Tuesday 23 January 2018

Going out in style: Gate director to sign off with star-studded festival

Michael Colgan. Photo: Arthur Carron Photography
Michael Colgan. Photo: Arthur Carron Photography
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Director of The Gate Michael Colgan will conclude his 33 year long career at the theatre with a “best of the best” valedictory festival starring Michael Gambon, Penelope Wilton, and Ralph Fiennes.

During his career at the theatre Colgan won international acclaim for his staging of three of theatre’s most iconic writers; Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, and Harold Pinter.

As a parting gift and final farewell, he is presenting works of all three as part of the Beckett Friel Pinter (BFP) Festival.

Colgan has previously staged award winning festivals of each of the writers work; in 1991, the Gate Theatre presented Beckett’s 19 stage plays along with a handful of his radio plays and went on to produce Beckett on Film with Alan Maloney.

In 2009, Gate Friel festival which featured Faith Healer, Afterplay, and The Yalta Game celebrated the playwrights 80th year.

Colgan described Friel, with whom he had a close relationship, as Ireland’s “master playwright”.

Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes

And in 2001 his Pinter festival won rave reviews on Broadway with the New York Times calling it "electrifying" and "superlative".

It makes sense that Colgan is reviving his favourite works.

The BFP Festival includes Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter and One for the Road, Beckett’s First Love and Eh Joe and Friel’s The Yalta Game and Afterplay.

Actors including Game of Thrones Liam Cunningham, Fiona Bell, Ralph Fiennes, Barry McGovern, Penelope Wilton and Ingrid Craigie will read extracts from plays, poetry and prose.

Sir Michael Gambon will star in Eh Joe while Denis Conway and Dearbhle Crotty appear in Afterplay.

The BFP festival will run from March 7 – 26 and is expected to sell out.

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