Pursued by a Bear »

  • How was it for you? How to improve our theatre festivals

    October 26, 2011 @ 3:24 pm | by Laurence Mackin

    More celebrities! Comfier seats! Waiter service and free drinks!

    The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is looking for feedback to try and improve its offering for next year. It has posted a survey over here that you can fill out in about five minutes. The form is anonymous and one person will get a free dinner for their thoughts, so get clicking.

    The answers are of the tick-the-box variety, so we’d like to broaden the scope here. Let us know below what you would like to see improved and what positive elements you would like to see built on in both the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Absolut Fringe festival. Also, if there is anything about The Irish Times coverage, particularly on the Festival Hub, that you would like to see given a shot in the arm, do let us know.

    To kick things off, after the jump are a few of my own thoughts on what worked and what could be improved from the past month or so spent at the theatrical coal face. (more…)

  • Final Fringe round-up

    September 22, 2009 @ 9:34 am | by Fiona McCann

    Sixteen days have gone in a flash of burlesque and Borges, of backwards fairytales and manic vegetables, of ping pong pub quizzing and shopping centre shenanigans, and this year’s Absolut Fringe festival has come to a close. But the city that has hosted it, whose street corners, parks, windowsills and bushes have all been colonised by this artistic escapade, is still recovering.


  • And the winners are . . .

    September 21, 2009 @ 10:36 am | by Fiona McCann

    It was glamorama at the Spiegeltent’s last night (sob) in Dublin’s docklands for the 2009 Fringe Awards. Hosted by La Clique’s Mario Queen of the Circus and with performances by Ponydance, Shane Byrne, The Candidates and The Amazing Few, it was a fitting send-off for a beloved venue and a fun finale to a fabulous festival. For those of you who missed the mayhem, here’s a list of the winners…


  • The Legend of Zocorro

    September 18, 2009 @ 10:20 am | by Fiona McCann

    The lights go down. A masked, dark-haired woman in a black dress strides on to the stage, where a single microphone awaits. This is Zocorro, avenger of myriad injustices and self-described epitome of a modern Irish woman. She comes charged with an extra helping of testosterone and ready to sacrifice love or bare whatever is necessary to achieve her goal: to be crowned the Rose of Tralee. (more…)

  • Apocalypse when?

    @ 7:33 am | by Fiona McCann

    In a big-windowed building on the corner of Cow’s Lane and Essex Street West, three artists – namely Sinead McGeeney, Aideen Darcy and Veronica Forsgren – are surrounded by black balloons. Watch them pull them into artistic shape if you happen to trundle by, or catch the grand unveiling in Cow’s Lane at 4 p.m. where the audience can get involved. . . .

  • Jesus Has My Mom In There And Has Beat Her Up Real Bad

    September 17, 2009 @ 11:52 am | by Fiona McCann

    It’s taken me so long to type out the title, I’m not sure how much energy I have for the rest of this post, but suffice to say that this Loose Canon piece is a thought-provoking, if at times unthreaded, exploration of movement, migration, memory and love. An excellent cast – Simon Coury and Caitríona Ní Mhurchú are particularly magnetic – give presence and pace to this entertaining and diffuse piece of experimental theatre, all the more impressive considering the same cast had been simultaneously rehearsing Anatomy of a Seagull, which also went up in the Absolut Fringe festival last week. One to watch.

  • On the Fringe: Wondermart

    September 15, 2009 @ 2:35 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Supermarket interactions are not often artistic endeavours. Unless, that is, they come courtesy of Rotozaza, the folks behind last year’s Fringe hit Etiquette . This year, they’re arming the willing with an MP3 player and sending them into supermarkets, skewing this everyday retail experience through the simple mechanism of a voice in the ear. As you, the sole audience member, wander through the aisles and follow instructions, you are commanded to engage with packaging, labels, the bright lights, your fellow shoppers, and the shelves of clamouring products, on a whole new level. (more…)

  • More fringe reviews . . .

    September 10, 2009 @ 10:01 am | by Fiona McCann

    More fringe reviews in today’s paper: Ponydance’s Where did it all go right? gets the full five stars.

  • Fringe: Round 1

    September 8, 2009 @ 10:31 am | by Fiona McCann

    The first reviews are in of Absolut Fringe shows from over the weekend: Have a gander. And feel free to air all disagreements here.

  • Standing ovations

    October 8, 2008 @ 11:33 am | by Fiona McCann

    This Theatre Festival, crowds seem fierce apt to leap to their feet after the final curtain in a manner that almost dilutes the power of the standing ovation. At the opening nights of Metamorphosis, The Year of Magical Thinking and Black Watch, only a smattering of curmudgeons (myself included) remained in their seats while the rest were so enraptured they were propelled out of theirs.

    Either I am impossible to please, temporarily paralysed, contary, or, and this is a longshot, I like to reserve a standing ovation for the kind of rare moments when you really are forced out of your seat in an enthusiasm or emotion inspired by the show you’ve just witnessed and not because the person in front of you is blocking your view. Statistically speaking, the latter would seem unlikely to occur three times in a row in any given week. Am I being churlish? Is the standing ovation the new opening night standard? If so, does anyone else find this an irritating trend?

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