18 days and nights of exceptional Irish and international work at Dublin Theatre Festival
With 10 world premieres and 14 international productions, there's something for everyone at this year's Dublin Theatre Festival
BURGERZ runs at Smock Alley Theatre, October 9th to 11th. Photograph: Elise Rose
Dublin Theatre Festival presents three weeks of performances, with world premieres of new work and reimagined classic texts, inspiring international projects and an expanded season of Theatre for Children, from September 26th to October 13th.
The works in this year’s programme deal with many contemporary topics and speak to the times we live in. There are 10 world premieres and 14 international productions are included in the 2019 programme. Here’s a look at just a few of the productions that will be taking place across Dublin.
Playboy of the Western World
One of Ireland’s greatest writers, J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World famously caused a riot when it was first staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1907. Dublin Theatre Festival and Lyric Theatre, Belfast now present a fresh new take on this brutal comic masterpiece from exciting young director Oonagh Murphy.
For Murphy, this classic is alarmingly relevant to modern times.
“In 2019 we live in an alternate reality to the world about which Synge was writing. And yet in many ways we’re still dealing with the same power structures, ones that could be seen as foundational to Irish society. It’s in that light that we see Pegeen’s plight, a young woman, taking on the work of her alcoholic father, and yet still somehow feeling the limits of her personal freedoms in a world structured to view her as something to be bartered between two men.”
The Playboy of the Western World is at The Gaiety Theatre from September 14th to October 5th and at Lyric Theatre from October 8th to November 5th. The cast includes Eloïse Stevenson, Michael Shea, and Aoibheann McCann.
Following his acclaimed reimagining of Swan Lake in 2016, the festival is delighted to welcome back Michael Keegan Dolan and Teaċ Daṁsa for the world premiere of MÁM. Bringing together concertina player Cormac Begley, the European classical contemporary collective stargaze and 12 international dancers, MÁM is a meeting place between soloist and ensemble, classical and traditional, the local and the universal. O’Reilly Theatre from September 25th to October 5th.
After someone threw a burger at them and shouted a transphobic slur, Travis Alabanza became obsessed with burgers. Carving out a place for themselves as one of the UK’s most prominent trans voices, Alabanza presents a performance that is timely, unsettling and powerful. BURGERZ, which enjoyed a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was been described as ‘a terrific, tricky and layered show’ by critic Lyn Gardner who gave it a 5 star review. At Smock Alley Theatre, October 9th to 11th.
Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster
Australia’s Nicola Gunn has a simple question – what should you do if you see someone throwing stones at a duck? Shifting from comedic anecdotes to the unexpectedly profound, she navigates the excruciating realms of human behaviour and the moral complexities of intervention in Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster at Samuel Beckett Theatre from September 26th - 28th.
The Irish premiere of a major work by Marina Carr, Hecuba is a passionate reimagining of the aftermath of the Trojan War and the events surrounding its iconic characters. Rough Magic co-founder Lynne Parker directs this drama of a complex and powerful woman that deals with all-too-relevant themes of war and devastation. Project Arts Centre, September 25th – October 6th.
The Bluffer’s Guide to Suburbia
Ray Scannell makes his festival writing debut with a new apocalyptic black comedy with live original songs. The Bluffer’s Guide to Suburbia, lovingly exposes a generation of adult children living back in the home. Directed by Tom Creed at Project Theatre, Cube from September 26th – October 5th.
Sopro, from the Portuguese word for breath, premiered at the Avignon Festival in 2017 and was hailed by Le Monde as ‘a radiant show of beauty and intelligence.’ This play by Tiago Rodrigues tells the story of a prompter from the National Theatre in Lisbon who reluctantly steps out of the shadows after forty years to take her place in the spotlight. Sopro is a gorgeous and captivating affirmation of theatre – of those who make it and those who watch it. O’Reilly Theatre from October 11th-12th.
This year’s programme sees an expanded Theatre for Children selection presented in partnership with The Ark. It includes a new work commissioned by The Ark – The Haircut. This fairy tale is remixed and retold and set in a magical modern day Ireland with a live musical soundtrack. Delivered with ineffable charm by Thommas Kane Byrne and accompanied by Tom Lane’s vibrant score.
Festival+, continues the conversation off stage with a series of talks, critical events, exhibitions, tours and work-in-progress showcases. This includes networking opportunities for theatre practitioners, a young critics panel, a theatrical walking tour and an audio journey through 14 Henrietta Street.
To see the full programme visit dublintheatrefestival.ie
Phone: +353 1 677 8899
In person: DTF box office, Festival House, 12 East Essex Street East, Temple Bar, D.2.
Principal funder The Arts Council
Grant aided by Dublin City Council, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin Fundraising Fellowship, Tourism Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Proudly supported by sponsors including The Irish Times, RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Blackwater Distillery and Olytico.