Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival
Various venues, Co Dublin
Now in its 54th year, the annual Dublin Theatre Festival is one of Europe’s premier theatre events and enjoys a wonderful reputation worldwide. The invariably huge attendances at the festival events are drawn not only from the city’s citizens but the many international visitors who attend annually.
This is a big event - in 2010, the Festival presented 363 performances, from 10 different countries, in 22 venues – and a broad one, encompassing everything from music to dance, from cutting edge theatre to Broadway shows. The festival makes a point of brining the best available theatre from around the world to Dublin and balancing the international programme with Irish productions, especially new plays.
Highlights in 2011
The festival opener in Donka, A letter to Chekhov, not Chekov as you’d normally expect it, but with aerial acrobatics, multi-media illusion and circus magic.
From Broadway to the Gaiety Theatre come The Wild Bride, presented by the innovative and acclaimed Kneehigh company, Tony nominated for previous productions, while Toneelgroep Amsterdam, and director Ivo van Hove bring their stark and contemporary production La Voix Humaine to the Samuel Beckett Theatre.
Les ballets C de la B returns to Dublin this year with Gardenia, a flamboyant and defiant tale featuring seven aging transsexuals and transvestites who through feather boas and fake eyelashes, convey the indomitable nature of the human spirit.
In 2010 axis: Ballymun was added as a venue, one of several venues that bring the festival out from the city centre, and this year it will be the venue Itsoseng from Capetown, a powerful one man performance which was an Edinburgh Fringe First winner.
The Radical Mind is a strand within the Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in Ireland and will focus on leading experimenters and innovators within the German theatre scene, with shows, discussions and music at the Odessa Club.
In addition to the international shows there is, as always, a strong programme of Irish productions, including the world premieres of a new work by Colm Tóibín Testament, directed by Tony award-winner Garry Hynes, and an adaptation of Hugo Hamilton’s best-selling memoir The Speckled People.
A new production of Juno and the Paycock features a big name cast including Sinéad Cusack and Ciarán Hinds and is an The Abbey Theatre in co-production with The National Theatre of Great Britain.
Festival Information and Theatre Map
This really is just a tiny taste of what’s on offer – for full programme details see the Festival website.
For directions (walking or driving) to any of the main festival venues, click the relevant marker or directions below, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Festival Box Office