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 (...)

Andrew Connolly (Paddy) and Hilda Fay (Tina) in Tina’s Idea of Fun. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

This production seems unsure whether to treat Sean P Summers’s new play as political allegory or carnival

Pan Pan’s Cascando, by Samuel BEckett. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Pan Pan’s new production of Cascando is a journey through the labyrinth of the mind - and a fascinating lens through which to see (...)

Sean McLoughlin plays a superbly wired Craig Connolly, the Commandant General of the Irish Republic

Anu’s latest performance traces a legacy of violence against civilians, from Moore Street barricades to modern-day terrorism. Wil(...)

From left, Robbie O’Connor and Darragh Kelly; Richard Clements and Eleanor Methven; and Charlotte McCurry and Ali White in Northern Star. Photographs: Keith Dixon

Productions of Stewart Parker plays have been among the biggest successes of his niece Lynne Parker’s career. For her latest tilt (...)

Making a Murderer: it’s now impossible to see the initial news story about Teresa Halbach’s murder, of which Steven Avery was found guilty, as anything other than a fiction. Photograph: Netflix

From the Teresa Halbach case in ‘Making a Murderer’ to the Australian scammer Samantha Azzopardi, it’s easy to be duped

Fregoli chase one performance style with another, but when it settles, it’s an intriguing character study

Fishamble’s diligent, vigorous production pursues a simple question – what makes people do what they do – towards a complicated (...)

This Blue Raincoat production is fascinatingly uninterested in the thrills of the survival story

Ian Lloyd Anderson (Jack Clitheroe) and Kate Stanley Brennan (Nora Clitheroe) in The Plough and the Stars. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The Abbey’s latest production of Sean O’Casey’s Easter Rising drama brings his characters into the light of the present. During th(...)

Brechtian: Kate Brennan in Wayne Jordan’s production of The Plough and the Stars. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Seán O’Casey’s play and its staging have always been cultural and political lightning rods

Rosie Redman and the Covey (Joseph Linnane) in a scene from an Abbey Theatre production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough And The Stars in 1942. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Director Seán Holmes had never seen The Plough and the Stars staged – until his current version went up at the Abbey Theatre

Patrick Marber: ‘My characters are always hurting themselves. There is a lot of sadism and a lot of masochism in my work. I don’t know why that is.’ Photograph:  Amy Graves/WireImage/Fox

He’s worked on Alan Partridge, adapted Fifty Shades of Grey, and is evangelical about ‘deliciously evil’ vaping. But when it cam(...)

Lisa Dwyer Hogg and Ciarán McMenamin

Prime Cut’s version is more like a tastefully appointed costume drama than a cruel disrobing of gender and power struggles

Garrett Keogh and Michael Hayes. Photograph: Keith Currams

An overload of stories makes it easy to lose sight of what is important

Anne Clarke of Landmark Productions, who won the special tribute award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, is pictured with (from left) Laurence Kinlan, the best supporting actor, Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘DruidShakespeare’ wins five awards, including Best Production and Best Director

Donal McCann as Frank Hardy in the Abbey Theatre’s Irish premiere of Faith Healer in 1980. Photograph: Fergus Bourke, courtesy of the Abbey Theatre

Five nominees for Irish Times theatre awards recall a performance that inspired them and informed their own approaches

Mary Murray, Caitriona Ennis and  Ian Toner in Wild Sky. Photograph:  Fergal Phillips

Deirdre Kinahan’s new play fits a love triangle over the forces of the Rising. But can it be contained?

This is a purgatorial experience of emigration, where nobody is ever at home

Derbhle Crotty in Juno and the Paycock at the Gate Theatre. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

From her irreverent early work to ‘volunteering her breasts’ for DruidShakespeare and on to her fresh take on O’Casey’s Juno, Crot(...)

Conor McPherson’s writing sweeps the audience along in this zippy production

That Dragon, Cancer: the game offers various perspectives on  ‘a journey of hope in the shadow of death’

Last month, an US couple released a video game about their son who died from a terminal illness. Is the artform aspiring to a new (...)

Marty Rea and Declan Conlon in Juno and the Paycock at the Gate Theatre. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Mark O’Rowe’s stark production treats the the play almost as a documentary and cleverly casts against type

Stephen Rea as Eric in Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland. Photograph:  Ros Kavanagh

David Ireland’s caustic new play is testing limits with plenty of unpalatable opinions and outrageous claims

‘I don’t think “Cyprus Avenue” is a loyalist play. It’s about loyalism,’ says Stephen Rea, who appears in the play at the Abbey Theatre in February 2016. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Stephen Rea stars as a paranoid loyalist in ‘Cyprus Avenue’ at the Abbey

Skibberceannaigh has many dark secrets; unearthing them proves trickier than imagined

Unfinished business: speakers on stage at the Theatre of Change Symposium at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin (from left) Gideon Levy, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Mark O’Halloran, Mary McAuliffe, Jaki Irvine, Nuala Hayes, Penny Arcade, Fiach MacConghail, Sarah Jane Scaife, Zoe Lafferty, Lian Bell, Dominic Campbell, Dr Emer O’Toole, Dr Susan Cahill and Fearghus O’Conchuir. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tackling malevolent cupcakes, mutant lesbians and “the man problem” at the Abbey

David Greig’s version of August Strindberg’s play is luridly unhinged, but this odd production opts to play it seriously

Susan Bracken, Ronan Leahy and Kevin Olohan in C Company’s production of ‘Creditors’

The Scottish playwright has tackled topics as troubling as Anders Behring Breivik. So how did he get on in the strange world of St(...)

