Although it’s 100 years since the Easter Rising, the Dublin Theatre Festival isn’t banging a very loud drum to mark the occasion. Its main highlights include a new play at the Abbey from Frank McGuinness set in modern-day Donegal and, at the Gaiety, a contemporary Irish version of The Seagull.
Even so, the programme does contain several shows dealing with 1916. Opening next week, It’s Not Over promises a four-hour treatment of Sean O’Casey’s 1926 classic about the uprising, The Plough and the Stars, using former IRA Volunteers and re-enacting 50 years of political conflict.
Already running, and alas already sold-out, These Rooms is a subtle site-specific piece mounted in a former bank building that stands on the spot where O’Casey was born. It revisits the brutal killing of 15 male civilians by British troops during the Battle for North King Street (a short stroll away). Though drawing on eyewitness accounts, the response – co-directed by Louise Lowe (of ANU) and David Bolger (of CoisCeim Dance Theatre) – creates fleeting-yet-lingering impressions rather than making a hard documentary case.