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(...)

The Coronas follow a tried-and-tested formula for bright, sharp rock: stolid rhythms, lyrics lacquered in obvious emotion, guitars(...)

Clare Dunne is remarkable as the drone pilot in Grounded

‘Grounded’, George Brant’s well-travelled play about a female drone pilot, puts words on a growing sense of moral anxiety

Annabelle Comyn’s respectful and inquisitive revival is engaged with nostalgia, particularly the pain at the root of that word

Carmel Winters’ new play might make us look differently at the 50 million people now forcibly displaced by conflict or disaster

Simon Stewart and Ronan Dempsey

Smock Alley’s production treats the play as a performance vehicle and loses the nuance

Des Keogh as Nashee and Derry Power as Eamon

Malachy McKenna’s new play is alert to a powerful impotency as two men go gently into that good night

Jane Brennan in By the Bog of Cats

Marina Carr’s bitter stretch of the Irish midlands is a sunken place full of ghosts and vengeance – will anyone make it out aliv(...)

‘The Harmonium Project’ taking place outside the Usher Hall at Festival Square during the Edinburgh International Festival 2015. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

As always, the shows being staged encompass the weird, the wonderful and the wacky

The Last Hotel: Claudia Boyle as  the elegant Irish woman

Death is an assisted act in Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s new opera at the Edinburgh International Festival

Along with Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin – neither of them sterling role models – both claimed to subsist on four hours sleep a night. To lesser mortals that qualifies as chronic sleep deprivation

The way we sleep, and when we sleep, has been altered by human invention – from pills to alarm clocks – but most profoundly by art(...)

Shechter’s style may have been refined through the years, but it remains untamed. Photograph: Victor Frankowski

The style of choreographer Hofesh Shechter remains mercifully untamed

Olwen Fouéré: intent and solemn throughout, determined  to communicate. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Samuel Beckett’s late prose piece, written in fragments and pieced together at random, becomes oddly lulling

Cathy Belton: commanding solo performance. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

A Liverpudlian mother is pushed to the edge of the world by a tragedy

Imma is showing the work of the renowned Canadian photographer

Graham McLaren and Neil Murray of the National Theatre of Scotland, who have been appointed as the new co-directors of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, beginning on July 1st, 2016. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Scottish directors Murray and McLaren will replace Fiach MacConghail next year

Olwen Fouéré in Lessness at the Barbican’s International Beckett Season in London earlier this summer. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

The actor continues her performances of notoriously tricky Irish prose works with Beckett’s Lessness, which comprises 60 sentences(...)

Exhibit B recalls dehumanising and triumphalist displays of colonialism

Black actors hold our gaze as their fixed poses recall colonial brutality and the marginalisation of refugees

Objection! Leading the witness

An historical grievance about a murder trial is at the heart of Maum, but this is less a play than a pageant

Amy Conroy: a physical performance entirely free of parody

Amy Conroy’s new play is a mysterious family drama about a hard-won reconciliation and the making of a man

South African theatre director Brett Bailey: “I was interested in the representation of the other by the colonial order”

‘Exhibit B’, at Galway arts festival, re-creates 19th-century ‘human zoos’. Are its critics right to say it replicates the wrong(...)

Never say good luck: Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane play the scheming theatrical producers in the movie musical version of Mel Brooks’ Broadway smash hit, The Producers. Photograph: Andrew Schwartz

From never saying ‘Macbeth’ to never whistling backstage, the theatre world is full of odd beliefs. What’s even odder is that they(...)

Director Ethan McSweeny and Aislín McGuckin in rehearsals for A Month in the Country at the Gate Theatre. Photograph: Pat Redmond

‘Itinerant director’ Ethan McSweeny is bringing his outsider’s eye to Brian Friel’s translation of A Month in the Country at the G(...)

Turgenev’s play gets a stately pace as Brian Friel smuggles the radical energy of passion into a distinctly Irish word play

Mel Brooks’s legendary ’68 comedy and ’01 musical remains an unapologetically hilarious paen to bad taste – after all, ‘Not many p(...)

Anne Clarke on the set of Once in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anne Clarke of Landmark Productions moves comfortably between ‘art-led’ productions and explicitly commercial undertakings. But th(...)

Fergus Linehan announcing his first festival programme as director of the Edinburgh International Festival. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Linehan has built an unusual career as a festival director, but he had to be persuaded to take on the Edinburgh International Fest(...)

Portrait and landscape artist Mick O’Dea (centre) joined by some of the people he will paint for an evolving Kilkenny Arts Festival series, including (from left) actor Aisling O’Sullivan, Druid director Garry Hynes, actor  Derbhle Crotty  and Kilkenny Arts Festival director Eugene Downes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Shakespeare, Dante and Bach feature in a programme that’s strong on the classics

What happens to the foot soldiers in the half-life of the peace process?

