60th Dublin Theatre Festival
Europe’s longest running theatre festival, Dublin Theatre Festival celebrates its impressive 60th outing this year.
Supported by the Arts Council, Creative Ireland, Dublin City Council, Fáilte Ireland and Europe’s performing arts network NXTSTP, the festival has expanded from early 1950s beginnings as an event to encourage tourists and the diaspora abroad to experience Irish arts, to its current status as an essential date in the culture lover’s calendar.
Running over 18 days from 28 September – 15 October at venues small and large across the city, Irish and international work will be showcased, for children as well as adults. There are also a wealth of talks, artist development programmes and industry events.
One of highlights this year is bound to be The Suppliant Woman, described by The Guardian as "an epic feminist protest song". Originally written 2,500 years ago by Greek playwright Aeschylus, this production puts a modern twist on an ancient text. The play follows the fate of 50 women fleeing forced marriage in their homeland, and their escape across the Mediterranean attempting to seek asylum in Greece. What truly marks this out is that 50 local volunteers will perform on stage alongside the professional cast.
One of highlights this year is bound to be The Suppliant Woman, described by The Guardian as "an epic feminist protest song".
Receiving its world premiere at the festival, Nora is by lauded Irish writer Belinda McKeon in collaboration with Annie Ryan, and takes its inspiration from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. The stage version of novelist Pat McCabe's The Butcher Boy will make a return 25 years after its debut. Frank Pig Says Hello depicts the life and overactive imagination of youngster Francie Brady, exploring the dark side of life in a small Irish rural town in the 1960s.
One of the constant presences of the capital’s cultural landscape, Dublin Youth Theatre will present ‘this is a room...’, examining the lessons learned in the first 18 years of life. Children's cultural centre The Ark will host several plays catering for a younger audience including the enchanting If Only Rosa Could Do Magic, performed by Norwegian actress Katja Brita Lindeberg.
As well as homegrown talent, Dublin Theatre Festival presents an eclectic mix of international shows from companies as far afield as Australia, the United States, Japan, Belgium, and across the water in Britain. From Japan, Her Voice is an intriguing proposition and takes its creative origin from the work of Samuel Beckett. The wordless performance is directed by Makoto Sato with a stellar Japanese cast. Belgian director Miet Warlop melds theatre and concert in Fruits of Labor, the psychedelic production which centres around a drum set, takes in themes such as religion, drugs and time.
So, dive in and see some visionary new works at the Dublin Theatre Festival, or become immersed in a reimagined classic.
Dublin Theatre Festival takes place 28 September – 15 October 2017