“I know it’s appearance, but it’s also important,” says Tara (Amy Huberman) in Striking Out, which could be the show’s mantra

RTÉ’s latest glossy show was originally titled Cheaters, and after just four episodes, that gives a better indication of where its(...)

President Vaclav Havel inspected troops upon his arrival at Dublin airport for a three-day visit in 1996. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Vaclav Havel provided a stirring example of leadership in challenging times, whether picking generals or asking citizens to ‘live (...)

Building site foreman Andy Farrell in Generation F’ed

There is little sign of recovery in this furious, stylised documentary series

Co-director and star Olwen Fouéré in Laurent Gaudé’s ‘Danse, Morob’, at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Laurent Gaudé’s play, translated by co-director and star Olwen Fouéré, tells the tale of a Republican hunger striker’s remains dis(...)

Then Comes Marriage?: How sincere is a show that dispenses its wisdom by asking people to recognise “how similar your shadows are”?

The people most likely to benefit from this show are those whose relationships are founded on the solid basis of judging other cou(...)

Kevin Barry on May and Timothy (Siobhán McSweeney and Shane Casey, above) the protagonists of Autumn Royal: “I really like them. It’s because their situation is so devastating. There is never a solution that’s workable in this kind of situation”

You can’t keep the darkly comic writer from the theatre – hardly surprising for a ‘frustrated actor’. He talks about his play Autu(...)

The blow-out episode of Sherlock is an awkward attempt to adapt every conceivable film genre, as though seduced by the aura of its stars’ careers. Photograph: Robert Viglasky

Russian hackers may have leaked the episode, but the show’s makers have taken a once smart and nimble show and made it bloated and(...)

Irish Times Irish  Theatre Awards judges Ella Daly, Nicholas Grene and Anna Walsh on stage at the Abbey Theatre this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

The ‘Irish Times’ IrishTheatre Awards judges have been impressed by the sector's strength in depth but concerned about the effect (...)

La Cage aux Folles. Photograph: Pamela Raith

This admirable performance is risqué rather than truly risk-taking

David Bowie in the video for Lazarus, from his final album Blackstar

The BBC’s fine portrait of the final years of Bowie’s life revealed the touching mortality of the man as well as canny self-awa(...)

 Noam Chomsky with presenter  Ian Kehoe in RTE One’s The Great Irish Sell Off. Photograph: RTE

Beyond its chilling indictment, RTÉ’s film was a stirring call to action

Tom Hardy as James Delaney in Taboo, a Regency era heavy who prefers slim-fit frock coats

Tom Hardy, a genetic stalemate between beauty and brutishness, is picking a fight with the British empire in the BBC’s new antiher(...)

A brilliantly earnest Alia Shawkat in Search Party

Someone goes missing in Brooklyn, and her sort-of friends almost try and find her while being busy making their feelings known on(...)

Lively crew: Dublin divorce lawyers, including  Amy Huberman (right), in Striking Out

There are many things we could resolve to do this year – join a gym, fight fascism – but if the TV screen wins out instead, the(...)

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: A tousle-haired, mercurial automaton and his  peevish doormat

The latest instalment scatters pleasing clues, mysterious and literary, through its narrative. But rather than settle on any one (...)

Lively crew: Dublin divorce lawyers, including  Amy Huberman (right), in Striking Out

Amy Huberman and the rest of the cast seem lost in the weird comedy and supposed drama of this show

Brit Marling in The OA

Meet The OA, a Netflix show shrink-wrapped in manufactured mystery. It seems to have come from nowhere, which is also where it is (...)

Thisispopbaby - ‘Riot’

Culture review 2016: The familiar delivered fresh revelations, while ghosts haunted many of our stages

From left, Johnny Murphy, Alan Stanford and Barry McGovern in The Gate’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.  Photograph: Anthony  Woods

It’s taken eight years for this tour diary to make it on to our screens, and for Johnny Murphy it marked the end of his acting roa(...)

