If anyone is holidaying this summer in Ireland, with access to one of our cities or many of our big towns, I would urge you to check out the theatre scene and treat yourself and your loves ones to a night of live entertainment.

Being personally connected to a small but vibrant venue, the dlr Mill Theatre at the Dundrum Town Centre, I know how hard the team work to provide something for all tastes on stage. So, whether it is a play, musical, solo musician or comedian, do try to support the artists involved - who are all trying to make a living in a tough and competitive world.

Some of you may be travelling outside Ireland for a break. If you do, and it is before 12 August, I have a gem of a production to recommend to you. A recent visit for work saw me overnight in London and I decided to check out what was on. To say that my head was spinning at the choices on offer would be an understatement, but one production caught my eye.

Eddi Reader performed the accompanying live music for Brokeback Mountain in London's @sohoplace Theatre

The film Brokeback Mountain made many headlines when it was released, though it also drew critical acclaim. Released in 2005 and directed by Ang Lee, it was adapted from a 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams, and depicts the complex romantic relationship between two American cowboys (Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist) in the American West from 1963 to 1983.

The movie premiered at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, and went on to become a commercial success, grossing over $178 million worldwide against its $14 million budget. At the Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Picture and won for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score. It won four awards at the Golden Globes, while at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), it won Best Film, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Gyllenhaal was the recipient of the award for Best Supporting Actor.

How would Brokeback Mountain transfer to the stage? Perhaps, this was an ambition too far, and it would be best to avoid. Thankfully, the story is well told with this production, which was a world first for the newest theatre in London, @sohoplace. It featured a fine cast, led by Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actor Lucas Hedges as Ennis De Mar, and Mike Faist - one of the stars in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, for which he received a BAFTA nomination.

The audience attending a performance in @sohoplace are seated on all four sides of the stage, giving patrons a very intimate feel for the production. The subject matter of Brokeback Mountain is such that the theatregoer will invest more emotionally in the performances while special kudos should go to set designer Tom Pye for his innovative approach to the staging.

No need to talk here about the subject matter of Brokeback Mountain, as the plot is well-known, but the connection between the two young actors, Faist and Hedges - the former at ease making his West End debut - makes this worth the price of a ticket. If that was not enough, imagine my delight to find that the live music accompanying (and playing a part in) the play is performed largely by the iconic Eddi Reader, who topped the charts with ‘Perfect’ while she was the front woman for Fairground Attraction, and her simply beautiful band. Also, keep an eye on the magic performance of Dublin-born actor Paul Hickey, who plays the older Ennis.

While nothing is ever quite perfect, Brokeback Mountain gets a nine out of 10 from this reviewer.

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