Friday, October 28, 2011

Fregoli, ‘A Life of Words’: All Together Now

Studio THT, Galway Theatre Festival
Oct 26-27

My review of A Life of Words coming up just as soon as I sit in the bar where Pablo Picasso met Salvador Dalí ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mephisto, ‘Almost a Fantasy’: My Moon My Man

Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway Theatre Festival
Oct 26-27

My review of Caroline Lynch’s Almost a Fantasy coming up just as soon as I think “there goes my venue” ...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TYGER, ‘The Kimberly Tin’: All The Small Things

Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway Theatre Festival
Oct 25-26

My review of The Kimberly Tin coming up just as soon as I listen to Just Seventeen ...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Corcadorca, ‘The Winter’s Tale’: Godsend

Cork Opera House
Oct 11-22

I managed to catch Corcadorca’s production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale but I don’t have time to do an in-depth review. I have to say though that this is not only the first production of a Shakespearean text by an Irish company that I enjoyed and would recommend (not including postdramatic phenom The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane) but it was also one of the most mesmerising and engaging pieces of theatre I’ve seen all year.

Director Pat Kiernan’s tribal-infused interpretation, keening with Mel Mercier’s score and steeled by Paul Keogan’s frosty lights, is both a chilling and hopeful experience. When Garrett Lombard’s jealous king Leontes clashes with Derbhle Crotty’s courtly Paulina we have a stage equivalent of when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object. Both actors give supreme performances. The second half of the play is less memorable (Shakespeare did give this one a strange structure, starting off with road-signs towards a tragedy and then taking a comedy detour)  but is held together by an amiable cast including Ronan Leahy, Mal Whyte, and the always charming Raymond Keane. I have more thoughts on The Winter’s Tale but I think I’m going to save them for my end of year write-ups in December.

What did everybody else think? 

ANU Productions, ‘Laundry’: This Is Not Rome

The Magdalene Laundry, Sean MacDermott Street, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Sept 27-Oct 15

My review (with spoilers) of Laundry (*), as well as a few thoughts on how it and The Blue Boy have dealt with the subject of the Catholic Church, coming up just as soon as I remember four names for you ...

(*) While I was stalking the Lab with the hope of getting a return ticket for ‘World’s End Lane’ (didn’t happen) I heard people from ANU tell audiences that they do hope to bring back ‘Laundry’ next year. I would strongly recommend not reading this review until you see the show, even if it’s a long wait. The show is well worth a look.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kneehigh, 'The Wild Bride': Gotta Keep The Devil Way Down In The Hole!

The Gaiety Theatre, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Oct 13-15

Unfortunately I’m again pressed for time and can’t write in detail on The Wild Bride. All I’ll say is that amongst the postmodern back-flips of the German companies and the social histories that our homegrown artists are illuminating, The Wild Bride sits triumphantly as the festival’s international visitor and king of folk theatre.  The virtuosic performances of Kneehigh give us a blues-infused fairytale that is funny, inventive, beautiful and disturbing. Highly recommended.

Other commitments are limiting my writing time (I’ll explain once I get the chance) but expect a thorough piece on Laundry by the end of the week and also something on She She Pop and Gob Squad.   

Meanwhile, conversation is dry at the Festival Water Cooler (!). Let me know what you’ve seen, what you thought, etc. Was Peer Gynt too chaotic for its own good? Did anyone find out where Camille O’Sullivan disappeared to at the end of The Lulu House? Were critics too easy on Testament? Is Marina Carr in trouble? What can we do with the truths Trade, The Blue Boy and Laundry have given us? Did you cry at She She Pop? Tell me all.

What did everybody else think of The Wild Bride?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Abbey Theatre, ’16 Possible Glimpses’: The Long Goodbye

The Peacock Stage, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Sept 30-Oct 29

I don’t have time to write in depth about Marina Carr’s 16 Possible Glimpses. I was interested in seeing Carr craft a literary response to Chekov but the unfortunate result is a clumsy exposition-forced soap opera which isn’t particularly memorable.

Patrick O’Kane, Cathy Belton, and Caitríona Ní Mhurchú fall victim to the over-stated content of Carr’s prose here, resulting in cringing and irritating performances from some of the industry’s finest. As usual, director Wayne Jordan makes the most of a crowd, inspiring elegant choreography from his blocking and scene changes. His use of a live video feed though never finds its purpose. Hugh O’Connor’s footage and Sam Jackson’s music arrangements provide beautiful backdrops to this very confused piece.  When the play takes to a mediation on writing and ‘the artist’, and Chekov and Tolstoy exchange portfolios, we wonder if the subject of ‘eloquence’ has flown right over the head of one of our once most fearless voices.

What did everybody else think?   

THISISPOPBABY, ‘Trade’: Behind Closed Doors

Meeting point: O’Reilly Theatre, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Sept 29-Oct 16

My review of Mark O’Halloran’s Trade coming up just as soon as I wish my dental hygienist was dead ...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Landmark Productions, ‘Testament’: The Gospel According to Whom?

Project Arts Centre, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Oct 3-16

My review of Colm Tóibín’s Testament starring Marie Mullen and directed by Garry Hynes coming up just as soon as I see Artemis for the first time ...

HotForTheatre, ‘I ♥ Alice ♥ I’: I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It

Civic Theatre (Sept 30-Oct 1) / Project Arts Centre (Oct 4-9) / Draíocht Studio (Oct 10-12) / Pavillion Theatre (Oct 14-15), Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival

I unfortunately don’t have time to write in as much detail as I would like about I Alice I, Amy Conroy’s sweet documentary of two gay Dublin women named Alice in their Sixties and the lives they lived together and apart.

It had me smiling entirely throughout, except for when it had me welling with tears. Conroy and Clare Barrett give some of the most charming performances I have seen in a while, and the show’s political poignancy is so strong because of the loving and flawed human relationship the two have crafted. It’s time Alices everywhere were seen and heard.

What did everybody else think?

Brokentalkers, ‘The Blue Boy’: Our Last Days As Children

The Lir, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Oct 8-16

My review of The Blue Boy coming up just as soon as I make sparks ...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Siren Productions, 'The Lulu House': Art House Cinema

James Joyce House, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Sept 30-Oct 16

My review of Selina Cartmel’s The Lulu House coming up just as soon as my hair defines me like the ornament on the hood of a car ...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rough Magic, ‘Peer Gynt’: Daydreamer

O’Reilly Theatre, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival 2011
Sept 30-Oct 16

My review of Rough Magic’s Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen coming up just as soon as I lose my wife to an outhouse door ...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival 2011 Watercooler

I noticed that in my Fringe coverage I was missing somewhere where people could discuss any aspect of the festival as opposed to just what I was writing about.

So here’s our festival watercooler. Take a break from your theatre-going and discuss in the comments section below what shows you’re planning on seeing and your experiences at this year's festival.