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Dublin Theatre Festival 2019 Announces Its Programme

This year's Dublin Theatre Festival programme reflects with many contemporary topics - but also reaches beyond, to a poetic enquiry about the times we live in. Over three weeks performances include 10 World Premieres, reimagined classic texts, inspiring international projects from Australia, Belgium Estonia, Portugal, Sweden, the UK and the USA, and an expanded season of Theatre for Children.

Performances will take place across the city, from local community buildings to the city centre, reinforcing the place of theatre and performance in the DNA of Dublin.
"Our festival celebrates the collective experience of live performance and contributes to the social and cultural life of Dublin. However, it is getting more and more difficult to make art in the city. The landscape is changing all around us. There are fewer theatres in Dublin now than there were twenty years ago, studio spaces are closing and club nights are disappearing. It's time to speak up for Dublin to ensure that it can continue to be a place that is diverse, creative and inspiring. We will get the city we ask for and I would like one that is made for people and for the future." Artistic Director, Willie White.

The programme in detail:


J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World was met with controversy when first staged at the Abbey in 1907. DTF and the Lyric Theatre present a new production of this brutally hilarious masterpiece, directed Oonagh Murphy on the Gaiety stage (from 24 Sept- 5 Oct). Cast includes Eloïse Stevenson as Pegeen Mike and Michael Shea as Christy Mahon. *

Following the success of the acclaimed Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Michael Keegan
Dolan and TeaċDaċsa return in a co-production with DTF with the World Premiere of a new mythic yet timely production - Mám; a meeting place between soloist and ensemble, classical and traditional, the local and universal. The work is performed by concertina player Cormac Begley, the European Classical contemporary collective stargaze and 12 international dancers at O'Reilly Theatre (from 25 Sept). *

Directed by Graham McLaren, the Abbey Theatre presents the World Premiere of Last Orders At the Dockside by Dermot Bolger. Over the course of an evening hidden tensions expose fault lines in their complex relationships (from 26 Sept). *

Hecuba, by Marina Carr is a passionate re-imagining of the aftermath of the Trojan War and the events surrounding its iconic characters. A drama of a complex and powerful woman from Rough Magic (from 25 Sept). *

The Alternative by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney was chosen as A Play for Ireland
by Fishamble: The New Play Company, following a 2 year process in which many questions, such as 'What if Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom?' were asked. Based in 2019 on the eve of the Referendum, British Prime Minister Ursula Lysaght is returning to her hometown of Dublin to convince voters to remain (from 24 Sept). *

The Beacon, a new play commissioned by Druid marks Nancy Harris' Druid debut and her return to the Gate after her adaptation of The Red Shoes. Directed by Garry Hynes, cast includes Jane Brennan, Rae Gray, Cillian Ó'Gairbhí and Marty Rea (from 2 Oct). *

Described as a love story, an investigation, an exodus, Faultline from ANU Productions and Gate Theatre propels audiences through a living history based on source materials from the Irish Queer archive (from 26 Sept). *

At the Gate, a production of Beckett's Room by Dead Centre with Mark Halloran. This is the biography of a room. A play without performers, it tells the story of the apartment in Paris where Samuel Beckett live with his partner Suzanne during the Second World War (from 24 Sept). *

The World Premiere of a bittersweet new play by Billy Roche, from Decadent Theatre, A Love Like That, is set in a provincial library on the cusp of its transfer to new premises. Senior librarian Ellen faces betrayal on all sides but her warrior self finds hope and light in the process of change. Directed by Andrew Flynn (from 1 Oct). *

A live redubbing of the Pier Paolo Pasolini's controversial 1975 film Saló or the 120 days of Sodom. The World Premiere of Dylan Tighe and the Abbey Theatre's production Pasolini's Saló Redubbed, daringly transposes Pasolini's notorious final film to Ireland (from 26 Sept)*

Ray Scannell's festival writing debut is a new apocalyptic black comedy with live music and original songs The Bluffer's Guide to Suburbia, which lovingly exposes a generation of adult children living back in the home. Directed by Tom Creed at Project (from 26 Sept).

From Moonfish, the Abbey and Galway International Arts Festival in assoc with Town Hall Theatre Galway, comes Redemption Falls freely adapted from the novel by Joseph O'Connor. A bleak and beautiful story, told through the folk music of Ireland and America (from 9 Oct).

The Sleepwalkers, a new work from Pan Theatre and Dublin Youth Theatre collaboratively created from ideas generated by DYT members and found texts, asked the question: What does it mean to be awake? (from 2 Oct)


From Belgium, Your Words in my Mouth, is a conversation about love reconstructed in a series of venues usually reserved for insiders : a football stadium, a hairdresser's, a council chamber and a Freemason's Hall. Members of the audiences are invited to lend their voices to other people's words in this very unique experience from Anna Rispoli, Lotte Lindner and Till Steinbrenner (from 1 Oct).

After someone threw a burger at them and shouted a transphobic slur, performance artist Travis Alabanza became obsessed with burgers. Carving out a place for themselves as one of the UK's most prominent trans voices, Alabanza presents a performance in BURGERZ, that is timely, unsettling and powerful. (from 9 Oct).

