All stories by Helen Meany on BroadwayStars

Monday, April 3, 2023

Agreement review – the high drama of Northern Ireland’s peace talks by Helen Meany

Lyric theatre, BelfastOwen McCafferty’s dramatisation of the last days of negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement remains accessible while expertly conveying tortuous political t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:42AM
Monday, March 13, 2023

Tartuffe review – lavish arrival of Frank McGuinness’s take on Molière by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinPlacing modern tech in the baroque setting, Caitríona McLaughlin’s production emphasises artifice but leaves the central message unmoored Secrets, lies and disguised …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:00AM
Sunday, December 11, 2022

Piaf review – Camille O’Sullivan fully inhabits the doomed chanteuse by Helen Meany

Gate, Dublin Pam Gems’ play may have dated, but the tragic arc of Édith Piaf from street urchin to torch singer is still compelling, told through music that rings with drama Edith Piaf’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:18PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Propaganda: A New Musical review – love and betrayal at the birth of the cold war by Helen Meany

Lyric, BelfastEffervescent jazz and operatic lyricism tease out the characters in Conor Mitchell’s ambitious production which grows thrillingly in impact – and in contemporary resonance …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:33AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Dublin theatre festival review – sex in the spotlight and parents under pressure by Helen Meany

Various venues, DublinGood Sex explores live performance and intimacy; Colic considers domestic disquiet; and All Hardest of Woman immerses the audience in the corridors of a maternity hospi…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:25AM
Friday, September 23, 2022

Joyce’s Women review – Edna O’Brien’s powerful play is a fascinating portrait of a fellow writer by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinO’Brien’s empathy for Joyce shines through in this lavish production, as she brings him to life, seen through the eyes of his mother, wife, daughter and lover Markin…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:37AM
Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Steward of Christendom review – shattering portrait of a scarred man by Helen Meany

Gate theatre, DublinOwen Roe is riveting in Sebastian Barry’s deconstruction of a family set against the tensions of Irish independence Sebastian Barry’s shimmeringly poetic memory play …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:07AM
Monday, July 18, 2022

From a Low and Quiet Sea review – lyrical staging of Donal Ryan’s novel by Helen Meany

Nun’s Island theatre, GalwayIn a series of monologues, four characters in a small Irish town try to make their peace with painful pasts Author Donal Ryan has a gift for eliciting sympathy …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:24AM
Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Last Return review – what queuing etiquette reveals about western imperialism by Helen Meany

Mick Lally Theatre, GalwayFour people in a line for theatre tickets grow increasingly fractious, competitive and entitled in Sonya Kelly’s deliciously spiky absurdist satire Everybody know…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:33PM
Friday, July 15, 2022

True West review – Sam Shepard’s fraternal face-off gains new resonance by Helen Meany

Town Hall theatre, GalwaySteppenwolf’s staging at Galway International Arts festival has a smart political and racial awareness as it unpicks the American myth Sam Shepard’s story of two…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:03AM
Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cork Midsummer festival review – ambitious shows make for an invigorating comeback by Helen Meany

Cork cityFrom reflections on exile to an erotic turn in a lighthouse and a play about the stark reality of war, the festival makes a dramatic return Cork’s annual festival makes an invigor…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:48AM
Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Cavalcaders review – soaring voices elevate nostalgic Irish drama by Helen Meany

Mick Lally theatre, GalwayRevival of Billy Roche’s sweet-sour memory play in which years of guilt and betrayal haunt friends in late-1980s Ireland The streets of Wexford form a self-contai…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:18AM
Friday, May 13, 2022

Constellations review – a stirring love story with infinite possibilities by Helen Meany

Gate, DublinThis intricate production of Nick Payne’s high-concept romance poses existential questions with elegance and levity There were two lovers, Roland and Marianne, who lived in Lon…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:54PM
Friday, May 6, 2022

Luck Just Kissed You Hello review – scorching truth-telling in deathbed drama by Helen Meany

Abbey, DublinWayne Jordan directs a sombre revival of Amy Conroy’s 2015 play exploring gender identity and family dynamics What kind of man is it possible to be? That is Amy Conroy’s pro…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:33AM
Monday, May 2, 2022

Translations review – Brian Friel’s tale of two cultures has universal impact by Helen Meany

Lyric, BelfastCaitríona McLaughlin’s taut new production of Friel’s colonisation drama is a timeless study of change and identity Brian Friel’s drama of colonisation becomes a timeles…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:36AM
Sunday, March 27, 2022

