This year's Dublin Theatre Festival kicks off next Thursday. With no less than 28 stellar productions on the bill, we understand if you can't make it along to everything. But hey, some shows are simply unmissable…
I'm Your Man
"Can love bring us back to life?" That's the all-important question with Mark Palmer and Phillip McMahon's I'm Your Man, a "gutsy", musical odyssey starring Ruth McGill and Adam Matthews. FYI, McMahon was one of the brains behind Alice in Funderland. We're in for a treat, folks… Project Arts Centre, Sept 24-26 and Oct 3. Tickets: €15-€25.
Dancing at Lughnasa
It's about time we revisited the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack in Ballybeg. Indeed, 25 years after it premiered in Dublin, director Annabelle Comyn takes the reins on Brian Friel's classic tale of happy feet in the countryside. Declan Conlan and Catherine Cusack co-star. Gaiety Theatre, Oct 6-11. Tickets: €15-€45.
The Last Hotel
One of Ireland's most compelling playwrights, Enda Walsh (Ballyturk, The Walworth Farce) joins forces with renowned composer Donnacha Dennehy for The Last Hotel, a "new chamber opera about life, death, duty and guilt", starring Mikel Murfi and soprano Claudia Boyle. O'Reilly Theatre, Belvedere, Sept 27, 29, 30 and Oct 2-3. Tickets: €30-€40.
Luck Just Kissed You Hello
Amy Conroy's emotionally charged familial drama, in which a trio of siblings bid farewell to their dying father, could prove to be the heartbreaker hit of the festival. Playwright Conroy stars alongside Mark Fitzgerald and Will O'Connell. Project Arts Centre (Cube), Sept 30-Oct 4. Tickets: €10-€20.
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
"What truth was so terrible that adults began to lie?" Well, let's just say that this "bold retelling" of the Brothers Grimm yarn, courtesy of Louis Lovett, will probably give us nightmares. We can't wait. Smock Alley Theatre, Boys' School. Oct 4, 6-11. Tickets: €10-€20.
DTF runs citywide, September 24-October 11. See www.dublintheatrefestival.com