wed 28/02/2024

Dublin

Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - Spanish panache

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence. Context can make it even more powerful: in this case as the culmination of NSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martín’s...

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'Migrations' String Quartet Weekend, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - memorials and masterpieces

It was chance that the National Concert Hall’s weekend of quartet events featuring responses to war and refugees should coincide with the second anniversary of Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine. By late Saturday morning thousands of Ukrainians and friends...

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Kin, Series 2, BBC One review - when crime dynasties collide

The end of the first series of Kin found Dublin’s Kinsella crime family ridding themselves of bloodsucking drug baron Eamon Cunningham, but this was not an unalloyed blessing. As this second series opens, the Kinsellas are having to make new...

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Kin, BBC One review - in Dublin's not-so-fair city

Folklore tends to depict Dublin as a convivial and picturesque city, with a bar on every corner full of revellers on wild stag weekends, but that’s not what we find in Kin. This is a chilly, menacing Dublin, full of modern but charmless architecture...

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Skride, National Symphony Orchestra, Matheuz, National Concert Hall, Dublin - musical philosophies soar

Promising on paper, dazzling in practice: with a superlative soloist and conductor, this programme just soared on wings of philosophy-into-music. The spotlighting of NSO co-leader Elaine Clark provided another thread, from the opening chant of Linda...

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Faust, Irish National Opera review - world-class singing turns the musical-dramatic screw

Is Gounod’s Faust really a “complex and multi-layered work”, as director Jack Furness claims? Goethe’s original and Berlioz’s Damnation, absolutely; this tuneful concoction, half light opera, half kitsch melodrama, not so much. If Furness’s take...

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Ghosts, Abbey Theatre, Dublin review - creating tension from desolation

Church and law are enemies of promise in Ibsen’s tragedy-without-catharis. You can see why this devastating attack on, among other things, the syphilitic sins of the fathers being visited on the hopeful young created a ruckus in the 1880s. It’s...

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Bartlett, National Symphony Orchestra, Weilerstein, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - edgy darkness, blazing light and high camp

Who’d have thought Florence Price, Rachmaninov, Gershwin and Brahms would all fit the (unspoken) theme of 1930s America? Brahms made the bill by virtue of Schoenberg’s 1937 arrangement of the C minor Piano Quartet, so outlandish and camp that you’d...

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Messiah, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, Wigmore Hall review - wonderful, easy, light and dark in perfect poise

This Palm Sunday served up an epiphany. Previous encounters with Handel's Messiah, in whatever version, and whether listening or performing, turned out to have been through a glass darkly. And here we were face to face with undiluted genius, served...

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Album: U2 - Songs of Surrender

U2 are better than their many critics make out. Their Stakhanovite work ethic in creating huge sonics, not-a-bolt-out-of-place songwriting and stagecraft that could reach every corner of the biggest venues long before the days of giant LED screens...

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The New Electric Ballroom, Gate Theatre, Dublin review - fantasy and memory hauntingly interwoven

Commuting between London and Dublin has its fascinations.10 days ago, I saw for the first time at the Southwark Playhouse’s Elephant Theatre, heart in mouth during most of it, Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce, his first Edinburgh Festival Fringe...

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Ulysses, Abbey Theatre / The Tin Soldier, Gate Theatre, Dublin review - peerless Joyce marathon, Andersen squashed

A pot plant on a stand, two tables with glasses of water, two chairs – one plush, one high – are all the props needed on the stage of the Abbey’s second theatre, the Peacock, for the ultimate complete reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses in its 100th...

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