If you’ve missed the buzz of theatre visits, lively foyer crowds and interval debriefs, this season offers premieres, plays and performances for every taste …
“What I want in the theatre is to be moved to laugh, to be provoked, to be changed,” says actor Gabriel Byrne, who is debuting his WALKING WITH GHOSTS in London’s West End from September 6-17. Dublin Fringe Festival 2022, September 10-25, will include the actor’s memoir-on-stage, directed by Lonny Price, and more. Woke and whipsmart, the Festival programme is divided up into eight chapters (such as Big Nights Out, Young Radicals, Escapades) with 586 performances taking place in 27 venues around the city. A highlight is HIVE CITY LEGACY, spotlighting the talents of eight Irish women of colour, led by the Antipodean troupe Hot Brown Honey. www.fringefest.com.
Author Margaret Atwood, actor Olwen Fouéré and designer Alison Conneely are part of the impressive programme for Clifden Arts Festival, Connemara (September 15-25), created by former schoolteacher Brendan Flynn 45 years ago. Several events mark this year’s centenary of James Joyce’s Ulysses including Curlew Theatre Company’s INORAMOLLYANNALIVIALUCIA: THE MUSE & MISTER JOYCE, subtitled “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife as an Older Woman”. www.clifdenartsfestival.ie.
JOYCE’S WOMEN by Edna O’Brien debuts at the Abbey Theatre as one of 17 premieres at the Dublin Theatre Festival, September 29-October 16. O’Brien has chosen to depict Joyce through key figures in his life: “Mother, wife, mistress of a fleeting moment, his patron Harriet Weaver and his beloved daughter Lucia, of whom he said her mind was but a transparent leaf away from his.” Artistic director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, Willie White, has been working on ways to increase accessibility. A new initiative, 10 for 10, sees ten per cent of tickets for selected productions priced €10 for those under 30, unemployed or performing arts freelancers. www.dublintheatrefestival.ie.
In Galway, the Decadent Theatre Company presents the premiere of Jimmy Murphy’s play THE CHIEF, inspired by Michael Collins, on September 12, which will also tour Westport and Longford. Murphy says his portrayal of Kitty Kiernan, Collins’ partner, played by Maeve Fitzgerald, is the first time Kitty has been written as “a fully-realised, politically forward-thinking woman, proactive in and out of the bedroom, rather than the girl smiling up adoringly at Collins”. www.decadenttheatrecompany.ie.
Michael Collins is also the subject of Sebastian Barry’s THE STEWARD OF CHRISTENDOM, directed by Louise Lowe at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, (where Roisin McBrinn and Colm O’Callaghan have just taken over from outgoing artistic director Selina Cartmell). Set in 1932, the play centres on Thomas Dunne reliving moments of his career as a senior officer in the Dublin Metropolitan Police, including the handover of Dublin Castle to Michael Collins in 1922 following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It runs until September 3 and is followed by performances at the Everyman, Cork and the Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick. www.gatetheatre.ie.
At The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, three 60-something women head off on an adventure in THE GAP YEAR (September 3-25), written by Clare McMahon, one of the Lir Academy’s playwriting graduates. The trio tour every county in Ireland, ensuring plenty of quips and craic. www.lyrictheatre.co.uk.
Expect a few al fresco theatre performances on Culture Night, Friday, September 23. In Galway, AISLING NA SRÁIDE LÁIR/A MIDDLE STREET’S NIGHT DREAM offers audiences the chance to enjoy theatrical installations and street performances along Middle Street, leading to the Spanish Arch. www.culturenight.ie.
Main featured image via Dublin Fringe Festival 2022.
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