Thursday, November 25, 2010

Excuses, excuses …

I have been away from the blogosphere for a while now, mostly because I’ve been busy working on shows. My Oedipus Loves You review will be posted in the next 24 hours, meaning it will be done so ten days after having seen it. From now on I’ll be committing myself to writing and posting materials while they are still relevant and recent. 

Now, in non-economic/political related news …
  • UK hellions Forced Entertainment are coming to the Project Arts Centre January 13th and 14th with Void Story – a two-hander epic about two survivors of the decimation of contemporary culture. Anyone who knows Forced Entertainment know that the company is a force, testing the malleability of theatrical form further than many other entrepreneurs, and on occasion even leaving the conventional stage in pieces (quite literally). Also: they’re hilarious.
  • The Abbey announced its new season yesterday, and personally I think it’s a fine one. A lot of argument revolves around the Abbey’s responsibility as the ‘national theatre’ and why it obsesses with the ‘Ireland’ of the past as opposed to tending to the country’s current conditions. As a theatre-maker and goer, I try to distance myself from our rich literary tradition and look more so to work that is ‘relevant’ and ‘contemporary’. Despite this, I’ll be damned if I miss Translations, which I’d go tooth and nail to deem one of the (if not the) greatest Irish plays of the previous century. Friel’s masterpiece will be staged next June by Conall Morrison (is anyone familiar with Morrison’s work?). Also: kudos to commissioning original work by contemporary voices – Nancy Harris, Paul Mercier, and Stacy Gregg.

  • Brilliant to see The Company make the Abbey’s setlist as well. The flawless As You Are Now So Once Were We (Best Production ABSOLUT Fringe 2010) will be taking the Peacock 25th Jan – 5th Feb. These kids are talented as hell.

  •  How bad a world can we live in if Dublin theatre in the month of November is dominated by The Corn Exchange? I’ll be kicking myself for a long time for missing Annie Ryan’s rendition of Beckett’s Happy Days, which just finished its critically acclaimed run at the Project Arts Centre. The company’s proudest achievement – the delicately earnest Freefall (Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards – Best New Play and Best Director 2009) – will enjoy a well-earned residency in the Abbey 23rd Nov – 4th December. I don’t know what Ryan and company’s long-term plans are in regards to further stagings of the show, so this could be one of your last chances to see it. See this show if you haven’t already.

  • Back West: Siobhán O’Gorman has written good reviews for two shows from the Galway Theatre Festival for Irish Theatre Magazine – Bluepatch Broduction’s Memory Palace and Mephisto’s Grenades by Tara McKevitt. I had begun writing items of my own on both shows but ultimately never got around to finishing them. However, O’Gorman captures my sentiments exactly here, especially in regards to how Mermory Palace bypassed its melodrama to become an ingenious exploration into symbolism itself, and how McKevitt and Emma O’Grady tapped into a childlike imagination and innocence in Grenades that renders its explosive reality brutally heartbreaking. Both were highlights of the Galway Theatre Festival, and you should check them out if they’re ever in your area. The reviews are on the Irish Theatre Magazine website.

  • Limerick-based company Bottom Dog staged their one-man show Language Unbecoming A Lady in the Townhall Studio in Galway last weekend. Did anyone get to see it? I wasn’t able to go, but if anyone has a review (or even a few thoughts) on it, send em on and I’ll post it up here.

  • Aforementioned Grenades comes to Nenagh Arts Centre December 9th. Also touring: The Performance Corporation’s staging of the unfinished Flann O’Brien novel Slattery Sago Saga comes to The Source Arts Centre, Thurles (27 Nov); Town Hall Theatre, Galway (29 Nov); Backstage Theatre, Longford (1 Dec); and Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare (3 and 4 Dec). Wonderland Productions’ new staging of Gulliver’s Travels will premiere in the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (15-18 Dec) and head to Smock Alley in January, and their seemingly invulnerable The Picture of Dorian Grey is also touring this month.

Also, does anyone have recommendations for shows to go to over December? If so, leave them in the comments section.

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