The turn of a new decade may invite heightened resolutions and a scattering of mid-youth crises. But in the world of black boxes and red velvet curtains, this January, like any other, signifies a new season of shows for our favourite companies and playhouses.
The Gate Theatre director Selina Cartmell’s third season screams feminism. Meanwhile, the Abbey Theatre’s 2020 season champions inclusivity, but faced criticism over its proportion of new Irish writing and in-house plays. Programme analysis aside, the upcoming season has many gems in store for us right across the board.
Having directed the Irish premiere 40 years ago as artistic director of the Abbey, Joe Dowling now returns to the same stage with the same script and a new perspective. The lyrical genius of Brian Friel animates faith healer Frank Hardy through a series of spirited monologues that are soft on the ear. With the powerful Aidan Gillen playing the part of Frank, this production is a must-see.
Faith Healer runs in the Abbey Theatre from March 30th–May 16th at 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinees on Saturdays. Tickets are €13-45.
The Druid Theatre company will present their first major posthumous production of Tom Murphy’s work this season. Murphy takes on Chekov’s Cherry Orchard, a play about a rural Russian family whose traditional way of life is being extinguished. Given the decline of rural Ireland, it seems as though Garry Hynes couldn’t have turned her hand to a more apt production at this moment in Irish history.
Cherry Orchard runs in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from April 8th–11th at 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets from €18.50.
Circle of Friends
Many of Maeve Binchy’s stories, including Minding Frankie and Light a Penny Candle, have been successfully translated to stage. This April, her best-loved work will finally take the centre stage. Adapted by Elaine Murphy, watch the tale of romance, friendship and unforgettable firsts unfold from the plush seats of Dublin’s Gaiety.
Circle of Friends runs in the Gaiety Theatre from April 6th–May 2nd. Tickets from €16.
Shadow of a Gunman
100 years after this play by the legendary Sean O’Casey was set, director Louise Lowe takes us back to the firing line on Dublin’s northside. As freedom fighters face the British forces, a young poet simply can’t resist the lure of revolutionary conflict or the lure of a certain young woman whom it seems to excite.
Shadow of a Gunman shows on May 14th in the Gate Theatre. Tickets €15–45.
The Abduction of the Seraglio
Combine the eye of Catríona McLaughlin, the musical mastery of Mozart and the energy of Claudia Boyle and you can be sure you’re in for a mesmerizing night. The Irish National Opera will present a production of The Abduction of the Seraglio by Mozart. This work explores the realities of human trafficking and its often concomitant sexual relations, amidst the clash of nationalities and global perspectives.
The Abduction of the Seraglio runs in the Gaiety Theatre from May 19th–23rd. Tickets from €16.