Hinterland Festival 2021

Fáilte go dtí an cúigú feile Hinterland. Buíochas as teacht agus páirt a glacadh san ocáid agus comhluadar seo.

Welcome back to an unusual Hinterland Festival, but one not as out of the ordinary as the 2020 version. We have moved back from the pandemic-stricken online festival of 2020 to an ‘in person’ event this year. Not a total return to normality but a step in the right direction. This year we have our usual mix of literature, history, music, drama, magic and craic. We’ll be highlighting the music of David Bowie, staging a couple of ambitious theatre projects, meeting some of the hottest new Irish authors as well as some old friends and reflecting on the surreality of the last eighteen months.

Bí pairteach linn, le do thoil.

Hinterland Festival Team

Put next year’s dates in your diary: 23-26 June 2022.

All events are fifty-five minutes in duration and all venues are within a few minute’s walk of each other. 

The Eirgrid Stage is located in the Kells Theatre on Kenlis Place (St Vincent de Paul Hall). The Merriebelle Irish Farm, O'Brien's Supervalu, Meath County Council Stages and Eureka House are all located in the grounds of the old Eureka Convent secondary school on the Navan Road, opposite the Heritage Centre.

You can also find a host of other things to do during the Festival here.

or 

Tom Dunne

Ziggy at 50

Event  19 
Venue: Kells Theatre
On 16 June 1972 David Bowie copper-fastened his status as a rock God with the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It was somewhere between a concept album and a rock opera and it came with a persona on board, the eponymous Ziggy Stardust, the alien sent to earth to save us all who succumbs to his own ego and proves not to be quite up to the thankless task. In his annual 50th birthday special Tom Dunne tackles the making and breaking of the ‘leper messiah’ and offers yet another reminder of how the world has fallen apart since we lost Bowie.
Sorry - this event has been cancelled
Tom Dunne

Jo Spain

The Last to Disappear

Event  20 
Venue: Eureka House

There are many words you could use to describe Jo Spain’s literary output, the first and most obvious is ‘prolific’. Jo has written an amazing 10 novels since the first in the Inspector Tom Reynolds series, With Our Blessing, in 2015. Jo is also one of Ireland’s most respected and successful writers of crime fiction. All her work has been translated into numerous languages and has featured on bestseller lists worldwide. She had also turned her hand, with just as much success, to writing for TV with the groundbreaking series Taken Down, and her most recent Harry Wild TV show. Her latest work, The Last to Disappear, has just been published. Jo will be in conversation with Deirdre Hurley.

Price €12.00
 
 
Jo Spain

Fintan O’Toole

We Don't Know Ourselves

Event  21 
Venue: Church of Ireland
We Don't Know Ourselves is a very personal vision of recent Irish history from the year of Fintan O'Toole's birth, 1958, down to the present. Ireland has changed almost out of recognition during those decades, and Fintan O'Toole's life coincides with that arc of transformation. The book is a brilliant interweaving of memories (though this is emphatically not a memoir) and engrossing social and historical narrative. In a review in the Guardian Colm Tóibín described the book as 'Sweeping, authoritative and profoundly intelligent'. Winner of the An Post Irish Book Awards for 2021 and #1 Bestseller.
Price €10.00
 
 
Fintan O’Toole

Noah Griffin

A lifetime of firsts

Event  22 
Venue: Courthouse
Courtesy of our friends in Hinterland: West (San Francisco) Noah Griffin is, we hope, the first of many distinguished guests from the Bay Area. Noah is a true renaissance man who has worked with singers Paul Robeson, Leontyne Price and Nat ‘King’ Cole but has also stood alongside San Francisco mayor and US Senator Dianne Feinstein, hosted on talk radio, written a column for the revered San Francisco Examiner, had a parallel career as a song writer and picked up a law degree from Harvard.  Noah will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Price €8.00
 
 
Noah Griffin

Martina Devlin

Edith Somerville in fact and fiction

Event  23 
Venue: Kells Theatre
A new novel based on the life of Edith Somerville of ‘Somerville and Ross’ fame – authors of The Irish R.M. In this work, set during the turbulent period of Irish Independence 1921–22, Somerville finds herself at a crossroads. Her position as a member of the Ascendancy is perilous as she struggles to keep her family home, Drishane House in West Cork, while others are burned out. After years in a successful writing partnership with Violet Martin, Edith continues to write after her partner’s death, comforted in the belief they continue to connect through automatic writing and séances. Martina Devlin will be in conversation with Deirdre Hurley.
Price €8.00
 
