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Landmark cultural showcase Samhlú 2020, hosted by Tommy Tiernan, debuts on TG4 this Tuesday
14 Dec 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Tommy Tiernan as The Wanderer (Cred: Maurice Gunning)
Taking place this Tuesday, December 15th at 9:30pm, Samhlú, TG4’s landmark cultural showcase seeks to celebrate the artistic endeavours and creativity that have endured throughout Ireland despite a very challenging year.

A significant impact has been felt within the arts, culture, and entertainment worlds due to the wide-range of Covid restrictions on public gatherings and events across the country. As a result, TG4, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media’s Creative Ireland Programme welcomed the opportunity to offer solidarity and support to Irish artists through this new cultural platform.

Samhlú has two elements, which include a 90-minute programme, Samhlú 2020, airing on TG4 on the 15th December, and Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach, a season of twelve commissioned short-form films, which will air periodically over the course of 2021. 

The Samhlú 2020 programme is set in the beautiful surrounds of Roundstone, Connemara, Co. Galway. Tommy Tiernan, taking on the role of The Wanderer, will host the spectacle, bringing the audience on a joyous and magical journey of music, dance, and theatre.   A little street, on the edge of the world, will become the arena for Samhlú; a night of enchanting theatre to swell the hearts of viewers.

Like a Joe Boske arts festival poster bursting to life, Meangadh Fíbín will present something bold and cinematic, unusual and brave, daft and surreal, unprecedented and otherworldly, to celebrate a year like no other… a year where the normal became a thing of the past, and a new way of life persevered in the most beautiful of ways.   

Presented as an anthology film, Samhlú is held together by a narrative in a magical setting where a world comes alive with music and art.

World-renowned composer and Roundstone resident Bill Whelan’s new original composition, Samhlú will premiere in the broadcast. The broadcast will also feature performances from Shane Hennessey, Moxie, Slow Moving Clouds, Julie Feeney, Morgan Bullock, Tonnta, Brian Finnegan, Seamus Flaherty, Catherine Young Dance, David Geaney, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, and Varo.

Six short films, which are legacy pieces, will also feature interwoven into the performances of the evening. The evening will erupt into performances from every art form, where doorsteps, piers, and chipper vans become stages. All the performances led by the Wanderer, Tommy Tiernan, are interwoven with six short films.  

The Six Short Films include: 

Waterford Walls (Visual Art/ Music) - Filmmaker Mia Mullarkey

The painting of the mural for healthcare workers… a painting on a wall in the town will dissolve into the film, scored ‘live’ within the world of the TV show.  

Modern Day Mummers (Dance/ Youth/ Traditional culture) - Filmmaker- Johnny Gogan

A short film by well-known filmmaker Johnny Gogan about tradition, dance, music, and the culture of mummering in County Leitrim… a unique cinematic take on the origins of the tradition, and the theatricality of turning identity upside down.  

Johnny will work in collaboration with dancer, choreographer, and artist Edwin Guckian from County Leitrim.  

State of Exception - Catherine Young (Dance/ Music) - Filmmaker Jonny White

A film about the extraordinary dance show inspired by the experience of making work with refugees and asylum seekers in Direct Provision.  

Fiach- (Theatre) - Filmmaker Paul D’Eath

From the actors’ perspective, a film about the challenge of making a drive-in drama in Connemara and Galway during Covid. The struggle to make theatre and the unique inventive way a theatre show was created. 

Lackeen (Culture/ Tradition/ Youth) - Filmmaker- Pat Comer

A poetic film exploring traveller culture, focusing on the role of women, their identity, ethnicity, culture, and gender.

An Irish Goodbye (short music video) – Filmmaker/musician Dáithí Ó Dronaí

A short music video set to the song of the same name, An Irish Goodbye features Dáithí and his band performing the track together for the first time in a house in Clare that Dáithí uses for developing and recording new music. Dáithí transformed the secluded house into an artist's retreat and recording studio when the music event landscape was severely impacted by the current pandemic. The track itself was written and recorded in self-isolation during the first lockdown, in front of a live stream audience on Youtube.   

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach is a selection of new abstract short-form documentary films featuring artists and creatives from all over Ireland.  The stylised short films explore the influences on the work done by creatives in Ireland.  Through these films, the viewer will gain a new and detailed perspective on how the artist prepares and develops their work in an intimate stylised form.

“Samhlú! This wonderful call to re-imagine our world could not have come at a better time,” said Minister Catherine Martin. “In the depth of winter after a long tough year, this magical programme will lighten our spirits. Led by some of the best-known names in Irish culture, Samhlú is a celebration of all the good things that our artists bring to our world. On behalf of my Department, I want to congratulate TG4 and the artists involved in the making of Samhlú. This wonderful programme is a tribute to the breadth of their imagination and creative ingenuity.”

Proinsias Ní Ghráinne, Commissioning Editor of Samhlú 2020 added: “This celebration of 'Samhlú' bolsters a year of strong arts and culture programming for TG4.  Community and creativity have always been at the heart of TG4's output.  People, creativity, and wellbeing have never been more connected than during the last 9 months.

“We are delighted to partner with Creative Ireland to provide public access to creative endeavour and inventiveness across Ireland, projects that have been so life-affirming throughout a remarkable year for community and individuals.”  

Samhlú 2020 airs on TG4 on Tuesday the 15th December at 9:30 pm and can be viewed worldwide on the TG4 player - www.tg4.ie.

Samhlú Croí Cruthaitheach will air from the 6th of January 2021.
 





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