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Jun 23 2017

A love poem to theatre

ONE OF the most acclaimed Irish plays of the last 20 years is Dublin By Lamplight, Corn Exchange’s exuberant and hilarious ‘alternative facts’ version of the founding of the Abbey Theatre.

Thirteen years after the play was first staged, it has now been revived and is coming to next month's Galway International Arts Festival as a headline attraction. With a cast of characters that includes fading stars, rebels, prostitutes, and romantics, the play abounds in anarchic theatrical shenanigans and glorious send-ups of Yeats, Wilde, O’Casey, the Fenians, and Joyce.

Ahead of its GIAF visit Dublin By Lamplight author Michael West spoke with me about the play and I began by asking if his initial impulse was to ‘have a dig’ at the Abbey? “It does look like a satire but it is also a love poem to the madness of setting up a theatre in the first place,” he replies. “It’s very much about a company of actors trying to make their own world and their own work. It was first performed during the centenary year of the Abbey and we were not unaware of that, and while others might think we were mocking them, for us it was as much about the greatness of making theatre in the first place.”

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Read the full article on the Advertiser website.

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