Join the Culture Club; from Leprechauns to Literature, Seisiuns to Star Gazing, Here's Our Pick of Culture Night 2012 Highlights. So Get Ready To
Byline: by Michelle Fleming
WHETHER you're a diehard culture vulture or the only open house you're interested in involves a pint, clear your diary next Friday, September 21.
Yes, it's Culture Night 2012, when thousands of the country's most exciting museums, galleries, music pubs, churches, historic houses, artists' studios and groups open their doors and invite you to sample their delights.
It promises to be an incredible adventure, and -- for one night only -- it's all for free.
The event, masterminded by the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, started in Dublin in 2006 but has since exploded into a nationwide extravaganza. This year promises to outdo all others, with talk of more than 300,000 vultures invading Dublin alone and a record 34 towns, cities, counties and islands joining in.
Some cities, such as Dublin and Cork, are even laying on free buses to ferry you about on the night.
The choice of cultural fixes on offer -- available at culturenight.ie -- is mind-boggling so we've scoured the list to give you our pick of the best.
DUBLIN'S brochure divides the city into Heuston Museum Quarter, the Historic Quarter, Temple Bar and North of Liffey, the North Georgian Quarter, Trinity College/Docklands and the South Georgian Quarter, to help you make the most of the evening.
At IMMA, visit the new Faith Love Song exhibition by Garrett Phelan, following on from his performance in June with the bell-ringers of both Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick's Cathedral. Professor Gary McGuire also explores the science of bell ringing at 6.30pm.
In Meeting House Square, the IFI is screening Far And Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. That begins at 8pm, preceded by Jessica Casey, a must-see animated short presented by Arts & Disability Ireland at 7.45pm.
Dublin Castle opens its grounds, exhibition area and medieval Undercroft all day, while come evening Music Network takes over the castle's Coach House for a show of live music by some of our finest musicians. There's trad with multiinstrumentalist Emer Mayock, singing from sean nos singer Nell Ni Chroinin and much more.
Whether you've an Angelina Ballerina or Billy Elliot on your hands, pick up some pumps and visit Ballet Ireland, who will conduct open studio rehearsals at Dance Ireland's Foley Street HQ from 6pm.
If you've always longed to visit the National Leprechaun Museum but couldn't convince any children to go with you to cancel out the cringe factor, now is your chance, with an adult-only talk on Ireland's spiritual underworld from 7pm.
Croke Park's GAA museum will throw open its doors for the day, while Still by Patrick Hogan -- winner of the Gallery Of Photography's Artist's Award for 2011 -- will be premiered at the gallery at 5pm followed by a talk with the man himself at 7.30pm.
Classical guitarist Marc Oliver performs from 6pm in the gorgeous Tailors' Hall, which dates to 1706 as a venue.
U2, The Script and Lady Gaga have all recorded at Windmill Lane Recording Studios and now's your chance for a sneaky peak and a live intimate gig, from 5pm.
Unearth historic streets, stones and stories during an entertaining tour featuring places and stories most Dubliners don't even know about. The 90-minute city tour starts at Christ Church Place, Dublin 2.
Visual artist Andrew Duggan, dancer and choreographer Rionach Ni Neill and musician Ronan O Snodaigh, all Gaeltacht-based artists, are preparing an exciting series of new work in response to paintings from the National Gallery's collection. The works will be projected onto the Gallery's Millennium Wing and simultaneously at locations in Donegal, Kerry and Connemara. Beyond Tantalising at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, gives a flavour of three companies in The Wheelchair On My Face, written and performed by Sonya Kelly for Fishamble; a sequence from Pageant, a new show to be performed and toured by Cois-Ceim Dance in 2013; and Music in Similar Motion by Philip Glass, celebrating the composer's 75th birthday, performed by Kate Ellis of Crash Ensemble. …