Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage

There are many things I am looking forward to at the 2011 Kilkenny Arts Festival. From the first moment I heard the words rock-opera though, I was intrigued. I had been wondering what would be the thing this year that everyone would be talking about? The universal topic separating them from us among the crowd of friendly strangers and new friends at the arts festival. Last year, without a doubt, it was The Smile Off Your Face. “Have you been yet?” “Did you enjoy it? How did it feel?” “Did he do that thing, with your hand?” – it seemed that eventually everyone you met asked the question or answered it from you.

On this year’s Theatre & Dance programme, I am intrigued by Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage. Even the name is epic, never mind the eponymous poem. I’ve read the blurb on the Kilkenny Arts Festival site:

Beowulf – A Thousand Years Of Baggage is a riotous, award-winning SongPlay from New York that digs into the roots of the epic poem while echoing the raw and rowdy storytelling of Scandinavian mead halls. Battles emerge in the aisles and on top of tables, plunging the audience into the middle of this unique theatre experience, while an explosive seven-piece band combines cabaret, jazz harmony and punk rock, turning the stage into a cacophonous swirl.

Banana Bag & Bodice is an ensemble-based company founded in 1999 that creates unique theatre-shows, with an emphasis on original text and composed music, and embraces the awkwardness of being a human. Their critically-acclaimed show The Sewers received a Best Production Award at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2006.

So let’s get this right…music, drama, rowdy storytelling, punk rock…all in one show? It’s almost too much excitement. Here’s a taster video:

If you’re as intrigued as I am, go get your tickets here! Right now!

Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage plays in the Set Theatre, Langtons, John Street, Kilkenny on 5th, 6th and 7th August at 7pm. Tickets cost €15/€12. If one Kilkenny Arts Festival experience is just not enough, the festival are offering a Monster’s Ball special – a ticket to Beowulf and a ticket to Eric Sweeney and 3epkano on Friday 5th August for just €23.

All special ticket offer bundles are here. Don’t wait too long, this is going to sell out fast!

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