From left, Liam Burke, PJ Brady, Angela Harding, Sheila Flitton and Michael Judd at the Irish Theatre Institute, Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

The Prime project helps older actors to get on top of cyber auditions and to get ahead in a notoriously ageist industry

 David Rooney, artist and illustrator, in his studio in Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A ‘mobile’ tour of historical places in Dublin brings the Easter Rising to life

Maloney’s Dream: nothings is lost in translation

A bilingual show for children aged eight and over brings to life the events of Easter week with clarity and humour

Paul Mallon and Charlotte McCurry in Northern Star. Photograph: Keith Dixon

Rough Magic’s production of Stewart Parker’s play about the 1798 rebellion enriches the self-consciousness of the dramatic style (...)

Book-gifting encourages parents to read to and with their children, and affords children the opportunity to have books in their ho(...)

Censorship and the dictionary are the inspirations for interactive text-based games

Don Wycherley, Ronan Leahy and Gavin Fullam in Inside the GPO by Colin Murphy, in a production by Fishamble in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. Photograph: Dan O’Neill

Two site-specific plays around Moore Street and the GPO are among the most daring of the Rising centenary productions

Author Roddy Doyle. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall

The author has transported ‘Don Giovanni’ to Dublin for the Opera Theatre Company

Production shot from ‘Into the Blue’. Photograph: Neil Harrison

Belfast theatre group has devised new ways of opening access for excluded kids

Reif Larsen’s Entrances and Exits  is a novella told through textual narrative and Google Street View

A new e-publishing company does not see material and digital forms as being in competition with each other but as two distinct, (...)

“The key issue for me was why people [joined the revolution]? How were young working-class men and women, just ordinary people, radicalised?” Playwright Deirdre Kinahan pictured in Dublin Castle. Photograph: Bryan Meade

The playwright’s new production Wild Sky eschews the grand Dublin narrative for a rural perspective on 1916

Another year, another new year’s resolution, but it’s no sacrifice to keep this one

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

Reviews: The Wagner Files; Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg; The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

Hannah Moscovitch: “It can be hard for young women to visualise themselves as playwrights”

Hannah Moscovitch, whose play East of Berlin examines the Holocaust’s legacy and is coming to Dublin, is not against gender quotas(...)

The Henry Girls. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The Henry Girls’ concert for children has – refreshingly – barely a mention of Christmas

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A great first outing to the theatre for children who might be overwhelmed by larger pantomimes

Monkeyshine Theatre draws inspiration from Nordic mythology

The Snow Queen: my favourite version is illustrated by Harry Clarke, right. The glorious art nouveau illustrations are a brilliant introduction to his work, which can be seen in churches all over the country. I am also fond of PJ Lynch’s more realistic illustrations of the tale, left

In December, I read nothing but winter- and Christmas-themed books with my children, which I take down from the attic on December (...)

Zizi Strallen as the eponymous nanny in Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s lavish new production of Mary Poppins

Rather than staying close to Disney's 1964 musical, Julian Fellowes' adaptation goes back to PL Travers' books. The result is a Ma(...)

 Richard Dawkins: “Stories are fun, but to claim a supernatural explanation of something is not to explain it at all.” Photograph: Alan Betson

New titles from Sophie Sabbage, Chris Kyle, Jim Dwyer and Richard Dawkins

Cathy Belton in a 1998 production of Eclipsed

There is a long list of women who wrote important plays for Irish stages but whose works have all but disappeared. They deserve a (...)

Social media enables activists to reach audiences as never before, as the #WakingTheFeminists campaign knows. It’s all part of tel(...)

Oisín Robbins

The play uses a physical language to communicate with a young audience

Waking the Feminists meeting hears call for equal advancement of women artists

Where are the women?: Queen Maeve in the woodcut that WB Yeats commissioned from Elinor Monsell for what became the Abbey Theatre. Photograph courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

The National Theatre’s maddeningly male 1916 centenary season highlights the difficulties that face women who work in Irish theatr(...)

