displays of dance at the Laois Shopping Centre in Portlaoise, while The Equinox at Kavanaghs’ Pub brought together artists from Laois and all over Ireland with a special performance by Culture Night ambassador Glory Anumudu from Portlaoise.
Colourful puppets appeared at Abbeyleix Heritage House for a family show with McCormick Puppets, while the talented Aishling Art Group exhibited at the Gallery in Mountmellick Library and Mountmellick Comhaltas entertained residents at St Vincent’s Hospital. Meanwhile, Durrow Library hosted a memorable evening of light classical and popular music with violinist/violist Ali Comerford and pianist Anna Callanan
Free art workshops for children and adults were hosted at a variety of venues, including the Mount Henry Art Studio in Killenard and there were guided tours of historic houses across the county, including the magnificent Roundwood House in Mountrath and Emo Court.
Following a highly satisfying menu for culture vultures all over the county, the arts office thanked everyone who hosted events and helped make the night such a memorable success.