Life’s work: the first folio of William Shakespeare’s plays, from 1623. Photograph:  Graeme Robertson/Getty

Colm Tóibín Author Favourite play: Hamlet gave me permission to put an antic disposition on whenever the notion took me, to go all melancholy any(...)

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

When Seán O’Casey took his seat for the fourth night of his new drama The Plough and the Stars he dryly noted that two plays were actually taking plac(...)

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

Oedipus Abbey Theatre, Dublin **** The fate of Oedipus ought to be blindingly obvious. That’s as true for the protagonist of Sophocles’ classic, a rul(...)

Conor McPherson, director and playwright  in New York in 2013. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Conor McPherson, Brian Friel and Enda Walsh are just some of the Irish authors to feature in this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival. The programme has(...)

Revisiting Juno and the Paycock: Joe Dowling  rehearsing Seán O’Casey’s play with cast members at the Guthrie Theater. Photograph: Joan Marcus

Joe Dowling is standing in front of one of the Guthrie Theater’s three stages, in Minneapolis, giving notes to Mark Benninghofen, the American actor w(...)

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

****“It is becoming painfully obvious that there is no peace to be found here,” says Donal Davoren, a poet searching for a quiet place to write.Well, (...)

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

Stage roles don’t come much smaller than the part of the doctor in A Streetcar Named Desire. For the actor playing him the job is mainly confined t(...)

Lauren Coe and Fra Fee: ‘Youthful innocence’

***   Whether it is Baz Luhrmann’s 1990s version that sticks in the mind, or Zeffirelli’s from 1968, Romeo and Juliet has been capture(...)

Rachel O’Byrne as Mary Queen of Scots. Photograph: Keith Dixon

A typical day for an acting student at The Lir, the National Academy of Dramatic Art, begins not with a class, but a “call” for a class, usually at(...)

Shakespeare was viewed as a mascot for cultural imperialism in early twentieth-century Ireland, and the official celebrations and firework displays seen in other European countries are absent here, but the visit by President Michael D Higgins to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, did coincide with the celebrations. Photograph: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography
The Irish take on Shakespeare
  • Books
  • May 23, 2014, 14:04

With 2014 marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, a series of lectures on the Bard by UCD and the Abbey has proved popular this year. Tw(...)