Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category

The nominations for the Olivier Awards 2016 with MasterCard, the most prestigious event in the UK’s theatrical calendar, were announced on Monday 29 February by past winners Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton at Rosewood London, the awards’ official hotel partner.
The awards, which this year celebrate their 40th anniversary, will take place on Sunday 3 April at the Royal Opera House. Public tickets for the event are available from Tuesday 1 March for MasterCard cardholders at


The Best Actor and Best Actress categories reflect the incredible wealth of talent that has graced the West End stage in the past year. In the Best Actor category there are nominations for Kenneth Branagh, Kenneth Cranham, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Lester and Mark Rylance. The nominees for Best Actress are Gemma Arterton, Denise Gough, Nicole Kidman, Janet McTeer and Lia Williams.

Dame Judi Dench earns her 15th Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role having previously won six awards and one special award, the most of any performer. Also nominated in that category are Michele Dotrice, Melody Grove and Catherine Steadman.

Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Gypsy and Kinky Boots dominate in the musical categories with eight and seven nominations respectively. Imelda Staunton receives her 11th nomination for her performance as Mama Rose with her co-stars Dan Burton and Peter Davison being nominated as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical and Lara Pulver nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical

The nominees for MasterCard Best New Musical demonstrate the diversity shown on the London stage this year with nominees Bend It Like Beckham, In The Heights, Kinky Boots and Mrs Henderson Presents.

Shakespeare’s Globe has reason to be celebrating with the transfers of their productions of Farinelli And The King and Nell Gwynn receiving 10 nominations between them. The transfer of Farinelli And The King is nominated for Virgin Atlantic Best New Play while Nell Gwynn, which transferred to the Apollo, is nominated for Best New Comedy.
English National Opera has received four nominations in the opera categories while the Royal Opera House receives three. English National Opera’s production of The Force Of Destiny is nominated for Best New Opera Production as well as receiving recognition in the Outstanding Achievement in Opera category for Tamara Wilson and the English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra. In the dance categories there are nominations for the Barbican, London Coliseum, Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells.

The pubic get invoveled by voting online for some of the awards

The star-studded Olivier Awards 2016 with MasterCard ceremony will be broadcast in the UK on ITV and Mellow Magic and on the Olivier Awards’ brand spanking new YouTube channel ( worldwide outside the UK.



How to Keep An Alien Review,Galway

Posted: October 28, 2015 in Theatre

How to Keep An Alien Review

Writer: Sonya Kelly
Director: Gina Moxley
Performers: Sonya Kelly and Justin Murphy
Company: Rough Magic
Venue: Town Hall Theatre, Galway. 6th October 2015

This show is the perfect post marriage-referendum play as Sonya Kelly, both as writer and performer, lets the audience into a brief period in her personal life, five or six years ago, when herself and her partner Kate, who is Australian, embarked on a journey to get a defacto visa. This one-woman show is documentary theatre first and foremost. Kelly has assembled facsimile documents she brings onstage every night, which is symbolic of her journey and feeds them directly into the show. Kelly has to be commended for finding parallels between her story and the direct provision system. This show is in equal parts funny and heart-warming from start to finish and Kelly places episodes of emotion and stress in the script which humanises the story much more than just a show packed with one-liners.

The set design and lighting design was impressive. Kelly is able to tell her story with minimal props and minimum set dressing. The lighting design was the most impressive element as the lights were an integral part of the set design itself. This show is a high energy fun show and the music choices reflect this. Sound design was minimal, it allowed Kelly to tell her story without an overreliance on sound, for example using a flashlight and her folder Kelly conducted two Skype calls during the show. The design elements create an immersive atmosphere.

Going to see this play is a worthwhile experience as it is very enjoyable and humorous. All the elements in this production are top-notch. I can guarantee that you will leave the theatre having seen a worthwhile show

(c)Dave Joyce 2015

Adrian Dunbar, Frank Grimes, Laurence Kinlan, Ian Lloyd-Anderson and Kate Stanley Brennan act int in this Dublin Theatre Festival premiere production, directed by the playwright himself,  Conor McPherson, and with sound design by Gregory Clarke, The Night Alive by Conor McPherson is tipped to be one of the highlights of Dublin Theatre Festival 2015 and it is making its Irish premiere thus its a two birds one stone senario


Set in Dublin, The Night Alive tells the story of Tommy – a middle aged man, just about getting by. He’s renting a run-down room in his uncle Maurice’s house, keeping his ex-wife and kids at arm’s length and rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the next with his pal Doc.


Then one day he comes to the aid of Aimee, who’s not had it easy herself, struggling through life the only way she knows how. Their past won’t let go easily. But together there’s a glimmer of hope that they could make something more of their lives. Something extraordinary. Perhaps.

