Laois Bealtaine Festival Programme 2018

Laois Bealtaine Festival Programme 2018

The Laois Bealtaine Programme  May 2018

The Arts Office, Laois County Council invite people of an older age to join in some of the wonderful events that are happening in Laois for the Bealtaine Festival 2018.  The theme for 2018 is “Hospitality” to signal the warm welcome offered by the festival.

The Laois Arthouse, Stradbally programme includes ‘Welcome to May’ an exhibition by the Stradbally Active Retirement Group, open throughout the month of May.  On Thursday 10th May at 4pm we have a free writing workshop ‘The story of your life’ with Pauline Clooney where participants will be given encouragement to write their own story.  Booking is required T: 057 8664033.  On Wednesday 16th May there is a free Art workshop to celebrate National Drawing Day led by artist Mary Burke to encourage drawing with colour using the medium of Oil Pastels(materials provided). Suitable for adults, booking required.  T: 057 8664033

Pauline Clooney will run a free writing workshop

Community events include activities such as decorating the May bush, with a talk on Irish folklore, music,  refreshments and face-painting at the Community Centre Rosenallis at 2.30pm on Monday 30th April.

Dance for Fun with Maureen Culleton on Monday 14th May in St. Mary’s Sports Hall Portlaoise from 10pm-1pm, a morning of dance, games and chat.  T: 057 8671248 to register your interest.

Not to be missed the Portlaoise Active Retirement Group will present a highly entertaining Variety Show on Wednesday 16th May in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise at 3pm  entry fee €5 (includes entry into Draw). The show will include choir performances, dancing, solos, recitation and comedy sketches and is open to all. 

An afternoon of Bingo, Music, Song and Dance will take place in St Canices Hall, Borris-in Ossory from 2pm-5pm on Saturday 19th May with refreshments being served, organised by the Borris-in-Ossory Social Services Committee.  On Wednesday 25th May at the Links Centre, St.Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise  at 11am there will be a Bealtaine Concert with the Sing for Joy Choir. All Welcome to join in.


Local Care settings will also be catered for with performances of music, songs and stories by musical trio Age Friendly as they visit Abbeyleix District Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital, Mountmellick and St Brigid’s Hospital Shaen during the month.  St. Vincent’s Hospital Mountmellick residents and staff will be treated to some “Musical Moments”,  as musicians from Laois School of Music and Music Generation Laois perform from their repertoire of classical, trad and modern music. Denise Boyle(Fiddle)  Siobhan Buckley(Harp) Nuala Kelly (Vocals/Guitar) and Mary Wisely (Piano Accordion).

Phylis Bennet preparing for exhibition

Laois Libraries have a long list of free events including an Intergenerational Spoken Word event on Wednesday 2nd May at Mountmellick Library from 10.30am, with Laois Spoken Word Artist Stephen James Smith who will be joined by local poet Sheelagh Coyle and students from Transition Year at Mountmellick College and music provided by young local talent.  

Age Factor will entertain for Bealtaine

History lovers can attend history lectures at Portlaoise Library, at 7.30pm every Tuesday or join a local history group on Thursday 17th May in Mountrath Library between 6.15pm-7.30pm.  Also on offer is Group Colouring at Mountmellick Library from 11am-12.30pm every Thursday and numerous Book Clubs, Ciorcal Comhrá, and Knitting/Crochet groups in various libraries. Anyone interested in Getting Started with Oil Painting can attend a talk and demonstration by artist Tom Joyce  at a number of libraries. Learn for example about the cost involved,  how to choose & mix paints, what to buy, what not to buy.  These will take place as follows: Tuesday 22nd May at Mountmellick Library from 10.30am – 12.30pm on Wednesday 23rd May at Portlaoise Library from 10.30am – 12.30pm and Thursday 24th May in  Portarlington Library from 10.30am – 12.30pm.  Art enthusiasts can  hear a talk on The Interpretation of ‘Place’ in Modern and Contemporary Irish Art by artist and art historian Paula Lynch on Thursday 17th May  Portlaoise Library, 6.30pm. There are Arts and Craft workshops available including a Silk Fibre Craft workshop with artist Caroline Keane on Tuesday 8th May in Portarlington Library from 3pm – 5pm.  Mosaics Workshops with artist Caroline Keane on Friday 11th May at Portlaoise Library from 3pm – 5pm and on Friday 25th May in Rathdowney Library from 3pm – 5pm.  A Papermaking Craft workshop with artist Caroline Keane on Tuesday 15th May in Mountmellick Library,  from 3pm-5pm and a Watercolour Cards workshop with artist Caroline Keane on Friday 18th May in Abbeyleix Library from 3pm – 5pm. Please Note: Library events are free of charge, all are welcome –Booking is essential as places are limited –contact individual library to book.

Stephen James Smith will host free intergenerational spoken word event

The Dunamaise Arts Centre events for Bealtaine include cinema screenings and discussion with local film maker Ken Wardropon his new release entitled Making The Grade.  Music with big band Route 66 Big Band  and Mick Hanly & Donal Lunny.  Theatre lovers have can enjoy shows such as Take off Your Cornflakes with Rose Henderson and Pat Nolan. A heartbreaking yet joyful comedy. And Laois Fourth Wall Theatre Group will present Da by Hugh Leonard. A comedy laced with pathos and peppered with memorable one-liners.

A colourful brochure listing all the event details is now available from Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise,  from all  local libraries, the Dunamaise Arts Centre or to download from the website or on request from the Arts Office T: 057 8664033.

Mary Whelan preparing for exhibition “Welcome to May”