THE TOWN Hall Theatre has just unveiled details of its programme for the first few months of 2015 and there is no shortage of exciting theatre shows to look forward to, from both local and visiting companies.
One of the first theatrical visitors to the venue in 2015 is Katie O’Kelly with her one- woman show, Counter Culture, on January 20. Depicting one day at a Dublin department store, O’Kelly portrays a wide array of characters and long-suffering employees in a strongly-performed piece directed by her father, Donal O’Kelly.
O’Kelly senior also visits the Town Hall with a solo show, the classic Catalpa, on February 7, as part of a new tour celebrating the play’s 20th anniversary. One of the great Irish plays and performances of our time, it relates the true story of the daring rescue of six Fenian prisoners from Australia, by the whale ship Catalpa, and their subsequent journey to America - a show in the not-to-be-missed category.
Another must-see production is Beowulf the Blockbuster on January 22. Beautifully crafted and performed, this gripping, funny, and poignant tour-de-force reminds us that life is not about how we die, but about how we live. A one- man stage phenomenon, showered with rave reviews from Dublin to Edinburgh and New York, this is a physical and vibrant show featuring an utterly compelling and charismatic performance from award-winning Irish actor Bryan Burroughs.
Theatre club’s Heroin is at the Town Hall on Monday January 2. Created in collaboration with the Men’s Group at Rialto Community Drug Team, Heroin was an award-winner at the 2010 Absolut Fringe and has since toured around Ireland and Europe. It’s a powerful look at the social history of heroin in Ireland over the past 40 years and a radical staging of how we got where we now are and how much we care.
Theatre Lovett has been a regular and welcome visitor to the Town Hall, and its latest offering is The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly on February 6 and 7. Gifted performer Louis Lovett leads the audience on an untamed adventure that crosses snowy lands and wild seas as Peggy O’Hegarty, who sings with the voice of an angel – a grossly unfortunate angel, who cannot sing at all. A five-star production, it is directed by Lynne Parker.
Moving on to home- based shows, Max Hafler’s Theatrecorp is in the Black Box from February 3 to 7 with John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi - sure to be a programme highlight.
In its 10 years of existence Theatrecorp has proven itself to be a superb interpreter of the classics of world theatre. In Webster’s revenge tragedy, a young widowed Duchess defies her brothers’ wishes and remarries in secret, she chooses to wed a commoner and unleashes a horrible vengeance from her family which exposes the whole corrupt, misogynistic, society in which she lives. A powerful play and no doubt Theatrecorp will give it a powerful production.
Another major highlight of the spring programme is Decadent Theatre Company’s Irish premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, running from February 19 to 28 (including previews ). It tells the tale of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a police state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories, and their similarities to a number of bizarre child murders occurring in his town.
The play received the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2004-5 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play, and two Tony Awards for
production. Definitely one for which early booking is advisable.
Mary Mary Mary is a new play from Maria Tivnan and Fregoli Theatre Company which is in the Town Hall studio from February 24 to 27. A delicately woven poetic piece about three generations of Irish women, it offers glimpses into their lives, loves and duties and invites the audience to share their most poignant moments.
Over the past few years Little John Nee has been crafting a series of autobiographical shows about his long and eventful performing career. The entire series is now being performed at the Town Hall in the following order; Galway Years (February 2 to 7 ), Glasgow Years (March 13 and 14 ), Donegal Years (April 10 and 11 ), London Years (May 1 and 2 ), Dublin Years (May 15 and 16 ). After all that, he might be able to add another one entitled Town Hall Years!
Looking further ahead, the Royal Shakespeare Company will be here in April with The Comedy of Errors while May visitors include Mikel Murfi with The Man in the Woman’s Shoes, An Grianan Theatre with Frank Pig Says Hello, Aidan Dooley with Tom Crean. Last, but not least, Des Keogh comes to town in June with his portrayal of George Bernard Shaw in My Fair Ladies.
Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and www.tht.ie