Rothe House and Garden is delighted to be involved, once again, in the annual Kilkenny Arts Festival, running from the 10th to the 20th of August. Now celebrating 50 years, the festival offers everything from classical music to contemporary dance, and immersive theatre to visual art!

For the duration of the festival, two separate art and photography exhibitions will be taking place at Rothe House. Jacinta Crowley-Long is a professional artist who has earned her reputation as Ireland’s foremost contemporary canine and equestrian artist. She exhibits her work widely and her paintings are in many corporate and private collections in Ireland, America, Australia, and throughout Europe. She will be exhibiting a fantastic array of her work in our Arches Room.

Mary Doyle-Burke is a Kilkenny artist with a special interest in Ireland’s bogs. In our MacDonagh Room, Mary will have a display of photography which captures the heritage and biodiversity in the bogs of North Kilkenny and Tipperary, titled ‘The Irish Bog Project’.

The programme of events at Rothe House kicks off on Friday, August 11, at 3pm with Returning to the Earth / Ag Filleadh ar an dtalamh. This is a unique event inviting the public to join selected artists and researchers to explore our relationship with the landscape in Kilkenny, addressing themes of ecology, sustainability, and the Irish language.

Tickets for this event are €10 and can be purchased via the Kilkenny Arts Festival website or at the Festival Box Office, 76 John Street (weekdays, 10am-5pm).

At 4pm on Monday (August 14), Tuesday (15), and Friday (18), Rothe House will play host to a very special series of 15-minute Secret Garden Music concerts. These performances will bring a stellar line-up of ‘secret’ musicians to our garden, as well as other iconic spaces around Kilkenny City!

Entry will be free via New Building Lane.

Kilkenny has, of course, a wealth of traditional pipers but 5pm on Friday, August 18, will offer you the chance to experience one of Scotland’s finest uilleann pipers, Bríghde Chaimbeul, as part of the Marble City Sessions. Bríghde is an exciting young talent who has devised a completely new way of arranging music for the small pipes.

Tickets cost €20 / €18 and can be purchase online here or at the box office.

Running alongside the Kilkenny Arts Festival is the Alternative Kilkenny Arts Festival, or the AKA Festival! Rothe House and Garden also features heavily in this year’s programme of events, starting on Saturday, August 5.

The very talented Rosemary Loughlin will star in A Rose by Any Other Name at 7pm. This is a one-woman show with a unique take on discovering the real Shakespeare!

Tickets are €12 / €10 and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

The very next day, on Sunday August 6, Kilkenny-native, Damien Lennon presents Neurozizklone from 1pm. Damien has performed and recorded across the US, UK, Ireland, and Europe and will perform a set of processed bass VI; a tenor-like instrument tuned like a guitar, but an octave lower. The music is an abstract electrical set, both lulling and haunting.

Entry is free with admission to Rothe House.

Last but certainly not least, from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday, August 12, the garden at Rothe House will host Soap Box City, a spoken word event. Kilkenny Writers Anonymous is inviting you to read your original work – in any language – on the theme of ‘Sudden and great change’. All genres up to 1,000 words will be permitted and Gaelic performances are encouraged.

Entry is free via New Building Lane.

For information on upcoming Heritage Week events (12-20 August, 2023) at Rothe House and Garden, click here.