New titles from Rachel Abbott, Angela Currie, Fat Roland and Thijs de Boer reviewed

Senator Fiach Mac Conghail, director of the Abbey Theatre, during the launch of the theatre’s controversial 2016 programme. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fiach Mac Conghail says reaction sparked ‘a professional and personal crisis’

Patrick Ness: “Chaos Walking” series ran over six books, and won major awards, including the prestigious Guardian Children’s Book Prize. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

Patrick Ness fell into writing young adult fiction by accident, but he’s had huge success in a genre that’s barely a decade old

Smashing Times Theatre Company, which has been working in process-led educational theatre for almost 20 years

Drama in education aims to give students the tools to express themselves and imagine alternative worlds, but formal exposure to it(...)

Illustration by PJ Lynch from his book The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune

Illustrator PJ Lynch was never interested in writing – until he stumbled across the story of a servant who fell from the Mayflower(...)

Peepo by Alan and Janet Ahlberg: recommended reading for toddlers aged  18 months and over

Sara Keating runs the baby Book Club in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown libraries. Here she offers advice on how to pass on to children a (...)

Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You and Anita Jerman’s My Little Storybook are animated by life-size (and giant!) puppets in a double-bill from Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia that is as gentle as a bedtime story

Several theatrical adaptations of children’s classic books are touring the country, reports Sara Keating

Coiscéim’s new dance show takes Prokofiev’s classic into more modern territory with thrilling results

Author Louise O’Neill is one of the key writers driving this new wave of issue-centred books. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Young adult fiction is the largest growing genre in contemporary fiction

Festival buzz: Bees! was exquisitely conceived. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

‘Bees!’ and the rest of the Ark’s family season matched the quality of anything else at Dublin Theatre Festival this year, yet the(...)

Mary-Lou McCarthy and Marie Ruane. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The music might be a bit too hip for the hive of children, but their parents might appreciate it

Ali White in Bailed Out!  Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Colin Murphy does a terrific job in using documentary material to maximum dramatic effect

Conor McPherson: ‘Writing is . . .  like going to the toilet. It’s beyond rational consciousness. A play just sort of pops out.’  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Conor McPherson’s talent as a playwright was precocious, but writing for a living was never part of the master plan

Multiple choice reading for the digital generation: ebooks that facilitate structural experimentation

Mesmeric: Maguy Marin’s non-narrative dance piece May B, the headlining show at this year’s Happy Days International Festival in Enniskillen

Enniskillen – home of the Beckett festival – offers settings that match the desolate emotional atmosphere of his work

Betrayed: Frida Kahlo is the subject of Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s The Egg Pyramid in Flash Fiction

Round-up: Digital publishers have been quick to spot the potential in brief reads that help shorten journeys

Amy Conroy: ‘There is this fixed idea of what it means to be a man or a woman, and there is very little fluidity, and I don’t believe that is how we really are’

Conroy’s new play is about the journey made by transgender people, but more than anything, says the writer, it’s about families

Learning to spin at the Ulster American Folk Park

Few children love trudging around art galleries or museums but there are ways to turn culture into an adventure. Here are some tip(...)

Best-known story: Anjelica Huston and Donal McCann in the 1987 film of The Dead

The digital world dovetails well with James Joyce’s imagination in some inventive apps

September 1913: The Irish Times published WB Yeats’s poem, then called Romance in Ireland, on September 8th, 1913; he sent it as a letter about plans to establish a municipal art gallery in Dublin

The poet had a close relationship with this publication throughout his career

   'The Queen has come! And isn't she angry.', illustration from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1832-9) (colour litho)  John Tenniel

Revisions of Lewis Carroll’s novel offer visual enhancements and a Manhattan setting

Fine Gael TD and Minister for State Simon Harris  is advocating a Yes vote on the age of eligibility for presidential office. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

At least 11 Fine Gael and Labour TDs say they are voting No; others unsure

Sinéad O’Sullivan tutors second-year students in digital media literacy in Mercy Secondary School in Inchicore, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A digital literacy ‘short course’, one of a range being developed for junior cycle, excites the students and links with their othe(...)

‘Independent bookshops have a deep engagement with the culture of their city and country and they can reflect that in their stock.’ Maurice Earls of Books Upstairs on D’Olier Street, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Independent sellers such as Books Upstairs, Raven Books and Kenny’s have proved to be remarkably resilient in hard times, kept afl(...)

