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

Pieter De Buysser knows that simplicity is harder than ever to achieve
DTF Review: Book Burning

An exercise in unadorned storytelling and sparing stagecraft resists the information overload of the modern world

An elaborate, almost responsive experience whose interconnectedness becomes gradually and gleefully apparent

How many connections can we make during a sly multimedia performance inspired by the six degrees of separation theory?

For both the audience and Anton, it becomes an absorbing journey

A forgotten Scottish director’s incredible adaptation of an epic fiction is the basis for a riveting study in obsession

Our Few and Evil Days: “You listen to the painstaking dialogue, though, like a surveillance team hoping to catch someone in confession”

Nevermind Mark O’Rowe’s return to dialogue, does his family tragedy for the Abbey signal a new commitment to realism? Or is anyth(...)

An artfully layered production from Australia’s Back to Back Theatre exposes the mechanics of power play and the right to represen(...)

Can a maniacally upbeat community centre worker change the world – with your help?

Gina Moxley and Richard Walsh

Pan Pan Theatre makes Chekhov’s play the centrepiece of its crammed and elusive aviary. Are they able to wing it?

Jack Charles v The Crown

Dublin Theatre Festival’s Australian season is diverse in style and outlook, and represents theatre that has come a long way

Anu Productions’ celebrated Monto Cycle comes full circle, where present day Dublin finds its history repeating

Review: Hamlet

The festival opens with the Schaubuhne’s riveting and dangerous production of Hamlet. Though this be madness, yet there’s method i(...)

Is Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood a rock musician who crossed over to classical music, or a composer who crossed over to rock? Mee(...)

Vardo, part of a history of north-inner-city Dublin  that has delivered some of the most ambitious theatre in living memory

With ‘Vardo’, the concluding part of Anu Productions’ thrillingly intimate four-part series, director Louise Lowe brings the extra(...)

The sweetly ghoulish Smilin’ Kanker is an expert in love. If only he could find one

Review: B(r)itches

A clever new show about performance finds it hard to act naturally

Review: Reckoners

There’s nothing personal (or political) about the revenge cycle in Ross Dungan’s new play. Does that give its characters a better (...)

Review: WhichEver1UFeed

The most recent temptation of Christ explores the desires and duality of man

Bailegangaire: ‘Nothing could be more entrancing, nor as devastating, as Marie Mullen’s transcendental performance’
Review: Bailegangaire

Druid’s new production of Tom Murphy’s extraordinary play about inherited trauma and unfinished stories finds a fresh urgency for (...)

Brigit ‘is a sparing and episodic piece, fleshing out a complex family history, but serving far more as a personal statement’
Review: Brigit

A prequel to his masterful Bailegangaire, Brigit fleshes out a complex family history, but Tom Murphy’s new play is a more vivid p(...)

The Company: The Rest Is Action

Tragic protagonists ought to know they can’t escape their origins or elude their destinies. Is that why companies at the Tiger Dub(...)

Review: Pilgrim

A real tragedy and an epic myth inform a violent young Irish man’s quest for home. It takes a while to get there

Company SJ create a splitting performance from Beckett’s prose fragments in a crumbling building. Strangely, it becomes a wholly u(...)

A “live concept album” from alt-pop act Maud in Cahoots uses theatricality to expose a world of surfaces

Descended from a long line of planted oppressors, an Irish actor wonders about his genetic inheritance

Review: Some Flood

The only survivor of a biblical apocalpyse is a feckless young Irish lad. Isolated, bored and short on prospects for the future, h(...)

The Oresteia is reduced to an hour in The Company’s arch and enigmatic new work.

When Sonya Kelly fell for an Aussie stage manager, the immigration bureau required documentary evidence. Wry, tender and imaginati(...)

Storyteller: Tom Murphy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A new play by Tom Murphy is something worth celebrating, and his latest, ‘Brigit’, draws on the historic source of all of his stor(...)

Many actors are taught a method, others learn a technique, and some, like Coonan, above, discover what kind of actor they are on the job. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

A varied theatre career – including his new role as Brendan Behan – should save Peter Coonan from being typecast as a crook

Exposed: Sonya Kelly draws from personal experience in ‘How to Keep an Alien’

The success of autobiographical performances on the Tiger Dublin Fringe has placed a new emphasis on intimacy and honesty. But as (...)

The story never ends: Tom Murphy’s Brigit

Whether it comes as with a bang or a whimper, the ending of an act of theatre gives it shape and meaning. At best, it leaves us w(...)

The paranoid office: Patrick O’Donnell, Simon Toal and Stephen Kelly in Tracer
Review: Tracer

The competing elements of this corporate conspiracy thriller and satire may lose you as it goes all the way to the top

Steven Berkoff: ‘In the past when faced with a negative review, which has gone beyond negative to spiteful, I’ve defended my plays, sometimes aggressively.’ Photograph: Nobby Clark

That’s what his new play, The Actor’s Lament, comprises. Surely he can’t be as difficult as his reputation suggests?

Method in the madness: Lars Eidinger as Hamlet. Photograph: Arno Declair

A thrillingly raw production of ‘Hamlet’ from Berlin’s Schaubühne theatre gives Shakespeare’s famously unstable character a licenc(...)

Kathy Kiera Clarke and Lisa Dwyer Hogg e

Written fitfully during the first World War and finally presented to an utterly changed world, Shaw’s experimental play remains ta(...)

Noelle Brown and Billie Traynor

Set 20 years after Earnest, Billie Traynor’s imagined meeting of Wilde’s sisterly characters finds a world in flux and lives in st(...)

Olwen Fouéré in Riverrun. Photograph: Jeremy Abrahams

In the largest international festival on earth, artists from Ireland have proven themselves disproportionately successful

Ediburgh Festival Fringe: last year, Ballad of the Burning Star, written and performed by an Israeli artist, explicitly engaged with the politics of Israel and Palestine

In times of conflict, culture also becomes a battleground

Dive in: Audiences at Punchdrunk’s ‘The Drowned Man’ fought for the privilege of taking part

Attacked by zombies, snogged by actors – audiences are no longer expected to just sit and watch the play

Christian Mazzuchini as Vladimir and Noël Vergès as Estragon in Theatre NoNo’s Waiting for Godot

Conversations turn Beckettian when this festival of all things tragicomic doesn’t turn out as planned. Could it be any other way? (...)

Some puppet: the Little Giant Girl in Liverpool. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Royal de Luxe’s planned Limerick show has not been without controversy. But to see it in action in Liverpool makes you appreciate (...)

Clare Barrett: one of the most gifted comic actors in the country

A play within a play is without its cast. Can a stage manager save the day?

Nirbhaya was inspired by the horrific gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi in 2012
Review: Nirbhaya

Yaël Farber’s play, prompted by a brutal gang rape in Delhi and its ensuing outcry, transforms victimhood into bravery through fea(...)

Director Walter Asmus. Photograph: John Haynes

The genial German director Walter Asmus was initially scared of Samuel Beckett before gradually becoming the playwright’s personal(...)

Playwright Tom Murphy (left) with artistic director Willie White and daughter Molly (2) at the launch of the programme for the Dublin Theatre Festival, which runs from September 25th to October 12th.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Programme divides evenly between Irish and international work

John Mahoney and Penny Slusher in Chapatti

The rebranded Galway International Arts Festival is pointedly here, there and everywhere

In ID, our assumptions are challenged and the cast imparts a series of self-definitions, mainly comic, but often pointed
Review: ID

The latest show from Galway’s Blue Teapot, which plays with the acronym ID, doesn’t make intellectual disability its only form of (...)

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