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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 8, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    Out of the calm and into the chaos

    Laurence Mackin

    Things have been fierce quiet of late on this arts blog, because we have been busy preparing the ground for an online onslaught – after all the Fringe is coming, and this year, we are ready for it.

    The Irish Times is taking a very different approach to our theatre festival coverage this year and we would like all our readers to be a part of it. From tomorrow (Friday), I’ll be abandoning the cosy Bear blog to try and bring some order to our new Festival Hub – which will contain all our up-to-the-minute online coverage of this year’s theatre festivals. There will be daily news and posts, competitions, perhaps a few ticket offers, and plenty of insight from the arts team at The Irish Times, as well as input from the actors, producers, directors and key players in the festivals.

    Key to this will be our reviews. We are hoping to review every play in this year’s festivals (with the exception of one-off events) and these will appear each morning on the new site, ahead of their appearance in the print edition of the newspaper. This is where you come in – we are running a competition for would-be critics. If you have seen a show you like, love, hate or loath, then write a review in the comments sections of our Review list. These reviews will be subject to the same strict guidelines that our arts coverage team uses, so read them carefully. The prize is still in the making, but expect something very special indeed.

    As part of our Festival Hub, the artist Fergal McCarthy will also be providing a blog from a lonely perch on his man-made island in the Liffey. Click here for more on this oh-so-Fringey project.

    So there you have it – there is a legitimate excuse for my alleged laziness. Apologies for the break in service but we hope it will be worth it. Head over to our Festival Hub by clicking here from tomorrow on, and here’s hoping our paths cross at this year’s festival events. Let the theatrical games begin.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks very much for helping to develop the Festival Hub site — it’s been a really useful resource for those of us getting to grips with the fall festival onslaught!

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