The stellar cast will feature Adrian Dunbar (BBC’s ‘Line of Duty’), Frank Grimes (who played the young Brendan Behan in the premiere stage production of ‘The Borstal Boy’ in 1967), Kate Stanley Brennan (Dollhouse), Laurence Kinlan and Ian Lloyd-Anderson (both ‘Love / Hate’).With warmth, style and craft, Conor McPherson’s spellbinding play deftly mines the humanity to be found in the most unlikely of situations.

A masterstroke from as writer and director” ★★★★

Time Out


The Night Alive first premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London and afterwards transferred to the Atlantic Theater Company, New York where it won the 2014 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. Now it makes its Irish premiere as part of the 2015 Dublin Theatre Festival programme on the Gaiety stage for two weeks only.


Don’t miss one of the highlights of the theatre year.

This play contains strong language from the out set


Dancing at Lughnasa – Tickets selling fast!.


Gary Sinise is a co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He is a three-time Tony-nominee, twice for acting in Steppenwolf’s productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Grapes of Wrath and once for Best Director of Buried Child. Gary has also directed some of Steppenwolf’s most notable productions, including Orphans, the Viet Nam veteran drama Tracers and Sam Shepard’s True West, which he later performed with John Malkovich in Steppenwolf’s New York debut and received an Obie award for directing. He’s appeared in many films including Apollo 13, Ransom, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting actor for Forrest Gump. On the small screen he’s won the Emmy for Best Actor in George Wallace and a Golden Globe for Truman, and appeared in CSI: New York. He plays electric bass in his band, The Lt. Dan Band, and is committed to Operation International Children, a grassroots program he co-created with author Laura Hillenbrand that sends school supplies to our troops which are then distributed to children in the conflict areas where they are deployed. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal for his humanitarian work, the second highest honor an American can receive.

Some of his credits and awards 


Actor The Big Bounce; The Human Stain; A Gentleman’s Game; Imposter; Mission to Mars; Reindeer Games; The Green Mile; It’s the Rage; Bruno; Snake Eyes; Ransom; Albino Alligator; Apollo 13; The Quick and the Dead; Forrest Gump; Jack the Bear; Of Mice and Men; A Midnight Clear. Director Of Mice and Men; Miles From Home.


Fallen Angel (Hallmark); That Championship Season (Showtime); George Wallace (TNT); Truman(HBO); The Stand (ABC).


Golden Globe (Truman); Obie Award (True West); Tony Award nomination (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Grapes of Wrath; Buried Child); Screen Actors Guild Award, Emmy Award and Cable ACE Award (George Wallace and Truman); National Board of Review Award (Forrest Gump); Academy Award nomination (Forrest Gump). Presidential Citizen Medal (2008)

68th Annual Tony Awards Nominations Announced; Gentleman’s Guide Leads the Pack –


NUI Galway has appointed Professor Patrick Lonergan as its first ever Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. Professor Lonergan’s appointment strengthens NUI Galway’s reputation as a national hub for the study of theatre. His focus will be on developing new courses, building new research resources, and partnering with theatre companies.

Speaking upon his appointment Professor Lonergan stated that “It is a great honour to have been named NUI Galway’s first Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies. I look forward to working with colleagues in the University and the wider community, as we develop new courses, forge new partnerships with theatre-makers, and make sure that NUI Galway is recognised as a world leading centre for the study of Irish theatre.”

NUI Galway offers a very successful BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance, as well as a Performing Arts degree, and a new part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies is currently enrolling for September 2013.

As part of its educational offering, the University this year again partnered with the Galway Arts Festival. One element of the partnership was to offer six NUI Galway students the opportunity to be part of the SELECTED programme. This unique internship with an all-areas backstage pass to the festival gave the students an intensive two-week immersion in festival organisation. The selected students attended shows, liaised with performers and directors, and also had the privileged access to visiting international Festival Directors.

NUI Galway also maintains a partnership with Druid Theatre – which saw the University act as one of the co-producers of the multi-award winning DruidMurphy show last year. That partnership is growing all the time, with members of Druid running workshops for students, in acting, directing, set design and theatre marketing, among other things.

NUI Galway will also be transforming our knowledge of Irish theatre through projects like the digitisation of the archive of the Abbey Theatre. When added to the University’s already extensive theatre archives, this resource will provide access to hundreds of scripts and videos of Irish plays – much of it never seen before.

Speaking about these developments, Professor Lonergan commented: “We have achieved an enormous amount in the area of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway already. Our aim now is to build on those achievements, so that students and researchers from Ireland and abroad will recognise that NUI Galway is the best place in the world to study Irish drama.”