From Aine Flanagan productions & Seiriol Davies (UK), the multi-award-winning How to Win Against History at the Civic, is a frothy glossy costume drama about the 5th Marquis of Anglesey who burned brightly, briefly and transvestitely at the end of the 19th Century before he died at 29 and his family burned every record of him (from 25 Sept).

Nicola Gunn (Australia) returns to Dublin Theatre Festival, with a simple premise - the moral dilemma of what to do if you see a man throwing stones at a duck. Shifting from anecdotes to comedy to the unexpectedly profound she dissects the excruciating realms of human behaviour and navigates the moral and ethical complexities of intervention in Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster (from 26 Sept).

Forced Entertainment (UK) return to Dublin with Real Magic which takes the audience on a hallucinatory journey, in a compelling virtuoso performance about big systems, small traps and yearning for change (from 8 Oct).

Following sell out runs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and London's National Theatre, Us/Them is a thrilling piece of theatre which retells, from the perspective of a child, three days when 1,200 people were held hostage by terrorists in Beslan. BRONKS & Richard Jordan Productions with Theatre Royal Plymouth in assoc with Big in Belgium & Summerhall (from 8 Oct).

An amalgam of interviews gathered by Fionnuala Kennedy, Removed is a funny and affecting story told by 'Adam' that offers insight into the NI care system. From Prime Cut Productions NI (from 9 Oct).

Dublin City Arts Office brings OBIE award-winning Nilaja Sun (US) back to Dublin following the success of No Child ... (DTF 2010). The critically acclaimed Pike St casts new light on the phrase 'it takes a village', as a community comes together to help a desperate mother (from 2 Oct).

From Portugal, Raquel André has collected more than 200 'lovers' to date - people of all nationalities, ages and genders who have agreed to meet her and to build a fictional intimacy within the span of an hour. The encounter is real, the flirtation is fiction in Collection of Lovers (from 10 Oct).

From Sweden/Estonia, Physics and Phantasma is a study of the artist's relationship with an audience, and the space in between. Iggy Lond Malmborg fills the theatre space with fantastical theatre magic (from 11 Oct).

Tiago Rodrigues AD of Teatro Nacional Portugal, tells the story of a prompter at the theatre who after 40 years reluctantly steps out of the shadows and shares stories from her decades of working in the theatre - Sopro from 11 Oct.

In 2017, 100 people set out to walk from London to Jerusalem calling for equal rights for all in the Holy Land - 9 walked the whole way. Walking to Jerusalem is a feat of virtuoso storytelling accompanied by video montage and live footage along the route. From Passion Pit Theatre, in association with Amos Trust, Hodder & Stoughton & The New Theatre (from 1 Oct).

A new play by Tim Crouch, renowned for his profoundly moving plays that strip the theatrical event down to its purest form. Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation is presented through combined stage action and illustrated text (from 2 Oct).

This year's programme sees an expanded Theatre for Children presented by DTF in partnership with The Ark. It includes a new work commissioned by The Ark - The Haircut.

• A cautionary tale with a live musical soundtrack, The Haircut is a fairytale remixed and retold set in a magical modern day Ireland, by Wayne Jordan and Tom Lane. Delivered with ineffable charm by Thomas Kane Byrne, accompanied by Tom Lane's vibrant score (from 10 Oct).

• For ages 3-6, a unique and wordless take on the complicated world of sibling rivalry from Anna Newell BigKidLittleKid (from 27 Sept)

• Andy Manley returns to the Festival, with Red Bridge Arts and a piece called Stick by Me, a joyful show about friendship and play and the importance of treasuring little things also for ages 3-6 (from 1 Oct).

• For slightly older children (7-12) Baba Yaga, a new take on the old Russian folktale, from Windmill, performed by Christine Johnston and Rosemary Meyers.

Festival+ continues the drama off stage with a series of talks, critical events, exhibitions, tours and work-in-progress showcases. This programme of events includes networking opportunities for theatre practitioners, young critics panel, a theatrical walking tour and an audio journey through 14 Henrietta Street. Work-in-progress showcases this year features:

• Rat King by Genevieve Hulme-Beaman in collaboration with Ronan Phelan and Kate Ferris.

• Vanishing by Doireann Coady in collaboration with Jane Deasy.

• Father's Day by Richard Walsh, Offer Egozi and Nora Chipaumire.

• Transmission by Caitríona Ní Mhurchú, in collaboration with Gina Moxley and Raymond Keane.

• Conversations After Sex by Mark O'Halloran, produced by THISISPOPBABY

• Decoys by Shaun Dunne


Priority booking for Friends of the Festival is now open. To become a friend contact +353 1677 8439.
Public Booking opens 14 August at 10am.

Phone: +353 1 677 8899
In person: DTF box office, Festival House, 12 East Essex Street East, Temple Bar, D.2.

Making theatre accessible to ever more audiences:

The Festival continues to try to reach as wide an audience as possible with a range of discounts including 'Final Call', where a limited number of ċ10 tickets for selected shows are available on the day of the performance and 'Open House' where you can register your community organisation (e.g. welfare groups, special needs groups and registered charities) to avail of ċ10 tickets to selected performances.

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