Theatre Highlights of 2015 – by M Quinn
This is a list of the productions that tickled my fancy throughout the year. I saw well over a hundred plays this year, and these are some of the most memorable.
We shall start with the smaller stages around Dublin, probably the most deserving of praise, as these often get ignored by the main stream media.
Players Theatre is a space that is used on an intermittent basis, and therefore often gets forgotten. They did have such gems as In Arabia We’d All Be Kings and St. Joan. The New Theatre had Orphans and Three Days Of Rain along with many other quirky and interesting productions. Some of the touring productions that featured in the suburbs that caught the eye included Witness at the Civic Theatre and Moonlight and Music at the Dolmen.
Galway based Fregoli are a company making a name for themselves and their Pleasure Ground in the Boy’s School in Smock Alley was an undoubted highlight. Foxy in the Cube at the Project Arts Centre told us all we needed to know about being a red head in Ireland, and was a production that got most things right!
Theatre Upstairs is a great spot for new work, and had a variety of treats through the year. They’re all small scale productions but there’s something exciting about seeing work from young artists, Fried Eggs and The Man In Two Pieces were my highlights.
The most bizarre production of the year goes to You’re Not Alone at the Peacock Theatre. I don’t think anyone would dare compete! Newcastlewest at Smock Alley was a small production by Pan Pan’s standards, but very enjoyable.
Site Specific –
In the Site Specific work, I’d have to mention a trip to the Phoenix Park at the dead of night during the Tiger Dublin Fringe. The acrobatic work of the Behind the Dark team will live long in the memory. Beckett in the City: The Women Speak was another from the Fringe that used a dilapidated venue to great effect. No list of site specific work would be complete without an Anu production and Pals – The Irish At Gallipoli at Collins Barracks was very impressive. There is talk of three Anu productions next year, two in Dublin and one in Manchester. The one set in Moore street should be fascinating, I was at a preview during the Theatre Festival, and it was one of the best events of the Festival overall!
Main Stages –
And finally, a short list of the productions on the main stages around Dublin. The Walworth Farce at the Olympia Theatre had impressive star power, but also backed it up with real quality.
The Gavin Quinn directed version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Abbey along with Wayne Jordan’s The Shadow Of A Gunman made it a good year for the National Theatre. However, it will probably be most remembered for the year where the #WakingTheFeminists group took on the establishment. We are still waiting to see what results are achieved!
The Gigli Concert at the Gate Theatre was their best production of the year by a country mile. Dead Centre theatre company continued to dazzle with their unorthodox version of Chekhov’s First Play at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
And so we wait for what 2016 has in store… I’d imagine a revolution!