From film to fashion, books to TV, our writers pick the best cultural highlights of the season.
1 IT Chapter Two, September 6: The second instalment adapted from Stephen King’s horror bestseller. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy star.
2 Downtown Abbey, September 13: Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville star in a feature-length tale of upstairs-downstairs intrigue. Michael Engler directs.
3 The Kitchen, September 20: Irish-American mobsters’ wives run the rackets in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s. Elisabeth Moss and Domhnall Gleeson star.
4 Rambo: Last Blood, September 20: John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) confronts his past and takes on a Mexican cartel. Adrian Grunberg directs.
5 The Woman in the Window, September 27: Amy Adams and Julianne Moore star in a Rear Window-style thriller. Joe Wright directs.
6 The Goldfinch, September 27: Donna Tartt’s slow-burning thriller is directed by John Crowley. Nicole Kidman stars.
7 Judy, October 4: Renee Zellweger stars in a biopic of Judy Garland. Jessie Buckley co-stars; Rupert Goold directs.
8 Joker, October 4: Joaquin Phoenix stars as Batman’s nemesis in a standalone anti-superhero tale. Todd Phillips directs, Robert De Niro co-stars.
9 Gemini Man, October 11: An aging hitman (Will Smith) is confronted by his younger clone. Ang Lee directs.
10 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, October 18: Dark fairytale, with Angelina Jolie as the vengeful fairy Maleficent and Juno Temple playing her goddaughter Aurora.
11 Zombieland: Double Tap, October 18: Zombie horror spoof sequel, with Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Bill Murray.
12 The Addams Family, October 25: Animated version of the spooky family, with Charlize Theron voicing Morticia. Chloë Grace Moretz co-stars.
13 Terminator: Dark Fate, October 25: Sci-fi thriller, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton going head-to-head. Edward Furlong co-stars.
14 Doctor Sleep, November 1: Horror sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining, starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson.
15 Last Christmas, November 15: Festive rom-com, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. Paul Feig directs.
16 Ford v Ferrari, November 15: Motorsport drama, with Matt Damon and Christian Bale racing for glory. James Mangold directs.
17 Frozen 2, November 22: Elsa and Anna return, determined to discover the origins of Elsa’s magical powers. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee direct.
18 Motherless Brooklyn, November 29: 1950s-set private eye thriller, starring Bruce Willis and Willem Dafoe. Edward Norton co-stars and directs.
19 Charlie’s Angels, November 29: Reboot of the classic 1970s TV show, starring Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott. Elizabeth Banks directs and co-stars.
20 The Aeronauts, December 6: Action-adventure yarn set in hot-air balloons, starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne. Tom Harper directs.
21 Black Christmas, December 13: Remake of the cult horror, as student Imogen Poots is stalked during her holiday break. Cary Elwes co-stars.
22 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, December 20: Rey (Daisy Ridley) leads the Resistance to the First Order in the latest Star Wars extravaganza. JJ Abrams directs.
23 Cats, December 20: Tom Hooper directs an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical. Idris Elba and Taylor Swift star.
24 Little Women, December 27: Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan stars in an all-star adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic. Emma Watson co-stars; Greta Gerwig directs.
25 Playing With Fire, December 27: Comedy, with firefighters led by John Cena meeting their match in a trio of unruly kids. Judy Greer co-stars.
26 XPOSÉ STYLE SESSIONS, SEPT 15: Hosted at Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, this one-day lifestyle event includes popular elements from Ireland’s flagship entertainment show – Xposé.
Learn tricks of the trade from top beauty experts, watch live styling sessions; enjoy afternoon tea, a glass of bubbles, an exclusive goody bag and spots prizes throughout the day.
Tickets €100 plus booking fee.
27 NEW COLLECTIONS FASHION LUNCHEON, SEPT 29: Fall stylishly into autumn at the New Collections Fashion Luncheon, in association with Kelliher’s Toyota. Enjoy new season inspiration from top designers and boutiques over a 4-course luncheon with fine wines at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel, Killarney. Gorgeous goodie bags and a prize for Best Dressed Lady are promised. Tickets €80 plus booking fee.
