Dublin Theatre Festival 2019 – Preview

Dublin Theatre Festival 2019 – Preview
by Frank L.

The festival runs from 26th September to 13th October 2019. There are thirty productions of which four are specifically for children. There are shows from Portugal, Sweden/Estonia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States,  Australia and of course Ireland which is the principal source.

The Festival itself combines with the Lyric Theatre Belfast to produce a revival of J.M. Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World‘ in the Gaiety. Meanwhile, the Gate hosts Dead Centre’s production ‘Beckett’s Room” with Mark O’Halloran. It is a play without performers which “tells the story of the apartment in Paris where Samuel Beckett lived with his partner Suzanne during the Second World War”. Dead Centre take an oblique view of the world as shown by their previous acclaimed productions of LIPPY, Chekhov’s First Play and Hamnet.

The Abbey on the main stage produce ‘Last Orders at the Dockside‘ written by Dermot Bolger which is a new play set in Dublin Port in 1980 which was commissioned by the Dublin Port Company. Fishamble offer ‘The Alternative‘ which starts in the Pavilion and then transfers to Draiocht for its final two performances. It is a play set in the here and now but on the basis that Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom; there is a referendum about to take place as to whether or not Ireland should leave the United Kingdom. The play assumes there was no war of independence, no civil war and no partition… it will require quite an imaginative leap.

In the Project Upstairs, Rough Magic offer the Irish premier of ‘Hecuba‘ by Marina Carr. It raises issues, with impossible choices, which are the consequences of a destructive war. Anu Productions and the Gate Theatre combine to produce ‘Faultline‘ at 11 Parnell Square East to present an insight into the lives of LGBTQ+ community in 1982 where Church and State hand in glove combined to reveal details of private lives. While in Ballymun Axis, Pan Pan Theatre Company in partnership with Dublin Youth Theatre present ‘The Sleepwalkers‘ which is ‘a leap into the void’ but starts with the rehearsing of a scene from Arthur Miller’s ‘Crucible’. The Civic Tallaght with Aine Flanagan Productions and Seiriol Davies offers an insight into the life of 5th Marquess of Anglesey which takes the form of a musical, it’s called ‘How to Win Against History‘. His life, although brief, was so fabulous and unmanly that his family chose to obliterate all mention of it following his death at 29.

MÁM is a new production by Teaċ Daṁsa, who previously brought us ‘Swan Lake/Loch na hEala’. If it’s half as good as its predecessor, it’s not to be missed! The production brings together ‘virtuoso, Irish traditional concertina player Cormac Begley, the European classical, contemporary collective, s t a r g a z e and twelve international dancers’.

At various other venues there are a host of other shows and full details can be found online at dublintheatrefestival.ie. Booking is now open so get cracking.

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