A Boy Called Nedd elucidates young Dublin in varied detail

A clear-eyed and compassionate look at five Dublin teenagers in a permanent rush

Pablo Picasso is thought to have produced about 50,000 artworks in his lifetime, but does that make him any less of an artist? Photograph: Ralph Gatti/Getty

The crucial thing about art is not how long it takes to create, but that it is created all

‘The pleasure of the performance is to see Murray slip between characters’

Only Murray’s assured presence mounts a challenge in a comedy that isn’t keen to provoke

Seán Doyle, far left, on looking like ‘a rough auld bastard’: ‘You’re like Moses and the Red Sea. You find people parting out of your way.’ Photograph: Conor Lumsden

How will Paddy Cunneen’s play Deadly fare in front of the tough critics of a Garda youth diversion project?

Denis Conway and Declan Conlon in The Gigli Concert: a masterful revival of Tom Murphy’s play. Photograph: Pat Redmond

This considered production proves that almost anything is possible

Denis Conway in The Gigli Concert. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Tom Murphy’s great play, currently at the Gate, subverts Irish and English stereotypes. How did director David Grindley rise to th(...)

Gemma Doorly and Karl Shiels in Being Norwegian

Women are from Norway, men are from Scotland in David Greig’s charming comedy with hints of something darker

Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor picutred attending The IFTA’s in The Mansion House, Dublin tonight. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Tomm Moore’s animation called ‘Song of the Sea’ is the surprise Best Film winner

From left, Hilton Edwards and Micheál Mac Liammóir, the Gate’s founding co-directors and partners, provided the event’s first focus

The Irish Theatrical Diaspora Conference at the Gate heard illuminating talks about Edwards and Mac Liammóir, Beckett and Friel

Derbhle Crotty as Henry IV. Photograph: Matthew Thompson

Druid carve four Shakespeare plays into an epic of regal succession, and drag the kings down with the people where they belong

‘This would feel like a more stinging bourgeois critique if Angie and Nat weren’t themselves trading notes on German breakfasts, sharing partridge soup and having a banal affair’

Are all the characters in Hilary Fannin’s new play toxically self-involved or has our national plummet from prosperity left everyb(...)

Mark O’Halloran (left) and David Ganly in The Shadow of a Gunman

Sean O’Casey’s classic play is given a fresh approach, but is that enough to shake off its shadow?

An Irish look at Shakespeare: Aisling O’Sullivan Photograph: Matthew Thompson

Theatre company give the Henriad an Irish flavour by tweaking the text and the terrain

Fatal retaliation: Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, alongside John Hurt and Sean Bean, in Jim Sheridan’s 1990 film of The Field

John B Keane created the fearsome Bull McCabe in response to a brutal murder. Can the dramatisation of unsolved crimes and miscarr(...)

It’s a big leap from The Guard to Alice in Funderland and The Cripple of Inishmaan to the new series of Penny Dreadful, but Cork a(...)

Bryce Dessner, guitarist and composer, who is looking forward to ‘new encounters’ at Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival

The National guitarist is excited about curating the first Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival, which will be ‘like throwing a par(...)

Ava McKevitt and Peter Coonan. Photograph: Lucy Nuzum

The absorbing mystery of Ross Dungan’s play is: why do we trust authority, in our families or in our stories, and what happens whe(...)

Ben Kidd: ‘A wholly new work is f***ing terrifying, but I also think it’s the lifeblood of keeping oneself excited’

Interview: Kidd is ‘doomed’ to try as many styles as possible, from the experimental Lippy to the more naturalistic Before Monster(...)

Michael Harding as The Bull McCabe. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

This proud anniversary production of a play last staged just four years ago feels more familiar than heritage drama; more rote tha(...)

Doing a lot with a little: John Doran plays the ukulele in Romeo and Juliet; he also joins the cast in several other roles. Photographs: Pat Redmond

As an actor you may have only a few lines – or none at all – but you can still make the most of a role, as Dee Burke, who’s appe(...)

In 2008 the Abbey received €10 million; next year it will receive just €5.8 million. But the Abbey, delivered from debt in 2005 by a government bailout, has remained financially stable

The director of the National Theatre must be a realist and a dreamer

Declan Conlon (Judge Brack) and Catherine Walker in the title role in Hedda Gabler

Abbey production of Ibsen’s drama feels stilted

Abbey calling: the theatre is “also open to hearing from all interested parties and to receiving joint applications from more than one candidate”

With the current director Fiach MacConghail due to step down in December, 2016, the National Theatre has officially begun the proc(...)

Slyly updated: Thomas Ostermeier’s version of Hedda Gabler for the Schaubühne in 2006. Photograph: Arno Declair/Dublin Theatre Festival

Mark O’Rowe, who has written a new version of Ibsen’s play, may be an unlikely feminist

Stephen Brennan steals all the scenes in this study of a showman

Feeney, a singular musical talent, is barely present in this new show that is cruelly inattentive to its audience

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