Tag Archives: why I love theatre

Happy Birthday The Abbey Theatre!

I couldn’t think of a better day to write the last post of the year! Today my dear Abbey Theatre is celebrating its 111th Birthday! And I have to say that my theatremania started with in that very place, The Abbey, in 2010 when I went to see G B Shaw’s Pygmalion directed by Annabelle Comyn; and ever since that day (I saw Pygmalion twice, I liked it so much) the very word theatre has adapted a completely different meaning for me. I can even say it was life-changing experience for me.

In the last two and a half years I haven’t missed a single performance in The Abbey and happy to say that the absolute majority of them were of a very high standard (I don’t care who says what!). When I go to see a play, I don’t go to judge it, I go to enjoy it and to share it with my fellow theatre goers.

We’ve had out little moment with the Abbey this year. Being a fiery supporter of #WakingThe Feminists movement, I must say that just like many other theatre folks, I was saddened by the Abbey’s programme for the upcoming year but am remaining very hopeful that the directing panel have learnt their lesson and the new productions in our National Theatre will represent the whole diversity of the beautiful voices of Ireland.

I’m happy to say that I was in The Abbey when “Vote Yes” campaign took place earlier this year and I was there on the 12th of November. I was there when Waking The Nation programme was announced (twice) and I was there for the Theatre of Memory Symposium last year and for this year’s Theatre of War Symposium. Two and a half years after, I can not imagine my life without being able to visit my national theatre on a regular basis!

Happy 111th Abbey! You don’t look a day older than 18! I don’t drink, but if I did I would raise a glass in your honour tonight. Here, to many many more years of high quality theatre!

And the freak I am, I am indeed looking forward to celebrating the end of the year with you and with the highly anticapated performance of You Never Can Tell.

2015 has been a very interesting and, more importantly, productive year for me. First of all, this very blog isn’t even a year old yet and I already couldn’t be happier with it. I don’t want to brag or anything, but something that was born purely out of my passion for Irish theatre has become so much more. If it wasn’t for Unforgettable Lines, I would not have been able to meet all those extremely talented and creative theatre companies and theatre makers. Each and every  single interview was very special to me! It’s amazing how a play can affect and inspire, but it’s even more amazing finding out how professional, creative and so endlessly talented are the people who make it all happen.

With 85 plays and theatre events under my belt plus all the interviews and theatre talks and tours… I can safely say it has been quite a year! A very enjoyable one, as well, of course!

I wouldn’t possibly be able to single out five or even ten productions that would highlight 2015 for me. Every single play I saw this year has left its little something in my heart.

A huge thank you to Theatre Upstairs that has allowed me to see all the amazing new work that has been staged in their cozy space above the Lanigans Pub. It’s a real gem for the emerging Irish artists.

And another thank you to all the artists and theatre companies that have invited me to review their plays. I have never doubted it but it was so wonderful to, yet once more, realise how big and rich on talents Irish artists are!

Now I’m looking forward to the new 2016 and with all the theatre-going experience behind me, I hope I’ll be able to crack the 100 plays in a year (which is not a challenge but a wish!) and hopefully my passion for theatre will bring me outside of Dublin to new locations, new theatres and new creative spaces!

The Abbey wants to wake the Nation for 2016, I already can say: I am wide awake and ready for a year filled with theatre, arts and creativity!


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Filed under 2016 The Abbey Programme, The Abbey Theatre

Happy Birthday, Theatre Upstairs!

Have you ever been to a theatre’s birthday party? Well, I never. Before yesterday. Dublin’s very own, Dublin’s very fair Theatre Upstairs has celebrated its 3rd birthday yesterday!

This is not a review. This is an experience sharing.

I didn’t know what to expect, but when the event was announced I knew I had to be there. My very first time in Theatre Upstairs was about 2 years ago around Christmas time. I went to see “The gift of The Magi”. I liked it so much that I went to see it twice. And the second time I brought a plus one, because an experience like that just had to be shared. “The gift of Magi” (directed by Gemma Doorly) was one of three The Yule Tide Tales staged in Theatre Upstairs that Christmas. The second one was “The Little Match Girl” written and performed by the amazing Katie McCan and the third one being “It’s a wonderful life” by Gary Duggan. All three plays were outstanding.

I quite vividly remember that back then Theatre Upstairs was a bit different from how we know it today. The stage was smaller… I remember entering the house for the first time with a bunch of other people and I still can’t help but remembering one old man’s comment “Oh, it’s so small. Intimate, that’s what they call it.” And Theatre Upstairs is quite an intimate place when you get to know it. It has its own spirit, its atmosphere, its soul…. it’s nothing like the Abbey or The Gate. It doesn’t have those big auditoriums ready to accommodate more than half a thousand people. That’s something I extremely like and value about TUpstairs: every time I go to see a play, I know almost everyone in the audience (which doesn’t necessarily mean that they know me) and no matter whether it’s an opening night with overbooked house or a Wednesday matinee performance where you can easily feel like the only bird on the wire.

Yesterday was a particularly special night because of both the audience and the performers. I guess it’s a problem any theatre goer comes across at least once in a lifetime: will I see this again? We all know that, more or less, any play can be redone over and over and over again… in a different theatre, with different decorations and a different cast… something better something worse… During the three years of its infancy Theatre Upstairs has premiered a countless number of brand new shows enabling some of Ireland’s most talented and creative emerging actors, directors and theatre companies to showcase their original work. Every show runs for no more than 15 performances; 15 Performances it’s 15 chances to see something before it might be gone forever… It’s not a Broadway show where a play can be on for years. Theatre Upstairs’ plays are like pieces of cake that will be quickly gone if you don’t catch one. I would also advise anybody booking to book a ticket quite early in the run, the chances that you will want to go and see it again are very high.

That’s one of the reasons why yesterday was so special. It gave us one more opportunity to glance at those shows that are already gone. The evening was full of surprises, the company in residence did truly an amazing job to host the whole evening… talented in something, talented in everything: the extracts from plays, the spoken word, the fairy tales, the songs… Moments can’t be counted, memories can’t be counted… they can only be lived and remembered and nurtured in one’s heart. Yesterday was definitely an evening amongst friends. An evening that one will always remember when one will step into Theatre Upstairs (which shall be soon).

By the by: Happy Birthday, Theatre Upstairs. Here is to another countless years of joyful drama!

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Filed under Theatre, Theatre Lovers, Theatre Upstairs