Dublin Theatre Festival Returns With Its Most Ambitious Line up of Recent Years!

Posted 8 months ago in Theatre Features

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

We’re buzzing for the return of Dublin Theatre Festival which this year features an incredible selection of 38 Irish and international productions, including fifteen world premieres performed across the city and its environs.

This year’s programme features a very strong international presence, with a focus on work from Brazil and Flanders, along with a stellar line-up of new Irish work, including a stunning host of live performances aimed at audiences from ages four and upwards.

Audiences can look forward to an eye-watering theatrical spectacle encompassing music, dance and family events, with the return of many familiar faces, alongside exciting debuts from new voices too. In addition to Irish works based around themes of family, resistance and resilience, the programme also features a tasty selection of artist talks, public discussions and artist development programmes, with performances set to take place in venues and locations across the capital and throughout the greater Dublin area.

International programmes

This year’s festival kicks off with large-scale works by two leading Brazilian artists, exploring contemporary themes of economic, ecological and political upheaval. Alice Ripoll and Cia Suave’s Zona Franca portrays a complex and divided society at a moment of change, as it strives for a more hopeful future (28-30 Sept, O’Reilly Theatre). Meanwhile After the Silence from Venice Biennale winner Christiane Jatahy uses history, fiction and documentary film to trace the roots of deep and enduring social inequalities (29-30 Sept, Project Arts Centre).

Do the Calimero Persfotos by Freddebrock

The international programme also includes strong representation from Flanders, with shows dealing with subjects ranging from carnival (Do The Calimero), to social activism, to relations between generations and the defence of fragile ecosystems from mining exploitation.

This year also sees the welcome continuation of initiatives to help make the festival more accessible to everyone. This includes making 10% of tickets for selected festival productions available at €10 for under 30s, unwaged and freelance artists and arts workers.

Irish Productions

As ever there’s a strong programme featuring fabulous works from Irish and Irish based artists, with a succession of much anticipated premieres creating an inspirational mix of excitement and artistic risk. The organisers tell us that these new works celebrate the power of storytelling to renew and sustain our communities, while performances include the world premiere of Breathwork from Irish National Opera, an intimate new opera by Éna Brennan (aka Dowry), (28-30 Sept, Project), and Luke Murphy’s Attic ProjectsVolcano, a contemporary dance and psychological sci-fi thriller in a live performance made for the Netflix era (28 Sept-1 Oct, The Lir).

Saviour Image by Donal Kennedy

The legendary Marie Mullen returns in Landmark ProductionsThe Saviour, Deirdre Kinahan‘s fiercely funny and utterly gripping new play (27 Sept-8 Oct, Pavilion), while Verdant Productions and The Civic bring us the world premiere of a new drama by Eugene O’Brien, Falling to Earth – My Summer with Bowie (27 Sept-15 Oct, Civic).

Comedian and writer Martin Beanz Warde’s debut play about an Irish Traveller returning home after 10 years is a powerful and moving dark comedy (28 Sept-14 Oct, New Theatre). Dead Centre’s To Be A Machine (Version 2.0), is performed by the inimitable Jack Gleeson (29 Sept-8 Oct, Smock Alley), while Erica Murray’s beautiful new work The Loved Ones from Rough Magic is at the Gate Theatre from 28 September 28.  The Abbey hosts Nancy Harris’ dazzling romantic comedy with a twist, Somewhere Out There You, followed by Ironbound by Pulitzer prize winner Martyna Majok (from 3 Oct).

Sadly it seems that virtually everyone knows somebody who has suffered from cancer, and Karen Egan‘s own journey has inspired her to explore the vulnerability, chaos and humour of that experience in Warrior (2-7 Oct, Smock Alley).

Warrior image by Shane McCarthy

Quake by award-winning performer/writer Janet Moran, examines the gaps between what we say and what we really feel (Once Off Productions and Mermaid Arts Centre, 3-8 Oct), while this year’s offering from Pan-Pan is History Play, featuring an ensemble of prominent historians and performers who will explore everything historical and disgustingly relevant about the past right up to yesterday (5-15 Oct, The Bank @ Digital Hub).

Meanwhile Luke Casserly takes us on a performative journey to the Irish bog landscape through scent in Distillation (Casserly, Abbey Theatre and Solas Nua, 6,7,13 & 14 Oct, Goethe-Institut), and dance innovators Junk Ensemble present Powerful Trouble, a visual live performance installation in collaboration with artists Jesse Jones, Amanda Coogan, Olwen Fouéré, Aideen Barry, Vicky Langan, Planningtorock and Katie Kim (11-15 Oct, RHA).

Family Season

An expanded Family Season includes the Theatre for Children programme curated by The Ark, featuring joyful productions including Rothar (27 Sept-1 Oct, for ages 4+), A Square World (10-14 Oct, Axis, Ballymun, ages 3-6), The Boy Who Talked to Dogs (5-7 Oct, Draíocht, for ages 12+) and Fall and Float (12-15 Oct, The Ark), a new dance performance from Mónica Muñoz for audiences aged 7 years and over.

We’re also looking forward to joining some of Ireland’s leading designers to talk about the role of design in Irish theatre, donning our walking shoes for the Dublin’s Older Theatre History tour and the return of popular festival stalwarts such as The Next Stage and International Theatre eXchange. In addition, Festival+ includes a series of talks, critical events and works-in-progress.

We can’t wait!

Dublin Theatre Festival runs from 28 September to 15 October. Download the DTF 2023 programme HERE.

Note: the dates listed above include previews.


Book online dublintheatrefestival.ie

Phone +353 1 677 8899

In Person: Festival House, 12 Essex Street East, Dublin 2 D02 EH42

Dublin Theatre Festival is funded by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council, with Fáilte Ireland and The Ireland Funds. Dublin Theatre Festival is supported by RTÉ Supporting The Arts, Tourism Ireland, The Irish Times, Blackwater Distillery, Olytico and the Maldron Hotel DAA,

Twitter: @DubTheatreFest | Facebook: DublinTheatreFestival | Instagram: @dublintheatrefestival

Feature Image: Zona Franca © Renato Mangolin


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.


National Museum 2024 – Irish


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.