THE­ATRE

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE CRITICS’ CHOICE -

PETERCRAWL­EY

THEREHEARS­AL, PLAYINGTHE­DANE

Abbey The­atre, Dublin. May 23-26 7.30pm(Sat­mat2pm)abbeythe­atre.ie “A prob­lem, you solve,” says Sis­ter Gertrude in a Muriel Sparks novel; “a para­dox, you live with.” This capri­cious and rather il­lu­mi­nat­ing in­ter­tex­tual ref­er­ence is typ­i­cal of Pan Pan’s award-win­ning riff on Shake­speare’s Ham­let, first staged in 2010, and now re­vived af­ter tour­ing the funkier reaches of the planet. That this ob­ser­va­tion comes from an on­stage aca­demic, Amanda Piesse, who gives a short lec­ture on the most ob­served tragedy while hold­ing an im­mense Great Dane on a leash may count as an­other co­nun­drum. Still, it’s per­fectly wor­thy of both Pan Pan and Ham­let him­self, both so over­laden with in­tel­li­gence, wit, earnest­ness and an­tic dis­po­si­tions that it’s a won­der they ever get any­thing done. For all its self-aware­ness, mad gags and some­times im­pen­e­tra­ble idio­syn­cra­sies, The Re­hearsal is one of the most faith­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Ham­let you could hope to find. Not be­cause it puts the play on stage (heaven for­fend!) but be­cause it re­flects Ham­let’s role on stage, in cul­ture and in life. Here, the cast­ing of the cov­eted part is de­ter­mined by an au­di­tion and an au­di­ence vote, while ‘the play within the play’ is the play, per­formed by school stu­dents. Di­rec­tor Gavin Quinn (also on­stage) may seem deadpan, but his pro­duc­tion can be in­cred­i­bly mov­ing, where ri­val and dis­tinc­tive Ham­lets, in­clud­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary Conor Mad­den, throw them­selves into their roles. Some­thing is mes­mer­iz­ing in the state of Den­mark.

MY SON MY SON

Pro­jec­tArt­sCen­tre,Dublin. May23-267.45pm¤10-¤14 pro­jec­tart­scen­tre.com It’s a tru­ism that ev­ery­body has a mother, but in the case of My Son My Son, a new pro­duc­tion from the writer, per­former and the­atre maker Veron­ica Dyas, it be­gins to seem like a pointed in­her­i­tance. Dyas’s play is based on Ber­tolt Brecht’s “learn­ing play” The Mother, which in turn, was in­spired by a Maxim Gorky novel of the same name. Some Moth­ers do have ‘em. In Brecht’s play, writ­ten against the rise of Hitler, and set dur­ing the Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion, the mother is Pe­lagea Vlassova, con­tend­ing with death, ill­ness, il­lit­er­acy and de­pri­va­tion while re­sist­ing – with hu­mour – the op­pres­sions of cap­i­tal­ism. In Dyas’s play, set in Dublin’s Meath Street in the Lib­er­ties and per­formed by Lau­ren Larkin, Amy Conroy, Ericka Roe and Leah Moore, it be­comes a piece of con­tem­po­rary agit prop about class, per­formed with mu­sic. The show has al­ways had an en­dur­ing ap­peal, from vari­a­tion to vari­a­tion, born from a sim­ple edict: Lis­ten to your Mother.

ing abil­ity, Hen­nessy set about help­ing to plug the gaps. The work of four artists has been added each year since 2016, and if any­thing links this year’s quar­tet (apart from the fact they’re all fe­male), it’s a raw and frac­tured qual­ity, with splashes...

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