28 CONSTANCE WILDE & FASHION REFORM, OCT 6: Join historians Professor Christine Kinealy and founder of the Lost Fashion History Tours, Ruth Griffin at Dublin’s Royal Hibernian Academy. Hear about the life of activist and beacon of the 19 th century fashion reform movement, Constance Wilde; explore the lost fashion history of Dublin at that time and discover how it contributed to the economy and cultural ways of the city.
29 BE SUMMIT 2019, OCT 15: BE Summit 2019 is an all-day lifestyle event by maven46, taking place at The Richmond Hotel, Dublin. Enabling women to be the best they can be, expect interactive and inspirational talks from 20 leading female figures across the Be Fashion, Beauty, Inspire and Life stages. Tickets €55 + booking fee.
30 GIAMBATTISTA VALLI X H&M, NOV 7: H&;M teams up with Moschino for its latest designer-high street collaboration.
The Paris-based master of beauty and sophistication brings his whimsical signature to a range of women and men’s clothing and accessories including riding coats, dresses, sweatshirts, sunglasses and bijoux. Available in select stores worldwide and online.
31 The Beautiful Ones, Prince, Penguin Random House, October 29: In conjunction with The Prince Estate this is the story from the man himself; featuring never before seen photos, lyric sheets and the early pages of the memoir Prince began writing before his death.
32 Once, Twice, Three Times An Aisling, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, Gill, September 19: The third book in this hilarious franchise sees Aisling navigate the choppy waters of turning 30. Chicken soup for the Irish soul.
33 The Secrets We Kept, Lara Prescott, September 5: Cold war drama as two secretaries are given the job of smuggling Dr Zhivago out of the USSR. Film rights are already in the works for this masterpiece.
34 Overcoming, Vicky Phelan, Hachette Ireland, September 12: The much-anticipated autobiography from Vicky Phelan, the woman who brought the cervical cancer scandal into the public arena. An important read.
35 Blue Moon, Lee Child, Bantam Press, October 29: The 24th Jack Reacher novel keeps up the pace as Reacher sets out to disrupt two rival gangs, while helping a mysterious elderly man who desperately needs his help. Action-packed.
36 The Childrens Block, Otto B Kraus, Ebury, October 17: An autobiographical account of the children’s block in Auschwitz-Birkenau, written by holocaust survivor Kraus, with an introduction by his wife, Dita.
37 The Power of Nunchi, Euny Hong, Hutchinson, September 5: The Marie Kondo of happiness is here to show you how to follow Korean life principles and find, Nunchi – the key to happiness.
38 Filter This, Sophie White, Hachette Ireland, Out Now: So quintessentially of the moment, this funny and heartwarming book follows Ali’s journey as she tries to achieve her #lifegoals. It’ll make you rethink your social media addiction.
39 The Maths of Life and Death, Kit Yates, Quercus, September 5: Get ready to be blown away as Yates questions whether maths is an intrinsic part of the order of the world as we know it. Using case studies, he questions whether maths could prevent innocent people from being convicted, and how by integrating maths into our daily lives, everything gets infinitely easier.
40 Tall Tales and Wee Stories, Billy Connolly, October 17: Post-retirement, Connolly takes an irreverent and hilarious look back at his career. Peppered with previously unheard stories and illustrations by Billy himself, this is a must for any Connolly fan.
