Belfast Festival at Queen's: Sanctuary

Belfast Festival at Queen's: Sanctuary by Theatre of Witness

“Maybe tomorrow will be my day. Maybe tomorrow I will begin my new life,” concludes Maryama Yuusuf, a Somalian mother of nine who fled her country following war, famine, slavery and rape. Assisted by an ‘agent’ out of her native land, she had hoped to go to America to be reunited...

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First Cosmonaut

First Cosmonaut by Jocelyn Clarke

There is a great simplicity in the narrative of Blue Raincoat Theatre Company’s latest play, First Cosmonaut by Jocelyn Clarke, staged this week in their resident space in the Factory in Sligo town. And this simplicity has allowed Blue Raincoat shape the story in a direction that draws on their...

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Beyond the Brooklyn Sky

Beyond the Brooklyn Sky by Michael Hilliard Mulcahy

Stories that employ nostalgia as their central driving force have an enduring appeal; they hinge on the ‘what if’ moments that define our lives. Beyond the Brooklyn Sky is this type of story. Jack (Jaimie Carswell), Josie (Una Kavanagh), Mags (Sorcha Fox), Brendy (Aidan Dooley) and Greg (Malachy...

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Belfast Festival at Queen's: Belfast by Moonlight

Belfast Festival at Queen's: Belfast by Moonlight by Carlo Gébler

One of the great joys of this performance is that it allows access to a building that would otherwise remain inaccessible to many of Belfast citizens. Saint George's is the oldest Anglican Church in use in the city. This production is one of a series of events celebrating its bicentenary in 2016. Situated...

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Frank Pig Says Hello

Frank Pig Says Hello by Patrick McCabe

Patrick McCabe’s Frank Pig Says Hello is an explosively powerful, angry-poignant and ultimately heart-rending dramatisation of Frank Brady who, as a young boy and adolescent, is driven beyond the boundaries of his mental and emotional health by his inability to cope with growing up, the loss of...

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Duck, Death and the Tulip

Duck, Death and the Tulip by Cahoots NI, from a story by Wolf Erlbruch

Sometimes, theatre is there to help us see things which are difficult to say to one another. That's especially true of children's theatre, where the inadvisability of overloading scripts semantically forces an inventive approach to alternative methods of communication. That's precisely the area in which...

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The Hanging Gardens

The Hanging Gardens by Frank McGuinness

The challenge taken up by longtime collaborators Frank McGuinness and director Patrick Mason in staging The Hanging Gardens is how to stage a coherent representation of a failing mind. This is not a necessarily new challenge (King Lear comes to mind), but it’s certainly a worthy one. More and more...

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The Commitments

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

Soul may be “the rhythm of riding,” as Jimmy Rabbitte (Grindel) tells one of his new band’s recruits, but this musical moves to a different time still, racing through an extensive repertoire of tunes. Adapted by Roddy Doyle from his 1987 novel of the same title, there is surprisingly...

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What Happened Bridgie Cleary

What Happened Bridgie Cleary by Tom MacIntyre

“I never knew anyone that wasn’t someway prisoner,” says Bridgie Cleary at the very outset of the play bearing her name—an omen that the ties that bind form the basis of this dramatic lament. The story is based on the real-life tale of a seamstress burnt to death by her husband...

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Dublin Theatre Festival: The Rape of Lucrece

Dublin Theatre Festival: The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare

The excavation of an epic narrative poem that is more than four centuries old is an exhilarating if dangerous prospect in the world of contemporary theatre, particularly when the poem is one written by Shakespeare (tread carefully now, I’m thinking with nervous uncertainty as I scan the theatre...

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