Miranda July solicited friends to forward a selection of emails that they wrote and received to her, and she curated a themed compendium of these emails for subscribers, delivering them by email on a weekly basis. Photograph: Elizabeth Weinberg/The New York Times

Don’t know what to read next? Never fear, help is at hand

Clean Reader’s blue dots do the censor’s job on sundry saucy classics

Aivis Kerans of Larkin Community College rehearsing for the students’ play, The Girl With No Name. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Abbey’s Theatre-Making and Citizenship course has been piloted in an inner-city Dublin school, and the positive effects on s(...)

Connected: online book clubs and apps offer readers new ways to interact with each other and even with authors

Far from destroying reading, the internet is making it a more interactive experience

Review: Bake!

Paul Curley tuns a birthday party into something more chaotic with more than a hint of moral absurdity

Acrobats Emily Aoibheann and Elaine McCague (above, with Peter Corboy)  enliven the visual element of the show. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

This show for ages six and up broaches some important issues around identity and inclusion, but dramatically it feels embryonic

Noelle Brown and Iseult Casey in Monday’s Child. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

A party where children can ponder life’s big questions

Disruptively dozy digital reading can be hazardous to your health

Artist Helen Barry works with young children at Wee Care

Before children become literate, music, painting, crafts and drama can give them powerful tools for communication and development (...)

From left, Deborah Treisman; Paul Muldoon; director of the Arts Council Orlaith McBride (not on the selection panel); Paula Meehan; Siobhán Parkinson; Juan Gabriel Vásquez; and Blake Morrison

Passionate, relentlessly energetic and possessing a collegial focus: ahead of the announcement of the inaugural laureate in The Ir(...)

King’s popularity ensured the technological experiment would be a success. Photograph: Stacey Cramp/The New York Times

Stephen King was the first writer to embrace the medium

A Quentin Blake illustration in Roald Dahl’s The Twits

Illustrations are a touchstone of children’s literature. Here is a potted guide to the artists behind some of the best-loved stori(...)

Elf Factory: offers early-years audiences an opportunity to enter Santa’s workshop

Three- and four-year-olds give Santa a dig-out in this charming show

The dastardly Captain Hook (Nicholas Grennell)

The baddies are the swashbuckling heroes in this terrific, lavish production

Composer Brian Irvine

Sniffs and snuffles are welcome at this lively classical concert for kids

Sleeping Beauty: a refreshing antidote to some of the more commercial children’s entertainment on offer at Christmas

A commercial-free experience makes for a lovely, old-fashioned day out

As Consumpta and Concepta Carcrashian, Eoin Cannon and Aidan Mannion get all the best lines. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Consumpta and Concepta Carcrashian steal the show in this Theatreworx remix

Motion comics combine animated panels with sound and video

Rachel Joyce: “Once I had the idea of seeing things from Queenie’s point of view, it wouldn’t leave me. I wouldn’t say the book just came to me in the writing, but I found she had so much to say.”

A pilgrimage to a hospice was the unusual theme of Rachel Joyce’s Booker-longlisted debut novel – but readers wouldn’t let her l(...)

A soldier’s story: ‘On the Wire’ at The Sailor’s Home on O’Curry Street in Limerick focuses on the life of an Irish soldier who comes back from the first World War to find a very different Ireland

Play dramatises the untold stories of Irish soldiers coming home from the first World War

David Nicholls has faced the crippling anxiety of writer’s block

Authors David Nicholls and Zadie Smith have both had to fight temptations of internet

David Mitchell: ‘I wanted to put a lot of things into my books  . . . gluing shorter novellas together was the only structure that lets me do that.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

The writer’s labyrinthine novels marry experimental narrative techniques with plot twists drawn from sci-fi and fantasy. In person(...)

Julia Donaldson. ‘Parents often tell me that they sing the books rather than read them aloud.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Live performance is an integral part of the work of the former children’s laureate, who tours with her stories and songs as part o(...)

Oliver Jeffers: ‘There is a certain sense of humour in my art that you might not find in the picture books, and a sweetness in the picture books that you will probably find lacking in the art.’ Photograph: Malcolm Brown

The Belfast writer and artist’s well-loved picture books have given him a public profile that has aided his success in fine-art ci(...)