41 Malta is enjoying a huge resergance with Irish travellers this year and it’s well deserved. A short flight from Cork this October can see you sunning yourself in the four-star Labranda Riviera Premium Resort and Spa from €429pp for seven nights. www.budgettravel.ie
42 You can still find welcome heat in Cyprus all the way through to October, and Paphos offers a gorgeous beach and lots of ancient sites to explore. TUI are flying there from Dublin on September 18 for seven nights, staying at the lovely Kefalonitis apartments from €495 per person. www.tuiholidays.ie
43 Those of us who wish to indulge in some wellness while weekending should consider the new Wellness at the Weekend Experience package, in collaboration with Siobhan Byrne. Taking in yoga, circuit training, and lots of ab work, you’ll enjoy lots of healthy meals and snacks before climbing into your super comfy bed for the night. Packages start from €599. www.doylecollection.com
44 Sunway are planning a double whammy trip to Dubai in December taking in the Dubai Rugby 7s followed by a Kylie Minogue concert. This whirlwind weekend departs Dublin on December 5 for two nights, staying at the Rove Marina Hotel on a B&B basis and costs from €799 per person. www.sunway.ie
45 Hayfield Manor looks set to take its glamour to the capital as its owners have announced plans to develop its first Dublin-based hotel on the grounds of a former seminary. The 195-roomed hotel looks set to be a five-star, full-service offering, with all the glamour of its Cork-based sibling.
46 Taste the Island, September 2019: A 32 county food tourism initiative of which you will hear much more over its three-year life span as a showcase for Ireland’s world class food and drinks offering. www.failteireland.ie/taste-the-island
47 fEast, 1-8 Sept: fEast East Cork Food Festival continues to evolve at a ferocious rate, as befits one of Ireland’s original food destinations. Look out for new festival forum, An Chístin, with a stellar lineup of top chefs. (www.feastcork.ie)
48 Waterford Harvest Festival, 6-8 Sept: Always a varied and family-friendly programme, this year look out for chef Sham Hanifa guesting at Everett’s and the Wasted Supper, heralding GROW HQ as the Irish hub for the global sustainable hospitality movement, Chef’s Manifesto. (www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie)
49 Taste of West Cork, 6-15 Sept: Taking in all the towns, villages and eight islands of West Cork, ToWC is very much a dining-driven affair with multiple pop-ups and special festival menus available throughout the region, with Mews Baltimore’s Michelin-starred head chef heading to nearby Custom House to cook a feast of his native Turkish cuisine. www.atasteofwestcork.com
50 Murphy’s Cork Oyster & Seafood Festival, 20-22 Sept: With the Metropole Hotel as HQ, the programme extends into the city, including a gourmet trail, an All-Ireland oyster shucking contest and live entertainment including the Frank and Walters. www.corkoysterfestival.com
51 Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, 27-29 Sept: The world’s oldest oyster festival finds the pearl in a party to celebrate the most magical mollusk of all. www.galwayoysterfestival.com
52 Dingle Food Festival, 4-6 October: Almost a closer for festival season, it is one of the most joyous of all the celebrations of Irish food and drink, most especially when late autumn sunshine joins the party. Also incorporates Blás na hÉireann awards. www.dinglefood.com
53 Kinsale Gourmet Festival, 11-13 October: Still going strong after 43 years, picturesque Kinsale usually pulls out all the stops for a gourmet celebration with finest local seafood to the fore, not least at festival showpiece, the Fruits de Mer Luncheon. www.kinsalerestaurants.com
54 Food on the Edge, 21-22 Oct: Two-day food symposium featuring national and international chefs and food enthusiasts addressing the crucial issues facing the modern food world. (www.foodontheedge.ie)
55 Savour Kilkenny Food Festival, 24-28 Oct: Great food in a gorgeous location is always superbly augmented by a fun and family-friendly programme of events. www.savourkilkenny.com
Arts and Ents
56 How it Is: Part 2, Sept 3-7, Everyman: Game of Thrones actor Stephen Dillane is back with Cork company Gare St Lazare for the second part of the adaptation of Beckett’s strange and wonderful novel. Bonus points for including an Indonesian gamelan orchestra.
57 Dylan Moran Various, September: The Black Books star brings his stand-up show to such towns as Limerick (Sept 5), Cork (6-8) and Dublin (23-24).