 
Martina Devlin

John Farrelly

Deadly! Irish History, an interactive workshop

Event  Y3 
Venue: Eureka House

Irish history isn't boring ... it's DEADLY! Join John Farrelly, author and illustrator of the Deadly! Irish History series of books in a fun workshop all about the Vikings, the Celts and the Normans! Do you know what the Vikings called the gigantic tree at the centre of the universe? Were the Irish Celts the first people in Europe to build hospitals? Did a Norman warrior woman called Alice the Vicious cut off the heads of thirty Irish prisoners?!? All these questions and more will be answered as John gets you to guess whether the characters in his books are telling the truth... or if they're telling BIG, FAT WHOPPERS! Learn how the Deadly! Irish History books are created and try drawing your own Viking, Celt or Norman alongside John in this deadliest of Deadly! workshops!

Age 8+
Price €5.00
 
 
John Farrelly

Michael Harding

A cloud where the birds rise: Michael Harding reads from his memoirs and reflects on love and belonging

Event  24 
Venue: Church of Ireland
Although he has had his work performed on the stage of the Abbey theatre, has won numerous awards for his writing, and is a distinguished member of Aosdána it is for his abilities as a raconteur (in print and onstage) that Michael Harding is most cherished by his audience. In personal prose and memoir works such as Hanging With the Elephant, On Tuesdays I’m a Buddhist and the more recent Chest Pain: a man, a stent and a camper van, he has allowed us access to his life and, in the process, enhanced ours.
Price €12.00
 
 
Michael Harding

The Arts Council at 70

Event  25 
Venue: Courthouse

In this, its seventieth year, the Arts Council is commissioning CV 2022, a short essay and accompanying discussion series. CV 2022 reflects on the Arts Council’s history, the value of the arts and the impact of 70 years of public investment in the arts.  CV 2022, in collaboration with (Hinterland) will present five unique perspectives on the role of the arts in Ireland past, present and future, reflecting on the relationship between various governments and the arts since the 1950s, arts and culture as common languages across the world, the role of the arts in celebrating contemporary Ireland and recognising the role of creativity as a positive force in the world, agus an ról agus tiomantas na Comhairle Ealaíon don Ghaeilge a mheasiú agus an ról is féidir leis na healaíona a imirt chun  forbairt na Ghaeilge mar theanga bheo labhartha a chinntiú.

Free but ticketed
Price €0.00
 
 
The Arts Council at 70

Stephen Morris

from Joy Division to New Order, a life in music

Event  26 
Venue: Kells Theatre
Being percussionist with two of the most popular and influential bands in the history of rock music, Joy Division and New Order, is quite something to have on your CV but Stephen Morris has also guested with Echo and the Bunnymen and released two albums with his wife, New Order keyboardist Gillian Gilbert under the tongue in cheek name, The Other Two. He has also written two memoirs covering the Joy Division and New Order years, Record Play Pause and Fast Forward. Stephen will be in conversation with Nerys Williams.
Price €12.00
 
 
Stephen Morris

David McCullagh

The Great Irish Politics Book

Event  Y4 
Venue: Eureka House
In case you think ‘politics is boring’ (aside from the fact that you should really be thinking ‘politics ARE boring’) David McCullagh doesn’t agree with you. That’s why he sat down to write The Great Irish Politics Book even though he’s a very busy man who presents the 6.1 News on RTÉ 1 TV. After hearing from David you’ll be able to tell your Fianna Fáil from your Fine Gael and Sinn Féin, and you will finally understand why all the telegraph poles in Kells are covered in posters every 4/5 years when you’re not even allowed advertise your school musical on them.
Age 8-12
Price €5.00
 
 
David McCullagh

Val McDermid

A life in crime (fiction) – interviewed by one of her biggest fans, Liz Nugent

Event  27 
Venue: Church of Ireland
Val McDermid’s career as a writer of detective fiction began when her literary agent fired her because she wasn’t making enough money. Who’s sorry now? Today Val is the unassailable Queen of Crime and has sold over 17 million books which have been translated into 40 languages. She has won dozens of major international literary awards and is admired as much by her peers as her fans. She is also the proud lead singer of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, the only band made up of crime writers ever to play at Glastonbury. Liz will ask Val about crime writing, football, music, food and New Zealand, among other things. This promises to be a lively event.
Price €12.00
 
