Annabelle Comyn’s respectful and inquisitive revival is engaged with nostalgia, particularly the pain at the root of that word

Carmel Winters’ new play might make us look differently at the 50 million people now forcibly displaced by conflict or disaster

Simon Stewart and Ronan Dempsey

Smock Alley’s production treats the play as a performance vehicle and loses the nuance

Des Keogh as Nashee and Derry Power as Eamon

Malachy McKenna’s new play is alert to a powerful impotency as two men go gently into that good night

Jane Brennan in By the Bog of Cats

Marina Carr’s bitter stretch of the Irish midlands is a sunken place full of ghosts and vengeance – will anyone make it out aliv(...)

‘The Harmonium Project’ taking place outside the Usher Hall at Festival Square during the Edinburgh International Festival 2015. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

As always, the shows being staged encompass the weird, the wonderful and the wacky

The Last Hotel: Claudia Boyle as  the elegant Irish woman

Death is an assisted act in Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s new opera at the Edinburgh International Festival

Along with Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin – neither of them sterling role models – both claimed to subsist on four hours sleep a night. To lesser mortals that qualifies as chronic sleep deprivation

The way we sleep, and when we sleep, has been altered by human invention – from pills to alarm clocks – but most profoundly by art(...)

Shechter’s style may have been refined through the years, but it remains untamed. Photograph: Victor Frankowski

The style of choreographer Hofesh Shechter remains mercifully untamed

Olwen Fouéré: intent and solemn throughout, determined  to communicate. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Samuel Beckett’s late prose piece, written in fragments and pieced together at random, becomes oddly lulling

Cathy Belton: commanding solo performance. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

A Liverpudlian mother is pushed to the edge of the world by a tragedy

Imma is showing the work of the renowned Canadian photographer

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray of the National Theatre of Scotland, who have been appointed as the new co-directors of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, beginning on July 1st, 2016. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Scottish directors Murray and McLaren will replace Fiach MacConghail next year

Olwen Fouéré in Lessness at the Barbican’s International Beckett Season in London earlier this summer. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

The actor continues her performances of notoriously tricky Irish prose works with Beckett’s Lessness, which comprises 60 sentences(...)

Exhibit B recalls dehumanising and triumphalist displays of colonialism

Black actors hold our gaze as their fixed poses recall colonial brutality and the marginalisation of refugees

Objection! Leading the witness

An historical grievance about a murder trial is at the heart of Maum, but this is less a play than a pageant

Amy Conroy: a physical performance entirely free of parody

Amy Conroy’s new play is a mysterious family drama about a hard-won reconciliation and the making of a man

South African theatre director Brett Bailey: “I was interested in the representation of the other by the colonial order”

‘Exhibit B’, at Galway arts festival, re-creates 19th-century ‘human zoos’. Are its critics right to say it replicates the wrong(...)

Never say good luck: Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane play the scheming theatrical producers in the movie musical version of Mel Brooks’ Broadway smash hit, The Producers. Photograph: Andrew Schwartz

From never saying ‘Macbeth’ to never whistling backstage, the theatre world is full of odd beliefs. What’s even odder is that they(...)

Director Ethan McSweeny and Aislín McGuckin in rehearsals for A Month in the Country at the Gate Theatre. Photograph: Pat Redmond

‘Itinerant director’ Ethan McSweeny is bringing his outsider’s eye to Brian Friel’s translation of A Month in the Country at the G(...)

Turgenev’s play gets a stately pace as Brian Friel smuggles the radical energy of passion into a distinctly Irish word play

Mel Brooks’s legendary ’68 comedy and ’01 musical remains an unapologetically hilarious paen to bad taste – after all, ‘Not many p(...)

Anne Clarke on the set of Once in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anne Clarke of Landmark Productions moves comfortably between ‘art-led’ productions and explicitly commercial undertakings. But th(...)

Fergus Linehan announcing his first festival programme as director of the Edinburgh International Festival. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Linehan has built an unusual career as a festival director, but he had to be persuaded to take on the Edinburgh International Fest(...)

Portrait and landscape artist Mick O’Dea (centre) joined by some of the people he will paint for an evolving Kilkenny Arts Festival series, including (from left) actor Aisling O’Sullivan, Druid director Garry Hynes, actor  Derbhle Crotty  and Kilkenny Arts Festival director Eugene Downes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Shakespeare, Dante and Bach feature in a programme that’s strong on the classics

What happens to the foot soldiers in the half-life of the peace process?