Blackstar: rather than finish with the resounding echo of a final statement, David Bowie was cut off midsentence

It’s tempting to read ‘Blackstar’ as David Bowie’s swansong. But he was already writing his next album

Speakers on stage at The Theatre of Change Symposium, at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin from left; Gideon Levy, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Mark O’Halloran, Mary McAuliffe, Jaki Irvine, Nuala Hayes, Penny Arcade, Fiach MacConghail, Sarah Jane Scaife, Zoe Lafferty, Lian Bell, Dominic Campbell, Dr Emer O’Toole, Dr Susan Cahill and Fearghus O’Conchuir. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The three-day conference launches the theatre’s Waking the Nation programme

Róise Goan, producer, arts consultant and former Dublin Fringe Festival director

As the three judges meet to consider the productions they’ve seen in the past year, ‘violent agreement’ breaks out

James Joyce’s peerless short story is given a reading by Aidan Gillen in which his Gabriel Conroy is given a cruel and familiar (...)

Marty Rea as Richard II and Gavin Drea Aumerle in DruidShakespeare. Photograph:  Matthew Thompson

From DruidShakespeare to Waking the Feminists, 2015 was all about changing perspectives

Witty and relevant: the work of Oscar Wilde  has aged well

Wilde and Shaw, who have similar plays on at the Gate and Abbey, had a prickly relationship

Ruth McGill in The Dead

James Joyce’s story gets a sonorous treatment, but can anything be more musical than his prose?

Lisa Lambe and Rory Musgrave in The Dead. Photograph: Tom Swift

The last story in The Dubliners is already full of song, but opera proved to be a great way of bringing out the ‘internal arias’ i(...)

 Caoimhe O’Malley Eleanor Methven James Murphy and Genevieve Hulme-Beaman in You Never Can Tell

The troubling aspects of Bernard Shaw’s dusty play are here hammered at with forced jollity – the result is not weightless fun

Patrick O’Donnell plays a former soldier struggling to adjust to life in Nebraska

Among the three or so plays struggling to get out, an interesting human story is lost

Lisa Dwyer Hogg and Marty Rea. Photograph: Pat Redmond

As his parade of double lives spills out of the closet, Oscar Wilde peers down on a production that is almost entirely at his serv(...)

‘The Train’ musical: celebrating a pivotal moment for Irish feminism as envisaged by male writers

From the male gaze to the female voice, it’s time to make a change

Yossi Goodlink, Michael Ajao and Freddie Watkins as Bill, Maurice and  Jack in Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Johan Persson

William Golding’s tale gets a cosmetic update, and drags its colonial baggage with it

Beth Cooke and Peter Gowen in Through A Glass Darkly. Photograph: Fiona Morgan

For its anniversary production, director Annie Ryan settled on a stark Ingmar Bergman drama that does nothing to change the impres(...)

How do you root for an underdog when he is destined to be eaten by the rest of the characters?

Beth Cooke gives a fine, sinuous performance of a woman’s suffocated potential

Trapped in a holiday created by Ingmar Bergman that’s given ghostly life on stage, can Beth Cooke’s Karin escape?

Stacey Gregg: “I wonder if there is any coherent voice that will start to present itself across the pieces I’ve made. I suspect there is?”

The Belfast playwright’s latest work, Scorch, has plenty to say about the complex nature of modern gender identity, and she’s not (...)

Declan Conlon: the actor excels at portraying characters who are less than entirely upstanding

The actor likes to find the conflict in characters, making Tom Murphy’s plays ideal vehicles for his talents

Mark Fitzgerald: redhead in New York

Is gingerism light-hearted fun, or the seeds of a more malevolent prejudice?

In a fractious political environment, where audiences can fatigue of Troubles-related theatre and Stormont is once again in stasis, keeping schtum can sometimes seem like a deliberate move. Photograph:  Chris Carmichael/The New York Times

In Ireland, North and South, wordlessness and absences have a deeper meaning

Eilís Carey. Photograph: Ste Murray

The challenge of this Halloween entertainment is to splice fairy tales into horror stories in pursuit of sincere scares

 Actor Ian Lloyd Anderson on stage at the Abbey Theatre with Tánaiste Joan Burton and director of the Abbey, Fiach Mac Conghail  at the announcement of the Abbey Theatre’s ‘Waking the Nation’ 2016 Programme. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Waking the Nation programme to mark 1916 centenary has three world premieres

Can a couple who share their bathroom routine keep anything hidden from each other?

