The Mac, Belfast ★★★ Even intimacy has its limits. That may not be your first impression of David and Marian, though, a c(...)

The Mac, Belfast ★★★ One of the more unlikely breakout stars of the Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival’s the(...)

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

To Break The Mac, Belfast ***   When you start with nothing, you can dream up anything. With that spirit, the second product(...)

Grand Opera House, Belfast ★★★ Plumes of steam rise and curl from two huge cooking pots onstage, tended to by an Indian c(...)

Gaiety Theatre, Dublin ★   Margaret (Deirdre O’Kane), a stoic mother of three, certainly doesn’t have it easy. In fact her life is such (...)

Shibboleth Peacock Theatre *** Can there be such a thing as peace without reconciliation? That is the logic behind Belfast’s so-called Peace Walls,(...)

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel Smock Alley Theatre *** They have covered some distance in their time, the two children of one of the world’s mo(...)

 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

1929 Brian Friel born on January 9th in Killyclogher, near Omagh, Co Tyrone, to Sean Friel, a primary-school principal, and Mary McLoone, a pos(...)

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

Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964): Friel’s breakthrough as a dramatist was also a milestone for Irish theatre. The story of a young man on the eve (...)

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

In a curious moment during The Night Alive, the opening show of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival, one one of its characters gives an account of a r(...)