The Invisible Man: Devon Terrell as a young Barack Obama in Barry. Photograph: Netflix

The new Netflix release tells an elegant story of a young man learning to become visible – and throws his imminent departure in(...)

A matter of perspective: Ruth Wilson and Dominic West in The Affair. Photograph: Showtime

Dominic West and Ruth Wilson continue their dangerous liaisons the third series in Sky Atlantic’s drama

The crew of the LÉ Samuel Beckett, as featured in The Crossing

One of the rare and essential skills of RTÉ’s The Crossing, an uncommonly powerful documentary on an Irish response to the migrant(...)

Des Bishop in ‘This Is Ireland’: smart, fast, informed and compassionate, he just needs a position to shoot from

TV Review: ‘This Is Ireland’, ‘Westworld’, ‘This Is Us’

Anthony Hopkins plays Dr Robert Ford with his  customary silken menace in Westworld

Westworld shows you “who you really are”, say its more evangelical visitors, and few series better reward their fans’ obsession wi(...)

Des Bishop is ‘smart, fast, informed and compassionate; he just needs a position to shoot from’

After an uncertain debut, Des Bishop’s new show seems to be picking cynicism over outrage. But an intervention from Blindboy B(...)

Abbey directors Neil Murray and Graham McLaren:“It isn’t just one vision. It feels genuinely collaborative, because we’re responding to other artists, other companies – their needs, wants and desires – as well as our own.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The first programme from the national theatre’s new directors is ‘pragmatic and philosophical’, with an adaptation of Room, a 'gre(...)

Karen McCartney and Donal Gallery in The Heiress. Photograph: Pat Redmond

The Gate's big Christmas show is an adaptation of a Henry James’s novella. It could be played as a reassuring costume drama – but (...)

Francie Brady appears to seize the narrative from Pat McCabe (above)

Catching up with the original Butcher Boy in a psychiatric institution, Pat McCabe’s new play feels less like a sequel than a bem(...)

Caitriona Ennis in “Test Dummy”: “I never wanted neuroses”

Caitríona Daly’s play attempts to slip into a stream-of-consciousness but can’t break its own vicious cycle

IActor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Arron Burr  in Hamilton, speaks from the stage after the curtain call in New York, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Vice President-elect Mike Pence is the latest celebrity to attend the Broadway hit   but the first to get a sharp message from a cast member from the stage. (Hamilton LLC via AP)

What do we make of US vice-president-elect’s visit to the stage musical ‘Hamilton’ and of Donald Trump’s Twitter review?

‘Bridget & Eamon’ series two, episode one, starring Jennifer Zamparelli and Bernard O’Shea in the title roles, and special guests Mark Huberman and Aoibhinn McGinnity as Mikey and Barbara. Photograph: RTÉ

TV Review: ‘Bridget & Eamon’, ‘Hacked’, ‘Cloud Control’, ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’

Inmates out: Andrew Bennett and Mark O’Halloran in The Importance of Nothing

Wilde had to be discreet with his double meanings - In Pan Pan’s arch and fractured riff on his life and work, they try to have h(...)

Plain truths: Kevin Murphy in Bewley’s Café Theatre’s production of Honest

Honesty may be the worst possible policy in DC Moore’s acrid comedy, given an engaging production by Bewley’s Cafe Theatre

Bridget,  a wound-up, chain-smoking housewife with glasses as big as two television sets, and Eamon, an incompetent, sour, mean simpleton

Luridly kitsch design can’t cover up the lack of fresh material in this second season

Dangerous liaisons: My Mother and Other Strangers

The show is obsessed with the inevitability of change though its approach seems trapped in the past

Sarah Harding in Ghost the Musical: “An electric pottery wheel is dutifully rolled on and off, while Unchained Melody plays briefly over some tepid kneading.”

Hell is surely enduring yet another lifeless stage musical knockoff of a hit film

‘A show that looks like it could have been shot on a borrowed phone while someone keeps sketch for the security guards’

Mr Chrome and a talking fish makes as much sense of the economy as the analysis available on more sober channels

Blue Raincoat’s revival of ‘Alice in Wonderland’suggests a long-standing kinship with adventurers

With the closure of several regional theatre companies since 2008, and new funding mechanisms that favour Dublin-based artists, ca(...)

