I was only in Dublin for four days of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival but I still had a great festival! I was there with my entire MA class as part of our course! This meant free tickets! It also meant I was surrounded by other people who were seeing theatre everyday. We were all eager to talk about the things we’d seen and what we’d liked and didn’t like. It was wonderful.
I’ve really engaged with the Theatre Festival over the last couple of years, especially last year when I was volunteering, but often I see shows on my own. There are loads of reasons for this – most of the shows in the Theatre Festival are expensive and I feel bad asking a friend to pay to come along with me, especially if I’m going to something out of curiosity and half-expect to hate it. I think I would have very uncomfortable if I’d brought someone along to see Tim Crouch’s The Author last year. I feel I’m a little bit responsible for the person I bring to the theatre; I want them to have a good time. And sometimes I just want to go to the theatre on my own. However I did like sharing this year’s festival with my classmates and having people to discuss the shows with. I liked hearing what other people thought and about the other shows they had seen. It was especially nice to do it with people who are coming from the same place I am – they are interested in theatre as a possible career. They are looking at it in the same way as I am, a way that it slightly different to the way my friends do when I drag them along to the theatre. (That’s an exaggeration – there’s my dragging, just gentle persuasion and sometimes just a suggestion that is eagerly accepted. I do have friends who like theatre.)
I loved being in Dublin again and I loved seeing so much great theatre. I think it was a fantastically strong festival. I saw six very different shows (Juno and the Paycock, Laundry, The Lulu House, Rian, Peer Gynt and Request Programme) and there’s easily another six (Trade, The Wild Bride, She She Pop and their Fathers, Gob Squad, Heroin, I ♥ Alice ♥ I) that I’m sorry I missed out on. I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival especially since it will have a new director in the shape of Mr. Willie White.