Archive for August 3rd, 2010

2010 Dublin Theatre Festival

3rd August 2010 by Maura McHugh

2010 Dublin Theatre Festival

Last week the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival (Sept 30 – Oct 17) announced details of this year’s programme.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, the Artistic Director Loughlin Deegan said “The Festival is delighted to present a significant programme of major Irish and international work this year. The scale of brand new Irish work will undoubtedly prove the wealth of talent and vibrancy in Irish theatre; alongside the world’s biggest, and most ambitious international productions – from Olivier Award-winning sensations to a showcase of contemporary Polish work never presented in Ireland before.”

Ulster Bank’s Chief Executive Cormac McCarthy said “Ulster Bank is very proud to be continuing its association with the Festival in 2010 as it goes from strength to strength. This year’s programme is an ambitious and varied line up displaying the best in home grown and international theatre talent. Supporting the arts is extremely important to Ulster Bank; our arts sponsorship portfolio now includes the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival, the Ulster Bank Festival at Queen’s and the recent National Tour of the Lyric’s production of Molière’s The Miser, amongst other initiatives.

I am delighted to announce that this year’s Festival will continue the tradition of the  Ulster Bank ‘free ticket initiative’ , where one thousand people will get to enjoy a free performance of ‘Circa’ in The Gaiety Theatre on September 29th 2010.  Application for tickets will be open shortly on “.


The Festival has long presented a wealth of exciting international productions, bringing to Irish stages some of the best theatre from around the world. The opening performance in the 2010 Festival will be CIRCA (Australia) – a breathtaking new creation using acrobatic circus skills integrated with sound, light and projection – prepare to be astounded.

Other international work includes:

-          Boasting a host of awards including an Olivier Award, ENRON is the most talked about show of 2010 (A Headlong Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and Royal Court Production). Coming direct from an extended West End run this exuberant production uses music and movement and video in a narrative of greed and loss reviewing the tumultuous 1990s and casting a new light on the financial turmoil in which the world finds itself today.

-          L’Effet de Serge (Phillippe Quesne / Vivarium Studio – France) A show about the wonder found in the simple things in life, which promises to be one of the most charming and funny shows of the Festival.

-          Diciembre (Teatro en el Blanco – Chile) a politically charged, blackly comic, razor sharp family drama from the new shining light of Latin American theatre.

-          The Wonderful World of Hugh Hughes (Hoipolloi- UK).  Step into the utterly joyous world of emerging Welsh artist Hugh Hughes as he presents the full trilogy of his hugely acclaimed shows, Floating, Story of a Rabbit and 360. Committed to exploring the imagination and revealing the wonder in life, Hughes is the winner of a host of awards. This is a unique opportunity to catch the most uplifting, funny and heart-warming shows you’ll see this year.


After three years of extensive planning, the Festival is delighted to present a major showcase of contemporary Polish work in Dublin which is supported with significant assistance from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. This special focus on Polish Theatre includes work by one of the great masters of theatre Krystian Lupa who brings his epic, 7½ hour production Factory 2 which revolves around the glamour of the notorious Andy Warhol project and his legendary loft in Manhattan’s 47th Street . Teatr Polski also includes two productions from two of Lupa’s ‘Disciples’ Grzegorz Jarzyna and Jan Klata that will feature some of the biggest names in Polish theatre and film. Last seen in Ireland with his stunning production of Festen at the Abbey in 2004, Grzegorz Jarzyna returns with hypnotic and moving T.E.O.R.E.M.A.T. inspired by the cult film by Pasolini, Teorema. The ‘enfant terrible’ of Polish Theatre Jan Klata directs the truly anarchic The Danton Case. Winner of a staggering 25 awards worldwide this is an electrifying adaptation of a renowned Polish play set in the French Revolution.


Building on the Polski Teatr season, the Festival, supported by the Department of Tourism Culture and Sport, will also present Lost In Translation, which in partnership with various city-wide organizations will investigate contemporary Polish culture and its relationship with Ireland. This programme will feature music, literature, and multi-media events, all culminating in a one-day symposium exploring the cultural and creative impact of immigration in Ireland and the role and responsibilities of artists and arts organizations.


A very exciting programme of Irish work is included in this year’s Festival. With an ensemble of 19 actors, Tony award-winning director Garry Hynes (Druid) will direct Sean O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie for the first time. Rough Magic presents the highly anticipated Phaedra, in a new version by Hilary Fannin and Ellen Cranitch directed by Lynne Parker featuring live music from some of Ireland’s foremost musicians. This timeless story probes the forbidden desires lurking within an exceptionally volatile family brought into a contemporary setting. Pan Pan presents the world premiere of The Rehearsal, Playing The Dane directed by Gavin Quinn. In this purgatorial presentation of Shakespeare’s classic, you, the audience is faced with a choice who is going to be, or not be, Hamlet…..