What becomes of the broken hearted? A lonely sloth negotiates his Tinder equivalent

The BBC’s latest nature documentary series is phenomenal, from its love-sick sloths to its canny social media campaign

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown, Netflix’s lavish new regal drama

Review: As RTÉ 2 broadcasts a necessary documentary on rape culture, Netflix looks at the British monarchy

Author Louise O’Neill in RTÉ documentary Asking for It

Louise O’Neill explores Ireland’s rape culture in this fascinating Reality Bites documentary

The cast “Alice in Wonderland”: for this revival, director Niall Henry pairs Alice (Miriam Needham) with an older version of herself (Hilary Bowen-Walsh), raising all kinds of conceptual ideas

Blue Raincoat takes a nostalgic trip down the rabbit hole of its own history

In an artfully camp revue of WWI-era songs, the dazzling performance artist Taylor Mac conscripts the audience into an enjoyable a(...)

HBO’s must-see series is more evidence that philosophical pessimism grows in appeal during downbeat times

Siobhán McCarthy and Killian Donnelly as Irene and Jackie Day in “Donegal” by Frank McGuinness which is having its premiere  as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Photograph: Peter Rowen

Frank McGuinness’s sprawling new ‘play with songs’ does not always hit the high notes

 Dario Fo on the stage in a Milan theatre in 1997: “I was born politicised.”

The Italian actor, director and dramatist never shied away from confrontation – from the Vatican to Berlusconi

List for life: Jonny Donahoe in Every Brilliant Thing. Photograph: Richard Davenport

In Duncan Macmillan’s charming play, the audience helps compile a list of things that make life worth living

Eddie Kay in The Circus Animals’ Desertion by Brokentalkers which is running in the Samuel Beckett Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Photograph: Keith Dixon Photography

Brokentalkers’ surreal piece of dance theatre takes WB Yeats at his word

The Seagull gathers an excellent ensemble

In Corn Exchange’s witty and absorbing new version, set in contemporary Ireland, the feathers fly again

Guerilla by El Conde de Torrefiel at the Dublin Theatre Festival. Photograph: Titanne Bregentzer

Behind the outwardly peaceable or noisy crowd scenes in this dystopian fantasy, there are wars waiting to erupt

Helen and |, by Meadhbh McHugh, which illustrates the role of subjectivity in theatre. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Consider Friel’s plays and you realise what happens on stage can be acutely subjective   

A haunting experience: Daniel Monaghan in ‘These Rooms’ by Anú and CoisCéim Dance Theatre, at  85/86 Upper Dorset Street,  as part of Dublin Theatre Festival. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Dublin Theatre Festival: Time stands still in Anu and CoisCéim’s thrillingly immersive co-production, where the unresolved trauma(...)

Asking for discipline in the dramaturgy may be beside the point: ideas and expressions have been pointedly herded together.

Dublin Theatre Festival: Ideas flock together in visual artist and shepherd Orla Barry new performance piece

Harry Jardine in A Midsummer Night’s Dream , at Bord Gais Energy Theatre  as part of Dublin Theatre Festival

Dublin Theatre Festival: Shakespeare’s comedy of transformation and desire meets the raucous energy of an outdoor music festival i(...)

Bristling sincerity: Oisín McKenna in Gays against the Free State!

The anarchic clatter of agit-prop has many things to say about the position of LGBT people in Irish society...

Druid ’s new production of Martin McDonagh’s 1996 play, where violence is best kept in the family, has Marie Mullen, originally th(...)

Meticulously composed cabaret: RIOT, at the Spiegeltent until September 25th

RIOT - Can a great night out also count as a political act?

