The Gate – Season 1 – The Outsider

The Gate – Season 1 The Outsider – by Frank L

The Gate Theatre programme for 2017/18

Selina Cartmel, the new artistic director, at a reception bi-located between the Theatre and the accompanying Studio space, launched her first programme entitled “The Outsider”. The entire programme can be seen on the theatre’s website www.gatetheatre.ie. There is much to anticipate with pleasure.

There are two attention grabbing innovations of particular interest. Firstly on Thursday 6th July, Alexander Wright’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic masterpiece “The Great Gatsby” will start proceedings. The brochure states “1920’s dress encouraged. Dancing shoes mandatory.” All the seating is to be removed from the auditorium and the audience and the actors will intermingle. It will be an immersive production according to Cartmel’s introductory words. It promises to be “a Jazz Age” bang of a start.

Secondly from 1st February “Look Back in Anger” (1958) by John Osborne directed by Annabel Comyn will have its first professional production in Ireland. It is hard to believe.  It is widely considered to have changed the course of English drama and Alan Sillitoe stated “Osborne didn’t contribute to English Theatre – he set off a landmine called ‘Look Back in Anger’ and blew most of it up”. Given this iconoclastic pedigree, Cartmel has procured Emmet Kirwan to give his responses to the show as it relates to Ireland in 2018. This will happen on selected nights after the play when all seats will be €10.

Cartmel has already stamped her style on her tenure as the new director with the scope of her first seven shows. In addition the authoritative manner in which she introduced the programme exuded an efficient confidence. This sense was further endorsed by the excellent lay out and clarity of both the accompanying poster and brochure for “The Outsider”.

There has been much speculation on how the Gate would go about reducing the age of its audience. Whether it would be a gradual process or something more dramatic. A choice like the Great Gatsby should appeal to both new and old, although the lack of seats could prove challenging to some! It was a very good place to start.

Full details of programme below:

THE OUTSIDER programme is as follows:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Adapted and Directed by Alexander Wright – From Thursday 6th July. – Irish Premiere

The Gate is open as audiences dance into one of Jay Gatsby’s legendary parties. For summer 2017 only, the seats will be removed from the auditorium, and the chandeliers lowered, transforming the beautiful theatre space into the Gatsby Mansion with all its decadent opulence and atmosphere.

Building on the Gate tradition of ‘page to stage’, this production will give the legendary 1920’s jazz age story a whole new spin offering a portal into Fitzgerald’s novel.

Alexander Wright’s interactive, narrative led, freeform immersive experience played to great success in the UK, and he is working closely with a local cast and creative team to create this bespoke version for the Gate. The theatre will be opened up, with backstage areas and spaces made accessible to the public for the first time.

While the cast will be attired in exquisite 1920’s costumes designed by Peter O’Brien, audiences are also encouraged to dress in 1920’s style – and dancing shoes are mandatory.

Cast: Kate Gilmore, Mark Huberman, Gerard Kelly, Aoibheann McCann, Charlene McKenna, Paul Mescal, Rachel O’Byrne, Marty Rea, Owen Roe, Raymond Scannell.


Tribes by Nina Raine – Directed by Oonagh Murphy

From Thursday 28th September. – Irish Premiere

With sharp compassionate insights, this is a penetrating, moving and funny play about belonging, family and the limits of communication.  This production transposes the play from leafy suburban Hampstead to South County Dublin, where Billy, born deaf into a hearing family, struggles to define who he is within his highly intellectual dysfunctional clan. The cast will include Clare Dunne and Gavin Drea.


Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes in a new version by Nancy Harris.

Directed by Selina Cartmell.

From Thursday 23rd November – World Premiere – Gate Studio Commission.

In this contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s extraordinary fairy tale of dance, desire and destruction, an orphan girl adopted by a wealthy Dublin family is given a pair of beautiful red shoes. Part theatre, part dance, this family Christmas show will dazzle your senses and break your heart. This production will begin a new tradition of commissioning artists from a diverse range of disciplines to create original productions for the holiday period.


Look Back in Anger by John Osborne

Directed by Annabelle Comyn

From Thursday 1st February

This world-renowned blistering play from the 1950’s is widely considered to have changed the course of English drama.  The play tackles sex, class, religion, politics, the press and the sense of a country stifled by an official establishment culture. Emmet Kirwan will create a 2018 response to the play, in the first of a new series Late at the Gate, where artists create a response to the main programme.


The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare

Presented by Camille O’Sullivan, Feargal Murray and Elizabeth Freestone. – Directed by ElizabethFreestone

Music and Performance by Camille O’Sullivan and Feargal Murray. – From Tuesday 27th March

Originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare’s tragic poem, a tale of lust, rape and politics, is haunting, beautiful and violent. The poem’s exquisite tragedy is fully revealed in a hypnotic performance through song and story-telling. Camille O’Sullivan inhabits the souls of both Tarquin and Lucrece, narrating the fate of each.


Assassins by Stephen Sondheim – Directed by Selina Cartmell

Musical Director Cathal Synnott. – From Thursday 12th April

The multiple Tony Award-winning Assassins lays bare the lives of nine people who assassinated (or tried to assassinate) the President of the United States. These notorious assassins gather on stage to violently pursue a twisted American Dream. Sondheim’s signature blend of intelligently stunning lyrics and beautiful music combine in this bold, original, disturbing and alarmingly funny musical.


The Snapper by Roddy Doyle

From Thursday 14th June – World Premiere – Gate Studio Commission.

Roddy Doyle’s second installment of the celebrated Barrytown Trilogy is a story that remains fresh, vivid, astute and relevant for today. Salty and sweet, The Snapper offers a wickedly funny account of the ups and downs of family life and pregnancy in Northside Dublin in the late 1980’s. The Gate sits right next door to The Rotunda Hospital where Sharon’s baby “The Snapper” is born.




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