Talking Movies

August 16, 2017

Dublin Theatre Festival: 5 Plays

This is the 60th anniversary of the Dublin Theatre Festival, but this year’s programme is not very good; in fact it’s the weakest I can remember since I started paying attention back in 2007 and the 50th anniversary iteration when Druid presented James Cromwell in Long Day’s Journey into Night.

Tribes 28th September – October 14th Gate

English playwright Nina Raine’s acclaimed work about a deaf youngster’s emotional battles with his highly-strung family gets a puzzling relocation from Hampstead to Foxrock, as if Hampstead was in a faraway country of whose people we knew little. Fiona Bell, Clare Dunne, Nick Dunning, and Gavin Drea are among the familiar faces throwing around hyper-articulate insults while director Oonagh Murphy makes her Gate debut.

Melt 28th September – October 8th Smock Alley Theatre

Lynne Parker directs a new script by Shane Mac an Bhaird which has attracted an impressive cast of Owen Roe, Rebecca O’Mara, Roxanna Nic Liam, and Charlie Maher. Set in Antarctica it follows rogue Irish ecologist Boylan, his young colleague Cook, his love interest Dr Hansen (ex-wife of Boylan), and their discovery from a sub-glacial lake – Veba. Rough Magic promise a fairytale!

The Second Violinist October 2nd – October 8th O’Reilly Theatre

Composer Donnacha Dennehy and writer/director Enda Walsh reunite following their opera The Last Hotel with Crash Ensemble again providing the music, while the chorus of Wide Open Opera and actor Aaron Monaghan join the fun. Jamie Vartan again provides a set on which for 75 minutes physical madness of a presumably ineffable nature can play out, to a Renaissance choral backdrop.

Her Voice October 10th – October 11th Samuel Beckett Theatre

A Japanese riff on Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days sees Keiko Takeya and Togo Igawa directed by Makoto Sato; who has also designed the set and stripped away all the words from Beckett’s scripts save his numerous stage directions to get to a new kernel of the piece as Takeya conveys Winnie’s rambling monologues of memory purely through gesture and facial expression.

King of the Castle October 11th – October 15th Gaiety

Director Garry Hynes and frequent collaborators designer Francis O’Connor and lighting maestro James F. Ingalls tackle Eugene McCabe’s 1964 tale of rural jealousy. Sean McGinley’s Scober MacAdam lives in a Big House in Leitrim, with a large farm and young wife, played by Seana Kerslake. But their childless marriage sees rumours swirl amidst neighbours Marty Rea, John Olohan, and Bosco Hogan.

July 22, 2014

Dublin Theatre Festival: 10 Plays

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Hamlet 25th – 27th September Grand Canal Theatre

You haven’t appreciated Shakespeare until you’ve heard him in the original German. Ahem. Berlin’s Schaubuhne theatre troupe returns under the direction of Thomas Ostermeier for an acclaimed production of the Bard’s magnum opus. 6 actors play 20 roles in a production characterised by a spectacular stage covered in loose earth, turning to mud as actors hose it, and film each other for projection.

 

Zoo 25th – 28th September Smock Alley

Teatro de Chile present a one-hour lecture, of sorts. Two scientists inform you of their astonishing discovery, the last two Tzoolkman people; and then bend their brains trying to figure out how to preserve a culture whose central feature is imitation. So far, so Monty Python, but this is intended to be a serious problematisation of the idea of academic ‘performance’ in serious lecturing.

 

The Mariner 25th September – October 11th Gate

Hugo Hamilton appears to be the Gate’s go-to guy for the theatre festival. Following an adaptation of his Speckled People memoir he unveils an original script about an Irish sailor traumatised by the Battle of Jutland whose mute state inspires very different reactions from his wife and his mother. Patrick Mason directs, but how much insight can novelist Hamilton deliver in 90 minutes?

 

After Sarah Miles 26th September – October 11th Axis/Civic/Pavilion/Draiocht

Don Wycherley’s received nothing but rave reviews for his solo performance as fisherman Bobeen in Michael Hilliard Mulcahy’s new play about a fisherman remembering his life from teenage days in 1969 to the present. As the touring element of this festival Wycherley will appear in four venues as the fisherman who worked as an extra on the filming of epic Ryan’s Daughter.

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Our Few and Evil Days 26th September – October 11th Abbey

Mark O’Rowe takes on directing duties for his first original play in some years and he has assembled a stunning cast for it: Charlie Murphy, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Sinead Cusack, and Ian Lloyd Anderson. We’re promised that a devoted daughter will find out a shocking secret about her parents from a menacing stranger. Violence and poetically abrasive language ensues…

 

Ganesh Versus The Third Reich 1st – 4th October Belvedere

The most ambitious of the three Australian plays at the festival sees the Hindu God Ganesh embark on a journey to reclaim the Swastika from the Nazis, only for things to lurch away from fantastical epic into behind the scenes bickering; as an overbearing director fights with his cast over their right to use the most sacred elements of other cultures.

