Irish theatre on the rise: jail confessions and the fight for women's rights

At the Dublin theatre festival, Shakespeare is reunited with his son, Sebastian Barry’s prisoners look back, Ibsen’s Nora lands in a dystopian future and Anu Productions deliver an urgent tale of torture

In Dublin theatre festival’s 60th anniversary year, artistic director Willie White is placing the emphasis on new Irish work – and a sense of theatre in dialogue with its own traditions is explicit in Dead Centre’s Hamnet at the Abbey theatre. This riff on Hamlet begins playfully as a boy shares his thoughts on being “one letter away from greatness”. The fact that he is Shakespeare’s only son, who died aged 11, becomes the starting point for a meeting between father and child that takes place somewhere out of time. Writer-directors Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd create an encounter between the living and the dead, ingeniously realised by José Miguel Jiménez’s video design and projections.

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