Those lovely people at Lonely Planet listed Derry-Londonderry as one of their Top 10 Places to Visit in 2013… here are just some of the reasons why
Actor Stephen Rea is coming back to Derry-Londonderry for its stint as inaugural UK City of Culture 2013, and he’s bringing a brand new production along with him through theatre company, Field Day.
The theatre group will be hosting just one of the many cultural extravaganzas throughout this year of firsts…
“We’re in a new moment now," says Rea, "and Field Day is happy to come back to Derry-Londonderry again to see what that moment means to us, as people who work in the theatre.”
It’s a homecoming of sorts for The Crying Game actor. Rea went from a childhood in Belfast to roles out-acting Liam Neeson in Michael Collins, nominations for Academy Awards and performances of every theatre classic you care to mention.
His name, along with the poet Seamus Heaney and the playwright Brian Friel, is also among those who founded the theatre company Field Day.
When Rea and his colleagues arrive in Derry-Londonderry with their brand new production, all eyes will be on the stage. As homecomings go, this one will make headlines.
A year of firsts
But Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 isn’t only about homecomings. As much as anything, this will be a year of firsts. Firsts like the cutting edge artistic endeavour that is the Turner Prize. Never has the competition been held outside England before. Former winning pieces include sharks in formaldehyde, messy beds and a wall-sized brainstorm by an artist who can’t paint or draw.
If you’re partial to having your perception altered, you won’t want to miss it.
The firsts keep coming. The Fleadh Cheoil, the competition that each traditional Irish musician has circled on their calendar, is stepping out of the Republic of Ireland for the first time in over 50 years. Expect trilling tin whistles, banging bodhrans and the music session to end all.
Intimacy is the name of the game with the acclaimed music programme Other Voices. Except for a trip to New York, the Other Voices has never been performed outside a tiny church in Dingle. Don’t believe us? Ask James Blunt, Sinead O’Connor, David Gray, The Temper Trap, Damien Rice, Jarvis Cocker, Florence and the Machine... you get the picture.
Other voices, famous voices and beautiful voices will fill the air in Derry-Londonderry for 2013.
If you think only footballers can create magic with their feet, allow us to introduce the Royal Ballet. Tip-toeing their way across the Irish Sea, the troupe will include the Royal Ballet soloist, Melissa Hamilton, who was born and raised in County Down.
For those of you who spent childhoods dreaming of growing into a prima ballerina, the Ballet’s gala performance with the Ulster Orchestra will be emotionally charged. For the rest of us, it will be art for the heart and food for the soul. Book this one early.
The song Teenage Kicks was, aptly enough, the soundtrack to the lives of many teenagers around Ireland. Those kicks were experienced and turned to music by Derry-Londonderry band, The Undertones on the city’s very streets.
Teenage Kicks: A Punk Musical will strut into the 2013’s calendar backed by the swagger of award-winning screenwriter Colin Bateman. Expect punk classics and controlled anarchy. Mohawks and dog collars are optional.
That new moment Stephen Rea mentioned? It looks like we’ve found it.
Bring on Derry-Londonderry as UK City of Culture 2013.