A Boy Called Nedd elucidates young Dublin in varied detail

A clear-eyed and compassionate look at five Dublin teenagers in a permanent rush

Pablo Picasso is thought to have produced about 50,000 artworks in his lifetime, but does that make him any less of an artist? Photograph: Ralph Gatti/Getty

The crucial thing about art is not how long it takes to create, but that it is created all

‘The pleasure of the performance is to see Murray slip between characters’

Only Murray’s assured presence mounts a challenge in a comedy that isn’t keen to provoke

Seán Doyle, far left, on looking like ‘a rough auld bastard’: ‘You’re like Moses and the Red Sea. You find people parting out of your way.’ Photograph: Conor Lumsden

How will Paddy Cunneen’s play Deadly fare in front of the tough critics of a Garda youth diversion project?

Denis Conway and Declan Conlon in The Gigli Concert: a masterful revival of Tom Murphy’s play. Photograph: Pat Redmond

This considered production proves that almost anything is possible

Denis Conway in The Gigli Concert. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Tom Murphy’s great play, currently at the Gate, subverts Irish and English stereotypes. How did director David Grindley rise to th(...)

Gemma Doorly and Karl Shiels in Being Norwegian

Women are from Norway, men are from Scotland in David Greig’s charming comedy with hints of something darker

Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor picutred attending The IFTA’s in The Mansion House, Dublin tonight. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Tomm Moore’s animation called ‘Song of the Sea’ is the surprise Best Film winner

From left, Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir, the Gate’s founding co-directors and partners, provided the event’s first focus

The Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference at the Gate heard illuminating talks about Edwards and Mac Liammóir, Beckett and Friel

Derbhle Crotty as Henry IV. Photograph: Matthew Thompson

Druid carve four Shakespeare plays into an epic of regal succession, and drag the kings down with the people where they belong

‘This would feel like a more stinging bourgeois critique if Angie and Nat weren’t themselves trading notes on German breakfasts, sharing partridge soup and having a banal affair’

Are all the characters in Hilary Fannin’s new play toxically self-involved or has our national plummet from prosperity left everyb(...)

Mark O’Halloran (left) and David Ganly in The Shadow of a Gunman

Sean O’Casey’s classic play is given a fresh approach, but is that enough to shake off its shadow?

An Irish look at Shakespeare: Aisling O’Sullivan Photograph: Matthew Thompson

Theatre company give the Henriad an Irish flavour by tweaking the text and the terrain

Fatal retaliation: Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, alongside John Hurt and Sean Bean, in Jim Sheridan’s 1990 film of The Field

John B Keane created the fearsome Bull McCabe in response to a brutal murder. Can the dramatisation of unsolved crimes and miscarr(...)

It’s a big leap from The Guard to Alice in Funderland and The Cripple of Inishmaan to the new series of Penny Dreadful, but Cork a(...)

Bryce Dessner, guitarist and composer, who is looking forward to ‘new encounters’ at Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival

The National guitarist is excited about curating the first Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival, which will be ‘like throwing a par(...)

Ava McKevitt and Peter Coonan. Photograph: Lucy Nuzum

The absorbing mystery of Ross Dungan’s play is: why do we trust authority, in our families or in our stories, and what happens whe(...)

Ben Kidd: ‘A wholly new work is f***ing terrifying, but I also think it’s the lifeblood of keeping oneself excited’

Interview: Kidd is ‘doomed’ to try as many styles as possible, from the experimental Lippy to the more naturalistic Before Monster(...)

Michael Harding as The Bull McCabe. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

This proud anniversary production of a play last staged just four years ago feels more familiar than heritage drama; more rote tha(...)

Doing a lot with a little: John Doran plays the ukulele in Romeo and Juliet; he also joins the cast in several other roles. Photographs: Pat Redmond

As an actor you may have only a few lines – or none at all – but you can still make the most of a role, as Dee Burke, who’s appe(...)

In 2008 the Abbey received €10 million; next year it will receive just €5.8 million. But the Abbey, delivered from debt in 2005 by a government bailout, has remained financially stable

The director of the National Theatre must be a realist and a dreamer

Declan Conlon (Judge Brack) and Catherine Walker in the title role in Hedda Gabler

Abbey production of Ibsen’s drama feels stilted

Abbey calling: the theatre is “also open to hearing from all interested parties and to receiving joint applications from more than one candidate”

With the current director Fiach MacConghail due to step down in December, 2016, the National Theatre has officially begun the proc(...)

Slyly updated: Thomas Ostermeier’s version of Hedda Gabler for the Schaubühne in 2006. Photograph: Arno Declair/Dublin Theatre Festival

Mark O’Rowe, who has written a new version of Ibsen’s play, may be an unlikely feminist

Stephen Brennan steals all the scenes in this study of a showman

Feeney, a singular musical talent, is barely present in this new show that is cruelly inattentive to its audience

Artificial intelligence: Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex_Machina, also starring Domhnall Gleeson

From iPhones to Daft Punk, technology has made us something more than human and less than people. But there is another vision of t(...)

