Gardenia by les ballets C de la B

On a slightly raked stage, in symmetrical diagonal lines, stand eight figures in suits of grey. One of them slowly approaches the waiting microphone and it is then you notice the black patent high heeled shoes. This is the first clue that Alain Platel’s new production with Frank Van Laeckel for...

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The Blue Boy

The Blue Boy by Brokentalkers

The publication of the 2009 Ryan Report, marked the result of an inquiry into the abuse of generations of children, including allegations of abuse from sixty residential industrial schools operated by the Catholic Church, funded and supervised by the Department of Education. The children were the cast-offs...

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Rian by Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre

Sean Ó Riada's importance within the Irish cultural landscape is under continuous debate. There might be consensus that he brought Irish traditional music from the margins through arrangements for his group Ceoltóirí Chualann, orchestrations for film scores like Mise Éire and Saoirse? and radio broadcasts...

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She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament

She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament by She She Pop

König Lear, silly old fool that he was, decided prematurely to divide his property among his children, and thereby unleashed almighty havoc into the world. His darker purpose, “badly conceived”, was simple enough: to make sure there was someone look after him in his old age (soliciting no...

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16 Possible Glimpses

16 Possible Glimpses by Marina Carr

Marina Carr’s new play 16 Possible Glimpses imagines scenes from Anton Chekhov’s life but begins with a vision of death. Dark-hooded, smiling, full of spiky wit, the embodied Dark Monk arrives a little too early, recalling the opening of By The Bog of Cats, when death’s spectre, The...

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The Speckled People

The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton

Hugo Hamilton’s elegant memoir about a 1950s childhood in Ireland, with a German mother and a Gaeilgeoir father, offers a unique perspective both on Europe, still scarred by the effects of the Third Reich and the Irish Republic, barely emerging from a condition of ingrown nationalism. The family...

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Testament by Colm Tóibín

‘Something will break in me if I say his name,’ the Woman at the centre of Colm Tóibín’s monologue play says of her murdered son. The fact of who she is materializes in front of us as eerily as she has at the start of the play, as a shadow cast in the corner of the stage. But by time...

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Juno and the Paycock

Juno and the Paycock by Seán O'Casey

Past and present mingle in exquisite discomfort in this production of Juno and the Paycock: it seems impossible to imagine a more recognisable paradigm to our current economic and societal situation than Seán O’Casey’s 1924 play. Seen perhaps as few as five years ago, a staging of this text...

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La Voix Humaine

La Voix Humaine by Jean Cocteau

In the beginning, there is only the voice. Unseen, a woman is speaking into a telephone. We hear, but do not see, her grow increasingly exasperated at the crossed lines - she is not Dr Schmit! - as she struggles to connect with the lover who is leaving her to marry someone else. It is a brilliant opening...

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Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Arthur Riordan

In many ways Irish theatre owes a debt to Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. Its treatment of native myth and folklore was an inspiration to W.B. Yeats and other writers of the Irish Literary Revival. The Gate Theatre came into being with the Irish premiere of the play, helping to cement that theatre’s mission...

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