“Exquisite”, “visually stunning”, “as funny, free and beautiful a piece of theatrical entertainment as you will ever see”; the reviews of ‘Donka: A Letter To Chekhov’ had me itching to see it.
Critics were light-headed with delight after the dreamy, spectacular Cirque de Soleil-style show and I wanted to join them. One small problem: its run in Mexico and Canada over, it was on its way to Perth, Australia.
I’d had a similar sinking feeling last year when reading rave reviews of ‘Enron the Musical’. The show’s full houses and standing ovations were confined to London’s West End and, the following summer, Broadway – even further from this Dublin-based theatre-goer.
Fast-forward to October 2010, and I’m smiling at a dark stage where the curtain is about to rise on Enron’s all-singing, all-dancing satire. It’s the I’m mentally high-fiving for enticing such a mega-production to our stage, and it won’t be the last time.
Yes reader, I’ll be mentally sending them a muffin basket of thanks this coming October, when I too will be light-headed at the aerial acrobatic feast of the world-renowned ‘Donka, A Letter to Chekhov’ at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.
How do they manage to get these cutting-edge shows and Broadway blockbusters to Dublin’s humble houses? The festival replies that they cherry-picks productions from around the world according to a simple mantra of getting ‘best theatre in the world’. We can safely say they nailed it.
While the Theatre Festival has lured the international spotlight onto Dublin for 54 years – it has help keeping it there. Because come autumn, the city enters its . No less than ten, TEN! festivals share the bill – a riot of drama, dance, art, culture, fashion and live music melting together from early September right through October like a house party that refuses to cower at the rays of dawn peeping through the curtains.
kicks off the drama with its famously eccentric line-up from acrobatics to zumba. The new festival on the block is : the biggest visual art extravaganza ever seen in Ireland – massive in scope, international artists and ambition. Culture still our bread and butter though, so dotting the calendar is one-night-only arty party , the insightful tours of design and architecture at , cosy readings at , and chic week . Between it all, the city, and I, never sleeps with gig-tastic , the ode to great German party , and the 100 band marathon of .
My money’s on Turner Prize winner Jim Lambie at Contemporary, the free Macnas parade at ABSOLUT Fringe, the legendary garden arty party on the grounds of on Culture Night, the ‘fabulous dahling’ catwalk shows at and toasting a cold one on the Docklands at .
And of course, I’ve already snagged my forth row seats for Donka, A Letter to Chekhov on October 2.
Before that? I’ll be ticking the days off on my calendar, wishing the summer were over so the season of festivals can begin.
Get all the dates, details and previews on our special site for