Martin McDonagh: “Part of the rage was just being unemployed and poor. I’m not those things any more. But I do get just as angry when I see a bad play. Because I feel like it’s so easy not to do that.” Photograph: Eric Luke

After 20 years Druid Theatre Company is reviving ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’. Here its creator looks back

When in Rome: Aoife Leonard as Dido in Collapsing Horse’s production of Virgil’s Aeneid

The festival continues with an ebullient take on an epic and unsettling dance theatre

Fiona Bell and Owen Roe in The Father at the Gate Theatre

In this empathetic and slippery production, as his confusion grows, so does ours

’I’  could be anyone: Rebecca O’Mara as Lynn, Paul Hickey as Tony and Cathy Belton as Helen in Druid’s production of Meadhbh McHugh’s ‘Helen and I’. Photograph:  Ros Kavanagh

McHugh has a skilled hand for creating mood, sly dialogue and psychological excavation, but seems less concerned with the mechanic(...)

Empathy is like a tanning bed: This Beach, at the Project Arts Centre

The opening weekend of the Fringe festival bursts into life with disturbing future visions and exhilarating burlesque

Riot, with Dr Panti Bliss: already breaking box-office records

From Panti Bliss and Hot Brown Honey to The Vaudevillians, here’s what you might pick

Picture of health: Keeping Ireland Alive – The Irish Health Service in a Day

Television review: ‘Keeping Ireland Alive: The Irish Health Service in a Day, ‘Victoria’ and season two of ‘Narcos’

 Stacey Gregg won the 2015 Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Work, inspired by UK case, was written from perspective of a gender curious teenager

Paul Meade as Henry Higginsand Anna Sheils-McNamee as Eliza Doolittle. Photograph: Futoshi Sakauchi

Shaw’s classic is Frankenstein with better elocution and a bit more screaming

Arch: Grayson Perry’s This Pot Will Reduce Crime by 29% was a reductio ad absurdum of the embrace of culture with conditions attached. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty

With the advent of state subsidy, it isn’t unreasonable that arts and culture might account for themselves – but how?

The Get Down: Netflix’s most expensive series yet

Baz Luhrmann breaks the bank with $10m an episode in Netflix’s hip-hop odyssey, while John Oliver has the last word

Members of the cast of the Abbey Theatre in Frank McGuinness play. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

An excellent cast serve Frank McGuinness’s play well, but the direction is never allowed an open attack on at its battlelines

Martyn Irvine in Road to Rio

TV review: ‘Road to Rio’, ‘Great American Railroad Journeys’, ‘How to Win the US Presidency’

A Spanish-born Eurosceptic and Brexit champion, Michael Portillo is not  looking for the true history and legacy of the locomotive America but a more elusive ideal of England, one that has gone firmly off the rails.

Michael Portillo is chasing his Brit-centric idea of the US, while Cal Saville’s plan for taking the Oval Office is all slogan and(...)

Adam Abbou in Billy Elliott the Musical

Never mind the political quality in this West End production, feel the mega musical width

Willie White, Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, pictured in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

“It’s all about forward momentum,” says artistic director Willie White

Stephen Colbert: “I know I’m not supposed to be up here, but neither is Donald Trump.” Photograph: Getty

Even Stephen Colbert struggled to land a comedy blow at this week's Republican Party convention

A superb cast play by their own rules in this entertaining school-days adventure

Olwen Fouéré and Raymond Scannell. Photograph: Andrew Downes/Xposure

This adaptation of José Saramago’s novel treats death as merely a narcissistic threat to the individual

No over 22s allowed: festival goers listen to Adultrock at the Red Bull Woodlands arena at Longitude. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Festival day three characterised more by guitar music than fresh beats and rhymes

Eelco Smits in Song from Far Away. Photograph: Jan Versweyveld

Ivo van Hove directs Eelco Smits as a lost soul in this moving one-man show by Simon Stephens

Waiting for Godot: directed with vigour and heart by Garry Hynes

Druid Theatre’s production of the Beckett classic is exceptional and miraculous

Hugh O’Conor in Arlington [a love story], a new play by Enda Walsh.  Photograph:   Patrick Redmond

Enda Walsh’s despairing and dystopian work is a play woven from grief

Ivo van Hove. Photograph: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Ahead of a visit to Galway, the Belgian director reveals his vision for theatre, his admiration for Ronan and why he insists that (...)

