August 8: The Irish Times provides a wonderful report by Michael Harding [which is now behind a paywall] of the first days of the festival, entitled “Getting Ambushed by Brilliant Minds in Kilkenny.”  Poetry and lectures abound, but he took the time to view “Stories From Home” (in the morning!) and had this to say:

Then I went to the Set Theatre, where a documentary about Gabriel Byrne was being screened, and even at that hour of the morning the actor’s face was mesmerizing, and I felt he was talking directly to me.

It takes generosity in an actor to refine personal agony into an art as public as theatre, and there are shades of powerful sorrow in Byrne the actor, and Byrne the man; his intense screen presence stayed with me all morning, as I idled about on High Street, Butter Slip and Pudding Lane.

He’s a fine writer, Michael Harding. Read his report and you will feel you are there, in the winding streets, the coffee shops, the lecture hall–“in a city of ordered civility.”

And be sure to read the Kilkenny Festival Blog! They are capturing so many of the activities, including Robert Fisk giving this year’s Hubert Butler Lecture. This really is the next best thing to being there.

UPDATED August 5: The Irish Times [this article is now behind a paywall] provides a reminder about Gabriel Byrne Film Day on August 7 AND refers readers to Byrneholics.com for more information! Now if the writer had not used the word “hysteria,” we would be most pleased…

Keep up with the Festival at the official blog, with Ken and John. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook, too–info is at the blog.

Put on your traveling shoes–another festival is on the way and it is a bit of a trek from the USA, though more easily accessible if you are in the UK/Europe.

The Kilkenny Arts Festival runs August 6 – 15 and includes an extensive array of art, music, theater, literature and–music to our ears–film! The festival offers a full day of Gabriel Byrne programming on August 7:

Introduced by Colm Tóibín, this special event celebrates the career of one of Ireland’s biggest stars and features screenings of some of Byrne’s most acclaimed roles.

On the roster:

  • Stories From Home
  • Into The West
  • Lunch (not a Gabriel Byrne film, but a good chance to grab a bite and talk about his movies!)
  • Miller’s Crossing
  • In Treatment (2 episodes)

Here is a chance to see Stories From Home, the documentary about Gabriel Byrne, followed by two of his best films plus a glimpse of his exciting work in In Treatment–all in one day. A Byrne Fest, to be sure. It is also pretty thrilling that the proceedings will be introduced by Colm Tóibín, author of The Master and Brooklyn and the Literature Program Curator at this year’s festival. Ah, to be there!

The Irish Independent has more information and recommendations. This Irish Times article [article is now behind a paywall] explains the unique launch for this year’s festival–all singing, apparently! And, if you plan to visit, check out the Festival’s page about Kilkenny.

Mr. Tóibín would have been right at home in Miller’s Crossing, yes?

28 Comments

  1. omg my birthday is on august 11,,, it could be my present to go to the festival a talk about gb !!!!!

    • AnnaBlume

      Actually Stella, even I think I am being slightly hysterical when it comes to GB. However, I would have gotten a little flushed over the etymology lesson the author serves in closing of his article. Ever heard of the word WORKAHOLIC Mr Clarke? You know, people who are addicted to… WORKAHOL ;-P

  2. Wish I could be there, but this is for short notice to travel there. I like Kilkenny beer, but did not know anything about Kilkenny city from before….Sounds like a nice city, I will try to visit that city next year. Will anyone go there for August. 7th this year? I’m sure it will be a great day, when Toibin will present Gabriel and his work. (I have read Toibins novel Brooklyn. It is a great novel, and I recommende everybody who is interested in Ireland, USA and Brooklyn to read it!)

  3. You and me both. But I’ve never been to Europe before. My first desire is to go home to Italy. See family. Then Ireland/England/Scotland/Wales.

  4. You know, when I retire (sooner rather than later, I hope!), I now know what I am going to do: travel around to all of these amazing festivals and get some culture. :-) This week at Kilkenny sounds wonderful!

  5. Oh Stella! Great Idea. A Byrneholics road-trip a la “Animal House.” :)

  6. Although, Stella, if you think about it. Having a certain gentleman handy to assist in showering off the food? I’m just saying……..

  7. I live just one and a half hours by car from Kilkenny. But on the day in question I’ll be holidaying in County Waterford which is only one hour from Kilkenny. This is great news for me i might just go to that. Is Gabriel making an appearence do ye think ????????.

  8. Hi Karen,

    What’s it like on the Emerald Isle? Any pictures to share?

  9. It’s like living anywhere you probably take it for granted. We have lovely scenery and plenty of green. Oh and not forgetting the rain. I’m one hour from Dublin. Kildare is my County, horse racing is our main thing. Ever hear of the Curragh of Kildare ?????. I’m one mile away. I’ll try and put up some photos if i can find any that are suitable. I’m watching In Treament 2 at the moment and loving it.

  10. Hi Karen, I love horses! I’ve been to Belmont Race Track in NYC a few times. Ahhh, Season 2. Would love to hear your thoughts on it when you’re caught up. Although watching them back-to-back can put you on an emotional roller coaster ride. This is one of only two dramatic shows I watch.

  11. Aragarna

    eh ladies, are you registered in the forum ? if not, don’t be shy and join us, we’d love to hear your comment on IT2, and everything else you’d have to say

  12. Forums? Hmmmmmm. I did not know there were forums. I will stop in. Thank you most kindly for the invite. :-)

  13. RC In Treatment 2 has yet to be on television in Ireland. I got fed up waiting so had to go another route. I am currently on episode 8 of 36, so not totally into the patients yet. Still feeling my way. I thought season 1 was abs brilliant so season 2 has a lot to live up to. Maybe you can tell me does it ????????????. Aragarna will suss out the forum, thank you.

  14. This man is brilliant. I love both seasons but S2 really digs into him deep. I hope that there can be some sort of happy ending for his character.

  15. Ye I was really dissapointed he didnt get it together with Laura. I’ll keep watching anyway and let you know my overall thoughts when I’m finished. I’m sure it’ll be all good. Thanks for not spoiling it for me.

  16. I’m torn. As much as I would have loved a really hot sex scene with Paul and Laura at the end of S1; he showed more princple by not having sex with her. Which means he has a conscious.

  17. I’m going to Kilkenny for this festival, but sadly I’ll miss the Gabriel Byrne film day! I’ll be in Dublin for a few days as well. Can’t wait! :)

  18. Sounds great Lara!
    I am sure you will have a great time in Ireland.
    You must report from Kilkenny film festival when you come home.

  19. A reminder from The Irish Times about The Gabriel Byrne Film Day should not be necessary, but maybe for someone that are not Byrneholics, yet… so OK. I think the paper should have chosen a better photo of Gabriel. I mean there are hundreds of great photos of Gabriel around, so… Just ask Stella who had created lots of gorgeous wallpapers with Gabriel!

  20. Am I the only one who actually likes that picture? I think it’s a nice one! Now “byrnehol” wtf is that? LOL still nice to get a mention… :)

  21. After reading this report by Michael Harding, I truly long to be in Kilkenny. Someday…Oh, and if there were such a thing as Byrnehol, we would all go out and buy it, I am sure. ;-)

  22. Any news from this festival?
    Lara?

  23. Thank you very much Stella for sharing this indeed wonderful report written by Michael Harding. It is great to see that a man also can see so clear what a sensitive, intelligent well spoken and special man Gabriel is!

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