The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane at the Abbey Theatre now

Abbey Theatre

Pan Pan Theatre

23 – 26 May 2018

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In Pan Pan’s purgatorial presentation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, you the audience are faced with a choice: who is going to be, or not to be, Hamlet?

Actors compete to play the title role but as we enter the graveyard world of this icon of individualism can anyone escape playing the Dane? Aren’t we all the main part?

Highly innovative and visually breathtaking, this is an audacious and irreverent riff on Hamlet that does not so much update or deconstruct the play as explode it. Playing fast and loose with our familiarity and expectations, the onstage Director rations out Shakespeare’s text, knowingly excavating its layers in a series of theatrical devices and conceits that focuses the large cast, and the audience, on the existential plight of its characters.

Even the stage is a Hall of Mirrors and the play-within-a-play, enacted by a troupe of Dublin Youth Theatre members, is Hamlet itself.

Dates: 23 – 26 May
On the Abbey Stage

Times: Wed – Sat 7.30pm, Matinee Sat 2pm

Tickets: €13 – €45 / Conc. €13 – €30

Running Time: 2 hours including an interval

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Shakespeare and Neuroscience, Trinity Long Room Hub, 24 May 2018

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24 May 2018 | 16:00 – 18:00 

Trinity Long Room Hub

Shakespeare & Neuroscience

Public lecture by Professor Amy Cook whose book Shakespearean Neuroplay uses Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a test subject and cognitive linguistic theory of conceptual blending as a tool, Cook unravels the ‘mirror held up to nature’ at the center of Shakespeare’s play and provides a methodology for applying cognitive science to the study of drama.  (Registration required)

Further information and registration

Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio at Maynooth University Library

MU Library Treasures

Barbara McCormack, Special Collections Librarian

Shakespeare Portrait of William Shakespeare from the ‘Fourth Folio’

Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio, printed in 1685, will be on display outside the Special Collections Reading Room in the John Paul II Library during May 2018.

The fourth edition of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, more commonly known as the Fourth Folio, was printed for Herringman, Brewster and Bentley ‘at the Anchor in the New Exchange, the Crane in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, and in Russell-Street Covent-Garden’ in the year 1685. The Fourth Folio was printed just twenty-two years after the printing of the Third Folio, many copies of which were destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The text features the engraved portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droedshout which appears opposite the title page. It also includes the original dedication to William Earl of Pembroke and his brother Philip E. of Montgomery by compilers of…

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The Early History of Printing and Philanthropy in Cork – The River-side

The River-side welcomes Garret Cahill’s guest post on the early history of printing and philanthropy in Cork. 2018 marks European Year of Cultural Heritage and, relatedly, the Jubilee of Johannes Gutenberg (c.1440-1468), the father of European printing, who died 550 … Continue reading →

Source: The Early History of Printing and Philanthropy in Cork – The River-side

Reading Ireland, 1500-1700: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Marsh’s Library, 31st May 2018

Speed

PANEL 1: 10-11:30

Welcome: Colin Lahive (UCD)

Presider: Stephen O’Neill (Maynooth University)

David Baker (UNC-Chapel Hill): ‘What Ish My Network?: Introducing MACMORRIS’

Pat Palmer (Maynooth University): ‘“seanróimh éigsi is ealadhan”: Mapping Cultural Complexity in 1590s’ Munster’

Naomi McAreavey (UCD): ‘The Place of Ireland in the Letters of the First Duchess of Ormonde’

 

TEA/COFFEE: 11:30-12

 

PANEL 2: 12-1:30

Presider: Marian Lyons (Maynooth University)

Angela Andreani (University of Milan): ‘Meredith Hanmer’s “Chronicle of Ireland” From Manuscript to Print’

Danielle Clarke (UCD): ‘Irish Recipe Books as Life Writing?’

John McCafferty (UCD): ‘The Island at the Hinge of the Universe: seventeenth-century exiles who wrote Ireland into the Virgin Mary’s spotless being’

 

LUNCH (on your own): 1:30-3:00

 

PANEL 3: 3-4:30

Presider: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (Ireland Professor of Poetry)

Marc Caball (UCD): ‘Two Gaelic Elegies and Change in the Seventeenth Century’

Pádraig Lenihan (NUI-Galway):  ‘A Jacobite epic, Poema de Hibernia

Andrew Carpenter (UCD): ‘Satirical Verse in Restoration Dublin: who wrote it and who read it?’

