Highlights from a year of Irish theatre

There was the good, the ugly, and the outstanding. These were the highlights from my 2011-12 year of theatre in Ireland (and the UK).

Times are tough for theatre in Ireland right now. Funding cuts continue to ravage the arts ecosystem. Many well established companies (like the Abbey) simply lack relevance or have retreated into escapism and diversion. But theatres that have something to say and can engage with the crisis (like Druid) are still doing great work worth traveling for.

I was surprised to learn Belfast leads Dublin in terms of quality of new work and the overall health of the theatre environment. That’s partly because the UK has not collapsed anywhere near as badly as the Republic.

3 Jun 1330 DruidMurphy Cycle – CONVERSATIONS ON A HOMECOMING, A WHISTLE IN THE DARK, FAMINE – Town Hall Theatre
7 Apr 1430 GBP 18 CARTHAGINIANS by Frank McGuinness – Lyric Theatre
7 Apr 2000 GBP 16.50 WHITE STAR OF THE NORTH by Rosemary Jenkinson – Lyric Theatre
5 Apr 2000 EUR 15 A DOLL HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen – Pan Pan Theatre – Smock Alley
25 Feb 1430 GBP 24 NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn – Old Vic – London
19 Feb 1930 24 Hour Play Project – Project Arts Centre
18 Feb 1430 GBP 11.50 BROTHERS IN ARMS by Sam Millar – Belfast Waterfront
17 Feb 1945 GBP 23 UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekhov via Brian Friel – Lyric Theatre – Belfast
17 Feb 1700 GBP 13 FLY ME TO THE MOON by Marie Jones – Grand Opera House – Belfast
15 Feb 1930 EUR 15 DA by Hugh Leonard – Gate Theatre
3 Feb 2000 THE HEN NIGHT EPIPHANY by Jimmy Murphy – Focus Theatre – Town Hall Theatre
27 Jan 1930 GBP 24 STONES IN HIS POCKETS by Marie Jones – Tricycle Theatre at Grand Opera House – Belfast
23 Nov 1930 EUR 43 BIG MAGGIE by John B. Keane – Druid – Gaiety Theatre
20 Nov 1800 EUR 12 1981 by Tom Devlin – The New Theatre
16 Nov 2000 EUR 12 BROTHERS OF THE BRUSH by Jimmy Murphy – The New Theatre
31 Oct 2015 EUR 10 BIG DEAL by Una McKevitt – Project Arts Centre
16 Oct 1930 50mins EUR 14 REQUEST PROGRAMME by Franz Xaver Kroetz – Corcadorca – Millennium Tower
6 Oct 1930 1hr 15mins EUR 17 THE BLUE BOY – Brokentalkers – The Lir
28 Sep 1300 50mins EUR 11 TRADE by Mark O’Halloran – THISISPOPBABY
8 Sep 2030 1hr 30mins EUR 15 MAN OF VALOUR – The Corn Exchange – Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin