by / August 27th, 2008 /

Electric Picnic info: The Spoken Word Area


Where we collate some additional info about the happenings at Electric Picnic this weekend:

The Spoken Word area at this year’s Electric Picnic has been expanded with more jam packed events to engage the brain. With everything from Theatre to political discourse to how to put out your first novel there really is a little pocket of cultural Ireland nestled proudly on the rolling lawns of Stradbally Hall.

Once again, Leviathan returns to nourish the addled minds of festival-goers with major debates. Hosted by broadcaster David McWilliams, who will reflect on the political and cultural legacy 40 years on from 1968 – the high-watermark of 1960s counterculture – featuring Mark Kurlansky, author of the seminal “1968: The Year That Rocked the World”, Derry civil rights activist, Eamon McCann and others.

Michael James Ford with Trevor Knight will reprise their beautiful and moving performances of Oscar Wilde’s classics The Happy Prince and The Remarkable Rocket. Gary Jermyn’s Electric Odes add to the star quality with a series of surreal, funny and moving tales from the world of rock ‘n’ roll – some of which may even be true!

RTE’s Ryan Tubridy will host a brand new Festival Revue Show to cast a tired, emotional and lighthearted eye over the day’s newspapers and the events of the weekend with a panel of artists and performers from across the Electric Picnic’s stages and music from his good friends Clint Velour and the Camembert Quartet.

Salon du Chat returns with the unique and intriguing “speed-debating” concept.

There will be savage politically-tinged music and commentary from Paddy Cullivan and the Camemberts, Jinx Lennon, Captain Moonlight and White Cholera as well as other very special guests and we’ll have a sneak preview of a brand new series of Langerland’s viscious satirical cartoons for RTE television, taking in such subjects as the Irish language, the GAA, the IRA, the Gardaí and the Celtic Tiger.

New this year to the Picnic is The Word stage. Arguably the best showcase of Irish and International poets and spoken word artists to be presented on one stage in Europe this year, the Word projects the power of literature beyond the printed page. Hosted by Marty Mulligan, this years line up includes some of the world’s top slam poets, including Shane Koyczan (Canada), winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship.

The La Scala Theatre Stage is the only outdoor stage in the area which is in fact A breathtaking scale model of Milan’s world-renowned La Scala Opera House. A programme of one-act theatre, weird and wonderful performances and classic storytelling will provide a calm oasis of engaging and thoughtful entertainment. While the Vendetta Theatre Company will present a selection of plays including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Disco Pigs presented by Rail and Fregoli Theatre Companies. Headlining the remarkable La Scala stage on Sunday will be a performance by the legendary Henry Rollins.

Other new stages include the Poetry and Storytelling Stage and Caint: Gaeilge Beo (Irish Language Stage). A big bunch of Gaeilgeoirí are coming to the Picnic Aibhléiseach this year with their own tent to entertain. Des Bishop will headline the Comedian hour, Tomás O Súileabhán will help you meet a gorgeous cailín or buachail at the Luas -Chliúsaíocht / speed dating hour. Or you can simply learn to curse in Irish.

Meanwhile in the Writer’s Corner 3 of Ireland’s top thriller writers will be discussing their own novels and fielding questions from the audience. Hugo Hamilton will discuss Biography vs Fiction; Chick Lit will be dissected by novelists Morag Prunty, Noelle Harrison and journalist Edel Coffey; Multi cultural Ireland will be highlighted by the inimitable Roddy Doyle along with help from Chris Binchy and Kevin Barry; Two first time novelists Julia Kelly and Denis Kehoe will share their experiences of getting published; Short stories will be covered by 2 leading practitioners Anne Enright and Claire Keegan who will be sharing their thoughts with Declan Meade.

  • Poetry Ireland will be appearing in The Word tent over the weekend too – with actors, poets and music 🙂

    Looking forward to my first festival.