 

TEA/COFFEE: 4:30-5

 

PLENARY LECTURE: 5-6

‘“Barbarisme and obdurate wilfulnesse”: animal welfare and animal warfare in seventeenth-century Ireland’

Willy Maley (University of Glasgow)

Introduction: Thomas Herron (East Carolina University)

RECEPTION: 6-7:30

Launch of Spenser Studies vol. 32

Speaker: Jane Grogan (UCD/Past President of the International Spenser Society)

Sponsors:
Irish Studies Program, Queens College/CUNY
Society for Renaissance Studies
University of Chicago Press
Marsh’s Library
School of English, Drama and Film, UCD

Organizers:  Colin Lahive (colin.lahive@ucd.ie) and Thomas Herron (herront@ecu.edu)

If you would like to attend the colloquium, please email Colin Lahive before Friday, 11th May.

 

 

Review: Julius Caesar – National Theatre Live

The National Theatre’s Julius Caesar, screened in cinemas around Ireland on March 22nd, opened with the usual live screening announcements. Microphone in hand, the announcer informed us of the running time, advertised upcoming NT events, and cautioned us about the show’s use of strobe lighting. Rather than being bland or routine however, these pronouncements were presented in the manner of a roving reporter caught in the middle of Caesar’s raucous political rally. Standing amongst the audience, and almost drowned out by the rock band playing in the background, the announcer even signed off by declaring that she was “off to join the rabble. Hail Caesar!” With the camera moving amongst the audience, the action seemed immediate and pointedly familiar. From the get go then, this production of Julius Caesar was captivating and creative.

The early scenes smoothly introduced the main players. A triumphant Caesar entered surrounded by flags and banners espousing his campaign slogan “Do this!”. Sporting a leather jacket and baseball cap, and assuredly pressing the flesh, Caesar resembled the American presidential candidates we’ve seen on our screen in recent years. Wearing a “Do this!” t-shirt, Marc Antony was clearly in Caesar’s camp and had a strong filial bond with the elder statesman. Brutus, ever the intellectual, signed copies of his book, worked late in his study, and emphasised his thoughts on tyranny by gesticulating with his spectacles.

Michelle Fairley as Cassius - Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre - Photo Credit Manuel Harlan

Michelle Fairley as Cassius – Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre – Photo Credit Manuel Harlan

As strong as these performances were, by David Calder, David Morrissey, and Ben Whishaw respectively, Michelle Fairley’s Cassius was an absolute revelation. Fairley will be familiar to many as Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones, and her performance as Cassius was no less compelling and formidable. On several occasions, Cassius’ scenes were the stand out moments of the production. The gender switch enabled Caesar’s complaints about Cassius in 1.2 to assume new significance. Cassius rolled her eyes as Caesar, for the umpteenth time we imagine, commented openly on her appearance and qualities, begging to have “men about me that are fat” rather than slim women who think too much and are hungry for freedom. Meeting the sardonic Casca, played by Adjoa Andoh, the conspiring pair seemed to channel both the femme fatales and hard-bitten heroes of film noir to produce a scene heavy with gloom and menace. When Cassius and Brutus squabbled after the assassination, they recalled the Macbeths, dismayed at the turn of events and unable to wash the blood from their hands. (In the squalor of their ruined shelter, Brutus still found time to apply some hand-sanitiser!) In her suicide, Cassius was as proud, defiant, and pitiable as Cleopatra in her death.

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David Morrissey as Antony – Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre – Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

As Brutus ascended the stage of the Forum to explain the conspirators’ actions, it seemed his work would be cut out for him. Citizens – co-opted members of the audience and stagehands – waved posters of Caesar and shouted their displeasure. Gradually though, as Brutus’ speech continued, the posters were lowered as if the protesting citizens were won over or, more likely, the audience was simply tired holding the images aloft. Whereas Brutus had gripped his microphone like a TV evangelist, Antony quickly discarded it, preferring to speak his eulogy directly to the audience. In his pose as a simple man reluctantly moved to defend Caesar, Antony was wholly convincing. Only later, when he was pleased at the citizens’ planned “mischief” and when he swaggered in his combat gear with Octavius, did Antony suddenly seem two-faced. With deafening gunfire, the debris of urban warfare, and the uniforms and weapons of modern armies, the production’s battle scenes recalled those of Fiennes’ Coriolanus (2011). These action scenes came to a swift end as Antony and Octavius discovered the bodies of Cassius and Brutus. With victory secured, Octavius showed himself to be every inch the arrogant commander. Standing at the stage’s highest point, he stripped off some of his combat gear and, Nixon-like, gave peace signs to his people as celebratory balloons fell. The production ended as it began, with a PR exercise by a savvy politician and Rome’s fate standing on shaky ground.

It was evident that the NT Julius Caesar gripped the theatre and the cinema audience from beginning to end. With superb performances from the main players, supporting cast, and the co-opted audience members (volunteers? victims?) and with a running time of just over 2 hours, this is a pacey and timely production certain to entertain.

There will be encore screenings of the National Theatre’s Julius Caesar at:

Light House Cinema, Dublin, on Tuesday 27 March.

Cork Opera House on Wednesday 28 March.

For tickets here and in other locations, see the NT Live website here.