Home Limerick People Limerick: could it be the new Berlin?

Limerick: could it be the new Berlin?

5 min read
Getting drenched on a Friday evening in a factory on the
outskirts of Limerick city would not have been high on my priority list. Having
experienced Fuerza Bruta I went back for more.
Limerick audiences were treated to a joyful and sensory
overload over the past few weeks.  Something
never before seen in our city or Ireland, for that matter, has captured the
hearts of those who were lucky to be a part of the experience. City of Culture
has a new lease of life.
Every little thing about the Culture Factory- the site of
the former Dell factory in Castletroy – feels cool. It is more urban than
urbane. The venue feels like a fusion of London’s Tate Modern, a Berlin
underground performance space and the Point Depot when it was initially
introduced to a sceptical Dublin audience.
What is wonderful about what Limerick recently experienced in the Culture Factory is not just the fact that Fuerza Bruta was astonishing. It is the fact that so many Limerick people were involved in making
it happen, developing an empty space into something we can be proud of. Young
Limerick technicians like Pius McGrath got an opportunity to take a bow at the
end of the show on a platform with an internationally renowned performance
Students from Limerick School of Art and Design animated the space with their own take on various pieces of humble ‘rubbish’
which were sitting idle in the space for many years. Young up-and-coming
musical talents like Leading Armies were given an opportunity to rock a venue
that just wants to play with your senses.
Fuerza Bruta was different. It is a show that celebrates
life. It celebrates every sense. It celebrates how we function as human beings.
The traditional audience experience is challenged leaving those who go with it
feeling alive, happy and, in some instances, downright euphoric. The show’s
energy is reflective of the energy that is currently simmering across Limerick
Many risks were taken when taking on the Culture Factory as
a venue. Some comment has been made on the fact that the Culture Factory venue
is slightly too far out of town to impact city centre businesses.
Be that as it may what we have shown over the past month is
that when we put our minds to it we can develop a cracking venue and attract an
audience worthy of any major city in the world. Until such time as we are in a
place to develop a venue of any similar scale in the city centre the Culture
Factory will do the job nicely.
The phrase ‘a new Berlin’ is being used quite a lot around
Limerick at the moment. A movement is starting to happening in our city where
traditional approaches to what Limerick is about are being challenged. Limerick
has gone through its own fair share of hard knocks in years gone by. How we are
re-imagining ourselves is very interesting.

Watch this space. 

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