Theatre this November

It’s only a month since it all ended but the Dublin Fringe and Dublin Theatre Festival already seem like a long time ago. We’ve had time to get our breath back, catch up on sleep and recover from too many late nights in the festival clubs. It’s easy to be over-loaded with choice during the festivals and sometimes it can feel like you’ve over-dosed on great performances and fantastic productions over the two months. A hiatus might be necessary but if you stay away too long you might miss something wonderful!

One of my favourite shows from the last couple of years Pat Kinevane’s Silent is back at the Peacock until December 7, Wed-Sat at 8pm. I went to see it for the second time when it opened last week and once again, it was absolutely fantastic. Pat’s performance is captivating and Tito McGoldrick’s story of how he came to be living on the streets feels like a story that needs to be told, particularly now and particularly at this time of year.
Go see it but book soon because it is bound to sell out!

Silent is a Fishamble production and they have another show currently on tour that I am looking forward to seeing. Guaranteed! had a short run last summer when it played to packed theatres and was followed by passionate post-show discussions. This is Colin Murphy’s imagining of what happened on the night of the bank guarantee. Michael D Higgins said “I think people should come and view it. It’s very, very good.” He’s the president, I think we should do what he says. It’s playing in venues all over the country throughout November and there are more details here.

And for something completely different – those theatrical mavericks from Sheffield Forced Entertainment are in the Project next week (Thur 21 – Sat 23 November) with a new show called Tomorrow’s Parties. Forced Entertainment shows are usually strange and sometimes a little bit difficult but they are always interesting and I always find something new and wonderful in them. They’re always a little bit different and also very much themselves.

First Fortnight 2013

First Fortnight
First Fortnight
First Fortnight is an arts festival that also aims to improve mental heath awareness and help remove the stigma associated with mental health issues in this country. It happens in the first weeks of January, a very suitable time of year when we’re all feeling a little bit under the weather mentally. 2013 will be the fourth year of the festival, which is run entirely by volunteers, and they have a very exciting programme prepared.

Unsurprisingly my top two picks from the programme are theatre but they also have a selection of films, including free shorts in Filmbase at lunchtime, Le Galaxie performing at the Button Factory, a panel discussion in Earlsfort Terrance (also free), The Therapy Sessions which are music and spoken word nights in The Workman’s Club and visual arts in Filmbase. There really is something for everyone and all of it either at a very affordable price or free!

However, the First Fortnight show that you really need to see is Fishamble’s production of Silent. This is Pat Kinevane’s one-man show that has been touring the country to critical acclaim for the last couple of years. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are in for a treat and if you have seen it, I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel it requires a second viewing or have a couple of people that you want to bring along this time around. That’s my plan and I’m sure that there a more than a few people out there who feel the same. It’s on for three nights in Smock Alley (in the Main Theatre, a space which I think will suit the show very well) so book your tickets soon. Get them as a gift for someone – despite being about homelessness, it’s actually a funny, uplifting show and Pat Kinevane’s performance is just wonderful! Go! Bring a friend, maybe someone along who doesn’t think like theatre, or someone who wants to see more plays in the new year.

First Fortnight also offers another chance to see Solpadeine is my Boyfriend in the New Theatre. I missed this when it was on in the Fringe earlier this year, though I did enjoy many of the Solpadeine mints that were part of it’s promotional campaign. I listened to it as a RTE radio play a little while ago and really loved the language and the way the story unfolded. It’s a wonderful fit with that First Fortnight are trying to do. I’ve heard great things from people who did manage to see the live show so I’m looking forward to it. It’s on early in the year – 2-5 January, so you’ll need to be on your toes to catch it!

Book a few shows for First Fortnight – it means you’ll have something to look forward to in the bleak first couple of weeks in January. And having things to look forward to is good for your mental health!