 
Val McDermid

Amy Dunne and Orla O’Donnell

I Am Amy Dunne – sparking a social revolution

Event  28 
Venue: Courthouse
In 2007 Amy Dunne was 17 years old and pregnant with a baby girl who had anencephaly. This meant that the baby was certain to die before or at birth. At the time Amy was in the care of the HSE who refused to allow her to travel for a termination. Forced to bring her case to the High Court Amy’s private tragedy became public property. Amy will be in conversation with her co-author, RTÉ legal affairs correspondent Orla O’Donnell.
Price €8.00
 
 

Anthony Summers

The Final Mystery of Marilyn Monroe

Event  29 
Venue: Kells Theatre
With a Netflix documentary and the re-publication of the 1985 Anthony Summers book Goddess: the Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe the troubled Hollywood superstar is back in the news on the 60th anniversary of her still controversial death. Come and hear the man who provided the taped interviews on which the Netflix documentary was based, investigative journalist Anthony Summers. Anthony will be in conversation with Myles Dungan.
Price €10.00
 
 
Anthony Summers

Nick Sheridan

An interactive workshop for budding journalists

Event  Y5 
Venue: Eureka House

It’s never been easier to access the news; TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and endlessly buzzing on to the screens in our pockets. But with more and more news available, it’s hard to know what to trust. Where do stories come from? What’s real news and what’s fake? What should we do if the news confuses us, or even upsets us? Join journalist and presenter Nick Sheridan for an interactive event that will help kids and young people understand the NEWS - REAL and FAKE! With practical tips to help kids spot fake news and top tips for budding journalists, Nick draws on his expertise to show kids how to navigate the ever-confusing world of news in a humorous and reassuring way - and WATCH OUT for the surprise stories!

Age 9+
Price €5.00
 
 
Nick Sheridan

Guth Gafa Documentary: Young Plato

Event  30 
Venue: Kells Theatre

An inspiring documentary from the filmmakers of School Life, YOUNG PLATO charts the dream of Elvis-loving school headmaster Kevin McArevey – a maverick who is determined to change the fortunes of an inner-city community plagued by urban decay, sectarian aggression, poverty and drugs. The all-boys primary school in post-conflict Belfast, Northern Ireland, becomes a hot house for questioning violence, as the headmaster sends his young wards home each day armed with the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers. The boys challenge their parents and neighbors to forsake the prejudice that has kept this low-level civil war on the boil for decades. YOUNG PLATO hums with the confidence of youth, a tribute to the power of the possible.

This event is 100 minutes long
Price €10.00
 
 
Guth Gafa Documentary: Young Plato

Kila in Concert

Event  31 
Venue: Headfort Hotel
Price €25.00
 
 
Kila in Concert

A morning with Percy French

Owen Gilhooly-Miles / Niall Kinsella / Myles Dungan

Event  32 
Venue: Headfort House
Percy French began life as the son of an Anglo-Irish landlord shortly after the Great Famine, worked as an inspector of drains but ended his life far more beloved in Ireland than such a background would normally imply. In a career on the concert stage he wrote and sang a string of Irish classics, from ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ to ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff’. He will be celebrated in song in a special event in the glorious Headfort House ballroom by baritone Owen Gilhooly-Miles, accompanied on piano by Niall Kinsella with a script written by Myles Dungan.
Price €12.00
 
 

Audrey Dowling

Croke Park Mice: The Missing Referee

Event  Y6 
Venue: Eureka House
To celebrate her new illustrated book Croke Park Mice: The Missing Referee, join Audrey for a fun drawing session all about hurling! And mice. And food, because mice love food.
Age 4+
Price €5.00
 
 
Audrey Dowling

Damien Shiels

Kells Landscapes of Revolution Tour

Event  33 
Venue: Outdoor event

The Landscapes of Revolution Project (www.landscapesofrevolution.com) was established to raise awareness of Ireland’s revolutionary-era archaeology through engagement with local communities. In this special tour, the largely untapped potential of this surviving physical landscape of revolution will be demonstrated by exploring the War of Independence and Civil War in Kells. Participants will also be shown some of the techniques and methodologies the project employs to identify and map these vulnerable sites.

This is a free event. No booking is required. Meet at the gates of the Church of Ireland on Market Street
Damien Shiels

Neil Belton

A life in publishing

Event  34 
Venue: Courthouse
As well as being an accomplished writer of fiction and non-fiction himself Neil Belton is editorial director at the London publishers Head of Zeus, which since its foundation in 2012, has sold 25 million books! Neil has played a huge part in this success and has recruited a number of Irish writers, Sinead Gleeson, Fintan O’Toole and Myles Dungan (among others) to the imprint. Neil can offer some fascinating insights into the process of writing, editing and getting published. He will be in conversation with literary agent Jonathan Williams.
Price €8.00
 
 
Neil Belton