| 5.3°C Dublin

What's on: The stage

Smashing Times theatre company has secured a coup with this, the Irish premiere of Dennis Kelly's new play, Orphans, which won a Fringe First at Edinburgh just last year. Kelly, author of the terse, urban drama, Love and Money, is better known as the co-writer of the BBC sitcom Pulling. There is little overlap between his TV sitcom and his stage work. The humour in the latter is black, with an anger and anxiety underlying the drama.

Orphans is the story of a couple whose lives are thrown into turmoil by the arrival of her brother, covered in blood, as their insular world is forced into sudden confrontation with an outer world where "feral youths and random violence reign on the streets". It's at the Focus Theatre from Tuesday.

Meanwhile, this weekend in the Focus sees the final performances of A Scent of Chocolate, a play by Polish writer Radoslaw Paczocha, staged by Polish Theatre Ireland. There are performances in Polish tonight and tomorrow at 2pm, and in English tomorrow night. See focustheatre.ie.

Fly Me to the Moon

Bewley's Cafe Theatre kicks off an enterprising and exciting five-play initiative on Monday with a new play by Marie Jones. Fly Me to the Moon is the (short) story of two community care workers, forced to wrestle with their conscience when one of their charges has a posthumous big win on the horses.

Jones has been one of the most successful of Irish playwrights of recent years. Stones in his Pockets gave her an international and enduring hit, while Women on the Verge of HRT and A Night in November were also wildly popular. That the Cafe Theatre has secured such a big name is likely down to the nature of this initiative, which is a five-play collaboration with leading British new writing theatre company, Paines Plough. Each play runs at Bewley's for just one week, and the series also includes new plays by Gary Owen and David Harrower. James Grieve, co-artistic director of Paines Plough, directs. See bewleyscafetheatre.com

The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane

When Pan Pan's Gavin Quinn directed Macbeth with deconstructive enthusiasm in 2004, he called it Mac-beth 7, simply because it was the seventh production of Macbeth staged in Dublin that year. Two years later, he and Simon Doyle took apart Oedipus the King. There is a similar irreverent energy to Pan Pan's latest production, a version of Hamlet as Quinn takes the play into the realm of reality game shows. From tonight, at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. See dublintheatrefestival.com

Irish Independent