The title of consummate Swiss clown Martin Zimmermann’s new show is a breezy salute. But is his sometimes sour persona really seek(...)

‘To Break’ ultimately finds reality all too much to bear

A surreal and winding visual trip from a young Belgian theatre company

Over the ceremonial preparation of a South Indian dessert, a husband and wife and 12 drummers can all stand the heat

What starts out as a lame script turns desperate and then ugly, and all for the love of Garth

Belfast’s Peace Walls, like shibboleths, are designed to keep people separated. But Stacey Gregg’s restless new play constructs th(...)

Theatre Lovett’s sinister new version of the fairy tale leads the original very far from home. Has it also lost its trail?

 Brian Friel, with the gold Torc, which is the symbol of the office of Saoi, to mark his election as Saoi in Aosdána. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

From Killyclogher, to Derry, to Ballybeg

Aisling O’Neill as Chris, Andrea Irvine as Kate and Derbhle Crotty as Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa at the Gate Theatre, 2004. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

From Philadelphia Here I Come! to The Home Place, Peter Crawley selects Friel’s finest

Playwright Conor McPherson: “Consistency in plays is deadening. Contradiction and inconsistency is actually the stuff of real life.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Three plays in the Dublin Theatre Festival attempt to capture the mess of modern life

Corps Diplomatique. Photograph:  Didier Crasnault

What happens when you send an amateur theatrical collective into space for several hundred thousand years? Not a lot, apparently (...)

Barry John O’Connor (Oedipus) and Muiris Crowley (Chorus) in Oedipus

The riddle in Wayne Jordan’s limpid new version of the Greek tragedy is how anyone stays blind to the truth

Less a depiction of a break up than a scene of mutually assured destruction, why does Pascal Rambert’s play feel so bloodless? (...)

Newcastlewest. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Through chance operations and onstage manipulation, Dick Walsh’s new play for Pan Pan makes random sense of the world

Recent history and ancient myth conspire to give a blow-by-blow account of the humbling of a nation

Joshua Jenkins (Christopher) and Stuart Laing (Ed) in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photograph: Brinkhoffm+Égenberg

Can a main character who resists emotion and metaphor survive on stage? Simon Stephens takes on the challenge in his adaptation of(...)

Abandoned by their creator and alone in a random world, the characters in Conor McPherson’s new play have more questions than answ(...)

Bush Moukarzel: ‘The experience is supposed to feel as complicated and layered as it feels like to have a mind. That’s the mess.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

The pioneering theatre company is taking an aggressive approach to Chekhov’s sprawling, untitled play and has even introduced a li(...)

Flights of absurd fancy, driven by lonely despair

Ruairí Donovan and Asaf Aharonson’s Ghosts deals with  onstage obscenity

Offence is in the eye of the beholder, but Irish theatre has a robust reputation for pushing boundaries, and many theatres and com(...)

Ghosts, Project Arts Centre

Play still feels like a work in progress, as does any relationship

Beckett in the City: The Women Speak, Coláiste Mhuire, Parnell Square

Beckett may be no liberator, but he best understood our cages

Admirable versatility: Charlene Gleeson, Clare Monnelly and Aoibheann McCann

A series of sketches that lurches between grim comedy and extended hand-wringing

Lauren Coe and Joey Phillips. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

A dutiful, illustrative staging of Arthur Miller’s 1956 drama rather than a freshly invigorating one

Michael Glenn Murphy

Micheal Glenn Murphy’s nostalgic, cluttered play comes at the expense of living relationships

Steely: Clare Dunne in Grounded

When a female fighter pilot is moved to the Chair Force, the morality of remote warfare comes crashing down

Sure Thing takes an accumulator approach

A fleet piece about gambling in Dublin that is determined to break even

Life as performance: Kim Noble

All the Lonely People: The satirist’s new show, where nothing seems to be off limits, is riveting but so unethical you may have to(...)

Like an apparition in club gear, she emerges from the smoke

Mos Def. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

What’s in a name change?

While Shamir Bailey’s first outing is ebullient, on the Body & Soul stage he’s let down by muddy sound and over-crowding

Murphy is revealed finally as an unapologetic hedonist. She wears it divinely.

You’d need a DNA test to decide where one song ends and another begins

Arms out and chest up, frontman Karl Hyde still comes across as a muttering prophet, making mantras out of twisted material

You would like these New Jersey guys when they’re angry

Simon McBurney in The Encounter: with more documentation than ever, and much less reflection, our own memories get no sharper. Photograph: Francisco Peralta Torrejón

Simon McBurney, Robert Lepage and Brian Friel all know that, whether they escape us, prove false or exert a destructive hold, memo(...)

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