Abbey rejuvenates Peacock and Fiona Shaw comes to Wexford

A version of ‘The Tempest’, set in west Kerry, called ‘A Shitstorm’, is slated for theatre

 

The Abbey Theatre has announced a programme of 20 productions for the Peacock, the National Theatre’s problematic studio space.

The venue is described as “The engine room of Irish theatre” on its entrance but in recent years it has been largely inactive. The Abbey’s new directors, Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, are hoping to fire it up again.

The programme includes new plays by Owen McCafferty, Stacey Gregg and Dead Centre. They are joined by debut appearances from Scotland’s Frances Poet, with an adaptation of Jean Racine’s Andromaque, What Put the Blood In, and from Irish writer Simon Doyle, with a version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, set in West Kerry, and called The Shitstorm.

McCafferty’s play, Fire Below, in a co-production with Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, is a black comedy in which two couples reveal their deepest prejudices over a wine-soaked evening. Gregg’s latest, Josephine K and the Algorithms, is about the age of big data and the intrusion of tech into politics. Dead Centre’s new work, Hamnet, a monologue for an 11-year-old boy inspired by the death of Shakespeare’s young son, will be developed in the space before premiering in Berlin’s Schaubune in April.

Rapid-reaction events

The venue will host six visiting productions, including Pat Kinevane with his trilogy Forgotten, Silent and Underneath; Syrian dancer Mithkal Alzghair’s war-themed work Displacement; and Druid’s new production of Mark O’Rowe’s horrific fantasy Crestfall. Theatre Lovett will also visit with They Called Her Vivaldi, while developing a new piece, Frankenstein.

McLaren and Murray intend to make the space function both as a performance venue and a workshop, with works-in-progress taking place from writer Paul Howard; Moonfish Theatre; dance artist Oona Doherty; and writer/performer Shane O’Reilly. Their intention is also to make it a flexible and responsive venue, with three rapid-reaction events scheduled for May, featuring “urgent responses to urgent issues”.

Meanwhile, Wexford Festival Opera announced its programme for 2017. The highlight is a version of Medea directed by Fiona Shaw. The Irish actor was previously nominated for a Tony for that role.

Also on the bill is Jacopo Foroni’s Margherita, and Franco Alfano’s Risurrezione. This year the festival expands across 18 days, starting on October 19th.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.