Welcome to this year’s Festival Blog. Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting updates from many of the companies presenting work in the 2013 festival. We’ll have news from the cast and creative teams who are busy preparing in the rehearsal room as well as photos and videos of the work in progress.

Check back with us for more as the countdown to the Dublin Theatre Festival 2013 commences!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

In Just a Few Days - Festival Artistic Intern Aisling Galligan

In just a few days the floor boards of many stages around Dublin will be ready to be trod on by many a talented performer. In just a few days theatre foyers will be filled with chit-chat and giddy greetings and theatre seats will be filled with excited ticket holders. In just a few days, actors will be taking deep breaths as they apply their make-up, acrobats will be doing some final stretches and choirs will be perfecting their harmonies. In just a few days, the theatrical festivities will begin!

L-R: Willie White, Maeve Whelan, Aoileann Ni Riain,
Sarah O'Dea (holding the trophy!), Eimear O'Reilly
(hiding behing Sarah!), Ruth Phelan, Grainne
Pollak, Aoife Lucey, Aisling Galligan, Clara
Phelan, Sarah Bragg-Bolger, Heather Maher
In the cultural hub that is Temple Bar, there is always a buzz on the streets. The offices of Dublin Theatre Festival are nestled in the heart of this and over the next while, a large proportion of this buzz will be created from the activity and anticipation emanating from our door. After months of planning and preparation, everyone is busy with final preparations.  
Amidst all the focus on the festival dates, over the last few weeks we have also had the chance to celebrate winning the Allianz Business to Arts Award for Best Long Term Partnership with the DAA and to host a Bewley's Coffee Morning in aid of the Hospice Foundation. With a table piled high with delicious baked goods, that was a great day in the office! We also had a visit from…Louis Walsh! You never know who you'll bump into in Temple Bar! And now, after months of planning and organisation, everyone is busy with final preparations.

Lou Lou!
No doubt the DTF team will continue to work hard, (these are some of the most dedicated people I have ever met!), but we are also all eagerly awaiting the fantastic, fun moments that these few weeks have in store: for us, for the theatre companies and for all the audience members.
Bewley's Coffee Morning

These are some of the festival moments that I’m most looking forward to; maybe you can try some of them out for yourself:

  1. More than one show in a day
There is nothing quite like seeing two or even three performances in a day to get the senses going. This is a chance to get the mind buzzing with ideas and questions and images. If your emotions are feeling a little disengaged as a result of the daily grind, I think this is one of the best ways to get them stirred again. Honestly, if you’ve never tried it before, you’re missing out!

  1. Pre-Theatre or Post-Theatre Meals
Sitting down with some tasty food and some good company before or after a production is one of my favourite things to do, probably due to the fact that food and theatre are two of my greatest loves in life! If you eat together before the theatre, it’s a chance to catch-up, relax and get into the playful festival spirit. If you choose to dine after the production, it’s a chance to discuss all the reactions that are bouncing around inside your mind. And if you listen closely, you may hear another table discussing the festival too – how empowering it could be to feel like you’re part of a city-wide cultural conversation! Also, a few of my lovely colleagues have organised Festival Feeds in local restaurants for festival staff and anyone going to see the shows, another perk of festival time!

  1. A Production in a Language Other Than English
Three Fingers Below the Knee (Portugal)
This should not be something to shy away from, far from it! There is something unusually freeing about watching a production in a different language. I recommend taking this chance to pull your focus away from just the words and allowing yourself to be captivated by wonderful images and sounds from different cultures. There are surtitles, don’t worry, so no-one should be completely lost. And you never know, it could be the perfect way to get fresh inspiration or a new outlook on the world as the chilly winter season draws near!

Taramandal (India)
  1. Following the Buzz
Contrary to popular belief, sometimes it is worth believing the hype. Some people will have the shows pencilled in their diaries for months, some will make last minute decisions to book for a show that they know hardly anything about – all will be keen to embrace the festival spirit!  The intensity of festival time creates ample opportunities to get talking to fellow theatre-goers and to learn about productions you might not have considered seeing. Then, with a racing heart and a spring in your step, it’s time to get to the box office where the brilliant team will do their utmost to help get you a ticket to the production that you have heard people raving about. But hurry, the chances are that if lots of people are talking about it, the tickets will disappear fast; the race to catch the hottest ticket in town is all part of the fun of festival season! 

5.    Sharing the Festival Experience (sometimes in 140 characters bursts!)
Just as giving is often better than receiving, recommending a production can often be better than someone else telling you about it. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like being the first to witness something special, or feeling that way at least! Whether it’s face-to-face, on Twitter, on Facebook, on the phone, via email or within the lines of a good old letter, engage with others and tell them what you’re loving about the festival. You may just give someone a much-appreciated nudge in terms of choosing a show and coming out to play!

So that’s it, all these moments and many more will be waiting to be experienced at Dublin Theatre Festival 2013. But, for now at least, there is more work to be done, for, in just a few days, the excitement begins…

Aisling Galligan, Artistic Intern

Book tickets at www.dublintheatrefestival.com  
Or call our Box Office on 01 6778899

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