With so much uncertainty for so long about protocols for attending the theatre, and with many smaller venues not being viable to open with reduced capacity, we are still very light on productions available for the public to attend.

Last week I took a look at an upcoming Abbey Theatre production, and the main focus this week is on another that will be opening in the weeks ahead at the Gate Theatre.

This is a work by Samuel Beckett and it is considered by some, and was thought to have been so by the author himself, as his greatest work. It is a play for our times too, in spite of having first been performed on stage in April 1957, almost 65 years ago.

Endgame is set after some sort of apocalyptic disaster (though we never learn the details). It consists of just four characters: Hamm, his boy-servant Clov, his father Nagg, and his mother Nell, and they are trapped together in Hamm’s home.

Beckett’s classic centres on the fractious relationship between the irascible tyrant Hamm, who will be played by Frankie Boyle and Clov (Robert Sheehan). An apocalyptic, nihilistic and darkly funny tale, the Endgame cast also features Seán McGinley and Gina Moxley as Hamm’s parents, living in dustbins and tossed aside by an uncaring world.

Another note

If Endgame sounds a little on the heavy side for you, then perhaps you might prefer one of the great musicals of modern times, though it too is a tale of great sadness, interspersed with some elements of comedy.

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables returns to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in early February.

Ever since Mackintosh first conceived this new production of Les Misérables in 2009 to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary, it has taken the world by storm. Embraced by modern audiences across the globe as a ‘Les Mis’ for the 21st century, the tour of the musical has practically sold out in record breaking time in each venue it has played since opening in 2018.

This current production inspired the hugely successful movie version starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne, while the staging set to hit Dublin next month has to date already been seen in North America, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, Dubai and on Broadway.

With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the magnificent score of Les Misérables includes such memorable songs as I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more. Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Can I let you in on a secret? I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the stage production and I will be hoping to see it more than once in the Bord Gáis again.

Read more

The Front Row: a return to the Abbey

The Front Row: Paul Henry – capturing the west