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Theatre review: Disco Pigs

Sep 27 2016

"Production had plenty of oomph for its 70 minute duration"

TWENTY YEARS to the day after its premiere, Enda Walsh’s iconic play Disco Pigs arrived at the Town Hall this week in a new production jointly staged by Reading Rep and Nick Thompson Productions from London. The show was helmed by Cathal Cleary, who was formerly based in Galway, and is now making his way successfully as an up and coming director in London.

Galway has probably seen more Enda Walsh productions than anywhere else over the past decade. In that time, Druid and Galway International Arts Festival have each presented three major Walsh premieres along with a clutch of shorter pieces. The arts festival has also hosted productions of Small Things and Chatroom, and there have probably been a few other touring productions passing through town over that period as well.

The healthy turn out at the Town Hall on Monday suggested that ‘Walsh fatigue’ has not afflicted Galway play-goers and it was fascinating to get a chance to see the play that effectively set the ball rolling with his stage career. It prefigures the themes that have continued to animate many of his plays. Pig (Ciaran Owens ) and Runt (Amy Molloy ), like so many Walsh characters to come, are locked into their own private world and have a complex, conflicted, relationship with outside reality. With its bristling, distinctive argot, and occasional outbursts of violence there are also echoes of A Clockwork OrangeCorkwork Orange perhaps?

Read the full article on the Advertiser website.

James Vincent McMorrow - Black Box concert in October

Sep 24 2016

Irish singer follows release of his critically acclaimed new album, We Move, with Irish tour

JAMES VINCENT McMorrow follows the release of his critically acclaimed new album, We Move, with an Irish tour taking in the Black Box Theatre on Wednesday October 5 at 8pm.

This autumn tour will feature McMorrow's first European headline shows since his second album, Post Tropical, which was nominated for the Choice Music Prize, and saw sold-out worldwide shows spanning two nights at Sydney Opera House to London’s Barbican and Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

We Move (Believe Recordings/Caroline ) has been called “profound and unexpected," by MOJO, "sonically audacious, visually stunning and meticulously modern," by The Times, and "an album to live with, settle with and be crisply rejuvenated by," by Pitchfork. This year has also seen McMorrow surpass 100 million streams, collaborate with Kygo, and feature in the trailer for the latest series of Game of Thrones.

Read the full article on the Advertiser website.

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Life is a series of aftershocks

Sep 24 2016

Orla Murphy on her hit play Remember To Breathe

WINNER OF a ‘Lustrum’ Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Orla Murphy’s acclaimed play, Remember To Breathe, comes to the Town Hall Theatre next week in a staging by Murphy’s own Figure 8 Productions.

Remember To Breath is about three people trying to survive the ‘aftershocks’ of world events. In a pool in New Zealand, Irish emigrant Maeve is learning to swim spurred on by ‘swimaholic’ coach Doreen. Even as she battles the water, Maeve’s heart is calling her home to an unresolved dilemma with her beloved father Johnny.

While Murphy has never been to New Zealand, she is no stranger to the emigrant experience, as she tells me after a day’s rehearsal; “I’ve emigrated numerous times. The last time was when I was offered film work in New York and while there my husband, who’s a lecturer, was still in Dublin. Being away as an older emigrant was very different. I felt very much the slip between there and home, your family is further away and it’s a whole different emotional territory. The Christchurch earthquake happened then and I remember watching it on TV and thinking ‘Jesus, that could happen, you could be miles away from home and your world could fall apart’ so I guess that was the germ of the play.”

Read the full article on the Advertiser website.

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Martin McDonagh A history of violence

Sep 19 2016

After 20 years Druid Theatre Company is reviving ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’. Here its creator looks back

As Martin McDonagh talks about violence, furrowing his brow with deep intent, I can’t take my eyes off the knife in his hand.

“I wouldn’t say it’s sensational,” McDonagh counters, quietly but with a south London edge, as the knife traces wide arcs in the air. “I would say it’s truthful to that story.”

We are talking about The Beauty Queen of Leenane, the play that began his meteoric rise in 1996, and its famous shock factor, which would become a staple of his career in theatre and, later, film. It seems unwise to argue with him while he’s brandishing a weapon, I point out. He looks at it, edged with breakfast marmalade, laughs and returns to his point. “The jokes are as important to me as the violence and the sadness. It’s as important as anything else.”

McDonagh makes for disarming company: engaging, considered and remarkably candid. That might come as a disappointment to anyone expecting – perhaps hoping – to meet the pugnacious London-Irish young writer of 20 years ago, whom the press would cast as anything from a genius to a thug. Then in his mid-20s and in the spotlight of the world’s media, McDonagh would often slyly assist: “To be in this position is strange,” he told Fintan O’Toole in 1997, when Druid Theatre Company staged his Leenane trilogy, “because I’m coming to theatre with a disrespect for it.”

Read the full article on the Irish Times website.

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