News - Christmas In Ireland with Imelda May and Friends

Sky has announced a special Christmas concert from Dublin's famous Pepper Cannister Church, which will premiere on Sky Arts and NOW on Christmas Eve. Watch the trailer ...

Press Release

Filmed at the iconic Pepper Canister Church in the heart of Georgian Dublin, ‘Christmas In Ireland with Imelda May and Friends’ features music and literary performances from well-known and up-and-coming artists.

Produced to celebrate the now legendary Grafton Street Christmas Eve Busk and shot in front of a live audience from the Simon Community, the Sky Original will feature festive favourites like The Wexford Carol and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and will see Imelda May joined onstage by musicians Glen Hansard, Jack Lukeman, Loah, Hawke The Band and more.

Alongside these beautiful musical performances, Sharon Corr recites Patrick Kavanagh’s A Christmas Childhood while The Dubliners legend, John Sheahan, performs a self-penned poem that captures the magic of Christmas at home. Viewers will also be treated to a very special rendition of the iconic Marino Waltz that sees John joined onstage by his daughter Ceoladh, Séamus and Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta and Cormac de Barra.

‘Christmas in Ireland with Imelda May and Friends’ is a celebration of the literature and music that has shaped Irish culture and will be a joyously touching evening to bring everyone together in the spirit of Christmas.

Speaking ahead of the special, Imelda May said: “We had the most beautiful night you can imagine and captured it all on film so we could share the moment with others. Serendipity was alive and well in abundance and once Maggie Breathnach, Meredith Plant and I got the logistical pieces of the puzzle to fit the evening took on a life of its own. Everyone who was present felt their souls rise and minds calm in the stunning Pepper Cannister Church in Dublin one winters evening. Each artist brought their own divine wonder and brilliance. I wanted to show to the world a true Irish Christmas of all styles, generations and huge talent celebrated through song, story, poetry, family (including my own Dad) and friendship.

Christmas can often get overwhelming, so I wanted us to encapture the true spirit of this time, observed in Ireland for thousands of years pre-Christianity, in all its simplicity and glory. I wanted to acknowledge the struggles many face at this time so invited both clients and volunteers of the Simon Community to show solidarity and thank the workers for all they do all year round. (There’s an unbelievable moment of fate and beauty with Glen and busker Paddy I’ll never forget) I hope this will make you feel uplifted, nourished and fill your heart to the brim with warmth, joy and of course a sprinkling of magic.”

Produced by Red Shoe Productions in conjunction with Sky and Tourism Ireland, the special is directed by IFTA award-winning Maggie Breathnach, a Producer and Director with over two decades of experience.

Speaking about the special, Maggie Breathnach said: “Myself and the team at Red Shoe Productions are delighted to be working with Sky Arts and Imelda May again to celebrate Christmas in Ireland. Arts and Culture are the beating heart of what we do at Red Shoe and to have the opportunity to gather this incredibly talented group of musicians and artists together to celebrate kindness and the human spirit at Christmas was just an honour. We hope everyone watching at home feels the magic from the Pepper Cannister Church.”

‘Christmas in Ireland with Imelda May and Friends’, a Sky Original will premiere on Sky Arts and NOW, on Saturday 24th December at 9.30pm.

Image - Sky
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