Want to know what can happen when different cultures encounter one another? Try an immersion course in the French arts world. Seve(...)

Anita Reeves as Mrs O’Kelly and Jamine Russell as Moya in The Shaughraun in 2004. Photograph:  Kip Carroll

Friends pay tribute to the actress, best known for her extensive theatre work and film roles including The Butcher Boy and Adam a(...)

Hugh O’Conor. Photograph:  Andrew H Walker/Getty Images

The actor talks about observing and to being observed, child acting and his role in Enda Walsh’s new play

The frustration is almost tantric in this new production of Tennessee Williams' play

The cast of The Wake by Tom Murphy, directed by Annabelle Comyn.

This reprisal of Tom Murphy’s meticulous play is the Abbey’s best show in years

Tara Egan Langley and Caoimhe O’Malley in The Constant Wife

The comedy is not a challenge to the status quo, but instead has a sociopathic indifference towards anything: love, betrayal or e(...)

“This [the Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever” – Freud never said it. Never wrote it. Almost certainly didn’t even think it

How information cascades from memes into memories, crushing fact checkers

Sonia Hughes in On Corporation Street. Photograph: Graeme Cooper

The theatre company’s latest show explores the legacy of the Manchester bombing

Michael Colgan: he has forged indelible associations between the Gate and the works of Beckett, Friel and Pinter and  boosted the careers of Conor McPherson, Selina Cartmell and Wayne Jordan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Colgan has had towering successes but he leaves as subsidies and attendance dwindle

Tommy Wallace, Gerard McCabe, Jo Donnelly, Kerri Quinn, Michael Condron, Gavin Peden, James Doran and Roisin Gallagher in Smiley at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast until July 2nd

A five-a-side team get caught up in a dodgy heist in Gary Mitchell’s undemanding football-cum-caper comedy

Barbara Brennan (Ellen) and Conall Keating (Will) in Town is Dead by Phillip McMahon and Raymond Scannell. Photograph:  Ros Kavanagh

Phillip McMahon's new collaborative work is `a play within music' that looks to celebrate the unsung heroes among us all

On trial: the poet Maung Saungkha is in court this week in Myanmar for a verse he posted online about having a tattoo of the president on his penis. He has spent six months in prison so far

Artists are in a unique position to make their voices heard – although, like the poet Maung Saungkha and the comedian Jan Böhmerma(...)

The staging of this Abbey production is adventurous, but the production as a whole errs on the side of the traditional

Gwen Taylor as Daisy Werthan and Ernest Perry jnr as Hoke Colburn

There are few bumps in the road during this warm but slight journey

Amilia Stewart as Cass in Inhabitance

Glass Doll’s new show asks what effect does reality TV have on real life

Disco Pigs: Eileen Walsh and Cillian Murphy re-enact their birth in Enda Walsh’s play. Photograph: Martin Healy

Twenty years later, Cillian Murphy, Eileen Walsh, Enda Walsh and Pat Kiernan talk about Corcadorca and the hit play that changed e(...)

Sophie Robinson, Mark Huberman, Fiona Bell and Denis Conway in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Gate Theatre. Photo by Pat Redmond.

Audiences are likely to be lacerated in the crossfire of this explosive revival

Shakespeare, like sex, apparently sells: William Shakespeare in the Chandos portrait, from circa 1600-1610

Is the Bard, who died 400 years ago this weekend, on April 23rd, 1616, really the greatest playwright to have lived – or have we b(...)

To be, or not to be?: Hamlet’s soliloquy in the first folio of William Shakespeare’s plays, from 1623. Photograph: John D McHugh/AFP/Getty

Dogs of war, wild-goose chases, salad days: William Shakespeare, who died 400 years ago this weekend, on April 23rd, 1616, coined (...)

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