Gary Lydon, Peter Campion, Rosa Mikela and David Mc Savage in Decadent’s production of The Pillowman by Martin Mc Donagh. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Andrew Flynn, Decadent Theatre Company’s director, has an unusual ability to combine artistic passion with the deal-clinching pitc(...)

Peter Campion: a well-judged performance as Katurian K Katurian. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Martin McDonagh’s best play is imaginatively produced by Decadent Theatre

Like an Oscar statuette rescued from a house fire: Pat Kinevane gives his character a vitality beyond death in Fishamble’s ‘Underneath’. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Pat Kinevane’s latest show has an ancient opulence and is almost a masterpiece

Back row, Máire Hastings, Stella McCusker and Máire Ní Ghráinne; front row, Helen Roche, Andrew Bennett and Fiona Bell in rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Abbey goes Pan Pan for a subversive, tender and innovative production of Shakespeare’s warped comedy, which has been relocated(...)

Andrew Scott’s sublime attention to detail in Sea Wall has an  hypnotic effect.   Photograph: Ken Cummins
Review: Sea Wall

Simons Stephens’ Sea Wall is built on the awesome power of the unknown, and in Andrew Scott’s mercurial hands it will seduce and d(...)

Andrew Scott: ‘Ever since I’ve done Sea Wall it has influenced all of the work I’ve done. That relationship with the audience, that idea of it being live.’ Photograph: Kevin Cummins

He stole the show in Sherlock and is about to break into Bond – but it’s Sea Wall that has had the biggest impact on his work

Backstage at 24 Hour Plays: stage managers work out lighting and musical cues during tech rehearsals. Photograph: Peter Crawley

It’s not actors whose way you need to stay out of behind the scenes at a theatre but stage managers, the key crew who subtly cra(...)

Gina Moxley (Helena) and Barry McGovern (Demetrius) in  A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Shakespeare isn’t getting any younger, and here his Midsummer action finds itself wandering the halls of a nursing home

David Ireland drops more than a few depth charges in one of the best pieces about conflict in “post conflict” Northern Ireland ye(...)

Shaun Dingwall (centre) and Katie McGuinness are competing influences on comic Brian Doherty

In Owen McCafferty’s new play, four stand-up routines form an anatomy of a sell-out

Marty Rea in The Caretaker at the Gate Theatre. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Rea grew up painfully shy in west Belfast before training at Rada. He cuts a confident figure now, an actor for whom ‘grand’ is ne(...)

Michael Feast and Garrett Lombard in The Caretaker. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Toby Frow’s production of Pinter’s 1960 play sticks too scrupulously to the text

Liam Heslin in Pals. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Things fall apart in Anu’s latest show, a profund look at Irish soldiers in the first World War – and that’s exactly what’s intend(...)

There is a good show in Emerald Germs and some marvellous performances. But can it shake off its lethargy?

Lucy Hutson in her show Britney Spears Custody Battle Vs Zeus in Swan Rape Shocker

Hutson is a politically ambiguous performance artist who canvasses her audience for causes. Is she a cynic, a polemicist or a mode(...)

Aoife Duffin: ‘I’m constantly toying with how I should perform it. You’re on that knife-edge of what’s careful, what’s good for me, and what’s interesting for an audience. Because I am manipulating my own emotions.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When she was approached for the only role in the distressing stage adaptation of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, the actor had refu(...)

Pat McGrath: his Always Going Home is hugely enjoyable but seems unsuited to the programme

The festival of theatre-in-progress projects from new artists treats plays as lambs. But will they get slaughtered?

The Fifth Province explores a metaphoric space beyond physical geography where individuals can interrogate their cultural, social and political identity without the influence of others

In doing so, he hopes to chip away at our ‘monolithic ideas of identity’

In Oh My Sweet Land, Corinne Jaber onstage cooking, evincing carnage through chopping, pummelling and sizzling, becomes a studied frame and a structure
Review: Oh My Sweet Land

Amir Nizar Zuabi’s play is set against the civil war in Syria, but the writer/director is more aesthete than provocateur

12 months, 138 productions and three judges - we take you behind the scenes of the Irish Theatre Awards nominations

 Hozier, whose Take Me to Church was the most played song last year in Ireland

‘Take Me to Church’ could be seen as blasphemous, but is anyone ready to sue Hozier?

