Writing in the late 19th century, Anton Chekhov's entire breadth of work absorbs the fundamentals of the Russian gentrified class's imperialist condition. Regularly creating a portrait of country life outside the populist urban cities his plays formed a type of social diary of the period as he consistently infused his narrative with themes like the declination of aristocratic society, financial difficulties on rural estates, and the overall effects of these twin themes on the family as a whole.
The Peacock Theatre continues its impressive scheduling of surrealist productions with Terminus, following the hugely successful run of Kicking a Dead Horse and the astonishingly graphic return of the enormously controversial Saved. Having featured two of the most influential American and British playwrights on its fine, newly constructed stage, the Peacock has returned to the national conscious, staging the home-grown Mark O'Rowe's first theatrical endeavour in over four years.
The creaking stair-case, a musty attic, the vaulted ceiling coated in bright hot lights. The Andrews Lane Studio rises above the popular theatre in its classic amber building, stretching above the mantles of grey and brown structures that circle the quaint narrow lane, which forms its name. The studio is on its final run. As the bull dozers warm up in preparation for the final assault, scheduled is a series of absorbing classic plays, performed in short bursts encompassing just a number of days, celebrating the myriad nature of the studio's experimental theatrical career.
The Abbey Theatre's current production of Arthur Miller's razor sharp allegorical play The Crucible, a complex piece of theatre, succeeds admirably with a finely dark and disturbing rendition of one of Miller's most cerebral plays.
What appears to be a lightly bright object in the glint of an astronomer's telescope sits silvery and stark on the printed astronomical photo of the stars. It was printed from the astronomical log in NASA several years ago as one more sample in thousands of produced filaments in a hectic scientific schedule to map our solar system; and measure the trajectories of the preposterously large abundance of asteroids that traverse Earth's orbital pattern in a multitudinous cyclical rotation.
Sweeney Todd is a mostly fictional tale emanating from the early 19th century, which may have begun life in a British penny dreadful before transforming later into a dramatic play, which then created the foundations of Stephen Sondheim's modern musical version. The story depicts the return of Todd (a pseudonym) from a long term spate in prison to find his wife missing and his daughter Johanna kidnapped and placed to ward in the home of Todd's former nemesis the devilishly fiendish Judge Turpin, played with appropriate malevolence by the constantly outstanding Barry McGovern.
The discarding of NASA's space fleet is characteristic of the dramatic stall in space exploration. Keith Connolly writes about a scientific development that could well re-energise the situation, literally.
The Abbey Theatre is, as ever, consistent in its unwavering approach to performance scheduling. It tends to dominate the early part of the calendar year with an assortment of adventurous playwriting and sumptuous visual productions. Come the summer months and it inevitably grows more conservative, regularly portraying works from the cavernous back catalogue of literary masters. The summer fades and autumn draws forth the interesting a new once again – culminating in the fringe and theatre festivals were their unorthodox variety of the fresh and the bold.
A relatively short three-act play, Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson explores family life through the prism of alcohol abuse. The current production by the Everyman Palace Theatre group is handled with adroit care. Staged in the very small ‘theatre' section of Andrew's Lane in Dublin, it consists of no more than a fourth-wall viewing of a tiny funeral home office where the action takes place on a single Christmas Eve.
The 19th and early-20th centuries brought explosive achievements in all disciplines of science. But now, the struggle is to unify all the brilliant theories of the universe into one single, manageable theory – the Grand Unification Theory (GUT), which would not only change physics but potentially every aspect of the world we live in. Einstein spent the second half of his life vainly trying to solve this conundrum. Can anyone achieve it, asks Keith Connolly?