Tuesday, July 23

Tag: Adrian Dunbar

Kiss Me, Kate – Barbican
London

Kiss Me, Kate – Barbican

What rhymes with Coriolanus? Kiss Me, Kate is one of Cole Porter’s musical and lyrical triumphs with each melody seeming catchier than the last and every turn of phrase pushing the envelope further. Although its source material, Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is hardly considered radical, Porter’s daring sense of humour and lecherous joy in lewd lyricism give this show an undeniable boldness. Its characters are imperfect. Not only are their love lives tempestuous, but every aspect of their personal lives is magnificently messy. Director Bartlett Sher in this production attempts some half-hearted tidying of the grand imbroglio that is this play within a musical within a musical but achieves much the same effect as using a dab of Purell to clean up mud-caked hands. Adrian Dunbar is...
All That Fall – Toxteth Reservoir
North West

All That Fall – Toxteth Reservoir

Beckett described this radio play, first broadcast on the BBC in 1957, as ‘a text written to come out of the dark’, and director Adrian Dunbar has certainly achieved that with his choice of location and the use of Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 (D.810) to frame his re-imagining of a radio play whose dark-driven conclusion is hardly credible after the preceding slapstick and pantomime of the foley, with Michael Cummins’ technical direction in conjunction with Simon Roth’s sound design retaining Beckett’s orchestrated sound effects with cast (Orla Charlton, Anna Nygh, Vincent Higgins, Stanley Townsend, Frankie McCafferty) and musicians (Darragh Morgan (violin), Cora Venus Lunny (violin), Fiona Winning (viola), Tim Gill (cello)) positioned behind the audience. One of Beckett’s more acce...
Sentient – Everyman Theatre
North West

Sentient – Everyman Theatre

The world premiere of Sentient, a Beckett: Unbound 2024 Festival commission from choreographer Liz Roche, in collaboration with performer/composers Nathalie Forget and Nick Roth, is a major full-length work for six dancers (Sarah Cerneaux, Emily Terndrup, Mufutau Yusuf, Conor Thomas Doherty, Grace Cuny, Inez Berdychowska), saxophone and ondes Martenot, an early electronic musical instrument. As a response to an innocuous seeming passage in Samuel Beckett’s Molly where the author explores his wonder at the behaviour of bees –  Beckett’s fascination came from German-Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch’s Nobel-prize winning description of the precise way in which bees communicate information through their orientation, height, and movement – the piece is designed to offer a new interp...
Celebrated Samuel Beckett festival returns to Liverpool
NEWS

Celebrated Samuel Beckett festival returns to Liverpool

Actor and director Adrian Dunbar brings Beckett: Unbound 2024, an international festival celebrating the works of Dublin-born writer Samuel Beckett, to Liverpool this summer from 30th May – 2nd June 2024. Highlights include world premieres and specially commissioned shows staged in Toxteth Reservoir and other imaginative city locations. Following on from the success of Beckett: Confined in 2022, this unique biennial festival, split across Liverpool and Paris, explores Beckett’s fascination with communication and technology’s traversal of time and distance, across a programme of theatre, music, film, dance, photography, and discussion. The programme presents an exciting blend of Beckett’s work and delivers audiences with the opportunity to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most cel...
Samuel Beckett in Confinement – University of Liverpool
North West

Samuel Beckett in Confinement – University of Liverpool

Beckett is a little bit like the proverbial buses: there’s never any when you’d just like one then suddenly they all come along at once. In the case of Beckett: Confined, a three day-festival of Samuel Beckett’s plays, associated musical performances, and lectures exploring the politics of closed space as a reading of our times, you couldn’t really want for much more. The programme – brought together by Unreal Cities in association with the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies, The Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs, and Culture Ireland–  presents an exciting blend of Beckett’s work, including multiple performances of some of his most rarely performed plays alongside a musical series, all pr...
Samuel Beckett in Confinement: Festival 6th – 8th May 2022
NEWS

Samuel Beckett in Confinement: Festival 6th – 8th May 2022

There’s no more waiting for Beckett with tickets now available for a weekend festival of the works of Samuel Beckett, exploring the politics of closed space as a reading of our times. The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies and University of Notre Dame in association with Unreal Cities Theatre Company is pleased to present Samuel Beckett in Confinement, a three-day festival of Samuel Beckett’s plays, associated musical performances and lectures. Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated playwrights and authors, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. His works examine what it means to be human, in all its absurd, existentialist and sometimes bleak comedy. The programme, curated by celebrated actor and director Adrian Dunbar ...
Hamlet – Young Vic
London

Hamlet – Young Vic

Cush Jumbo is the big draw in this production of Shakespeare’s classic play, whipping up a storm as the tempestuous Prince of Elsinore.  Cross gender, or gender blind, casting of this legendary protagonist is not a new fad, indeed the first ‘female’ Hamlet graced a London stage in 1796 - when Elizabeth Powell took on the role.  There is also a 12th century Danish legend that states that he was in fact a she, and that Hamlet’s gender had been hidden by their mother to protect their claim to the throne. In Greg Hersov’s production Jumbo’s ‘unmanly grief’ is the undoing of Elsinore as Hersov’s edited text (which still runs at over three hours) aims for a mystery thriller flow to bring the piece alive for a contemporary audience.  At its most successful the performance is an absolu...