Patrick Lonergan was born in Dublin in 1974, and graduated from University College Dublin with an MA in 1998. He completed a PhD at NUI Galway in 2004, and has been a member of staff in the Discipline of English since that time.

He has written widely about Irish theatre for publications such as The Irish Times and Irish Theatre Magazine. His first book, Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger won the 2008 Theatre Book Prize, a prestigious international award whose previous winners include the Guardian critic Michael Billington, the theatre director Peter Brook, and Columbia University Professor James Shapiro. More recently he has published The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh with Bloomsbury in London.

He is also very active in the Irish theatre community. He runs the annual JM Synge Summer School in County Wicklow, is a former Theatre Assessor for the Irish Arts Council, and is a Board Member of Irish Theatre Magazine and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children.

He has won several research awards, and is currently completing a project on Theatre Performance and Globalization, which is being funded by the Irish Research Council. He serves on the boards of several major international journals (including Contemporary Theatre Review and Irish University Review), is a Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, and is active in many other international organizations.

I have been a fan of Druid since 2009 when I saw Druids production of The Gigli Concert by Tom Murphy and I was luck enough to see the epic award-winning DruidMurphy 2012 productions of Conversations on a Homecoming and A Whistle in the Dark last year The 2013 DruidMurphy Irish Tour from April until June is currently underway. They have the vast majoriory of the same cast from the 2012 production with a minior changes. In Conversations on a Homecoming Judith Roddy and Charlotte McCurry are taking on the roles of Anne and Peggy respectively this time around. Rory Nolan takes over as Liam and so Stephen Jones plays his 2012 production role of Junior. In A Whistle in the Dark there are some minior casting changes too. Garrett Lombard play Harry this time round so Edwin Mullane plays his 2012 role of Hugo. Maelíosa Stafford ( who coincidentally played Junior. in their first production of ‘Conversations on a Homecoming’ in 1986 and the role of Hugo in ‘Whistle’ in 1987) replaces Niall Buggy as Dada . Judith Roddy play Betty this time around replacing Eileen Walsh. I saw both plays last year and judging by the pictures this year the costumes are different in some cases such as Dada and makeup have given Rory Nolan sideburns. Conversations on a Homecoming is hilariously good and coming back in the following evening I didn’t know what expect with A Whistle in the Dark I had read the script and knew that was going to be dark but there are just something’s that aren’t effective until they are prented on stage. The 2012 Whistle in the Dark set was made partially of steel metal and a effective moment involved a milk bottle being thrown againist it, the pieces cascading in a million little pieces it was a visual image and it represented for me and the rest of audience present that night a dark shift in proceedings, coupled with slamming of the the door ,the musicial score, and stage fading to black. I felt it partially showed the audiance what was to come as the interval arrived.

I hope we aren't too much trouble" says Dada when he lands over from Ireland to Coventry, to stay with his son Michael, with his youngest son Des in tow. 'Trouble' is one way of putting it!! Pictured here is the brilliant Maelíosa Stafford in the role of A Whistle in the Dark. 2013  Photo by Colm Hogan

I hope we aren’t too much trouble” says Dada when he lands over from Ireland to Coventry, to stay with his son Michael, with his youngest son Des in tow. ‘Trouble’ is one way of putting it!! Pictured here is the brilliant Maelíosa Stafford in the role of A Whistle in the Dark. 2013 Photo by Colm Hogan

Judith Roddy (Betty), Marty Rea (Michael) in DruidMurphy: A Whistle in the Dark by Tom Murphy, directed by Garry Hynes. Photo by Colm Hogan

Overall over the two nght.the casts were were excellent . even though the plays fall into two separate catogories.( comedy drama and drama) Aaron Monaghan was superb over the two night . As a local media Arts correspondent commented the day after I saw A Whistle in the Dark “it is the first time we see him being menacing”. this is true, A Whistle in the Dark gave Monaghan the opportunity to show regular Druid goers and new theatre goers alike his dark side and to play a Druid villain.


DruidMurphy Conversations on a Homecoming cast 2012 Photo Credit : Druid Timeline Photos

Tour dates til the end of June
The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin over!

Photo Credit Druid Timeline Photos

Photo Credit Druid Timeline Photos

Dunamaise, Portlaoise
May 14 – 18, 2013
glor, Ennis
May 21 – 25, 2013
An Grianán, Letterkenny
May 28 – June 1, 2013
Backstage, Longford
June 4 – 8, 2013
Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire
June 11 – 15, 2013
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
June 18 – 22, 201



Listen To Tom Murphy Interview

Tom Murphy, and his wife Jane Brennan, recently chatted to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ’s Miriam Meets about working together and about how they met in 1985 when Druid premieredConversations on a HomecomingYou can listen back to the podcast here.Above section  taken from (