58 Loch na hEala/Swan Lake Cork Opera House, Sept 10-12: This contemporary Irish twist on the classic ballet has been getting rave reviews since it debuted in 2016, and finally comes to Cork as part of the Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival.
59 Angela’s Ashes The Musical Cork Opera House, Sept 17 – 21: Surely, such a depressing tale of poverty is no subject for a musical? Au contraire, mon ami… take Les Miserables. This stage version of Frank McCourt’s novel also tours to Dublin.
60 Culture Night Friday, Sept 20: The nationwide smorgasbord of free arts and entertainment events is now into its 14th year. A fine excuse to get out and about.
61 Dublin Theatre Festival Sept 26 to Oct 13: Michael Keegan Dolan’s follow-up to Loch na hEala, and a new immersive piece from Anu are among the highlights of this year’s event.
62 Cork Podcast Festival, Oct 11-13: The inaugural festival is perfectly timed to make the most of the growing buzz around podcasts, with live events at Cork Opera House and other venues featuring the likes of Blind Boy, and the latest instalment of the West Cork podcast about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
63 Swan Lake Cork Opera House, Nov 7-9: Cork City Ballet have again drafted in some top Russian dancers – and costumes from the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg – for what promises to be another top-class show.
64 Cork Film Festival, Nov 7-17: Last year’s programme was arguably the strongest in many years, and the 2019 event promises another mix of previously unseen Irish films and top international offerings.
65 Moment in Time National Gallery, Nov 30: An exhibition from the collection of the Bank of America features photographs from such greats as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Eugene Smith.
66 Sounds from a Safe Harbour, multiple venues, Cork, September 12 – 15: Leslie Feist and Damien Rice play Cork Opera House as the avant-garde festival curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner returns to Cork.
67 Ariana Grande, 3Arena, Dublin, September 22 23, 25: Grande’s recent Thank U, Next album was a raw and unflinching meditation on love and loss. She brings it to Dublin in her first arena tour since the May 2017 Manchester arena bombing.
68 Mabel and Khalid, 3Arena, September 24: Finders Keepers singer Mabel crowns a chart-busting year with her biggest ever Irish performance. She’s supporting pop-tastic hitmaker Khalid, touring his US Billboard-topping Free Spirit LP.
69 Mick Flannery, Cork Opera House, September 26: Cork troubadour whose music blends blues and rock. A self-titled new album sees him striking out as an independent artist.
70 The Divine Comedy, Opera House Cork, October 8: Wry chamber pop from heartfelt dandy Neil Hannon. His new LP, Office Politics, as been hailed as a return to his Nineties best.
71 Little Mix, 3Arena, October 8,10, 11: The world’s biggest girl-group remind you can have a career after X-Factor.
72 Belinda Carlisle, Cork Opera House, October 9: Heaven will be a place on Emmett Place as the big-haired Eighties hitmaker sweeps in for a night of nostalgia.
73 Brad Paisley, 3Arena, October 13: Stadium-sized country rock courtesy of stetson-wearing superstar.
74 John Mayer, 3Arena, October 16: The musician’s musical, Mayer is worshipped by guitarists for his dexterous fretwork.
75 Amanda Palmer, Cork Opera House, October 23: Indie singer and crowd-funding activist. Latest LP, There Will Be No Intermission, is perhaps her finest since the end of her Dresden Dolls project.
76 Sinead O’Connor, Opera House Cork, October 26: Nothing Compares 2 Sinead, as fans will discover on her comeback Irish tour. Her Opera House show is part of Cork Jazz Festival.
77 Marina, Olympia, Dublin, October 30: She’s dropped “the Diamonds” but Marina Diamindis still knows her way around a rollicking tune.
78 Cher, 3Arena, Dublin, November 1: The actress and singer stages a rare tour that will see her reprise material from across her career.
79 Gerry Cinnamon, 3Arena, November 2: Without any substantial hits and minimal airplay, the Glasgow troubadour has become an arena sensation.
