(This article appeared in the Irish Times, 9/2.)
With 10 world premieres and 14 international productions, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival
Dublin Theatre Festival presents three weeks of performances, with world premieres of new work and reimagined classic texts, inspiring international projects and an expanded season of Theatre for Children, from September 26th to October 13th.
The works in this year’s programme deal with many contemporary topics and speak to the times we live in. There are 10 world premieres and 14 international productions are included in the 2019 programme. Here’s a look at just a few of the productions that will be taking place across Dublin.
Playboy of the Western World
Playboy of the Western World. Photograph: Christopher Heaney
One of Ireland’s greatest writers, J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World famously caused a riot when it was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1907. Dublin Theatre Festival and Lyric Theatre, Belfast now present a fresh new take on this brutal comic masterpiece from exciting young director Oonagh Murphy.
For Murphy, this classic is alarmingly relevant to modern times.
“In 2019 we live in an alternate reality to the world about which Synge was writing. And yet in many ways we’re still dealing with the same power structures, ones that could be seen as foundational to Irish society. It’s in that light that we see Pegeen’s plight, a young woman, taking on the work of her alcoholic father, and yet still somehow feeling the limits of her personal freedoms in a world structured to view her as something to be bartered between two men.”
The Playboy of the Western World is at The Gaiety Theatre from September 14th to October 5th and at Lyric Theatre from October 8th to November 5th. The cast includes Eloïse Stevenson, Michael Shea, and Aoibheann McCann.
MAM at the O’Reilly Theatre. Photograph: Dómhnal Ó Bric
Following his acclaimed reimagining of Swan Lake in 2016, the festival is delighted to welcome back Michael Keegan Dolan and Teaċ Daṁsa for the world premiere of MÁM. Bringing together concertina player Cormac Begley, the European classical contemporary collective stargaze and 12 international dancers, MÁM is a meeting place between soloist and ensemble, classical and traditional, the local and the universal. O’Reilly Theatre from September 25th to October 5th.
Photo: Irish Times