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Learn to Love Theatre with The Gate’s New Season

Love and Courage season at the Gate kicks off in 2019 with a thrilling double act of international drama.

First up is Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children starring Marie Mullen (Dancing at Lughnasa), Sean McGinley (The General) and Ger Ryan (The Van), telling the story of a retired married couple facing their past amid disastrous climate change. This will be followed by David Eldridge’s Beginning with Marty Rea (Citizen Lane) and Eileen Walsh (Catastrophe, Women on the Verge) as a couple in those first fragile moments of potential love.

These contemporary international dramas programmed side by side, will be directed by two of Ireland’s most gifted young directors Oonagh Murphy (The Children) and Marc Atkinson (Beginning). Both productions have the same behind the scenes team with set design and costumes by Sarah Bacon, lighting by Sinead McKenna and sound by Kevin Gleeson.

According to the Gate, programming these two plays together offers an opportunity to see each in the light of one another’s context, from the blossoming of a relationship in Beginning, through to the complexities of long-term relationships in The Children.

The Children sees award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood tackle timely themes of courage and social responsibility within an intriguing tale of old friends who face a frightening proposition. It centres on two retired nuclear scientists who live in an isolated cottage by the sea as the world around them crumbles.

Having settled into a normal life amongst the apocalyptic circumstances, this is then threatened when a fellow nuclear physicist whom they have not seen for decades suddenly turns up. With her arrival, the two are forced to consider the impact of their lives on those that follow.

The 2016 play received rave reviews. Awarding it four stars, The Guardian said The Children is ‘genuinely disturbing’ and that it ‘grips compulsively’. Meanwhile, Variety called it ‘chilling’ and The New York Times described it as ‘bristling with chills and suspense.’

Directed by Oonagh Murphy who helmed the theatre’s run of Nina Raine’s play Tribes,  the Gate say The Children asks big questions about the responsibility that each generation faces in leaving a better world for the next, balancing the stark realities of our times with intrigue and humour. It will performed at the theatre from February 28 until March 23.

Following The Children’s run is the Irish premiere of David Eldridge’s sharp and astute 2017 two-hander Beginning.  Set in the aftermath of a housewarming party, it takes place in real time as the lonely host and a divorced friend of a friend flirt while bonding over their isolation.

Tender and funny, the Gate say Beginning is the perfect anti-romance for 21st century life, focusing on two single people dealing with the challenges of connecting and sharing. The Guardian called it in another four-star review a “moving reminder that even in the age of social media and internet dating, forging a connection with other people remains as problematic as ever,” while The Telegraph said it features “some of the funniest, most touching, and at times most enthralling-excruciating seduction scenes you’ll ever see on stage.”

Director Marc Atkinson was recently Associate Director on Yaël Farber’s acclaimed production of Hamlet, Selina Cartmell’s Assassins and the 2017 and 2018 productions of The Great Gatsby. This is his debut production as a director on the Gate stage and will run from March 28 to April 20.

Tickets for the shows are available at The Gate’s site or by calling 01 874 4045. A special side by side ticket is available from €60 to see both The Children and Beginning.

These two productions follow on from a record-breaking nine months at the Gate Theatre, with an unprecedented run of sold-out performances since June 2018 for The Snapper, Hamlet and The Great Gatsby. Following the double bill of The Children and Beginning will be a new run of classic American drama The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

Featured Image Credit – Luca Truffarelli

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