Monday 18 December 2017

Novelists get in on the act at new €500k 'People's Theatre'

Design: An artist’s impression of the proposed new theatre at Hanover Quay. Photo: David Conachy
Design: An artist’s impression of the proposed new theatre at Hanover Quay. Photo: David Conachy
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

Acclaimed authors Roddy Doyle and John Banville will each write a play for a new €500,000 'People's Theatre' to be erected in Dublin.

Businessman Harry Crosbie, who created the Point Theatre and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, hopes to build a new open-air space at Hanover Quay.

Scheduled to open next summer, it will feature free public performances, including plays, concerts, children's entertainment, opera, ballet and even bingo. Mr Crosbie has joined forces with the former Gate theatre director Michael Colgan to push the project forward.Broadcaster Gay Byrne, U2 studio manager Sam O'Sullivan, and architect David Browne are also involved.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Crosbie confirmed the project was nearly "fully designed".

Neil Jordan, Bob Geldof, and Frank McGuinness have all said they will write special one-act plays.

Mr Crosbie said the venture was a labour of love and was his way of ''giving back'' to the people of Dublin.

John Boorman, Conor McPherson and Richard Ford have also agreed to write or produce one-act shows. "We're aiming to open next May until the end of August. During the day, it will be free to buskers and performers who want to get up and entertain a crowd.

"Separately, we will put on professional shows.

"It will mean people can sit and listen to a lunchtime reading while eating their sandwiches.''

He is now looking to sell the naming rights as part of the project, adding: "If anybody wants to put some small amounts of money into it, they can write to me. We don't want government money. We have a couple of pledges already."

Sunday Independent

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