Dramsoc UCD – New Theatre


There’s a new state of the art theatre in South Dublin. Stiff competition for the Mill Theatre in Dundrum, you are likely to see the best of cutting edge contemporary writing, with acting by the up and coming stars of tomorrow. Chris O’Dowd got his start with this company, as did Conor McPherson, Neil Jordan, Amy Huberman, Barry McGovern, Norma Shehan and Rory Nolan, to name but a few. It’s a company that’s been around since 1926 and has performed in The Gate and had such famous fans as TS Eliott. Sounds brilliant doesn’t it but you’ve probably never considered going to a UCD Dramsoc show before unless you studied there. And even then you’d probably want to have known someone in it.

I spent some of the best years of my life in the murky underground black box that was the Dramsoc of the lg’s in the arts block. But Dramsoc has had a new lease of life as the sitting tenants of “The Theatre” in the new student centre on the Belfield Campus. The facilities are amazing, better than most small venues in the city centre.

Student drama is all about experimentation, some of which will fail spectacularly and some which will triumph. A new batch of the stars of tomorrow will leave there and go on to RADA, LAMDA and the Gaiety School to further train in their craft. The choice of plays, of which there are two performed weekly, give a voice to new play-writes and explores the best of contemporary and modern plays.

Last Friday, I went along to their presentation of Denis Kelly’s play Debris. Written in 2003 and developed whilst Kelly was on attachment at the National Theatre Studio, Debris is a one act play where a brother and sister try to make sense of their dysfunctional childhood. The pair lie about their past creating more and more elaborate and disturbing stories. The central story revolves around the brother finding a baby in a rubbish tip who he names Debris and how he tries to keep him alive and unseen by his alcoholic father with the help of his sister. The sister is completely fascinated by their mothers death and gives several contradicting and biologically improbable stories on how she died. Kelly said about his work “I always want my plays to have tension; whether the audience hates it or loves it, it’s up to them, but I never want them to be bored.” And bored we were not. The thing I love about student theatre is you will rarely see such interesting work performed in The Abbey or The Gate, and even the smaller theatres cannot have the same output of plays. And if you are looking for a cheap night out you can’t go far wrong with tickets for a fiver.

Although Debris was a departure for Dramsoc putting on a play outside term time, come September there will be a whole new team of actors, directors, set designers, writers all willing to entertain you.

Review by LAW

Categories: Theatre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.