 

DruidMurphy 1st – 5th October Olympia

DruidMurphy’s trilogy of plays was a highlight of the 2012 Festival, and Garry Hynes returns for a second helping with Marie Mullen and Marty Rea still in tow. Not only will Tom Murphy’s 1985 classic of a dying matriarch, Bailegangaire, be revived, but Murphy has also written a new play Brigit which acts as a prequel by filling in the back-story of matriarch Mommo’s husband.

 

Spinning 1st – 12th October Smock Alley

Fishamble presents the great Karl Shiels in a new play by Halcyon Days playwright Deirdre Kinihan. He plays a man trying to hold onto a life coming apart at the seams, who unexpectedly meets a woman coming to terms with the senseless murder of her daughter. With a cast that includes Caitriona Ennis and Janet Moran this looks set to be an absorbing production.

 

Jack Charles V The Crown 8th – 12th October Samuel Beckett

I can’t help but think of this Australian one-man show as being an eccentric kin to Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell. Jack Charles was part of the Stolen Generation, and then became part of Koori theatre in the 1970s and a film actor; having been a cat-burglar, heroin addict, and convict in the meantime. He performs his life-story with unrepentant brio.

 

Book Burning 8th – 11th October Project

Belgium story-teller Pieter De Buysser tells the story of Sebastian, a man he met at an Occupy demonstration. Sebastian had become embroiled in a WikiLeaks scandal; and from there De Buysser, and his visual artist Hans Op De Beeck, spin out the implications of one man’s struggles to make Sebastian’s story a synecdoche for a new mode of being in the impersonal globalised world.

May 12, 2011

Dublin Dance Festival on Film

The Dublin Dance Festival runs from May 13th – 28th and this year the Screen Cinema will host Dance on Film on May 15th and May 22nd.

Dublin Dance Festival 2011 will be treating audiences to a unique treasure trove of performances by multi-award-winning dancers and choreographers in venues across the city. Dance on Film will present two events during this year’s Festival. Festival Director Laurie Uprichard notes that this year’s festival sees a major focus on Asian choreographers so he’s “delighted that Dance on Film will offer an opportunity to see the work of two of the Japanese artists who are performing live during the festival.”

Sunday, May 15 @ 3pm

Eiko & Koma

Four Short Documentaries

Duration: 90 mins approx

Eiko & Koma are Japanese choreographers and dancers who have been working together for 40 years and have been based in New York for the past 35 years. These multi-award-winning artists are known for groundbreaking dance works, placing their bodies within visual landscapes and evoking epic expanses of time. They will present four short documentaries: My Parents (2004), Dancing in Water: The Making of River (2009), The Retrospective Project (2009), and Naked: A Gallery View (2010). These films survey their history, seminal works and their three-year Retrospective Project. Eiko will introduce each film; a question and answer session will follow the programme.

During the festival, Eiko & Koma will also perfom three short works, Raven, Night Tide and White Dance (Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17 at the Samuel Beckett Theatre.)

Sunday, May 22 @ 3pm

Yasuko Yokoshi

Hangman Takuzo

Duration: 45 mins (Work in progress)

Japanese choreographer, Yasuko Yokoshi who resides in New York, is making a new film collaborating with her friends in Tokyo. Performance artist “Hangman Takuzo” hangs himself from a tree for a small audience (or usually no audience) in his own garden at home on the outskirts of Tokyo. He calls it Garden Theatre and has presented it every day for the past eight years. The movie features him, the legendary dance artist Mika Kurosawa (Hangman Takuzo’s girlfriend) and the unforgettable 72-year old Namiko Kawamura, who is known for her Zenshin-Hoko (Naked-Walking-Forward) performance. Together these artists attempt an impossible mission: without any experience or knowledge of film making, they are creating a fake dance-drama-documentary featuring themselves. A question and answer session with Yasuko Yokoshi will take place after the screening.

During the festival, Yasuko Yokoshi will perform Bell, her interpretation of Kyoganoko Musume-Dojoji, a classical Japanese dance reputed to be the most important and complex dance work of the Kabuki theatre repertoire. This will be performed on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 in the Great Hall, IMMA.

Tickets for the screenings and indeed all live shows can be bought online at www.dublindancefestival.ie, by phone at 672-8815 (Monday to Friday 11.00am–6pm), or in person at The Culture Box, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 (Monday to Saturday 11am–6pm, Sunday 12noon–3pm).

Dance, dance, dance, or we are lost.

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