80 Aurora, Olympia, Dublin, November 6: Up-and-coming electro warbler from Norway.
81 Lizzo, Olympia, Dublin, November 10: The Houston-by-way-of-Detroit rapper’s theatre tour sold out in a heartbeat. The good news is she’s promised to return next year to play arenas.
82 Kate Tempest, Vicar Street, Dublin, November 15: Urban poetry with an indie rock kick from the straight-talking Londoner.
83 Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, October 17: Peak boogie-woogie will be achieved as the BBC TV presenter alights in Cork.
84 Lewis Capaldi, Olympia, Dublin, November 21: Scotland’s answer to Ed Sheeran returns after acclaimed performances in Cork over the summer.
85 Sigrid, 3Arena, November 22: The Don’t Kill My Vibe artist cements her stardom with an arena jaunt.
86 Liam Gallagher, 3Arena, November 23 24: It’s taken a while but finally the younger Gallagher sibling proves there is life after Oasis. Look out, too, for new solo LP in early October.
87 Bjork, 3Arena Dublin, November 28: Eccentric space-pop ahoy as the Icelandic singer plays her first stand alone Irish show since the late Nineties.
88 Dido, 3Arena, December 1: Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong gives a thank you to fans as she brings her arena tour to Dublin.
89 Fontaines DC, December 7, 8: Dublin-based post-punks round off a stellar year.
90 Clairo, Academy, Dublin, December 10: You’ll be hearing a lot about this indie singer from small-town New England in 2020. This might be looked back on as a rare opportunity to see her in a small venue.
91 Top Boy, Netflix, Sept 16: Written by Irishman Ronan Bennett, the two seasons of this inner-city crime drama on Channel 4 ranged from superb to watchable. Ashley Walters and co return for a new run on the streaming network that will hopefully recapture the glories of the first series.
92 Rugby World Cup Eir Sport / RTÉ, from Sept 20: Eir will show all 48 games live, but RTÉ will have 14 matches, including all of Ireland’s games, the knockouts and the final. Ireland’s first four matches kick off between 8.15am and 11.45am.
93 Dublin Murders, RTÉ, tbc: Cork actress Sarah Greene joins Love/Hate’s Killian Scott as a detective duo in this big-budget adaptation of Tana French’s novels.
94 Catherine the Great, Sky Atlantic, October: Helen Mirren stars in this four-part series about the 18th-century Russian royal whose colourful life had no shortage of drama, from the coup in which she seized power, to various wars and numerous lovers.
95 Watchmen, Sky Atlantic, October: West Cork-based actor Jeremy Irons is among the stars of this new series inspired by the classic graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon. Also watch out for Robert Redford playing a version of himself who has become president of the US.
96 The Redress Board, RTÉ, tbc: Twenty years after the establishment of the State’s enquiry into the abuse of children in State/Church care, this documentary looks at the redress scheme that was set up to compensate survivors for the abuse they suffered. We’ll hear of a deal done between Fianna Fáil and the religious organisations, moneys still owed by the Catholic Church, survivors still struggling, etc
97 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, Netflix, Oct 11: We don’t yet know if Bryan Cranston pops up as Walter White, but the primary focus of the film is what happened to Jesse (Aaron Paul) after the finale of the TV series. Hopefully it’ll be less sleep-inducing than Better Call Saul.
98 Climate Week, RTÉ, November: The climate crisis is a tricky one for broadcasters to deal with, but RTÉ is planning a week of investigations and discussions around the topic.
99 His Dark Materials, BBC One, tbc: HBO and the Beeb have teamed up for this much-anticipated adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy novels. There are plenty familiar faces in the cast, not least Irish acting’s man of the moment, Andrew Scott.
100 The Crown Netflix, Nov 17: As season three moves through the 1960s, the show’s producers have made major changes to the cast, mainly with the wonderful Olivia Coleman replacing the wonderful Claire Foy as Queen Liz.
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