Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Q When is a bank not a disaster area? A When it’s engaging in a spot of much-needed arts sponsorship. Roll on the 2009 Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival which runs from 24 Sept-11 Oct and fields a strong Irish and international programme, plus seasons of physical and documentary theatre. International productions include The Manganiyar Seduction, a colourful and inspiring show direct from the deserts of India and featuring over 40 Indian musicians and singers spanning three generations. Cheek by Jowl’s Declan Donnellan is back with his elegant and poetic take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and the amazing Robert Lepage follows up his far side of the moon with The Blue Dragon. A big hit it the UK last year, art, class and politics collide in Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters, the true story of a group of miners who take painting classes and become an unlikely success (National Theatre UK). Cet Enfant, from rising star of French Theatre Joël Pommerat, explores the emotional ties that bind parents and their children together. An enormous model of Auschwitz is the setting for Hotel Modern’s acclaimed production of Kamp, a fusion of animation, puppetry, visual arts and music featuring thousands of miniature puppets representing the prisoners and their executioners, while the actors move in and out of the scene with handheld cameras.
Sebastian Barry and Conor McPherson (the two extremes of new Irish writing?) lead the fray in terms of home-grown shows, with Barry’s Tales of Ballycumber at the Abbey featuring Stephen Rea and Derbhle Crotty, and the Gate premiering McPherson’s adaptation of The Birds, with Sinéad Cusack and Ciarán Hinds. Freefall is a new show from The Corn Exchange, PanPan present the Irish premiere of Gina Moxley’s Hansel & Gretel-esque The Crumb Trail, and Druid stage Enda Walsh’s The New Electric Ballroom. The ReViewed section offers a second chance to see successful Irish productions including Buck Jones and The Body Snatchers, Nomad Theatre’s adaptation of Pat McCabe’s The Dead School and Featherhead Productions’ Slat.
International physical theatre comes courtesy of DV8’s To Be Straight With You, an unflinching exploration of tolerance, intolerance, religion and sexuality; and The Age I’m In from Australia’s Force Majeure, with a cast aged from 14-80. Documentary theatre includes Stefan Kaegi’s Radio Muezzin, featuring four of Cairo’s Muezzins and exploring the changing culture of the men who lead the Muslim call to prayer; and multi award-winning Flemish show Once And For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up And Listen, featuring a cast of 13 teenagers poised on the brink of adulthood. There’s also late night theatre in Project, a Family Season at the Ark and a lively programme of special events. www.dublintheatrefestival.com
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The folks at Dublin Electronic Arts Festival aren’t taking any chances with the weather when they set up their DEAF Fundraiser in Meeting House Square on Fri 21 Aug (6pm). Not only will there be a full bar but the whole shebang will take place under a temporary roof, so you can leave your brollies at home. A spicy line-up includes The Jimmy Cake, Dark Room Notes, Boxcutter, Spilly Walker, Channel One, Thread Pulls, Sarsparilla and Patrick Kelleher & his Cold Dead Hands, all playing for free, and with tickets at only a tenner that’s a mere €1.25 per band. The festival proper runs from Thur 22 to Sat 31 Oct. www.deafireland.com
There’s something weird and wonderful happening right now at the New Theatre, where Musiclee are reviving their award-winning adaptation of Flann O’Brien’s The Poor Mouth, first staged at the long gone An Beal Bocht pub back in 1989. If you think things are bad right now, spare a thought for the recession-ridden inhabitants of Corkadoragha, a miserable hole on the western seaboard long long ago. A mad comedy in two surreal acts, it features Paul Lee (who wrote the adaptation) as the Ould Grey Fella and Ciaran Kenny as Bonapart O Loonassa. Also at the New Theatre, from 24 Aug a celebration of New Writing includes Epilogue by Jane McCarthy and Shafted by Arnold Thomas Fanning. www.thenewtheatre.com
Treat yourself to a blast of free Opera at the Civic Offices Amphitheatre at lunchtime each Thursday until Sept 3. Presented by Dublin City Council Arts Office, these specially adapted performances include Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel and Mozart’s Idomeneo.