Review: Weighing In

There are plenty of obvious flavours in this show, which is as edgy as a marshmallow

From left, Brendan, Domhnall and  Brian Gleeson in Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce

In Enda Walsh’s turbo-charged tragicomedy, an Irish family are horribly condemned to live out their lives in endless performances.(...)

The Devil’s Spine Band: ‘We know certain things are going to happen, but it all relies on intuition. Sometimes it doesn’t work out’

The group’s latest performance is inspired by Wilde’s 1882 trip to lawless Leadville

Killer Mike and El-P of Run the Jewels performing in Glasgow. Photograph:  Ross Gilmore/Redferns,  Getty Images

El-P and Killer Mike have an awful lot to live up to in concert, and the Run the Jewels pair don’t disappoint

Looking for Work: an allegory of conformity. Photograph: Louis Haugh

The anti-style of Martin Sharry’s severely minimal new play takes a hatchet to both bourgeois conformity and representational thea(...)

The harrowing ’A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ is hard to shake off

Krystian Lupa: when people speak of him the words they most frequently reach for are “the Master”, occasionally “the Grand Master” and sometimes, more simply, “the Father”

Polish director is not so much respected as revered

Brad Pitt Light Orchestra: Gúna Nua’s historical musical The Unlucky Cabin Boy, a collaboration with Mike Finn and the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, epitomised the interdisciplinary strengths of the programme

It was a year that energised the city, its artists and, most significantly, the public

Sinéad O’Riordan and Andrew Lynch

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s jittery comedy is alert to the struggles and supports of melting-pot New York. Its first Irish staging from(...)

Rachel O’Byrne as Mary Queen of Scots. Photograph: Keith Dixon

The national academy produced its first trained actors this year; can it become one of the best drama academies in the world?

Pat Kinevane: ‘I’ve always felt that I’d gush with ideas, but I need to be bridled as well.’ Photograph: Patrick Redmond

The Cork actor and playwright’s searing solo performances have a style of their own and have taken him to 18 countries – so why do(...)

Carolan’s debut play is admirably well-served by Decadent Theatre

Decadent Theatre’s canny revival of Stuart Carolan’s play carries echoes of his TV show Love/Hate

Ten stories high and innumerable stories wide, a co-prodution between Anu and Performance Corporation allows us to view the expans(...)

Podcasters: Sarah Koenig, left, with This American Life producer Ira Glass and Serial executive producer Julie Snyder. Photograph: Meredith Heuer/This American Life

‘Serial’, the world’s most popular podcast, uses the oldest trick in the book to hook listeners. But what happens when a real-life(...)

Linda Teehan and Michael Bates

Ghassan Kanafani’s Palestinian novella of dispossession and uneasy return anticipates generations of conflict. A timely new adapta(...)

Tamed: Rebecca O’Mara as Isabella and Tom Canton as Heathcliff in the Gate’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights
Review: Wuthering Heights

The moors of Emily Brontë’s novel are raging and unruly, peaceful and polite. Is the new Gate adapation torn between two worlds? (...)

Gavin Spokes in One Man, Two Guvnors

The harried and hungry character at the centre of this ingeniuous and frantic commedia dell’arte update has never been a natural (...)

Kate Stanley Brennan and Tom Canton as Catherine and Heathcliff in rehearsal for Wuthering Heights. Photograph: Daragh McDonagh

As the Gate presents a fresh adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic of passion (or hysterical excess, depending on your outlook), a (...)

Lloyd Cooney and Alan Mahon. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

As an inner-city community seethes, there is still cause for celebration in Shaun Dunne’s new play, which combines social realism (...)

Artist Pyotr Pavlensky sits on the wall enclosing the Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry after cutting off part of his earlobe as part of his performance/protest action. Photograph:  Reuters

On the surface it was an act of self-harm, but Pyotr Pavlensky, a performance artist of growing renown, presented himself as a met(...)

But long before play’s central theme is resolved, it’s all talked out

Blue Raincoat’s fascinating production sharpens up the Synge song by keeping cool

Top, from left, director Annabelle Comyn, and playwrights Tom Murphy, Deirdre Kinahan and Michael West.  Bottom, from left, Bush Moukarzel, playwrights Sonya Kelly, Enda Walsh and Genevieve Hulme-Beaman

The Arc saw 10 playwrights relay-write a new play during the Dublin Theatre Festival. The result is a glimpse into the furious ene(...)

An Enemy of the People: this new version is unfussily contemporary

Ibsen’s classic is given an unsettling edge and a rock star glamour by Thomas Ostermeier

Uncanny: Sinéad Cusack, Charlie Murphy and Ciarán Hinds in Our Few and Evil Days

The audience and the city had important roles to play in this year’s festival, closing the gap between reality and fiction

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