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Dublin celebrates 60th Anniversary of Europe’s oldest theatre festival

A picture from the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare Credit: Dublin Theatre Festival Facebook page

A picture from the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare Credit: Dublin Theatre Festival Facebook

The oldest theatre festival in Europe is taking place in Dublin this autumn for 18 days.

Dublin Theatre Festival started on the 29th of September and runs to the 16th of October.

This year’s festival will has 28 shows, featuring a variety of Irish plays and musicals, aimed at all ages.

There will be three shows for children taking place at The Ark in Dublin 2. A thirty minute production, Aston’s Stones is about how easy it is to love, and the ability to see and to appreciate the value in small things – even in a little stone – as Aston the dog tries to take care of all the stones he can find.

Aimed at 3 to 7 year olds, Aston’s Stones will be taking place on October 13 to 16. Tickets are selling at €12.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, and created by Filter, took place on the last days of September and the early days of October. Metro described it as, “part rock gig, part exuberant joke, exploding the conventions of the form and remaking them in dazzling new shapes.”

The centenary of the Rising has added a political dimension to some of the performances this year. It’s Not Over is a play written, directed and designed by Grace Dyas and Barry John O’Connor. It will take place in the Samuel Beckett Theatre on October 12, 14 and 15.

The Dublin Theatre Festival brochure says; ‘It will take place in a theatre, but it is not a play. It is a campaign. You will watch a re-enactment of the past 50 years of violent political conflict. We are working with former IRA Volunteers. It’s four and a half hours long. There’ll be a bar and a live band, maybe bingo.’

The Dublin Theatre Festival was established in 1957, making it Europe’s oldest theatre festival, and takes place annually in autumn. It brings together a mix of Irish and international artists to discuss theatre and the arts.

“For our 60th anniversary next year I am ambitious to expand further the reach of the festival, to see more people participating for the first time and more artists creating bold new work,” writes Willie White, the Artistic Director.

By Hajar Akl

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