Workshops at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival 2011

The Dublin Theatre Festival announced their 2011 programme a few weeks ago and it is really rather wonderful. There are too many great shows to mention so I recommend getting hold of the programme soon and start booking! Short, special mention to The Wild Bride by Kneehigh, a company who I’ve never seen but heard a lot about, The Lulu House which stars the glorious Camille O’Sullivan and Request Programme which is the show everybody seemed to be talking about at the Kilkenny Arts Festival (at least on Twitter anyway!).

What I really want to talk about is all the great stuff hidden away under Special EventsProject Brand New have a new site-specific show there – Tear Down the Walls, The Company are showing a work in progress of their new performance Politik and there are lots of talks and discussions. All these things are free or almost free.

There are also workshops in the brand spanking new Lir Academy! These are participatory workshops and are open to all. They cost €30, which is a little bit steep for a 2 hour workshop but they are with very good people. There’s a good selection there – Movement, Clowning, Intro to Physical Theatre, Intro to Acting, Into to Voice and Text and Theatre Games and Improvisation. My top picks would be Theatre Games and Improvisation because it’s with Annie Ryan, Artistic Director of Corn Exchange who I love and Intro to Voice because I always enjoy a good voice workshop! It’s a timely reminder of how to breath and stand correctly and I always feel lovely and loose afterwards! I don’t know if that’s the best way to choose a workshop but I’m sure there are worse ways! Booking is through the Lir Academy at info @ lir.ie

Volunteers wanted!

Both the Ulster Bank Theatre Festival and the Absolut Fringe are currently taking applications for volunteers. I’d recommend volunteering for both, the Fringe is in September and the Theatre Festival doesn’t start until October so there’s no overlap and they’re both great fun to work for! You can volunteer as much or as little time as you have. I did both festivals last year while also working full-time; it’s tiring but not impossible! And for the Fringe I was able to work my volunteer shifts around the Trilogy rehearsals – there’s lots of flexibility.

The Fringe application form can be downloaded here (deadline 24th August 2011) and the Ulster Bank Theatre Festival form is here (deadline 2nd September 2011).

I really enjoy volunteering for these festivals, especially the Fringe. I like the people I meet, the feeling of being part of the festival and the free tickets! I’ve seen shows I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and they end being my favourite thing from the festival. I really can’t recommend it enough.

That said, I will not be volunteering for either festival this year because by stage I will have relocated to Galway to start my MA in Drama and Theatre Studies! And even though I am really looking forward to going back to college, I am sorry that I won’t be in Dublin for the festivals.