Irish Theatre Online

During this time of the pandemic, when we are not able to present a regular season, we bring you details below for online presentations from some of the best theatres in Ireland.

Dublin Theatre Festival

Embargo

by Deirdre Kinahan
through Oct 25, 2020

Fishamble, the “new play company,” typically supports over 50% of all new plays on the island of Ireland every year.

Embargo is a muddy, complicated, poetic, bloody, and heroic tale of a politically motivated industrial action, in which three characters deal with a pivotal moment during the Irish War of Independence. Commissioned by Iarnród Éireann and Dublin Port Company.

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A national conversation led by Ireland’s artists: 50 writers, 50 actors

Dear Ireland

through Nov 1, 2020

The Abbey Theatre commissioned writers from Ireland, with unique additional contributions from the USA, China and Italy, to each write a monologue, to be performed by 50 actors, and then streamed on YouTube.

Each writer nominated one actor to perform their piece, and the actors are self-taping their performances from social isolation.

What do we want to be to one another?
What do we want our society to look like?
What are we not paying enough attention to?
Where do we want to go next?
What should Ireland write on a postcard to itself?

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Six people confront their pride, prejudice and privilege.

This Beautiful Virtual Village

by Lisa Tierney-Keogh
through Nov 17, 2020

The Abbey is Ireland’s national theatre.

Playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh (author of Four Last Things, part of Corrib Theatre’s 2018-19 season) has adapted and updated the winner of the 2020 Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best New Play to reflect the lockdown.

On a quiet street in leafy, suburban Dublin, local residents meet online about a piece of graffiti. Who did it? What does it mean? And what’s to be done about it? They have wine and a quorum. Nothing can go wrong. This Beautiful Virtual Village is a new adaptation of the razor-sharp play that exposes every side of what it means to co-exist in Ireland today. It is equally relevant to the United States. Set over one night, six people will confront their pride, prejudice and privilege. It won’t be pretty. But it could be beautiful.

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A virtual ‘open house’ performance of letters, poems, and songs

Dear Ireland Continues

through Feb 10, 2021

The Abbey asked their audience to write a letter. To start it, ‘Dear Ireland’, and talk to the nation about what it should be discussing. They received letters from all corners of the country and overseas, letters in Irish, English, and Irish Sign Language.

Now, twenty of these letters are read from the Abbey stage by some of Ireland’s leading actors, interspersed with epic music performances by Damien Dempsey and spoken word performances from Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, Mrs. Sabina Higgins, Minister Catherine Martin TD, and Fintan O’Toole.

In these profoundly unsettling times for Irish society and the entire world, Dear Ireland continues to give a voice to the nation. Join the Abbey for an evening of thought and song that tries to make sense of the world right now.

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Plays Written by JM Synge
Directed by Garry Hynes

In 2005, Druid presented the first ever staging of all John Millington Synge’s entire theatrical canon. Five of these plays are now available for online viewing.

Druid was founded in Galway in 1975 by Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen, and Mick Lally and was the first professional Irish theatre company outside of Dublin.

In Synge’s Deirdre of the Sorrows, Deirdre is loving and heroic and sets fate on when she induces the great young warrior Naisi to escape with her to Scotland, so avoiding marriage to the aged King Conchubar.

Riders of the Sea is set on the Aran Island, Inishmaan. The plot is based not on the traditional conflict of human wills but on the hopeless struggle of a people against the impersonal but relentless cruelty of the sea.

In The Well of the Saints, Martin and Mary Doul are an old, blind couple of the roads. When a wandering Saint offers them the miracle of their sight restored, they gladly accept. But instead of finding joy and happiness, they discover a seeing world that is a lot more complicated than they could ever have imagined.

The Shadow of the Glen‘s Nora schemes a fresh union with a neighbor shepherd even while her husband’s body is not yet cold.

Synge’s great comic masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World, tells the story of Christy Mahon, who stumbles into a public house in County Mayo claiming he has killed his father and so capturing the romantic attention of the daughter of the house, Pegeen Mike.

A selection of tiny plays submitted from the #TinyPlayChallenge

Tiny Play Challenge

Fishamble, the “new play company,” typically supports over 50% of all new plays on the island of Ireland every year.

Fishamble wanted people to keep their creativity flowing by challenging people in Ireland and around the world, to write 600 word Tiny Plays. They received over 470 submissions in total for the #TinyPlayChallenge, and published 34 of them on their website. Each play is only a couple of minutes long. Perform them yourself for a creative lockdown activity!