End of the Theatre Festival

The Festival Theatre finished up on Sunday and I was sad to see it go. I did have a really great final weekend though. I saw 3 shows, a couple of panel discussions and talking theatre sessions and a couple of hours of The Magic If… My last Festival event on Sunday was The Game of You which I really liked. I found it clever and interesting and walked away feeling sad that I don’t have another Ontroerend Goed experience to look forward to this week.

I have seen more shows in this year’s festival and felt more engaged with it than I have in previous years. This is the first time I’ve volunteered which made me feel more involved and meant I saw more shows. And because I saw almost nothing in the Fringe I was more able for three weeks of theatre when the Theatre Festival rolled round. I was also more organised this year, I got the programme as soon as it became available, I picked out the shows I definitely didn’t want to miss and booked them as soon as the box-office opened.

I was able to be so organised because I was getting tweets from the Festival (@DubTheatreFest) reminding me what was going on. The twitter feed was also great throughout the festival – retweeting reactions to various shows, letting their followers know about ticket availability and special offers, etc. I saw photos of the set of John Gabriel Borkman on twitter before it even opened (though they failed to capture it’s magnificent splendour), I read people’s reactions to the Ontroerend Goed shows as they were walking out of Smock Alley, I knew who played the Dane. I found it really exciting to watch the Festival unfold on Twitter and I think they used the technology really well, in a way that I haven’t seen in Ireland before. I love twitter, I find it a great source of information and am delighted to see it being put to such good use. I am slowly building up a useful group of Irish tweeters who tell me things I want to know and I found a good few of them though the DubTheatreFest retweets.

I think Dublin Theatre Festival can be very happy and proud of themselves this week. It was a fantastic festival, loads of really interesting shows to see, and also a wonderfully international festival. Their twitter feed also linked to reviews from theatre critics who were thoroughly enjoying the Festival as well.

Roll on next year!

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Final week of the Dublin Theatre Festival

It’s the last few days of the Dublin Theatre Festival but there is still lots of great theatre to see.

Enron opened on Tuesday and I really enjoyed it. It’s a great, sprawling story which Lucy Prebble has managed to translate into a very neat, very comprehensible play. It gets the balance between story and big, theatrical set-pieces just right and I would really recommend it. It runs until Saturday and there are still tickets available.

I am going to see The Author on Friday and I can’t wait. There was lots of very positive things being said about it on Twitter this morning (and being re-tweeted by the Project and the Festival!). A lot of comments have said things like ‘important’ or ‘thought-provoking’ or ‘controversial’. I’m not sure if it’s an enjoyable play but I am eager to see it. It runs until Sunday and there are still some tickets available.

The final part of the Ontroerend Goed trilogy A Game of You is also on this week. Of the other two, I loved The Smile Off Your Face, I found it a really gorgeous experience but I was a little bit more ambivalent about Internal, still an interesting experience but I don’t think I’d do it again. They are very much immersive theatre and I would recommend giving it a go! I’m curious to see what A Game of You has in store for me. It runs until Sunday and are still lots of time slots available.

I went to see Hugh Hughes open rehearsal today and it was very interesting. He is a very engaging performer and I’m hoping to see at least one of his shows at the weekend, time and money allowing. There is a free screening of the documentary How I Got Here tomorrow at 6pm and his three shows – Floating, The Story of a Rabbit and 360 are all running until Sunday.

There are also free Panel Discussions happening over the weekend. I’m hoping to get the ‘What are you Looking At’ panel on Saturday.

Other stuff to read

It’s going to be Saturday evening before I finish writing about Trilogy so I will send you elsewhere to read other things!

Like this article in The Irish Times“From theatre virgin to grumbling veteran”
It’s a month old but I only found it this week, when I was looking for something else Fringe related. It’s a view of the Fringe from an artist putting on their very first theatre production. It’s a little bit of a fairy-tale (though I’m sure a hell of a lot of hard-work was involved as well!) and goes to show that anything is possible with the Fringe!

This evening I am going to “see” The Smile Off Your Face. I’m looking forward to it but I’m also a little bit nervous. Audience members are blind-folded and put into a wheel-chair! I’ll either love it or hate it.

Booking opens for the Theatre Festival

Tickets for all Dublin Theatre Festival shows went on sale to the general public this morning and according to @DubTheatreFest there was a queue outside the Festival box-office at 9.15am this morning.

I booked tickets for The Author and the three Ontroerend Goed shows. I found the three show bundle under the Special Offers button on the website. A word of warning though – I booked tickets for the Ontroerend Goed Trilogy and that’s actually how it appears on my booking confirmation. There are no details about the date or time of the shows I’ve booked, and because I had to try a couple of times to get three shows that weren’t booked up – I have no idea what I booked in the end. Luckily I asked for the tickets to be posted out to me! Don’t make the same mistake!

There was no booking fee or charge for having the tickets sent out to you.

Dublin Theatre Festival (again!)

The launch party for the Absolut Fringe Festival is tomorrow evening, when they will unveil the programme for this year’s festival. The Fringe itself is only four weeks away – exciting!! But before we get all swept away with the Fringe madness, I thought I would have another look at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

A show that I am now really looking forward to seeing (if I can get tickets – on sale Wednesday at 9.30am!) is The Smile Off Your Face. It’s been getting great reviews at the Kilkenny Arts Festival and it’s sounds a little odd and interesting – the audience member is blindfolded and put into a wheel-chair before they enter the “performance”. Ontroerend Goed have three shows in the Festival and they are all a bit odd. Internal is performed to just five people at a time and has the warning “contains nudity”! The Game of You just sounds a bit tricksy from it’s blurb. All these performances are approximately 30 minutes long and cost €15 each. I don’t see it on the website, but the paper programme says that you can book a ticket for all three for €36 which is a little bit of a saving.

Personally I think that’s still a lot of money, but probably worth it for the experience!

The Festival does have some free work-in-progress performances and live art pieces, buried under the Special Events tab on the website.

The In Development strand has new plays from Corn Exchange and Fishamble. Sadly, for me and anyone else who works full time, a lot of them are during the day time.

Project Brand New is also there with The Magic If… on Saturday 16th October in The New Theatre, shows are running hourly from 2pm – 7pm. There’s no advance booking, you just pay €2 at the door.

Amanda Coogan’s Yellow is on in St. Mary’s Abbey (off Capel Street) from September 30 – October 5th. It’s a durational live performance and audience members can come and go throughout the performance which is between 6pm – 10pm each night. Each evening it will be performed by a different woman. And it’s free!

I really would recommend getting a paper programme rather than relying on the website. They are available free of charge from the Festival offices on East Essex Street, just down from the Project, or from the Abbey and Gate theatres. You can also request one from the website.