Dublin's vibrant arts scene is impressive relative to the city's size. The Annesley House is one venue I had never encountered before (as a performance space). An intimate stage on the upper floor at Dublin's North Wall / Fairview / Five Lamps area was the setting for an interesting and eclectic showcase of artistic endeavour. But according to its organisers, the House Presents takes place at Annesley House every first Friday. More details at
Aiden O'Reilly kicked things off at the Holy Sahhurdeee show.
He read excerpts from a short story that was both surreal and vividly authentic in its depiction of a relationship's highs and lows. It reminded me of a tale by Israeli writer Etgar Keret, similar in theme rather than content, with its surreal edge and its treatment of and implications about gender and relationships.
Next up was a duo: Harpist Maeve Gilchrist's wonderfully melodic music was set to step dancer Nic Gareiss's (mostly) shuffling. The flipside is that Gareiss's percussive feet accompanied Gilchrist's music.
If the mark of a stepdancer is his ability to occasionally make sounds that are difficult to notice while watching him, then Mr Gareiss lived up to expectations.
It's about more than sleight-of-foot, of course - and step dancing is nothing about such trickery in reality - but he is a more than capable percussive presence alongside Gilchrist's harp (and voice).
The harp was a pleasure to listen to. One can understand why angels and cherubic gods of love typically lug their little lyres around - Gilchrist's playing was what you might expect from such music. Nothing avantgarde or headwrecking, and a beautifully-accomplished performance.
Dancer and musician more than complemented each other. It would be worth seeing a longer, standalone gig from the pair - or from either one of them. The collaboration is worth checking out if you can.
The poetry of Greek-Canadian Dimitra X was next.
She read a number of pieces that featured the Christian human godhead (perhaps for the Easter evening that was in it). Poetry should make you think. Ms Xidous's lines about men inheriting their mother's hands had me examining my own delicate cuticles in a whole new light. Other gems included a line about the Body of Christ sleeping with prostitutes and fishes, and love containing both honey and sting.
Ms Xidous is a very talented performance wordsmith who manages to draw on both the evocative imagery from her own experience and mind, and the Western tradition, to deliver an impact that leaves one contemplative.
BeRn was last to take to the stage. A singer-songwriter and performer, she has toured and worked with the best of 'em. The first couple of songs were met with appreciative silence.
With the (loudish) acoustic guitar and vocal, her set was the one that least required the quietness, but amongst an evening of performers that was apparently random in its sequence, she was a worthy headliner.
A lyricist of some profundity too, some of her lines were pure gold, and then they were gone! Bern can do whimsy, fun, and intersong banter as well as the serious stuff. Folk, rock and punk are clear influences in her music. Some of the numbers seem slightly parodic, but they all more than stand on their own merits.
Multi-performer and -discipline gigs are a regular occurrence at The Annesley House. Keep an eye out for the next evening of culture, folks!