Sunday 19 November 2017

As You Are/ Faun The Bacchae King Lear

Colin Murphy

CoisCéim opens its 15th-anniversary year with a double bill directed by the company's director, David Bolger, and long-standing CoisCéim dancer, but first-time director, Muirne Bloomer.

In As You Are, Bloomer creates a quirky world in which six extraordinary individuals are tested to their limits. Bolger's Faun takes Nikinsky's ballet, L'après midi d'un Faune, as its starting point and, mixing Debussy with Queen, explores how dance can still reconnect us with our feelings and imagination. Expect dance that is theatrical, accessible and entertaining, as well as original, from one of Ireland's foremost dance-theatre companies.

The double bill runs from January 11 to 23 at the Project Arts Centre (tel 01 8819613) and then embarks on an ambitious tour to Galway, Thurles, Waterford, Cork's Opera House, Longford, Dun Laoghaire, Portlaoise, Tallaght and Wexford from January 26 to February 13. See cosiceim.com for details.

The Bacchae

Classic Stage Ireland turns from Shakespeare to Euripides, launching the new decade with a play 2,400 years old. Last seen on Dublin stages in Conall Morrison's Iraq-themed version, The Bacchae of Baghdad, for the Abbey, the extreme violence of the play and its focus on the power of mass ritual make it a fruitful work for contemporary exploration.

The Bacchae are a wild chorus of female worshippers of the God Dionysus, who descends on the city of Thebes, only to be provoked into unleashing destruction by the arrogance of the king of Thebes, Pentheus.

With a new translation and, as ever, a cast of young and emerging talent, Andy Hinds will hope to make this as dynamic and urgent a production as any new play. The excellent Nick Devlin stars as Cadmus, while Dylan McDonagh plays the Dionysus.

The Bacchae is at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin from Monday to Saturday, January 23, with tickets available from 01 8819613 or at projectartscentre.ie.

King Lear

For decades, the student drama societies at UCD (Dramsoc) and Trinity (Players) were a staple of Dublin's theatre scene. Student productions were reviewed in the national press and occasionally transferred to mainstream venues. More recent years have seen the societies' influence wane somewhat; they're as busy as ever, apparently, but these days more likely to play to themselves than to a citywide audience.

Dramsoc have made an enterprising bid to counter that with an annual, large-scale Shakespearian production, aimed at Leaving Cert students: this year, it's Lear and, with a range of performance times and cheap tickets, offers a good opportunity to get an energetic reading of the play.

There are shows at 7pm on January 13, 14 and 18, and 12pm on January 14, 15, 18 and 19, with a special performance for charity at 2pm on January 16 (Saturday week) at the reduced cost of just €5. Contact 01 7168545 or kinglearbookings@hotmail.com for tickets.

Irish Independent

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