Escape the weather with our theatre recommendations
Sex and violins from Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy, and Limerick’s own Les Mis
Aaron Monaghan in ‘The Second Violinist’ at Black Box in Galway, part of the Galway International Arts Festival
The Second Violinist
Black Box Theatre, Galway, July 26-30. 7pm (Sat mat 2pm). €32-€40 giaf.ie
Following Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy’s first collaboration on an opera, 2015’s The Last Hotel, the writer and composer combine forces again for another hybrid production, staged by Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera. Where the first show found room for the actor Mikel Murfi to scuttle through an opera like an entertaining intruder, the new show finds an opera erupting around actor Aaron Monaghan, who plays a failing musician, recently and catastrophically single, buffeted between the quotidian digital distractions, pleading voice messages and darkening fantasies of his life in contemporary Dublin. What is his relationship, then, to the lascivious and violent opera that comes to life: is he watcher or participant? And can we digital slaves find our alter-egos in high art, or does this banal existence have to play second fiddle?
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin, July 18-30. 7.30pm (Wed & Sat mat 2.30pm) bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
Let misery sing. Frank McCourt’s famously and controversially bleak memoir of a poverty-stricken childhood in Limerick, of infant death, alcoholism and disease, of abuse and sexual coercion, finally gets the stage musical treatment. Produced by Pat Moylan, composed by Adam Howell and written by Paul Hurt, it is not the most unlikely undertaking for a musical, which, these days, almost exclusively begin with incongruous ideas: a hip-hop retelling of America’s first treasury secretary, for instance, doesn’t seem like a banker either, but Hamilton is raking in the Benjamins. Cleaving to the warmth of McCourt’s writing, however, the adaptation is not selling itself on harsh truths. Let’s see if hope and history are any closer to rhyming.
Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay, Dublin 1, July 14-29. 7pm (Wed & Sat 1pm) €12/€10 theatreupstairs.ie
In this, the age of the internet troll, it is important to know your enemy. The frustrated 4chan adolescents, ill at ease in the social world, but entirely energised by the anonymous culture of misogyny and misanthropy online, have given the world many things that it would rather do without: nihilistic lulz, gamergate, the alt-right and the US president among them. In REDPILL, from Some Yanks Theatre Company, writer Liam Hallahan performs his solo show about a wounded college freshman, heartbroken and betrayed, who descends into the vast conspiracy theories and giggling bile of the black heart of the internet.