French circus opens 40th theatre festival


The Dublin Theatre Festival was officially declared open last night by Mr Michael Grant, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, who acted for the Minister, Ms Sile de Valera, was ill.

The festival, which is in its 40th year and runs for two weeks, includes over 20 shows.

Cirque Plume, the French alternative circus, was the first festival act to go on last night in a fluorescent yellow tent in the RDS Simmonscourt grounds. The cast and crew of the circus have encamped in caravans around the tent for the week. Among those who accepted invitations for the opening night were Gay Byrne, Adi Roche, Veronica Sutherland, Niall Toibin and Proinsias De Rossa.

Other highlights of the festival will include Canadian director Robert Lepage's version of Hamlet, Elsinore, Romanian director Silviu Purcarete's production of Phaedra and Titus Andronicus, the Leenane Trilogy by Martin McDonagh presented by the Druid Theatre Company, and new plays by Tom McIntyre and Joseph O'Connor at the Abbey and Gate respectively.

The fringe festival, which has already been running for a week, will go on for the two weeks of the main festival. It includes over 100 shows. Reviews page 18