Cold com­fort cul­ture

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - LISTINGS - PETER CRAW­LEY

FOR­EST FRINGE The Lir, Dublin Dec 13-15 7pm ¤30/¤20 fringe­ 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 gai­etythe­ 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 abbeythe­ 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 fringe­ 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 smock­ 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 smock­ 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 smock­ 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 pro­jec­tarts­cen­ 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 bordgaisen­ 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 the­ (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 gateth­e­ 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

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