Cork Arts Theatre
A Strange Bit of History – Omid Djalili
Set against the backdrop of tumultuous expectation for a Promised One in Persia 1844, this enthralling and hilarious one-man play from actor and stand-up comedian Omid Djalili features mystical experiences, astonishing claims, adventures and tragedies. First performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1993, where it won the Spirit of the Fringe Award, the show has been performed 109 times in 10 different countries.
Dates: Jan 31 – Feb 1
Tel: 021 450 5624 or visit www.corkartstheatre.com
Also at Cork Arts Theatre this month: Heal Your Hole Jan 3
Grand Opera House, Belfast
Beauty and the Beast
Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a cursed castle and held captive by a hideous beast. To her surprise, the castle is full of magical characters placed under a spell by an evil enchantress. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose? Or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl who has melted his heart? It wouldn’t be Christmas without a panto, so be sure to catch Northern Ireland’s biggest this festive season.
Dates: Nov 30 – Jan 12
Tel: 028 9024 1919 or visit www.goh.co.uk
Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
A Holy Show (pictured)
A Holy Show is a nostalgic comedy based on the 1981 hijacking of an Aer Lingus plane. This was by an ex-Trappist monk with a bottle of water as his weapon, the Pope as his nemesis, and a burning desire to know The Third Secret of Fatima. Touring across Ireland January, February and March, this month the play will also be performed at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin (Jan 23 – 25) and the Town Hall Theatre in Galway (Jan 29).
Dates: Jan 31 – Feb 1
Tel: 061 953 400 or visit www.limetreetheatre.ie
Also at Lime Tree this month: Beauty and the Beast Panto Dec 27 – Jan 5, Heal Your Hole Jan 17, The Miller’s Story Jan 24.
Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow
In the wake of a violent outburst by a young person, the staff at a youth service in Dublin are attempting to move on. But healing is hard when you’re on the floor and out the door. Healing is hard when your wounds are still raw. Made in consultation with youth workers from the north inner-city, Restoration is a new play from the award-winning Shaun Dunne (Rapids, Making a Mark), directed by Darren Thornton (A Date for Mad Mary), exploring the politics of restorative practice and garda youth diversion in Ireland.
Dates: Jan 25
Tel: 01 272 4030 or visit www.mermaidartscentre.ie
Also at the Mermaid Arts Centre this month: Bosco’s Magical Garden and Sleeping Beauty Jan 3, Street Art Operas “He Did What?” and “Two Angels Play I Spy” Double Bill Jan 25, Bray One Act Drama Festival Jan 28 – Feb 1
The Everyman, Cork
Bosco’s Magical Garden and Sleeping Beauty
Bosco is Bosco, not a boy, not a girl, just a Bosco: a cheeky, lovely, funny, slightly-cracked, irrepressible, eternal five-year-old who lives in a box and loves nothing more than to just be Bosco and meet all the boys and girls. A completely interactive live experience by Puppet Theatre, enjoy the enchanted story of Sleeping Beauty where an evil fairy-knight filled with jealousy tries to harm Beauty but luckily she has very good fairy friends. After starring on Irish TV for three decades, you’ll see why Bosco remains a firm favourite for each new generation.
Dates: Jan 26
Tel: 021 450 1673 or visit www.everymancork.com
Also at the Everyman this month: Jack and the Beanstalk Nov 30 – Jan 12, Blackwater Babble Jan 20 – 23
Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Based on legendary Irish writer John B. Keane’s novella Letters of a Country Matchmaker, The Matchmaker follows the efforts of Dicky Mick Dicky O’Connor to make matches for the lonely and lovelorn. Keane (who died in 2002) was acclaimed for his well-observed depictions of Irish life. The Matchmaker serves as an exploration of rural loneliness, focusing on the generations of people who only began to look for companionship and love late in life, once their duties as minder of aging parents were concluded. Comedian Jon Kenny (d’Unbelievables, Father Ted) stars in the production, alongside actress Mary McEvoy (Glenroe).
Dates: Jan 31
Tel: 091 569 777 or visit www.tht.ie
Also at the Town Hall this month: Aladdin Dec 29 – Jan 12, Keith Barry – Insanity Jan 3 – 4, A Holy Show Jan 29
Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
Three Hail Mary’s
A rip-roaring comedy taking Ireland by storm, 3 Hail Mary’s centres on three characters named Mary who have lived in a nursing home together for over 10 years and have become great friends. However, due to circumstances beyond their control, they are being moved to three separate nursing homes. The play is set around their last few hours together which they decide to celebrate in style.
Dates: Jan 23 – 24
Tel: 056 7761674 or visit www.watergatetheatre.ie
Also at the Watergate this month: Beauty and the Beast Jan 1 – 12, Blackwater Babble Jan 31