It's been a good year so far for Irish theatre. Can that high standard be maintained over the next few weeks?
Let's start with my personal highlight of the month: THE THEATRE MACHINE TURNS YOU ON: VOL II, a collection of short plays running from 15th to 19th February in Project Arts Centre. I like the idea of popping into the theatre for half an hour to an hour and seeing a complete play. Being able to do so several times each evening... magic.
There are lots of other new plays coming along besides that though. Raoul begins in the Abbey Theatre on Friday 18th; "Acrobat, clown, poet and magician, James Thiérrée creates a world of endless invention." It's supported by the French Embassy.
Also in the Abbey, No Romance starts on Wednesday 23rd. It's an Abbey Theatre commission.
Two shows opened in the last few days in Project Arts Centre: Four Told, a story told through dance; and Connected, which is (I'm reliably told) "short and sweet". On 22nd February two new plays will start in Project Arts: Flann O'Brien's At Swim Two Birds and a play previously performed as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival, Mimic. (Dear Project Arts Centre, this is very impressive. You might actually run more plays this month than every other major theatre in Dublin combined.)
The Cripple of Inishmaan has won several international awards and will open in the Gaiety Theatre on 21st February. The theatre company, Druid, are one of the heavyweights of the Irish theatre scene: this could be the play of the month.
In the Helix there's The Early Hours on 18th and 19th February and also, starting on Thursday 24th, Hamlet. I've a confession: I've never actually seen Hamlet before.
Reaching Richie's Freedom begins in the New Theatre on February 14th, and God of Carnage (a comedy) is running at the moment in the Gate Theatre.
If you haven't yet seen The Field in the Olympia you've not long left - it ends on Saturday 12th.