Trinity Launch Dublin Shakespeare Festival

Posted on May 24, 2011


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Following a somewhat interesting hike around Trinity College on Monday morning two weeks back, I found my way to the Player’s Theatre for the launch of the annual Dublin Shakespeare Festival.

Launched by RTE stalwart Miriam O’Callaghan (who has seen plenty of rotten Denmarks in her time…) the festival looks set to be the biggest theatre event of the 2011 Irish calendar featuring around 400 performers.

Approximately 15,000 people are expected to attend events over the eleven-day festival which includes open-air performances of Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night, performed by Britain’s best known and loved outdoor theatre company, the GB Theatre Company.

In his opening address to the gathered crowd, Marc Atkinson, Director of the Festival expressed his delight that Festival time had come around again. He joked that their timing was slightly off (just as Hamlet’s was…) with so many cast members partaking in exams and he himself checked that the Dean of the College had received his brown envelope in the post. Miriam O’Callaghan must have thought she’d stumbled back onto the Prime Time by accident…

This year, the festival branches out, with the group taking a certain number of performances to schools around Dublin as part of an outreach programme.

Atkinson closed off his speech by presenting O’Callaghan with an Honorary Membership of the Festival.

O’Callaghan proceeded, comically, to open her address by saying that she was a graduate of UCD (Boo, Hiss!) She went on to encourage and congratulate everyone involved in the Festival, getting great applause when she told a roomful of students “not to worry about exams. You’ll pass them!”

With the formalities over and done with it seemed only fair that the man himself get a word in and Shakespeare himself was on hand to throw a few witticisms about, commenting on the “flashy light boxes” that he hadn’t seen bandying about in the Globe when it launched.

“All the city’s a stage…” is the tagline of the festival.  So, should you come across people in funny pants don’t worry, that’s just Casio winding up Othello…

The Dublin Shakespeare Festival runs from the 1st – 10th June.

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