Cold comfort culture
FOREST FRINGE The Lir, Dublin Dec 13-15 7pm ¤30/¤20 fringefest.com Winter has arrived. Usually this time of year counts as a severe and slightly cruel test to see how long the human spirit can endure without a festival. In something of a generous experiment, then, if not an emergency relief package for the culturally starving, The Lir, the Dublin Fringe Festival and Cinderella The Gaiety Christmas panto is the story of a young girl, bullied by two ugly stepsisters and aided by a fairy godmother, who finds true love in a pair of really uncomfortable shoes. Gaiety Until Jan 13 6.30pm/7.30pm (mats 11am/ 1.30pm/ 2.30pm) 115-135 gaietytheatre.com Curious Tales for Christmas Stewart Roche adapts three supernatural tales for his PurpleHeart Theatre production, channelling Victorian ghost story tradition while happily playing to anti-panto sentiment. TheatreUpstairs@Lanigan’s Bar Previews Dec 10 Opens Dec 11-22 1pm 110 (incl light lunch) 085-7727375 The Dead The Abbey ends the year with Frank McGuinness’s much-anticipated dramatisation of the concluding story of James Joyce’s collection Dubliners. At an annual family dinner on the last day of a snowy Dublin Christmas, Gabriel Conroy reaches a personal epiphany. Joe Dowling directs a 22-strong cast, including Stanley Townsend and Derbhle Crotty. Abbey Theatre Previews until Dec 10 Opens Dec 11-Jan 19 7.30pm (Sat mat 2pm) 113-140 abbeytheatre.ie Dead Enough to Bury 1yolo Devised work exploring the border between life and death from final-year students of DIT’s Drama degree. DIT Rathmines Theatre Dec 7 7pm, Dec 8 2pm 18/15 01-4023515 Forest Fringe See panel. The Lir Dec 13-15 7pm 130/120 fringefest.com the British Council have joined forces to bring the Forest Fringe to Dublin for just three nights. During the Edinburgh festivals, this alt.platform hosts some of the most adventurous artists around – which is to say it can be hit and miss, according to taste.
Here, though, the Forest Fringe has struck a canny balance between experimental work and proven ability with a careful balance of approacha- Freud’s Last Session In 1939, Sigmund Freud invites the rising academic star CS Lewis into his London home for a dialogue on philosophy and religion. Staged by Orchard Theatre company. Smock Alley Theatre Dec 8 8pm 112.50/110 smockalley.com Hark! Following hundreds of hours of interviews with people of all ages and origins, Performance Theatre assembles a mosaic of stories about the Holidays. Smock Alley Theatre Ends Dec 11 7.30pm 115/110 smockalley.com Home Galway’s Fregoli Theatre stages a new work for audience members aged 12 and up, in which six characters of different backgrounds share memories of Irish homes, from wellies and cows to GAA, grass and Christmas, using energy and humour. Smock Alley Theatre. Dec 7 8pm 110-115 smockalley.com Also Galway Jezebel Rough Magic stages the world premiere of a new comedy by playwright, screenwriter, film-maker and web humourist Mark Cantan. A go-getting couple who want to spice up their sex life introduce a fretting singleton to the party. Director José Miguel Jiménez keeps a handle on the logistics. Project Arts Centre. Previews until Dec 8 Opens Dec 10-22 8.15pm 112-116 projectartscentre.ie My Cousin Rachel Joseph O’Connor’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel returns as the Gate’s Christmas offering. New cast member Marty Rea plays young Philip, who falls in love with his cousin ble British and Irish performers.
Among those featured in this “microfestival”, audience-involving Bristol-based Action Hero replicate the thrills of daredevils with Watch Me Fall; Dan Canham brings back his beautiful documentary dance piece, 30 Cecil Street (above); Veronica Dyas recreates her deeply moving confessional In My Bed; and Glasgow’s whipsmart solo performer Kieran Hurley depicts one man’s My One and Only For her directorial debut, Aisling Mooney adapts Dawn King’s radio play about a rebounding woman whose internet date goes wrong.TheatreUpstairs@ Lanigan’s Bar Ends Dec 8 1pm 110 (incl light lunch) 085-7727375 Oliver! The Cameron Mackintosh mega-musical, based on the story of Dickens’ luckless orphan with classic songs by Lionel Bart, reaches Dublin. Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dec 12-Jan 12 7.30pm (Sat mat 2.30pm, Sun 4pm) 120-160 bordgaisenergy.ie Orphans Company D stage Dennis Kelly’s dark drama about a couple in an environment of moral decay and how quickly one disturbance leads apparently decent people into acts of torture. Teacher’s Club Theatre, Parnell Sq Dec 11-15 7.30pm (Sat mat 2pm) 116/112 086-8448468 Quietly Celebrated Northern Irish writer Owen McCafferty, makes his Abbey debut with this world premiere, directed by Jimmy Fay. Two middle-aged Belfast men with a shared and traumatic past meet for the first time, unable to move forward until they come to terms with what has gone before. Until Dec 15 8pm 118-125 abbey theatre.ie (Hannah Yelland) and tries to smother suspicions that she doesn’t have his best interests at heart. Toby Frow directs for the Gate, again. Gate Theatre Until Jan 1 7.30pm 125-135 (students Mon-Thurs 115) 01-8744045 gatetheatre.ie journey from Scotland to the 2009 G8 summit.
Add to these a work in progress from Amy Conroy’s HotForTheatre and a new installation from Sheffield’s godfather of the alternative, Tim Etchells, and your winter just got an awful lot warmer.
Quietly Peacock, Dublin