Tilsonburg by Malachy McKenna, Focus Theatre/Irish Touring Company, Town Hall Theatre and Shiver by Declan Hughes, Rough Magic, Project Arts Centre, Dublin
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Lonergan, Patrick. (2003). Tilsonburg by Malachy McKenna, Focus Theatre/Irish Touring Company, Town Hall Theatre and Shiver by Declan Hughes, Rough Magic, Project Arts Centre, Dublin Irish Theatre Magazine, Summer, 3(15)
Critics have been declaring Irish playwrighting to be in a state of crisis for most of the last 100 years but, even so, it’s hard not to feel glum about the present state of our writing for the stage. The latest plays from established figures have been met with disappointment and occasional hostility; and we’ve had a glut of formally conservative plays from emerging writers that cover the same narrow territory of dead babies, abusive mothers, and sexually dysfunctional men. It’s a pleasant surprise therefore to see two plays, from Declan Hughes and Malachy McKenna, that cover new thematic ground, while emphasising the importance of plot, dialogue and many other characteristics not much seen on the Irish stage recently.
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