DUBLIN It’s a kind of magic

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

What can magic do for the theatre? It seems like an ob­vi­ous and long-stand­ing com­bi­na­tion: in­tro­duce il­lu­sion to a drama, as the­atres have sought to do since the smoke first met the mir­ror, and you can con­jure up an ex­tra­or­di­nary spec­ta­cle.

Give a ma­gi­cian a nar­ra­tive, con­tem­po­rary gothic chiller as the di­rec­tor of a Famine-era zom­bie movie who casts a mys­te­ri­ous lead ac­tor at the 11th hour. On tour. Also Kerry. Le­han­more Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Beara. Jul 4 8.30pm 112/110

The O’Don­nell fam­ily gath­ers in Bally­beg Hall, their an­ces­tral home, for a wed­ding, each stew­ing in neu­roses, re­sent­ments and af­fec­tions, in Brian Friel’s Chekho­vian por­trait of the Ir­ish Big House. Patrick Ma­son di­rects a cast that in­cludes Cathy Bel­ton, Tom Hickey, Philip Judge, Rory Nolan, Tadhg Mur­phy and Re­becca O’Mara in a new pro­duc­tion. Abbey Theatre. Ends Aug 2 7.30pm 113-145 abbeythe­atre.ie


Black Cof­fee

An English coun­try es­tate is thrown into chaos fol­low­ing the mur­der of an ec­cen­tric in­ven­tor. Bel­gian de­tec­tive Her­cule Poirot ar­rives to sleuth out the killer in Agatha Christie’s mys­tery, staged by the Agatha Christie Theatre Com­pany. Bord Gáis En­ergy Theatre. Ends Jun 28 7.30pm 117.50 bor­dgaisen­er­gythe­atre.ie

The Clear­ing

Set in 17th Century Ire­land, He­len Ed­mund­son’s play con­cen­trates on a young cou­ple, from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, con­fronting the bru­tal­ity of Cromwellian eth­nic cleans­ing. Annabelle Comyn di­rects the grad­u­at­ing class of as au­di­ences have seen in shows such as Rob Drum­mond’s beau­ti­ful and nail­bit­ing Bul­let Catch or Paul Glee­son’s Of Rogues and Knaves, and the fil­lip of mind-read­ing gains more emo­tional con­se­quence. But there’s still a dif­fer­ence be­tween theatre’s sus­pen­sion of be­lief and the magic that sim­ply de­fies be­lief.

Now the charis­matic Dublin ma­gi­cian Shane Gillen (above) brings his laid-back style of The Lir. The Lir. Jun 26-Jul 2 7.30pm (Fri mat 1pm) 115/112 the­lir.ie

Dizzy­tails Theatre Com­pany stage David Eldridge’s adap­ta­tion of the Lars Von Tri­ers Dogme film, it­self mod­elled on a the­atri­cal re­venge plot. James Power di­rects the story of a fam­ily birth­day ban­quet that goes hideously awry with dark rev­e­la­tions. Play­ers Theatre, TCD. Jul 1-5 8pm tcd.ie


In­spired by Fred­er­ick Duren­matt’s uniquely un­phys­i­cal dark fa­ble, The Visit, Barefeet fuse com­edy, song, dance and ac­ro­bat­ics to cre­ate a piece about the build­ing of Zam­bia’s Kariba Dam. Smock Al­ley. Jul 3 4pm and 8pm 112/110


Dirty Laun­dry

This year’s grad­u­a­tion play for the Gai­ety School of Act­ing stu­dents, a new piece com­mis­sioned from Aus­tralian play­wright Chris Ed­mund, en­gages with ideas of home and art, from the ghost of the pain­ter Fran­cis Ba­con to the most marginalised of so­ci­ety, strug­gling to find a home in the world or within art. Smock Al­ley Theatre. Ends Jun 28 7.30pm smock­alley.com

Knee Deep

New Aus­tralian cir­cus com­pany Ca­sus per­form their de­but work, a blend of cir­cus skills and mod­ern me­dia which ex­plores re­la­tion­ships and fragility. Draiocht, Blan­chard­stown. Jul 3 7pm 118/114 men­tal­ism to a theatre, work­ing with the ex­cel­lent Su­gar­glass Theatre Com­pany to com­bine mind-bend­ing il­lu­sion with some­thing just as mys­te­ri­ous: the tricks of our mem­o­ries.

