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Dublin Theatre Festival announces 2017 programme

Camille O'Sullivan in Landmark Productions’ Woyzeck in Winter. Photo: Colm Hogan
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New plays by Stacey Gregg, Sebastian Barry and Belinda McKeon are to feature in the 60th Dublin Theatre Festival alongside playwright Enda Walsh’s second opera and a new work from Rough Magic.

The anniversary season will also see revivals of notable plays first seen at the festival together with visiting companies from Germany, the US, Australia, Norway and Japan.

Thirty-one full-scale productions will be staged in 17 venues across the Irish capital in a programme that festival director Willie White said is “aimed at all ages and devised to appeal to those attending for the very first time as well as seasoned theatre goers”.

Described as “a contemporary riff on Kafka’s The Trial,” Stacey Gregg’s Josephine K and the Algorithms will be seen on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock Stage with the Olivier award-winning Fishamble re-uniting with Sebastian Barry a decade after their collaboration on The Pride of Parnell Street for the premiere of On Blueberry Hill to “explore murder, forgiveness, survival and, ultimately, love in the prison of the human heart”.

Presented by the Corn Exchange, Belinda McKeon’s Nora re-imagines Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House for a post-truth world at the Project Arts Centre, while Walsh’s The Second Violin, co-written with composer Donnacha Dennehy, will be seen at the O’Reilly Theatre in a collaboration between Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera.

Nina Raine’s Tribes will have its Irish premiere, at the Gate Theatre, directed by Oonagh Murphy, while Martin Sharry will direct Playboyz, a reimagining of Playboy of the Western World.

Landmark Productions will also present Woyzeck in Winter – which combines Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck and Franz Schubert’s Winterreise – in a partnership with the Galway International Arts Festival and London’s Barbican, where it will be seen in September prior to its Dublin run at the Gaiety Theatre.

Directed by Lynne Parker, Rough Magic’s Melt, at the Smock Alley Theatre, is set in the Antarctic and promises “a funny, sophisticated fairytale that explores the human condition, acknowledges its fragility and takes the audience on a jaunt to the edge of the abyss”.

Visiting productions include David Greig’s acclaimed version of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women, first seen at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and nominated for a best play award in the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, and the Royal Shakespeare Company and Little Angel Theatre’s Venus and Adonis.

Announcing the programme, White said: “While I expect that festival performances will engage, provoke and entertain, I hope that they may also give audiences an opportunity to reflect on the values of empathy, generosity and solidarity, which are currently under such pressure globally.”

The festival runs from September 28 to October 15.

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