Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: 'Men Like Us' in Smock Alley Theatre

Mouth on Fire is a theatre company set up to perform the plays of Samuel Beckett. They're in Smock Alley Theatre today at 3 pm and 8 pm with their production Men Like Us, featuring three Beckett plays: Matalang, Rough for Theatre II and The End. This approach of combining several Beckett shorts works well and is, in my experience, more enjoyable than watching a full-length Beckett play.

"Matalang", you ask? It's an Irish-language translation of Catastrophe, one of Beckett's best-known short plays. This is a good choice for translation - the physicality and snappy, repetitive dialogue makes this relatively easy for anyone such as myself with poor Irish. And if you've no Irish at all that's fine too; English-language text is projected above the performance.

I hadn't previously seen Rough for Theatre II or The End. Both were good, and performed well by Mouth on Fire. As always the Boys' School theatre in Smock Alley was helpfully atmospheric. I'd suggest sitting in the front row: you'll be wonderfully close to the action, and the dimensions of the venue mean that the high ceiling is mostly out of view when you're looking at the actors.

Tickets cost €15 / €12. The three pieces take about two hours including a 15 minute interval.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tradfest 2015

Not long now - Tradfest 2015 runs from 28th January to 1st February in Temple Bar. Although most of the music is Trad, you don't have to be a Trad fan to enjoy this. The venues and atmosphere are a major plus, and this really is the right time of year for a Trad festival. Feck it, I hope it rains, because it'll just make it all the cosier.

As is the way these days, there's a foodie add-on (Temple Bar Taste Trail), a photography exhibition, talks, workshops, and free events in many of the local pubs (Tradfest Music Trail). If you life craft beer I'd recommend the Norseman, and if you don't like craft beer I'd recommend the Norseman and drinking craft beer. The Porterhouse should be good too.