Theatre: The Merchant of Venice at St. Enda’s Park, Dublin


21–24 June 2017, 8pm

Balally Players takes Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to St. Enda’s Park Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin for its Summer Shakespeare 2017 presentation.

The play, directed by Fiona Walsh, will be performed outdoors in the Walled Garden, St. Enda’s Park from 21 to 24 June 2017. The performance starts at 8pm each evening and tickets (€14/€12) may be booked at the Mill Theatre Box Office (01-296 9340) or on the Mill Theatre website.

For further details go to


Report: “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism” at the Pearse Museum

Report by Emily O’Brien


The Pearse Museum provided atmospheric surroundings last night for the first of the UCD/Abbey Theatre Shakespeare lectures, in an evening that productively blended academic and theatrical approaches to the relationship between Shakespeare and Ireland in the context of this year of commemorations.

Professor Andy Murphy (St Andrews) began the evening with a lecture entitled “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism: The Road to 1916”, which was both pioneering in content and elegant in form. Revealing to the audience the unexpectedly rich culture of Shakespeare in repeated Irish nationalist movements, as well as in those aligned with British imperialism, he demonstrated that Shakespeare in 1916 Ireland should be understood as a common cultural space where opposing political traditions could come together. This fascinating talk began and closed with contrasting lectures delivered on the same night in Dublin in 1917 by D. H. Madden and W. F. Trench, and took in Irish revolutionary journals, the collections of the Pearse family, and an intriguing volume of Shakespeare bearing a succession of revealing inscriptions.

It was a joy to have this erudite and scholarly lecture further illuminated by Owen Roe’s thrilling dramatic reading of several speeches from Shakespeare that had been discussed in Prof. Murphy’s lecture. These readings featured alongside his own insightful commentary on Ireland’s relationship to Shakespeare, from the perspective of an actor. As a perfect capstone to the evening, Roe ended by running a reading of an extract from Synge’s Playboy of the Western World into one from The Taming of the Shrew, dissolving any notion of a natural barrier.

Dr Jane Grogan (UCD), responsible for organizing this lecture series, is to be commended for her foresight in putting together such a richly rewarding and successful event. Check back for news and reports of the coming lectures.

Pearse and Shakespeare Exhibition at the Pearse Museum

Brian Crowley, curator of the Pearse Museum, was a gracious and enthusiastic host. The museum is currently displaying an exhibition on Pearse and Shakespeare. It runs until the end of August.


[Image from Pearse Museum Facebook page]

This is part of the ‘Shakespeare Lives Across the Island’ programme, which can be downloaded here. More #Shakespeare400 and British Council #ShakespeareLives events can be found on the blog using the tag #ShaxIRL400. Follow us on Twitter at @ShakesinIreland.

Public Lecture: “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism: The Road to 1916”

The UCD/Abbey Theatre Shakespeare Lectures bring together practitioners, academics and audiences in an ongoing conversation about how, when and why Shakespeare matters in Ireland.

Book online at


Public lecture from Prof. Andrew Murphy (St Andrews) and Owen Roe (Dublin): “Shakespeare and Irish Radicalism: The Road to 1916”

11 May 2016 – 19:00

It has long been known that Patrick Pearse — in common with many of the other leaders of the 1916 Rising — had a great love of Shakespeare. Less well known, perhaps, is the fact that an enthusiasm for the playwright’s work was of long-standing within the Irish nationalist movement, stretching back over many decades. This talk will map out the connections between Shakespeare and Irish radicalism from the period of the United Irish movement onwards. The talk serves to complement the Shakespeare exhibition being mounted by the Pearse Museum.

Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park was where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16. Set in nearly fifty acres of beautiful parkland, the museum tells the story of Patrick Pearse and his brother William, both of whom were executed for their part in the 1916 Rising.

Professor Andrew Murphy, of the University of St Andrews, is a highly-regarded and prolific scholar of Shakespeare studies, Irish studies, cultural history and the history of the book. Among the many books and essays he has written are Shakespeare for the People: Working-class Readers, 1800-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Shakespeare and Scotland (Manchester University Press, 2005), Shakespeare in Print (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and ‘But the Irish Sea Betwixt Us’: Ireland, Colonialism and Renaissance Literature (University Press of Kentucky, 1999), and Seamus Heaney (Northcote House, 2000). He was recently awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to further his research on literacy and Irish cultural nationalism in the National Library of Ireland, and was a visiting fellow at the Long Room Hub, TCD.

***The actor Owen Roe (who played King Lear at the Abbey Theatre in 2013) will also contribute to Prof. Murphy’s talk.


For the listing of all 4 events in the UCD/AbbeyTheatre 2016 Lecture series – click here.


Part of the Shakespeare Lives Across the Island programme of events commemorating 400 years since the death of Shakespeare.