Abbey Theatre launches their free digital theatre series tonight, featuring Brendan Gleeson, Sinead Burke and Emmet Kirwan
28th Apr 2020
Get the popcorn ready for the Abbey Theatre “Dear Ireland” four-part digital theatre series, which begins tonight.
There are so many ways in which our world has been made smaller since the outbreak of Covid-19, but one significant example is the impact it is having on our already-struggling creative communities. Groups have tried to alleviate this, whether it’s Creatives Against Covid-19 asking illustrators, artists and photographers to donate pieces for posters to raise money for charity, or museums and galleries opening up for digital tours.
Now, we’re about to get a peek inside the Abbey Theatre’s response, as they get set to launch “Dear Ireland” tonight at 7.30pm on YouTube. The digital theatre series will run over four nights and is an innovative collaboration between the national theatre and 100 participating artists.
As an immediate response to the crisis, The Abbey commissioned 50 monologues for Irish creatives around the country and further afield, with each one paired with a performer who has pre-recorded their performance from home.
Acting as a platform for Irish artists to gather during these uncertain times, “Dear Ireland” will include: a piece by Sinead Burke and performed actress Eleanor Walsh, written from the activist’s family home in Co Meath; Brendan Gleeson performing a monologue written for him by Pom Boyd; and a Blindboy-penned script performed by Cathy Belton. Irish artist Maser has also been commissioned to create artwork that will be woven through the performances.
Each playlet will be introduced by the Abbey Theatre’s Visitor Services Manager, Con Doyle, and there will be a three-minute interval between each performance to encourage people to discuss the performance in the live chat.
Starting tonight with the first eleven monologues and running until Friday, each of the four episodes will begin live at 7.30pm on the Abbey Theatre’s YouTube channel and be available to playback for 24 hours. On May 2, the channel will then make all 50 monologues available to the public for six months.
Here is the full list of the writer/performer collaborations:
- Blindboy / Cathy Belton
- Dermot Bolger / Dawn Bradfield
- Pom Boyd / Brendan Gleeson
- Sinéad Burke / Eleanor Walsh
- TKB (Thommas Kane Byrne) / Ericka Roe
- Dylan Coburn Gray / Leah Minto
- Karen Cogan / Siobhán McSweeney
- John Connors / Graham Earley
- Kit de Waal / Peter Gowen
- Shaun Dunne / Eva-Jane Gaffney
- Iseult Golden / Marion O’Dwyer
- Stacey Gregg / Conor MacNeill
- Sarah Hanly / Denise Gough
- Nancy Harris / Marty Rea
- David Ireland / Abigail McGibbon
- Colm Keegan / Owen Roe
- Sonya Kelly / Deirdre Donnelly
- Deirdre Kinahan / Bríd Ní Neachtain
- Emmet Kirwan / Emmet Kirwan featuring Mike Donnelly
- Darach Mac Con Iomaire / Eoin O Dubhghaill
- Manchán Magan / Bríd Criomhthain
- Aoife Martyn / Norma Sheahan
- Owen McCafferty / Patrick O’Kane
- Rosaleen McDonagh / Sorcha Fox
- Frank McGuinness / Joan Sheehy
- Meadhbh McHugh (New York) / Clare O’Malley
- Una McKevitt / Katherine Lynch
- Phillip McMahon / Caoilfhionn Dunne
- Andrea Molino (Italy) / David Moss
- Gina Moxley / Timmy Creed
- Jimmy Murphy / Clare Dunne
- Zoe Ní Riordáin / Seána Kerslake
- Edna O’Brien / Stanley Townsend
- Eva O’Connor / Amy McAllister
- Joseph O’Connor / Kathy Rose O’Brien
- John O’Donovan / Nicola Coughlan
- Mark O’Halloran / Andrew Bennett
- Jody O’Neill / Marie Mullen
- Shane O’Reilly / Amanda Coogan
- Felicia ‘Felispeaks’ Olusanya / Deirdre Molloy
- Margaret Perry / Breffni Holahan
- Ursula Rani Sarma / Owen McDonnell
- Arthur Riordan / Rory Nolan
- Ciara Elizabeth Smyth / Camille Lucy Ross
- Abbie Spallen / Jolene O’Hara
- Keith James Walker / Ashleigh Dorrell
- Enda Walsh / Zara Devlin
- Michael West / Mark Doherty
- Carmel Winters / Lucianne McEvoy
- Zhu Yi (China) / Julia Gu
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