Monday 20 November 2017

Homegrown acts take centre stage at 56th feast of theatre

Freyja Edney performing in 'Wunderkammer' at the Gaiety
Freyja Edney performing in 'Wunderkammer' at the Gaiety

Sophie Gorman Arts Editor

HOMEGROWN drama dominates the 56th Dublin Theatre Festival which began last night with four major openings across the city.

This year's programme features 27 shows from India to Australia, from Canada to Japan, and includes a dedicated children's season of plays.

The events, which continue until October 13, includes circus cabaret 'Wunderkammer', presented by Australian company Circa at the Gaiety.


"It started slowly with a girl and a hoop and before you knew it people were flying through the air," said the festival's artistic director Willie White.

There is more traditional theatre this year, but there are also some innovative productions such as the French show 'Germinal', which explores the universe from the beginning to the end.

'Three Fingers Below the Knee' by Tiago Rodrigues of Portugal, is an investigation of the effects of censorship on theatre and dissent.

Acclaimed as one of the New York Times' top plays of 2012, 'Neutral Hero', presented by New York City Players, attempts the difficult task of depicting neutrality on stage.

Canadian production 'Winners and Losers' gives audiences an insight into how much friendship can bear in the face of real, unadulterated honesty.

But this is the year of the Irish. Highlights include the first new play by Frank McGuinness at the Abbey in 14 years, 'The Hanging Gardens'.

There is a new translation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's masterpiece 'The Threepenny Opera' at the Gate, a new Rough Magic production of 'The Critic' and the Corn Exchange presenting Eugene O'Neill's 'Desire Under the Elms'.

The festival also hosts the world premiere of an anniversary production of Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' by acclaimed Irish company Gare St Lazare Players.

Camille O'Sullivan stars in the RSC production of 'The Rape of Lucrece', and Olwen Fouere brings her interpretation of 'Finnegan's Wake', called 'Riverrun', to Project Arts.

Fiona Shaw will give a free public talk on the theme of Irish theatre and the diaspora at a special one day symposium, 'Voyage and Return', which is part of The Gathering celebrations.

Irish Independent

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