Our flagpole theatre festival is back to thrill, entertain and provoke. Our editor Michael McDermott selects his picks of six to see at Dublin Theatre Festival.
Corn Exchange are as close as it comes to critic proof with their productions. Dublin by Lamplight, Man of Valour and Freefall rank as some of our favourite plays we seen in the city. This time, they’re taking on Arthur Miller’s The Misfits in a ‘reimaginging’ by Annie Ryan. “It shouts and sings with life…explodes with love!” said the original theatrical poster. Ryan and her cohorts have tossed those soppy words into the bin and are exploring its “intimate, visceral, elemental” language. The American Dream laid bare.
Smock Alley Theatre until October 7, 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinee performances on the 4th & 6th, 1.30pm on 7th, €20-€30
Arthur Riordan casts his inventive eye across Joyce and his protagonist Stephen Dedalus in this Rough Magic production. We’re expecting him to let his anarchic wit loose also on this work which was first published 102 years ago. Ronan Phelan directs.
Pavilion Theatre, until Sunday October 7, 8pm with 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday 6, €22-€27
The Bystander uses the murder of Murder of Kitty Genovese in New York in the spring of 1964 as its jump off point. She was stabbed to death outside her apartment and while numbers are disputed, it is claimed a number of ‘bystanders’ witnessed or heard the attack and did nothing. The ‘Bystander effect’ became a staple of American psychology textbooks and the gifted Junk Ensemble draw on the expertise of a psychologist in their dance exploration of human behaviour.
axis: Ballymun Thursday October 4 – Saturday 6, 8pm €18
This all-male drag ballet troupe parodies the conventions of romantic and classical ballet. Founded in 1974, they mine the mannerisms and absurdities of the most twinklest of toes for comic entertainment. Words such as hammy, clichéd and superficial are worn like feathers to adorn the Swan tutus of The Trocks.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Tuesday October 9 & Tuesday 10, 7.30pm, €25-€48.50
Enda Walsh is truly one of the most prolific writer/directors in our orbit. Since he staged the kinetic The Second Violinst at the festival last year, he’s collaborated with Cillian Murphy on the rapturously received Grief is The Thing with Feathers and created Office 33A, a new work for Galway Arts Festival. We’re sure he’s done loads of other things too. Here, he’s tackling Béla Bartók first stage work and only opera – a reimagining of the tale of Bluebeard. Staged with the Irish National Opera and the RTE Concert Orchestra in the pit, we’re expecting Walsh to bring his usual A-game.
Gaiety Theatre, Friday October 12 – Sunday 14, 7.30pm, €16-€46
Someone somewhere told us that Ruth Negga is putting in crazy hours in preparation for her role as the Prince of Denmark. The fruits of this labour will be borne witness to on the stage of The Gate in this marquee show. Director Yaël Farber has stated that the Oscar-nominated Negga will “plunge Shakespeare’s troubled and complex prince deep into the 21st century.” Great expectation and a scramble for tickets then.
The Gate Theatre, until Saturday October 27, 7pm (matinees on Wednesday and Saturday, 1.30pm), no shows on Sunday, €25-€55
Words – Michael McDermott
Feature Image: Photo © Trish Wylie from the painting ‘Bang Bang Roses’
Ruth Negga – Photo © Chris Sutton
The Bystander – Photo © Luca Truffarelli
A Portrait of an Artist as A Young Man – Photo © Ste Murray