Category Archives: Theatre

Theatrical: ‘The morning after the life before’

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May 23rd 2015 is a day that will forever be etched in the memory of the LGBT community in Ireland. It was the day the result of the marriage equality referendum was was announced, and 62% of our nation said that we were equal.

On 24th May 2015, Limerick woman Ann Blake received a text from her brother, asking ‘How’s the morning after the life before?’ This question became the title of the play ‘The morning after the life before’ which is currently playing at the Bewleys Cafe Theatre. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The morning after the life before’

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Theatrical: ‘The Country Girls’

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I have never read ‘The Country Girls’ by Edna O’Brien. This book was published in 1960, and was the debut novel by the Clare writer. Notorious upon its release for its depiction of the sexual awakening of a pair of young Irish women in catholic Ireland, it was banned by the censorship board for being a dirty, filthy book. Naturally when read through the prism of 2019, it is very tame indeed. Well the book has been adapted by the Abbey Theatre. Last night I went to see it. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Country Girls’

Theatrical: ‘Fat Blokes’

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December 2015 was a funny time. I’d been back in Dublin for a month, after years in Amsterdam,  feeling like I’d made the biggest mistake of my life coming home. It was the dead of winter – always a miserable time. I was working in the industrial wastelands of county Dublin with my bullying colleagues Mouth-Breather and Potato-Head (not their real names); and I was flat-sharing in the leafy suburb of Castleknock with the deranged FlatEnemy who lectured me constantly about how he was going to be a millionaire. I was less than content. I remember one evening seeing a YouTube link called ‘I’ve been radicalised’ starring the artist Scottee, describing his rage at being bullied and abused for being a fat, camp gay guy. It was powerful, in the way that honesty mixed with anger tends to be. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Fat Blokes’

Theatrical: ‘140 Characters’ and ‘Dog Boy’

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‘A ticket for one please’ said I, with a devil-may-care, jaunty attitude. It was 7.25. The show was not starting until 7.45. I had oodles of time.

‘Sorry sir, I have just sold the last ticket.’

I was horrified. Not only was the show sold out, but I had been addressed as ‘Sir’ by the youth at the counter. I am not a ‘sir’. I am young, fresh, vibrant and vivacious – in my own head at least. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘140 Characters’ and ‘Dog Boy’

Theatrical: ‘The Bear’

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I don’t make new year’s resolutions, so for 2019 I hatched a plan – I was going to explore more classical theatre. I regularly avail of new shows. Didn’t the ancient Greeks invent the art form though? I have thousands of years of catching up to do. I decided that this Wednesday I would have an adventure, and attend ‘The Bear’ by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Bear’

Theatrical: ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the Gaiety Theatre

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On Saturday night I attended my first ever play at the legendary Gaiety theatre in Dublin. Built in 1871 it is Ireland’s oldest continuously running theatre (Smock Alley is older but only recently reopened). Famed for its annual three month summer season of Riverdance to fleece American tourists; and its Christmas pantomime; it also stages plays and musicals throughout the rest of the year. With seating for over 2000 people it is the grand old dame of Dublin theatre, designed in a deeply gaudy manner. Naturally I loved it. Having done a bit of research I was unsurprised to discover the at the upper circle of the theatre was a place where fancy gentlemen used to congregate for encounters, at the time where such shenanigans were illegal. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the Gaiety Theatre

Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock

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I love the theatre – there is something magical about waiting in the dark for a show to begin. A live performance is so much more immediate and wrenching than watching something on a screen. The joy generated by a good show and performance is electric. Having dabbled in the dark theatrical arts myself – as a performer, writer, director, stage manager; lighting technician and sound technician (when you work in no budget theatre, necessity requires versatility) – I can appreciate the effort that goes into getting a play from an idea in a writer’s head to the closing night. It can be gruelling (not in the same manner as working on a chain gang might be, granted, but tiring nonetheless). I attend a show, wanting to like it – mentally willing the actors to give an impressive performances. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Ridleys’ at the Peacock

Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’

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In ancient Greek mythology, Iphigenia was the daughter of King Agememnon and Queen Clytemnestra, who was sacrificed to the gods to for a wind change which would allow the king to invade Troy. In the play ‘Ipghigenia in Splott’ in Smock Alley Theatre, Ipghgenia (Effie) is a hard boiled young woman in a hoodie, who terrorises her neighbours as she prowls the street of her estate. Hard drinking, tough-as-nails, she knows what people think of her. But she doesn’t care. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Iphigenia in Splott’

Theatrical: ‘Death of a Salesman’

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Was I interested in going to see a staged reading of a play? Well sure. A staged reading of a play is exactly that – the actors stand on stage and read the text out loud, to an audience. It is different from a table reading in that it is not merely the actors reading the play among themselves. There is an audience. It is a very preliminary stage of any production. So early that even if it not an original piece you generally don’t need to pay the writer to stage it. It can be a rewarding means of sourcing cheap entertainment. You are not getting a full on production. It is only semi-rehearsed, so it is not expected to be as impressive as a fully rehearsed and learned performance. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Death of a Salesman’