The Town Hall recently unveiled its programme for the early months of the new year and it contains some real gems for theatre-goers to look forward to. There are plays featuring Beckett, Joyce, Martin McDonagh, and Pat McCabe, the Rough Magic and Decadent Theatre Companies, to name but a few in a line-up combining classics with exciting new works.
First into action are Kinvara’s Orion’s Belt Theatre Company with Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy, a madcap comedy about dating, romance, and psychoanalysis. It centres on the fraught romance between single, straight, Prudence, and bisexual Bruce -whose male lover Bob is seriously miffed by the affair. Further complications come from the erratic counselling of two unhinged psychotherapists. A comic classic, it is at the Town Hall studio onWednesday January 15 and Thursday January 16.
Theatre Lovett roll up for one night only on Saturday, February 1, with Mr Foley, The Radio Operator, performed by Louis Lovett. Old Jack Foley has a sore toe that is not getting better. When he was young he dreamed of joining the circus. But now, tired and grey, he sits alone by his radio twiddling the dials on his memories. Join Louis Lovett as he conjures characters and chapters full of charm from Mr Foley’s colourful past.
Beckett’s classic Happy Days arrives in a production by the Godot Company from London on Monday, February 3. Happy Days features the indomitable Winnie who finds herself embedded in a mound of earth. With her nearby husband Willie frequently asleep, Winnie finds comfort in her literary quotations and in the contents of her black bag which she delves into throughout her ‘happy day’. Colette Kelly takes the role of Winnie.
Mikel Murfi is no stranger to Galway and he brings his one-man show, The Man in the Woman’s Shoes to the venue on Friday February 14 and Saturday February 15. It is October 1978. Pope John Paul I is not long dead and bachelor Pat Farnon has ‘some business’ to do in town. The show follows Pat as he walks the five miles from his cottage to town and back and vividly conjures an array of local characters. Both funny and tender, The Man In The Woman’s Shoes will leave you uplifted and in love with life again.
Another highlight is the visit of Rough Magic with Patrick Cantan’s acclaimed comedy Jezebel which looks at the dumb consequences of hot sex meeting cold statistics. Alan and Robin are a go-getting couple who want to spice up their sex life. Jezebel is a fretful singleton who is looking to get one. Could a threesome be the answer to all their problems? The play has had rave reviews (“One of the most enjoyable nights in theatre I’ve had all year” Entertainment.ie, “Clever and very funny” Sunday Times ) and won the prestigious New Playwright’s Bursary from the Stewart Parker Trust. It is here on Monday February 17.
Also featured during February are Seamus O’Rourke’s Dig, about rural rituals of gravedigging (February 19 ), Joe O’Byrne’s vaudeville-styled look at history, The Rising And, By Way of Interludes World War 1 (February 20 ), and upcoming young company Thereisbear! with Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus (February 26 to March 1 in the Studio ).
Livin’ Dred make a welcome visit on March 11 and 12 with Pat McCabe’s The Bridge Below the Town, set in the colourful, innocent world of 1950’s small town Ireland. Its central character is housewife Golly Murray. Almost broken by the travails of life’s struggles, she and her husband Patsy are seen to triumph over adversity in the most extraordinary and uplifting way. This is a rollercoaster production about life, love, Butlin’s, and nuns who make Marla men all to the beat of a classic soundtrack.
James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plays the Town Hall on March 13 and 14. Imaginatively adapted by Tony Chesterman, and directed by Jimmy Fay, this staging by Dublin’s New Theatre of Joyce’s early masterpiece is a “graceful…quirky and highly visual production” (Sunday Independent ).
Galway’s own Decadent Theatre Company see out March with another run of A Skull in Connemara, their excellent staging of Martin McDonagh’s jet-black comedy, directed by Andrew Flynn. For one week each autumn, Mick Dowd is hired to disinter the bones in certain sections of his local cemetery, making way for new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his own late wife, strange rumours regarding his involvement in her sudden death seven years earlier begin to resurface. One of McDonagh’s funniest plays, Skull... is guaranteed to make you laugh, squirm – and avoid graveyards. It runs from Thursday March 20 to Saturday March 22.
Further details on all the above shows, and the remainder of the programme, from www.tht.ie or (091 ) 569777.
Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 and www.tht.ie