Seven-day schedule: Make the most of Dublin Theatre Festival

Seven shows, seven restaurants, and seven options; here’s a week’s worth of suggestions and great nights out for this year’s festival

Fri, Sep 27, 2013, 01:00

TODAY


The show
What better entertainment could you ask for of a Friday evening than athletic Australians throwing each other around a room in a death-defying spectacle that’s as racy as it is acrobatic? Australian cabaret act Circa is bringing its Wunderkammer (reviewed below) of tricks to the Gaiety Theatre this weekend only. It’s a blend of burlesque, light, sound and bewildering skill and stretches the possibilities of the human body. Assemble a posse of mates and have the night of your lives.

Where to eat
Wunderkammer is a big, bustling raucous affair, so get yourself in the mood with Coppinger Row. It’s around the corner from the Gaiety, the room bustles with energy, its Zelda Martini is one of the best cocktails in town, and the food is delicious and different. coppingerrow.com, 01-6729884


Something else
How about some (largely) homegrown talent to cap the night off? Contemporary folk/jazz/electronic act This Is How We Fly – featuring Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Seán Mac Erlaine, Petter Berndalen and Nic Gareiss – are launching their debut album in the Button Factory, and John Lambert aka Chequerboard is unveiling his new record at the Little Museum. Take your pick.


TOMORROW

The show
Last year, the sleeper hit of the festival was Mystery Magnet, a riot of colour and energy that barely made any sense but was utterly thrilling for theatre veterans and novices alike. This year, Germinal in the Project Arts Centre is looking to steal its creative crown. In this production, four performers draw on diverse backgrounds – such as philosophy, video games, and the films of Jacques Demy – to “conjure a universe in a black box”. This production comes from Antoine Defoort and Halory Goerger from France; prepare to park your inhibitions at the door and let your imagination run riot.


Where to eat
Get into town a bit earlier, and get your creative vibes humming by running around Temple Bar food market for an hour and sampling everything on offer. The vegetarian food from Karuna’s Kitchen is terrific, but be adventurous and gobble down half a dozen fresh oysters with a glass of wine.


Something else
Check out the Stranger than Fiction festival in the IFI, just off Meeting House Square. There’s a free Breaking into Documentary event at 11am, a screening of shorts at 2pm, and an Irish premiere of documentary Muscle Shoals, about the Fame recording studios. ifi.ie


SUNDAY

The show
A mysterious creature has been spotted across the country, and no one can quite figure out what it is. In Beastie, a show for children aged six to 10, the audience create their own stories and explore their surroundings in the Ark in Temple Bar from October 2nd. And the best bit? No adults are allowed, so you’ll have 90 minutes to yourself.
Where to eat
Head across the Ha’penny Bridge for the brunch menu at the Winding Stair. Fermanagh black pig sticky ribs with pickled cabbage, kohlrabi slaw and chips? Smoked salmon potato waffle? It’s food so good you’ll forget you ever had children. winding-stair.com, 01-8727320


Something else
The Sundays@Noon concert series in the Hugh Lane Gallery is one of Dublin’s best-kept secrets – and all for only €2. On October 6th, the Concorde concert will feature works by Judith Ring, Ariel Hernandez, Jane O’Leary, Frank Lyons and Deirdre McKay.


MONDAY

The show
Brutal, scandalous and raunchy, says the programme, and who are we to disagree? Here, Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill’s anti-establishment The Threepenny Opera is given fresh life, with Wayne Jordan calling the directorial shots. Delivering the big numbers will be Rachel Gleeson, Aaron Heffernan, Laurence Kinlan, Charlotte McCurry, Ruth McGill, Aoibhinn McGinnity and Valerie O’Connor. Expect it to be savage, satirical, inventive and intoxicating.


Where to eat
A lush production demands a meal to match, and we’ve heard great things about the Hot Stove Restaurant at No 38-39, Parnell Square West. Its two-course €23 pre-theatre menu is terrific: how about some clam and mussel risotto, followed by roast pheasant breast? thehotstoverestaurant. com, 01-8747778


Something else
Nearly every gallery in the city is shut on a Monday, which is the perfect excuse to hole up in the cinema. The buzz around Blue Jasmine suggests it is Woody Allen’s best film in years. We still haven’t forgiven him for Match Point, but if you’re more generous than we are, you can catch it at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield. lighthousecinema.ie



TUESDAY

The show
A promising production from India, Taramandal, follows the story of Patol Babu, a 50-year-old who gets a walk-on part in a film that unlocks his long-held ambitions of being an actor. It is humorous and melancholy, and devised and performed by the Tadpole Repertory, one of Delhi’s most famous theatre groups. Performances are in English with Hindi and Bengali surtitles at the Project Arts Centre’s Cube.


Where to eat
This option might pull you around town a bit, but as far as the city centre is concerned, the Indian food in Madina on Mary Street can’t be beaten. The curries pack a punch, the dosas are delicious, it’s all delivered in no time, and almost everything costs less than €9. And the no-alcohol policy means you won’t be nodding off before the interval.

Something else
If it’s something culturally exotic you’re after, the Chester Beatty Library has one of the most vibrant and accessible museum collections in Europe. It contains the earliest-known copies of the four gospels, dragon robes worn by Chinese emperors, the world’s biggest collection of Korans, and a copy of the epic Persian love poem The Shahnameh. Cbl.ie



WEDNESDAY

The show
Sometimes you can’t beat a bit of class, and what could be better than a classic of American theatre written by a son of Ireland? Desire Under the Elms, at Smock Alley Theatre, is set in 1850s New England, and is a masterpiece of drama, drawing on a combined heritage of Irish roots and Greek tragedy. This heavyweight production by Corn Exchange, the team behind last year’s Dubliners, is directed by Annie Ryan and stars Janet Moran, Lalor Roddy and Fionn Walton.


Where to eat
Start your evening with a touch of elegance in Pearl Brasserie on Merrion Street/Baggot Street. Its two-course seasonal market menu for €25 per person is some of the best high-end value in town. Finish off with the signature Chocolate Sphere dessert – it’s a show-stopper. pearl- brasserie.com, 01-6613572


Something else
You might miss the opening performance, but if you want to end your Wednesday night with a classy affair, head along to Kaleidoscope, an evening of curated contemporary and classical music. On October 2nd, the programme includes work by Sofia Gubaidulina, Shostakovich, Sarti and Tchaikovsky. kaleidoscopenight.com



THURSDAY

The show
Gas stations, drive-ins, work and family routines, small-town desires and dreams; welcome to the epic plains of the American Midwest in Neutral Hero, from Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players. Don’t be fooled by the seeming banality of the source material here: Maxwell draws on it to create a cast of the alienated and the outlaws, so much so that the New York Times called this one of its top 10 shows of 2012.


Where to eat
Pull up a saddle stool (no, really) in the Bison Bar on Wellington Quay, and get stuck into the bar-food menu. Fill up on BBQ brisket or pork, and roll out walking like John Wayne on a bellyful of ribs. No bookings are necessary.


Something else
If all that isn’t cool enough for you, Bonobo should seal the deal. The British musician and DJ is heavy on the basslines, with a slick, sumptuous approach to production, and live, he tours with a bewildering array of instruments. He plays the Olympia theatre on October 3rd.


The Dublin Theatre Festival is on now until October 13. dublintheatrefestival.com, 01-6778439

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