Us­ing the story of his own grief, a fad­ing mem­ory of a fam­ily mem­ber, and a grim his­tory of sci­en­tific stud­ies, Gillen folds the cri­sis of re­mem­ber­ing into the pris­tine re­call skills re­quired by a ma­gi­cian.

Hugh Travers’ play de­picts a piv­otal mo­ment in Gerry Ryan’s ca­reer and Ir­ish me­dia cul­ture. Michael FordFitzger­ald stars as the RTÉ pre­sen­ter. Vik­ing Theatre, Clon­tarf. Ends Jul 3 8pm 112 vikingth­e­atre­dublin.com



See Panel.

The Last Five Years

Trees Rd Pro­duc­tions stage a con­tem­po­rary one-act mu­si­cal which charts the life and death of young love be­tween a ris­ing nov­el­ist and a strug­gling ac­tress over their five year re­la­tion­ship. Di­rec­tor Chris Collins and mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Danny Forde match per­form­ers Robert Ban­non and Amy O’Dwyer with a live band. Project Arts Cen­tre. Ends Jun 28 8.15pm 115/113 (Sat mat 3pm 110) pro­jec­tarts­cen­tre.ie

My Bril­liant Di­vorce

Tara Flynn per­forms Geral­dine Aron’s well­trav­elled comic mono­logue about a mid­dle-aged, Ir­ishAmer­i­can putting her life back to­gether af­ter her mar­riage falls apart. Civic Theatre, Tal­laght. Jul 1-5 8pm 118/114 civicthe­atre.ie

Neil + 1

Ac­claimed im­pro­viser Neil Cur­ran per­forms a spon­ta­neous comic play with one per­son selected from the au­di­ence. Mill Theatre, Dun­drum. Jul 3-4 8.15pm 110 millthe­atre.ie

Pains of Youth

Fer­di­nand Bruck­ner’s sor­row­ful play de­tails the lives of highly sexed med­i­cal

It’s a promis­ing, un­set­tling and un­con­ven­tional ap­proach, like shuf­fling a ra­zor blade into a pack of cards. Ma­gi­cians ra­di­ate an aura of com­plete con­trol, but Lapse is as oc­cu­pied with the pos­si­bil­ity of fail­ure, for­get­ting and loss. Now you see me, now you don’t.

Can’TSee ThaT? CaTchThis The Last Five Years

Project Arts Cen­tre, Dublin stu­dents in a board­ing house in Vi­enna in the aftermath of WWI. Wayne Jordan di­rects the grad­u­at­ing class of The Lir in Daphne Moore’s trans­la­tion. Project Arts Cen­tre. Jun 27- Jul 3 7.45pm (Tues mat 1pm) 115/113 pro­jec­tarts­cen­tre.ie

The Price

Last staged at the Gate 10 years ago, Arthur Miller’s drama finds two es­tranged broth­ers – one du­ti­ful and frus­trated, the other in­de­pen­dent and suc­cess­ful – brought back to­gether to sell their dead par­ents’ property and to con­sider the price they have each paid. Doug Hughes di­rects Lewis J Stadlen, Barry McGovern, De­nis Con­way. Gate Theatre. Pre­views un­til Jun 30 7.30pm 120 Opens Jul 1 7.30pm Mon & Sat mat 125, Tues-Thurs 132, Fri-Sat 135 gate-theatre.ie

Shur I’ll Be Al­right Here on Me Own

Fre­goli Theatre Com­pany, who re­cently brought their Dorset Street Toys to Dublin, re­turn with three new mono­logues by Maria Tiv­nan, fea­tur­ing a woman who talks to the walls, a girl who must face the sea and a young man who col­lects foot­prints. Smock Al­ley Theatre Ends Jun 27 8pm 112/110 smock­alley.com

Small Plas­tic Wars

A stand-out pro­duc­tion from last year’s Show in a Bag at the Dublin Fringe Fes­ti­val gets a wel­come re­vival. Bew­ley’s Café Theatre. Ends July 19 1pm 18-112 (light lunch 14) be­w­leyscafethe­atre.com

LAPSE Smock Al­ley July 3-12, 8pm €15 smock­alley.com

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