First Fortnight Festival 2015 – Preview

My Name is Saoirse

First Fortnight is a festival that runs for the first couple of weeks of the year (the clue was in the title). It is a multi-disciplinary festival that features Music, Art, Theatre and Film and aims to discuss mental health issues through the arts. This year there are a lot of interesting music events, such as Kevin Nolan, The Lost Brothers and Booka Brass Band, but there’s still a good mix of other events. Check out the full details below.


Events aimed at challenging mental health stigma begin in Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral on New Year’s Day and take place in Dublin and nationwide this January Dublin, 28th November: The First Fortnight festival is proud to announce the line-up for its 2015 programme of mental health themed arts and cultural events, taking place across Dublin and selected venues nationwide during January.

Now in its sixth year, First Fortnight 2015 will see live music, film, theatre and visual arts events staged to create open discussion and understanding of mental health problems, and challenge prejudice and discrimination.

Other First Fortnight 2014 events include a reading of Austin Clarke’s poem Mnemosyne Lay in Dust in St Patrick’s Hostpital, inspired by Clarke’s time as a patient in the hospital; performances from Irish music acts We Cut Corners, Booka Brass Band, I Have A Tribe; Kevin Nolan; Oliver Cole, Lethal Dialect, The Lost Brothers and Paddy Hanna; discussion on sports stars and mental health; the Irish premiere of a new documentary on US musician Eliott Smith; poets Peter Sirr, Stephen Murray and Stephen James Smith, acclaimed theatre productions My Name is Saoirse & Eleanor Tiernan’s National Therapy Project; a nationwide tour of Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank; Co-Motion – a musical walking experience; stunning visual arts and dance events; and much, much more The full line-up can be viewed at

Some of the most interesting events of the Festival are listed below –

  • Resolution – a 90-minute exploration of life from people who have met adversity and challenge with courage and compassion in Christ Church Cathedral on New Year’s Day.
  • A reading of Austin Clarke’s Mnemosyne Lay in Dust – an intensely personal poem haunting detailing a man’s “nervous breakdown” and subsequent recovery. The work is based strongly on Clarke’s own experiences as a patient in St Patrick’s Hospital.
  • I Have To Say, I Have To Say – a visual art installation exploring migrant suicide. Ciara McKeon’s work stemmed from the death of the artist’s former housemate, a Polish woman living in Ireland.
  • Hootenanny featuring Kevin Nolan and friends. Irish multi-instrumentalist and singer Kevin Nolan delivers a truly unique performance in St Patrick’s, a place where Kevin has been a patient
  • Over the Bar‘ – Sports stars, athletes and mental health – Journalist Jim Carroll chairs a panel to discuss the issue of mental health in the context of the sports world.
  • Dublin Fringe Festival play My Name Is Saoirse, a tender and evocative coming-of-age story and winner of the Fringe’s First Fortnight Award.
  • Nationwide screening and post-show Q&A of Frank – Lenny Abrahamson’s movie starring Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson which will tour venues across the country.
  • Irish premiere of Heaven Adores You, a documentary on the life of US musician Elliott Smith who tragically died at the age of 34.





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