Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Charles Dance return to the Gate for Michael Colgan’s farewell programme

The starry line-up features work by Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel and Harold Pinter

Michael Gambon in the earlier Gate production of Eh Joe. Photograph:  Anthony Woods

Michael Gambon in the earlier Gate production of Eh Joe. Photograph: Anthony Woods

 

The outgoing director of the Gate Theatre, Michael Colgan, has released details of the last elements of his programme. The festivalfeatures work by three iconic playwrightswith whom the theatre forged an indelible connection under his stewardship.

During those 33 years, some of the Gate’s major achievements have been entwined with Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel and Harold Pinter, all of whom were previously celebrated with individual festivals. Beckett has been so honoured more than once, in 1991 and 2006, each time generating productions that won international acclaim for the theatre, and again more recently among 2010’s combination festival, Beckett Pinter Mamet, which is the model for Colgan’s valedictory festival, operating under the acronym, BFP.

The plays selected are modest in scale individually, but have each made significant impacts, either for their writers or for previous Gate productions. It is not quite a greatest hits package, if such an undertaking was possible, but follows Colgan’s inclinations towards artistically credible and conspicuously male-heavy programming, while the calibre of participating artists invokes some of the theatre’s major successes over the last three decades. Among the celebrated names returning to the Gate for the festival are Michael Gambon, Barry McGovern, Derbhle Crotty and Owen Roe, with Ralph Fiennes, Lia Williams, Penelope Wilton, Charles Dance and Liam Cunningham set to appear at prose and poetry reading events.

A new staging of Pinter’s early one-act play, The Dumb Waiter, will be directed by Joe Dowling, featuring Lorcan Cranitch and Garrett Lombard as hitmen awaiting instruction in an absurdist setting. It is joined by One for the Road, Pinter’s short evocation of torturous confrontations under a brutal regime, directed by Dough Hughes and featuring Owen Roe as its menacing interrogator.

Both of the Beckett works are adaptations, with Colgan’s own directing of the novella First Love reprised following its recent outing at the Dublin Theatre Festival with Barry McGovern, together with Michael Gambon’s return in Atom Egoyan’s staging of Eh, Joe, a work conceived originally for television and here presented as a fascinating mixed-media production, narrated by Penelope Wilton.

Both of the Friel plays began as original Gate commissions, each staking a kinship with Chekhov: 2001’s The Yalta Game, based on the Russian writer’s short story The Lady with the Lap Dog, is here directed by David Grindley, while Mark O’Rowe directs Derbhle Crotty and Denis Conway in Friel’s Afterplay, an imagined meeting between Sonya, Uncle Vanya’s niece, and Andre, brother to the Three Sisters.

The festival is rounded out with two readings of poetry and prose by the writers, featuring celebrated actors with long relationships with the Gate, including Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Lia Williams, Fiona Bell, Ralph Fiennes, Barry McGovern, Penelope Wilton and Ingrid Craigie.

The festival runs from March 7th to 26th.

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.