I managed to
catch Corcadorca’s production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale but I don’t
have time to do an in-depth review. I have to say though that this is not only the
first production of a Shakespearean text by an Irish company that I enjoyed and
would recommend (not including postdramatic phenom The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane) but it was also one of the most mesmerising and engaging pieces of theatre I’ve seen all year.
Kiernan’s tribal-infused interpretation, keening with Mel Mercier’s score and steeled
by Paul Keogan’s frosty lights, is both a chilling and hopeful experience. When
Garrett Lombard’s jealous king Leontes clashes with Derbhle Crotty’s courtly
Paulina we have a stage equivalent of when an unstoppable force meets an
unmovable object. Both actors give supreme performances. The second half of the
play is less memorable (Shakespeare did give this one a strange structure,
starting off with road-signs towards a tragedy and then taking a comedy
detour)but is held together by an
amiable cast including Ronan Leahy, Mal Whyte, and the always charming Raymond
Keane. I have more thoughts on The
Winter’s Tale but I think I’m going to save them for my end of year
write-ups in December.
The Magdalene Laundry, Sean MacDermott
Street, Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Sept 27-Oct 15
My review (with
spoilers) of Laundry (*), as well as a few thoughts on how it and The Blue Boyhave dealt with the subject
of the Catholic Church, coming up just as soon as I remember four names for you
(*) While I was stalking the Lab with the
hope of getting a return ticket for ‘World’s End Lane’ (didn’t happen) I heard people from ANU tell audiences that they do hope to bring back
‘Laundry’ next year. I would strongly recommend not reading this review until
you see the show, even if it’s a long wait. The show is well worth a
The Gaiety Theatre, Ulster Bank Dublin
again pressed for time and can’t write in detail on The Wild Bride. All I’ll
say is that amongst the postmodern back-flips of the German companies and the
social histories that our homegrown artists are illuminating, The Wild Bride sits triumphantly as the
festival’s international visitor and king of folk theatre. The virtuosic performances of Kneehigh give us
a blues-infused fairytale that is funny, inventive, beautiful and disturbing. Highly
commitments are limiting my writing time (I’ll explain once I get the chance)
but expect a thorough piece on Laundry by the end of the week and
also something on She She Pop and Gob Squad.
conversation is dry at the Festival Water Cooler (!). Let me know what you’ve
seen, what you thought, etc. Was Peer Gynttoo chaotic for its own good? Did anyone find out where Camille O’Sullivan
disappeared to at the end of The Lulu House? Were critics too easy on Testament?
Is Marina Carr in trouble? What can we do with the truths Trade, The Blue Boyand Laundry have given us? Did you cry at
She She Pop? Tell me all.
The Peacock Stage, Ulster Bank Dublin
Sept 30-Oct 29
I don’t have
time to write in depth about Marina Carr’s 16 Possible Glimpses. I was
interested in seeing Carr craft a literary response to Chekov but the unfortunate
result is a clumsy exposition-forced soap opera which isn’t particularly
Cathy Belton, and Caitríona Ní Mhurchú fall victim to the over-stated content
of Carr’s prose here, resulting in cringing and irritating performances from
some of the industry’s finest. As usual, director Wayne Jordan makes the most
of a crowd, inspiring elegant choreography from his blocking and scene changes.
His use of a live video feed though never finds its purpose. Hugh O’Connor’s
footage and Sam Jackson’s music arrangements provide beautiful backdrops to
this very confused piece. When the play
takes to a mediation on writing and ‘the artist’, and Chekov and Tolstoy
exchange portfolios, we wonder if the subject of ‘eloquence’ has flown right
over the head of one of our once most fearless voices.
Civic Theatre (Sept
30-Oct 1) / Project Arts Centre (Oct 4-9) / Draíocht Studio (Oct 10-12) /
Pavillion Theatre (Oct 14-15), Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
I unfortunately don’t have time to write in as much detail as
I would like about I
♥ Alice ♥ I, Amy Conroy’s sweet documentary of two gay Dublin women
named Alice in their Sixties and the lives they lived together and apart.
me smiling entirely throughout, except for when it had me welling with tears. Conroy
and Clare Barrett give some of the most charming performances I have seen in a
while, and the show’s political poignancy is so strong because of the loving and
flawed human relationship the two have crafted. It’s time Alices everywhere
were seen and heard.