Briefly Up Close

Byrne’s board games

Byrne’s board games

It’s the centre of ever changing craic and fun and Billy Byrne’s is adding yet another string to its bow. Not content with weekly movie, fajita and jazz sessions, the venue’s now got board games to enjoy. Swing by any Monday and throw the dice, shuffle the cards or prepare to yell “checkmate.”

Thukolo and Memphis Cats

The Memphis Cats and Thukolo Gospel Choir bring a night of uplifting spiritual gospel music to the Watergate Theatre this Saturday from 8pm. They will transport you on a magical journey from a soulful Peace in the Valley to a joyful Swing Low Sweet Chariot and everything in between. This promises to be a very emotional night with singing, clapping and dancing and that’s just the audience! Leave your cares and worries at the door and enjoy the hymns and gospel songs of the Mississippi Delta like you have never heard them performed before. Make sure you get a ticket as this is a must-see show from the group which formed in 2003. Taking their name from the Sotho language (it means freedom) the group performs gospel, soul and spiritual music at weddings, concerts, religious occasions and local events. They’re especially known for their fund-raising efforts, which are hugely successful. In this instance they are collecting for Chernobyl Children International and will be joined on stage by more Kilkenny-based talent John Cassidy and the Memphis Cats.

I Am The Band

Pat Shortt returns to the Set Theatre this Saturday with his new one-man show, “I Am The Band.” It charts the life of Dixie Walsh (Jumbo Breakfast Roll, Where Did My Money Go) a solo lounge musician and is a tribute night to him where all his peers and friends (the audience) come to celebrate his career. During the night Dixie reminisces about the path his career has taken and the struggles he has had to endure to get to the top of his game. Pat Shortt is one of Ireland’s best-loved comedians. Until now the much-loved Dixie Walsh was a character who appeared in two of Pat’s sell-out shows, “You Won’t Get Away With That Here” and “The Hall.” Now Dixie takes centre stage to tell his life story and shares his unique style of music with you. Pat Shortt’s quirky interpretation of rural Irish characters brings to life Dixie’s mother, his teacher and other locals who queue up to recall their daft memories of Dixie and his music. “I Am The Band” is a hilarious look at life on the back roads between Ireland’s dance halls, and a tribute to one of this country’s true music legends – Dixie Walsh. See is at the Set this Saturday, tickets €28.

All-Ireland Schools Talent Search

Kilkenny is hosting two heats for this year’s All-Ireland Schools Talent Search. The first took place last night (Tuesday) at the Springhill Court Hotel with the second instalment next Tuesday at the same venue. Singers, dancers, comedians, jugglers, bands, choirs and talents of all types are taking part in the event run in aid of Childline ISPCC and Northern Ireland NSPCC.

The Wheelchair on my Face

The Watergate Theatre hosts The Wheelchair on My Face this Friday. It’s the story of actress and comedian Sonya Kelly (The Savage Eye), who was diagnosed with myopia when she was seven years old. The show describes what Sonya’s life was like before the diagnosis, when she couldn’t see properly but didn’t know any different and thought the world around her was fuzzy for everybody. Eventually she started wearing glasses, which meant better vision but also a certain loss of the world’s possibilities. The Wheelchair on My Face has been greatly received at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival winning the Fringe First Award. Fishamble is for the second year in a row bringing home the coveted Fringe First from Edinburgh following their win last year for Silent by Pat Kinevane. Fishamble: The New Play Company is one of Ireland’s most dynamic theatre companies and is dedicated to discovering and producing new plays for the Irish and international stage.

Get the Girls

The first Get the Girls Day takes place this Friday. It’s being organised by the Irish Cancer Society and supported by Centra during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and will see volunteers in shopping centres, on streets and at businesses selling pink ribbons for the society’s breast cancer services and research projects. It’s a fun way for women to get together and raise money for breast cancer services and research. There are many ways to take part. As well as volunteering for Get the Girls Day, you can Get the Girls running with a fun run, Get the Girls grooming with a pamper night, Get the Girls singing with a karaoke night, Get the Girls knitting with a craft day, Get the Girls retro with an ’80s night – every activity counts. It is that easy to make a difference. To volunteer for Get the Girls Day or to find out more ways to get involved, sign up on or CallSave 1850 60 60 60. or information about breast cancer or breast health, visit or call the National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700.

Susie Long Memorial Walk

The Susie Long Memorial Walk (5k) will take place on Sunday at Kilkenny Castle Park to remember loved ones who have died from cancer and to raise money for a hospice for the people of Kilkenny and Carlow. At noon, Mayor Seán Ó hArgáin will lead the walk with Susie’s Family, RTÉ’s Joe Duffy, Kilkenny Rose Aoibhin Murphy and other special guests. The Susie Long Hospice Fund was set up in October 2007 to fund-raise for a 12-bed hospice in Kilkenny, which would provide the highest possible quality end-of-life care for patients and their families in the Kilkenny/ Carlow area. Those interested can still register for the walk at the following local outlets, in memory of a loved one who has died from cancer: Rollercoaster Records, Kilkenny; Sol Bistro, Thomastown; and Cafe l’Arche, Callan. Every registered participant who raises sponsorship will receive a free standard or personalised T-shirt, depending on their preference.

A Separation

Kilkenny Film Club has another great catch on Tuesday night. It’s the latest in their autumn winter screenings at the Set Theatre. Catch A Separation from 8pm, tickets €8.

Murphy’s Music

Murphy’s in Thomastown has announced its weekly music lineup for October. It kicks off this Saturday with Nathan Conway and the River Valley Band in a free session, and the following Friday Damien Dempsey weaves his magic for €20 a ticket. On October 20 it’s back to free entry with Band on an Island while the fantastic Neon Wolf will bring the month to a close on October 27.

Teenage Girls Dream Day Out

A fashion and beauty day for teenage girls takes place this weekend. The Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel hosts the event on Saturday. It’ll involve various fashion shows and beauty workshops highlighting style trends followed by teenage girls, along with a number of exhibitors showcasing, retailing and advising the young ladies. The lineup includes jewellery, cosmetics and beauty essentials, self-tanning, hair extensions and other hair accessories, shoes, handbags and clothes and much more. Tickets cost €15.

All-Ireland Poetry

We may have seen All-Ireland poetry in motion last Sunday in Croke Park but it’s this Thursday that the All-Ireland Poetry Day takes place. Kilkenny’s playing its part with a lunchtime reading by Michael Coady at the City Library. It runs from 1-2pm and those attending are invited to share their own work on the day.


If you want to include information in Up Close and Personal or the Gig Guide, you can phone 086 8628626, email or leave a note at All items must be forwarded by 6pm on Sunday to be considered for inclusion.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.