The program for Dublin Theater Festival is packed with some really cool stuff. Some more interesting and some a little bit less (no offense to anyone). Here are my top picks of international work being showcased during the festival:
(Dublin Theatre Festival and Lyric Theatre Belfast): Sept 22 – Oct 4, Gaiety Theatre
Set in Dublin, The Night Alive tells the story of Tommy – a middle-aged man, just about getting by. He’s renting a run-down room in his uncle Maurice’s house, keeping his ex-wife and kids at arm’s length and rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the next with his pal Doc.
Then one day he comes to the aid of Aimee, who’s not had it easy herself, struggling through life the only way she knows how. Their past won’t let go easily. But together there’s a glimmer of hope that they could make something more of their lives. Something extraordinary. Perhaps.
(Halory Goerger, France): Oct 1 – 3, Project Arts Centre
What if artists were left to drift in a space station for a few thousand years with only one mission: to procreate, write a play, rehearse and perform it, and in so doing to educate the next generation and the generations after that? How quickly would they go nuts? What would their art look like? Performed in French with English subtitles
(TG2 and Pascal Rambert, France): Sept 28 & 29 – Samuel Beckett Theatre
Created by an artist at the vanguard of French theatre and performance, this is an intense and raw investigation into the nature and purpose of human relationships.
Performed in French, with English surtitles. Contains strong language and nudity.
(National Theatre of Great Britain): Oct 6 – 10, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
(Lyric Theatre Belfast): Oct 6 – 11, Gaiety Theatre
Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa, the play tells the story of the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away.
The story is told by the sisters’ nephew, Michael, who recalls the summer spent with his aunts when he was seven years old. As August gives way to September, Michael recounts his memory of childhood in Ballybeg, where his aunts raised him in their crumbling, rural home and where once they danced. A wild, raucous dance. The dream-wild dance of their memories. A dance to the exciting, fleeting melody of the past and a dance against the harsh, progressive beat of the present.