The Gate Theatre presents a unique season which investigates the relationship of acknowledged masters of twentieth century theatre – Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and David Mamet with for major productions: Endgame and Watt by Samuel Beckett, Celebration by Harold Pinter and Boston Marriage by David Mamet; and a series of readings and public interviews.   Frank McGuinness’ new version of Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman will be performed in on the Abbey stage.   This devastating and darkly comic play stars Alan Rickman as Borkman, Fiona Shaw as Gunhild and Lindsay Duncan as Ella. The Abbey will also present another new work, by Carmel Winter B is for Baby in The Peacock. A sharp witted new play which tenderly invites you to discover the joy of make-believe. The Festival will also present young rising Irish director Úna McKevitt’s new show 565+ which follows one woman’s survival through the healing powers of theatre.


In another thematic focus, the Festival turns the mirror around and shines a light on the audience, looking at their changing role in contemporary theatre. As a centrepiece of this strand, Ontroerend Goed (a hit of the 2009 Festival with For Once and for all we’re going to tell you who we are so shut up and listen) present three immersive theatrical creations.

-          The Smile Off Your Face – enter the titillating world of scents and sounds, sharpen your instincts and allow yourself to lose control. Sit in a wheelchair, put on a blindfold and indulge your imagination, pleasures and fears in this one-on one experience.

-          Internal – performed to just five people Internal it invites you to leave the tracks of traditional theatre and surrender to an intimate, individual experience… can you build a meaningful relationship with a stranger in 25 minutes?

-          A Game of You – a brand new show, seven strangers crave to spend time with you to get to know you better than you know yourself. Get entangled in the game!

Tim Crouch returns to Dublin with The Author (News from Nowhere / A Royal Court Theatre Production)   Performed within its audience, it tells the story of another play; a shocking and abusive play. The season is concluded with 565+


The Festival continues to extend its geographical reach across the city. This year axis: Ballymun is included for the first time. No Child…, comes to Dublin following a 12 month sold out New York run and a major North American Tour. This OBIE award-winning production is inspired by Nilaja Sun’s years as a teaching artist in high schools in the Bronx (Barrow Street Theatre/axis: Ballymun– USA).  The acclaimed production The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly (The Ark in association with Theatre Lovett), will as part of Festival on Tour (bringing theatre to where you live), be performed in The Ark, Civic Theatre Tallaght and Draíocht Blanchardstown.


The Festival is delighted to announce that once again audiences will have an opportunity to see 3 successful Irish productions restaged in partnership with Culture Ireland and Irish Theatre Institute. Following its runaway success in 2009 Act Without Words II (Company SJ) will be presented in a very unique location – the stage-door of one of Ireland’s most famous theatres. Absolutely that is grand. The second production will be the multi-sensory performance collaboration between some of the most exciting artists in contemporary Irish music and theatre, Una Santa Oscura (Playgroup and Ian Wilson in association with Project Arts Centre). For the first time a production for young audiences will be included in ReViewed with The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly.


Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival and The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children have teamed up once again and present three acclaimed productions for children in the Family Season. Finally audiences will get the chance to say ‘hello’ to Goodbye Mr Muffin (Teater Refleksion and De Røde Heste – Denmark), who got delayed in transit trying to make the 2009 Festival! Volcanoes have been very much in the news recently and Lava (Studio ORKA – Belgium) tells the story of two soil investigators who discover something quite wonderful deep under Dublin Castle in this site specific work for children and families. The Family Season rounds off with Lying Down, enjoyed whilst sitting on a pile of mattresses in the intimate surrounds of The Ark. This is a tale about small fears, big dreams and the power of imagination (BonteHond – Netherlands). 


Every year the Festival presents a series of talks, events and provocations designed to dig deeper into the Festival programme, stimulate discussion and engage directly with the audience. In 2010 the Festival will present many new events including an academic conference looking at theatre and censorship around the world; radical theatrical thinking from Project Brand New; performance investigating where contemporary art and theatre intersect; and a new partnership with RTÉ Radio Drama. All of this and much more including established Festival events such as In Development; The Next Stage programme; ITI’s International Theatre Exchange; ITM’s International Critics’ forum and NAYD’s Young Critics’ Panel.  Audiences can also enjoy a sneak preview of how a new production is growing from some of Ireland’s leading theatre companies in In Development. Rough Magic and Pan Pan last year presented Phaedra and The Rehearsal, Playing The Dan In Development which will be presented as full productions this year.