Outrage review – passion, idealism and disillusionment in Ireland’s revolutionary years by Helen Meany

The Pumphouse, Dublin PortAn unflinching look at the role of women is at the forefront of this gripping drama that brings hidden histories to the surface Civil war brings devastation to one …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:33AM
Friday, March 18, 2022

X’ntigone review – culture wars rage before Freedom Day in Thebes by Helen Meany

Abbey, DublinThe political intrigues muddy the drama of conscience but this is a sleek futuristic staging of Sophocles’ tragedy, adapted by Darren Murphy A defiant young woman imprisoned i…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:12PM
Friday, February 18, 2022

Endgame review – Frankie Boyle brings fresh life to Beckett’s dystopia by Helen Meany

Gate theatre, DublinThe comedian turns on the roguish charm as part of a dazzling cast that inject new poignancy into the absurdist classic One of Samuel Beckett’s most celebrated plays, E…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:33AM
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Portia Coughlan review – blistering birthday tragedy of self-destruction by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinDenise Gough plays out Portia’s bleak 30th, defined by family resentments, misogyny and the spectral presence of her dead twin, in this disturbing drama It is not only…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:18PM
Friday, January 14, 2022

Every Brilliant Thing review – ode to life’s joys is candid and compassionate by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinWith a jazzy soundtrack and heaps of audience participation, this pared-back production manages to find light in the darkness of depression Of all the brilliant things t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Monday, December 13, 2021

Three Short Comedies review – Seán O’Casey’s rebels kick up a farce by Helen Meany

Pavilion, DublinDruid theatre’s cast go all out for the ridiculous in this rarely performed triple bill, delivered with music hall flair Druid theatre company’s triple bill by Seán O’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Faith Healer review – Aidan Gillen is mercurial and mysterious in Brian Friel’s classic by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinGillen, Niamh Cusack and Nigel Lindsay deliver haunting monologues in director Joe Dowling’s production Frank Hardy, faith healer, was too brainy to be a true artist, …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:42PM
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dublin theatre festival review – compelling, exciting drama by Helen Meany

Various venues, DublinImmersive Irish history, unacknowledged Aids deaths and post-coital chats – this year’s festival is challenging and entertaining Returning to live performance with…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:42AM
Monday, October 11, 2021

The Border Game review – wit and wisdom on Ireland’s schism by Helen Meany

Lyric, BelfastEx-lovers attempt to rebuild a fence in Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney’s play marking the centenary of the partition of Ireland An invisible line bisecting a boggy field …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:12AM
Monday, October 4, 2021

Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks review – bold mix of sacred and profane by Helen Meany

Abbey, DublinSarah Hanly embodies a range of characters in her punchy debut play that explores the pressures on teenagers “It’s a holy show,” Saoirse declares, as she comes round in ho…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:12PM
Thursday, September 9, 2021

Demon twins and sci-fi raves at Galway’s gobsmacking arts fest by Helen Meany

With theatre for an audience of one, a whirlwind set of Kevin Barry stories and sparky songs, the Irish festival is in fine form Adapting to Covid-19 restrictions with ingenuity, Galway inte…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:32PM
Monday, September 6, 2021

Walls and Windows review – a moving, unsentimental Travellers’ tale by Helen Meany

Abbey, Dublin and available onlineRosaleen McDonagh’s play, an unsettling love story set in a Traveller community, has the ring of truthfulness A love story shines through a mass of societ…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:24AM
Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Saviour review – gripping two-hander tackles lifelong effects of abuse by Helen Meany

Edinburgh festival fringe, onlineDeirdre Kinahan’s play explores how culpable Máire can be for acts of cruelty, when she was brutalised as a young woman in a church-run institution Deirdr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Seagull review – the setting is the star as Chekhov comes to Galway by Helen Meany

Coole Park, GalwayLady Augusta Gregory’s former home is an apt backdrop for this transposition of the play to 1880s Ireland Druid Theatre Company’s outdoor setting of Thomas Kilroy’s C…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

To the Lighthouse review – fierce and comic thoughts spoken out loud by Helen Meany

Cork Midsummer festival onlineVirginia Woolf’s novel, centring on an Edwardian marriage and the rupture of war, is richly adapted and beautifully staged with a strong ensemble cast Shadow…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:18AM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

One Good Turn review – everyday questions of love and mortality by Helen Meany

Abbey, Dublin, and onlineUna McKevitt’s droll domestic drama shows us a day in the life of a family dealing with the ill health of an ageing father Reopening to live audiences for the firs…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36PM

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