The Way Back Home, Branar’s ambitious stage version of Oliver Jeffers’s beautiful picture book

It’s not unusual to find our best theatrical talent working in children’s theatre, and given the calibre of the work there’s littl(...)

The Victorian atmosphere of The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy

In this rite-of-passage play, a boy made of cheese becomes a man

Official e-textbooks are working out pretty heavy on the pocket, too. But alternatives are evolving both here and in Britain

Oliver Jeffers’ book jumps off the page and into space in this beautiful stage adaptation

Review: A Mano

This children’s show creates a concentrated beauty from almost nothing

The Way Back Home: Branar’s new show is based on an Oliver Jeffers picture book

Is there a future beyond the local community for plays in Irish? A new generation of theatremakers are finding out

Verbal pyrotechnics: Mark O’Rowe. Photograph: Alan Betson

The plays of the ‘Howie the Rookie’ writer are dark, complex affairs. With his new work, ‘Our Few and Evil Days’, about to open at(...)

Ross Dungan had success in the Edinburgh Fringe as a performer but hated every moment – the switch to writing hasn’t harmed his ca(...)

This year’s Show in a Bag offerings include Noni Stapleton’s Charolais

The Show in a Bag series is one of the strongest facets in the Tiger Dublin Fringe. So what’s the secret of its theatrical success(...)

Found in translation: a self-portrait by Tove Jansson, author of The Summer Book. Photograph:

There is something pleasingly arbitrary about the subscription approach to literature in translation

Shaun Dunne: coming from a place of truth. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The theatre’s outreach programme made Shaun Dunne an actor at 11. Now he’s back with his own play

Director Róisín McBrinn

Director Róisín McBrinn believes, like Shaw, that theatre changes lives

Artistic touch: Jenny Wallblom and her children, Lois and Milo Humphries, exploring Propositions at Imma. Photograph: Frank Miller

Imma’s touchy-feely retrospective of the work of Hélio Oiticica is an ideal place to introduce curious toddlers to the world of ar(...)

Billy Collins: ‘It is like an eye chart, with its big E at the top, and the letters getting less legible as it moves along. A poem should be like that’

The former US poet laureate believes in bringing poetry to the widest possible audience. Some critics have found his poetry to be (...)

Harper Lee: after years of resistance from her, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was published for Kindle by HarperCollins last month. Photograph:  Chip Somodevilla/Getty

According to Harper Lee 'some things should happen on soft pages not cold metal'. Her dissenting voice is one of many as digitisat(...)

Jessie Burton: “People think actors are narcissistic but writing is the more egotistical, because you are all the characters.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Seeing a doll’s house in Amsterdam prompted Jessie Burton to examine, in her novel ‘The Miniaturist’, the confined circumstances o(...)

Herman Koch: ‘When I started writing it was a question for me, too: how far would  I go along with the character? How far would he go?’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Herman Koch specialises in vile characters. The protagonist of ‘The Dinner’ revealed his depravity over a gourmet meal. His new no(...)

The five poets shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now award are, clockwise from top left,  Nick Laird, Conor O’Callaghan, Tara Bergin, Billy Ramsell and Sinéad Morrissey

Contemporary Irish poetry is doing well, as the breadth of work up for the Irish Times Poetry Now award demonstrates

Eleanor Bermingham with her son Mikey and their dog Ralf  near their home in Citywest Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Theatres and cinemas have responded to the call for special screenings and relaxed performances

Samuel Beckett Summer School runs at Trinity College Dublin in August

Schools that focus on trad music, Irish dance, Beckett, Joyce, Parnell, Yeats and public policy should keep adults of all stripes (...)

Family drama: John Kavanagh and Tadhg Murphy. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

John Kavanagh played Casimir in the first production of Aristocrats in 1979, a role Tadhg Murphy now inherits. They discuss the ro(...)

Margaret Atwood: brave commitment to exploring contemporary issues. Photograph: Damon Winter/New York Times

Those doomsayers predicting the death of the book need look no further than Wattpad for confirmation of the power of fiction in th(...)

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