The Ones to Follow – Theatre Festivals Season 2010

It’s coming up to festival season again in Dublin, and with only a few days to go before the Theatre festival’s program is announced, I thought I’d put together a list of interesting online social media commentators – blogs and twitters and such who may or may not be interesting to follow during the festival launch and throughout both festivals themselves.

First of all, the websites for both the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival and the Absolut Dublin Fringe Festival.

Blogs

OK, in terms of blogs, there is actually a bit of a lack of good commentators on the Dublin arts scene. Some of the best I’ve come across and have added to my Google Reader are:

Irish Theatre Magazine: Technically not a blog, but it’s “addable” on the Google Reader and should be full of interesting reviews come festival time. The magazine’s coverage is always pretty tame and more an interpretation of the play so you’re not gonna get any harsh reviews here but good if you’re looking for a more academic and informative reading which will no doubt lend to the overall comprehension of the piece.

No Ordinary Fool: Winner of an Irish Blog Award; Blogger Longman Oz is amazingly active when it comes to blogging [how do you do it Longman?! – every day? you must have a team of blogging elves hidden away somewhere!!!!], and has really interesting and refreshing takes on all things arts and performance related.

Dante and the Lobster: Blogger Medbh usually has something interesting to say about the medja and the arts in general. Hopefully, she will attend some shows over the festival season and give us some thoughtful comments!!

Pursued by a Bear: Fiona McCann’s blog for the Irish Times contains often quite humorous takes on the Irish arts industry, so her coverage of the two festivals should be good.

The Dublin Community Blog: Their theatre reviews are sometimes a bit too harsh but nevertheless they do cover the smaller plays which don’t always get reviewed by the likes of Peter Crawley so this blog is one to watch to see how the fringe festival in particular fairs.

Culch.ie: Always one to watch for good reviews of all things entertainment related.

Inky Wrists: I have to say, I spotted this blog maybe over a year ago and never added it to my feed. I went back and found it while writing this post and these two ladies should be worth keeping an eye on for good comments on how the festivals are faring.

Twitter:

Lots more industry peeps are active on Twitter, so here are the ones I follow and think will be good come festival time. Some are venues, others bloggers and review websites and some are the festivals themselves and their directors. Some such as Miss Panti and thisispopbaby I hope are in someway involved in the festivals this year, but if not, then they’re worth following anyway:

Dublin Theatre Festival

Dublin Fringe Festival

The New Theatre

Gate Theatre.

Miss Panti.

RUARED.

Longman Oz (aka No Ordinary Fool).

Thisispopbaby.

Loughlin Deegan.

Roise Goan

Fiach Mac Conghail.

The Abbey Theatre.

BusinesstoArts.

Rowena Neville.

Willie White

Culch.ie

The Dubliner Magazine.

Dublin Community Blog.

Inky Wrists.

Temple Bar Cultural Trust.

Project Arts Centre.

Rough Magic

Fishamble Theatre

James Joyce Centre

If I’ve missed anyone or any website that you think is worth mentioning, please comment below – would love to have a really comprehensive list of reviewers, commentators and anythingarians involved in the festivals.

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8 Comments

Filed under Dublin, Theatre

8 responses to “The Ones to Follow – Theatre Festivals Season 2010

  1. Thanks Kate, even if I do only write 3-4 proper articles a week, its all down to a general need to sleep less than others really! 🙂

    As for the meat of your article, the Fringe always insists on clashing with my annual vacation, but I am definitely looking forward to Sep/Oct! As much as we have a great domestic theatre scene here, the chance to see several international companies go about their business with acclaimed works is fantastic. Hope that you will be covering it too!

    Also just to say that I like ITM. Even if they tend to be favourable in tone, I think that it is because they really try to understand what the playwright/director is trying to achieve. They usually add to my comprehension of the work, which is what distinguishes the critic from a reviewer like me!

  2. Thanks Kate, even though you make me sound far more productive than I really am. I just need less sleep than others perhaps!

    As for the meat of your article, the Fringe always insists on clashing with when we like to go on holidays, but I am definitely looking forward to Sep/Oct! As much as we have a great domestic scene here, the chance to see international companies put on acclaimed works is fantastic. Hope that you will be covering it too!

    Also just to say that I like ITM. They do tend to shun deprecatory reviews/assessments alright. However, I think that this is because they wish to understand the piece in terms of what the playwright/director was trying to achieve rather than how they responded to it. In fairness, they usually add to my comprehension of the work, which is what distinguishes the critic from a reviewer like me! And, no, I know none of them from Adam!

  3. Samuel Fitzpatrick

    You write about Irish Theatre Magaazine that “The magazine’s coverage is always pretty tame and more a promotion of the play so you’re not gonna get any harsh reviews here but good if you’re looking for a more academic and informative reading.”

    I assume you can back up that claim with some actual evidence from the magazine itself? You wouldn’t just insult the professionalism of all those reviewers, or libel the magazine itself, unless you actually knew what you were talking about, right?

  4. qualitywaffle

    Hi Samuel,

    Thanks for reading my blog. I understand your concerns about my comment and I think I should probably clarify my comments.

    First of all, I wrote the piece as a review of what I determined as the best sources to keep an eye on for coverage of both theatre festivals, and what each source is useful for. My comments about ITM were simply that they don’t do harsh reviews of plays, I’ve looked down through their posts and I can’t find any post where they have slated or given any production what I would consider to be a negative review, unlike the likes of Peter Crawley in the Times or any reviewer in any other paper. I wouldn’t expect ITM to do this, and to be honest, I think their strengths lie more so in giving great academic readings of plays as well as good background comments on the writers and their influences so I agree with my fellow Blogger Longman when I say that they add to the comprehension of a play.

    What I meant by no harsh comments and more a promotion of the play is that you won’t get any comments on whether or not you should go to see the play or whether the reviewer enjoyed it, but instead, a very informed reading of the piece.

    I don’t want to rubbish your comment as it does have merit and I should have worded my comment better but I would like to remind you that this is a personal blog and that I am entitled to express my opinion without getting threatened with a libel case! The ITM, if they are insulted by my comments (although I very much doubt they’re too worried about what I have to say) are more than welcome to address them here via comment themselves or via email to qualitywaffle[at]gmail.com.

    Thanks for your comment and I hope that you enjoy the theatre festivals if you are attended any events.

  5. Thanks for the shout out – we’ll be knockin’ about at all the festivals and shows -and of course we’ll be running our own stage at Electric Picnic…

  6. qualitywaffle

    @THISISPOPBABY – great to hear – fun times for everyone so 🙂

  7. What an all ’round incredibly written piece

  8. Thankfully some bloggers can still write. My thanks for this blog