Dublin Theatre Festival to highlight ‘Irish artists in the world’

Line-up includes new plays by Frank McGuinness and Eugene O’Neill, and a fresh translation of The Threepenny Opera

Marking the line-up announcement for the 2013 Dublin Theatre Festival on Grafton Street today were festival director Willie White and actors Daragh Kelly, Camille O’Sullivan (left) and Aoibhinn McGinnity. The festival which runs from September 26th to October 13th. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Marking the line-up announcement for the 2013 Dublin Theatre Festival on Grafton Street today were festival director Willie White and actors Daragh Kelly, Camille O’Sullivan (left) and Aoibhinn McGinnity. The festival which runs from September 26th to October 13th. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 16:21

A new play by Frank McGuinness, a fresh translation of The Threepenny Opera, and a new production of Waiting for Godot are among the works unveiled for the 2013 Dublin Theatre Festival.

“What people will see in the festival is the diversity of Irish theatre practice,” said festival director Willie White. This runs from “new writing by Frank McGuinness, exciting direction in Wayne Jordan taking on The Threeepenny Opera, right the way across to Rough Magic, Corn Exchange and Desperate Optimists, who are a hidden gem of Irish experimental theatre”.

The festival runs for 18 days from September 26th, and its line-up includes The Hanging Gardens, the first new play by Frank McGuinness at the Abbey theatre in 14 years.

Gare St Lazare Players will premiere a new 60th anniversary production of Waiting for Godot at the Gaiety, while Camille O’Sullivan will star in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Rape of Lucrece. Corn Exchange will present its new production of Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill.

One of the most intriguing propositions is the Gate Theatre’s production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, directed by Wayne Jordan in a new translation by Mark O’Rowe.

Last year, Maeve Brennan took centre stage with The Talk of the Town. She features again this year in Maeve’s House, a one-man show written and performed by Eamon Morrissey, who grew up in the same house as Brennan.

“A lot of the things gather together under the theme of Irish artists in the world,” said White. A one-day symposium on “Voyage and Return” will explore this aspect, and feature a free public talk by actor and theatre-maker Fiona Shaw.

“Another theme is theatre and politics — artists tackling contemporary issues or historical issues with contemporary resonance. This is evident in works as diverse as Tom and Vera [presented by Desperate Optimists] ... to a piece from Portugal called Three Fingers Below the Knee, which is about the acceptable length of a skirt, but also the historical experience of censorship, which in the context of Wikileaks and Prism takes on another relevance.

“The world has changed, theatre is not a broadcast medium like it was before,” said White. “It still occupies a position, though; it’s much easier to put together a theatre production than it is a film. Slow as theatre is, it’s faster than film, and artists are alive and alert to the world.”

There’s a strong body of work from abroad at this year’s festival. Australian company Circa was last here in 2010, and is now returning with Wunderkammer, an entertaining cocktail of circus and burlesque.

At 2012’s festival, one of the sleeper hits was the gleefully anarchic Mystery Magnet; this year, French production Germinal could follow in its frenetic footsteps.

Neutral Hero brings the downtown experimental NYC scene to Dublin’s Project Arts Centre, while Taramandal will see one of Delhi’s most prominent theatre companies The Tadpole Repertory take over Project’s Cube.

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