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  • Chris ORourke

Dublin Theatre Festival 2017

Nora, produced by Corn Exchange as part of DTF 2017. Photo by Ros Kavanagh

Let The Celebrations Commence

With the Dublin Fringe Festival now done and dusted, it’s time for Dublin Theatre Festival to take centre stage. For some, suffering festival withdrawal and missing their theatrical fix, DTF can’t happen soon enough. For others, a feeling of festival hangover, of having overindulged might have them feeling a little less enthused. Well fear not. Everyone knows the best cure for a hangover is the hair of the dog that bit you. And when it comes to hangover cures, or theatrical cocktails of any description, Dublin Theatre Festival director Willie White whisks up some of the best. Especially when there’s a party going on. Celebrating it’s 60th year DTF is shaping up to be one pretty special party. So this is your final call before the party gets underway tomorrow. Go online, call in, or phone, just make sure you grab your tickets now as Dublin Theatre Festival sets about celebrating with 31 full scale productions, 352 performances, on over 17 stages across the city. Running for 18 days and nights, from Thursday, Sept 28th to October 25th, DTF promises to be the only party in town, celebrating what was, what is, and what is yet to come in.

All the best party people will be there. And given its close proximity time wise here’s a brief snapshot of this years programme:

  • The acclaimed The Suppliant Women at The Gaiety Theatre, a story about the plight of refugees, moral and human rights, civil war, democracy and ultimately the triumph of love. A production which will include a local volunteer chorus.

  • Multi-award winning company ANU returns to the festival with a searingly intimate investigation into the corrupting force of the Irish family in The Sin Eaters at a very special location.

  • Eugene McCabe’s King of the Castle at the Gaiety Theatre, which premiered at Dublin Theatre Festival in 1964 to acclaim and scandal, revived in a new version from Druid.

  • The Irish premiere of Nina Raine’s award-winning play Tribes at the Gate Theatre.

  • Fishamble: The New Play Company, and Sebastian Barry, reunite for the world premiere production of On Blueberry Hill at the Pavilion Theatre.

  • From Corn Exchange, Nora, a new play after Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Award-winning writer Belinda McKeon reimagines this exploration of honesty and power for a post-truth world.

  • Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh collaborate once again on an explosive new production from Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera, The Second Violinist at the O'Reilly Theatre.

  • Graham McLaren directs and designs Ulysses by James Joyce, adapted by Dermot Bolger at the Abbey Theatre.

  • From Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, Woyzeck in Winter an electrifying fusion of two masterpieces - Büchner’s Woyzeck and Schubert’s Winterreise at the Gaiety Theatre.

  • Pan Pan Theatre are back with The Good House of Happiness, where audiences are invited you to meet an actor, a pop singer and a scholar, from China, and two Mongolian accountants who have come together to make a modern version of Brecht’s parable play, The Good Person of Setzuan.

  • A world premiere production from Rough Magic, Melt, a funny, sophisticated fairytale that explores the human condition, and acknowledges its fragility.

  • Stacey Gregg’s newest play, Josephine K and the Algorithms on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage.

  • A solo work for an eleven-year-old boy, Hamnet, on the Peacock stage staring Ollie West, directed by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd, following its spring premiere at the Schaubühne Berlin.

  • Emma Martin’s new work, a fierce and multi-layered dance-theatre creation exploring passages of a life, Girl Song is an ode to the extraordinary details of an ordinary existence.

  • The Festival Gala Night will honour Rosaleen Linehan and her late husband Fergus Linehan’s illustrious careers.

  • From Dublin Youth Theatre comes this is a room… performed by young people who will never own houses.

  • A quietly humorous meditation on life and death Come Away With Me to the End of the World from Ranters Theatre Australia.

  • Iseult Golden and David Horan’s CLASS explores the complications, and comedy, when three adults find themselves back in class.

  • Playboyz a re-imagining of JM Synge’s Playboy of the Western World directed by Martin Sharry.

  • A unique version of Shakespeare’s kaleidoscopic poem using narration, music and puppetry - Venus and Adonis from the Royal Shakespeare Company in association with Little Angel Theatre

  • THEATREclub return to the festival with Doireann Coady’s debut as author with I’m Not Here.

  • Twenty-five years after it was first presented as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 1992, Frank Pig Says Hello, the stage version of Pat McCabe’s novel The Butcher Boy, returns alongside McCabe’s follow up show, The Leaves of Heaven, in a unique double-bill from Co-Motion.

  • From the USA, The Bitter Game, Keith A. Wallace. A solo performance blending verse, prose and ‘shit-talkin’ into a stirring commentary that begs the question: what does it mean to survive while Black in America?

  • Little John Nee brings his mesmeric musical storytelling to another dimension with long-time collaborator and creator Laura Sheeran, and a multi-award winning team in Radio Rosario.

  • Rapids by Shaun Dunne from Talking Shop Ensemble exploring instances of disclosure and the presence of stigma in the lives of men and women who are HIV+ in Ireland today.

  • Poised in the delicate space between concert and theatre, Endings from Australian, Tamara Saulwick is a meditation on cycles and the ending of things built in part from one-on-one interviews.

  • In Wind Resistance, Karine Polwart surveys the surrounding landscape through history, song, bird-lore and personal memoir.

  • Belgian artist Miet Warlop returns to Dublin Theatre Festival with Fruits of Labor, a trippy crossover between theatre and concert, melding sculpture with music in a wild and crazy live performance.

  • Theatre for children includes works from Norway and the UK. Poggle for ages 2-5, If Only Rosa Could Do Magic for ages 5-9 and, for ages 10+ We Come From Far Far Away, where a boy called Abdullah, who comes from Syria wants to tell you some things (inspired by true stories).

So don’t waste any time. Tomorrow DTF will be up and running, kicking off with some extraordinary productions. According to Artistic Director, Willie White:

‘We are very excited to be marking 60 years of Dublin Theatre Festival with a diverse programme of contemporary Irish and international theatre which showcases the next generation of theatre talent alongside celebrated artists. Since our first edition 60 years ago, Ireland has changed profoundly and Irish theatre has been transformed along with it. Festival programmes have followed, and often catalysed, that change. This festival embraces the breadth of contemporary Irish theatre and celebrates the particular energy that comes from so many new works having their world premieres alongside each other, accompanied by outstanding international productions. While I expect that festival performances will engage, provoke and entertain, I hope that they may also give audiences an opportunity to reflect on the values of empathy, generosity and solidarity, which are currently under such pressure globally. The programme is aimed at all ages and devised to appeal to those attending for the very first time as well as seasoned theatregoers. Initiatives we are undertaking this year will see hundreds of people attending a festival production for the first time as we believe that creating the widest access possible to arts and culture is key to a confident, creative Ireland.’

Look forward to seeing you at the celebrations!

For more information on shows, times and tickets, visit Dublin Theatre Festival 2017

By phone: +353 1 673 0606

In person: Dublin Theatre Festival box office, Festival House, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

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