All stories by Helen Meany on BroadwayStars

Monday, September 6, 2021

Walls and Windows review – a moving, unsentimental Travellers’ tale by Helen Meany

Abbey, Dublin and available onlineRosaleen McDonagh’s play, an unsettling love story set in a Traveller community, has the ring of truthfulness A love story shines through a mass of societ…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:24AM
Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Saviour review – gripping two-hander tackles lifelong effects of abuse by Helen Meany

Edinburgh festival fringe, onlineDeirdre Kinahan’s play explores how culpable Máire can be for acts of cruelty, when she was brutalised as a young woman in a church-run institution Deirdr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Seagull review – the setting is the star as Chekhov comes to Galway by Helen Meany

Coole Park, GalwayLady Augusta Gregory’s former home is an apt backdrop for this transposition of the play to 1880s Ireland Druid Theatre Company’s outdoor setting of Thomas Kilroy’s C…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, June 27, 2021

To the Lighthouse review – fierce and comic thoughts spoken out loud by Helen Meany

Cork Midsummer festival onlineVirginia Woolf’s novel, centring on an Edwardian marriage and the rupture of war, is richly adapted and beautifully staged with a strong ensemble cast Shadow…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:18AM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

One Good Turn review – everyday questions of love and mortality by Helen Meany

Abbey, Dublin, and onlineUna McKevitt’s droll domestic drama shows us a day in the life of a family dealing with the ill health of an ageing father Reopening to live audiences for the firs…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 04:36PM
Friday, April 23, 2021

The Visiting Hour review – Frank McGuinness’s moving care-home drama by Helen Meany

Available onlineStephen Rea and Judith Roddy give beautifully nuanced performances as a father and daughter meeting during the Covid-19 pandemic A pane of glass is not the only thing keeping…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:12PM
Friday, April 9, 2021

Father the Father review – confronting a legacy of shame by Helen Meany

Available onlineGilly Campbell’s autobiographical play about searching for her absent father may be a monologue, but it tells a story much larger than one person’s How to make sense of …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:18PM
Friday, February 12, 2021

Once Upon a Bridge review – three worlds collide in near-death drama by Helen Meany

Available onlineInspired by a real incident where a woman was barged into the path of an oncoming bus, Sonya Kelly’s play explores proximity and distance Three lives intersect for just an …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:33AM
Friday, October 9, 2020

Dublin theatre festival review – city's players adapt to age of Covid by Helen Meany

With productions staged live outdoors, livestreamed, or available online, this year’s festival fused the past with the present, and engaged an audience both present and remote “You see m…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:24AM
Friday, February 28, 2020

The Cherry Orchard review – pungent and urgent Irish take on Chekhov by Helen Meany

Black Box, GalwayContemporary themes resonate throughout Garry Hynes’s production about a debt-ridden aristocratic family on the brink of losing their estate Something in the sombre mood o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:12PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Watergate meets His Girl Friday: Irish news caper The Fall of the Second Republic by Helen Meany

A vaudeville thriller set around a Dublin newspaper in 1973 uses knockabout humour to parallel modern-day geopolitics ‘General swearing and delight” is playwright Michael West’s winnin…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:54PM
Wednesday, February 12, 2020

'We're playing to the world': Galway's European capital of culture year kicks off by Helen Meany

Galway 2020 promises everything from Margaret Atwood to art with local asylum-seekers. Its organisers and artists talk about building bridges and creating a lasting legacy for Irish artists …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:12PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Flights review – lads' drinking game ends in grief and regret by Helen Meany

Project Arts Centre, DublinCracking male banter gives way to seeping sadness in John O’Donovan’s play about three men grieving for their friend Tripping on drugs, 17-year-old Liam lies d…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:54AM
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Pale Sister review – Colm Tóibín and Lisa Dwan's twist on Antigone by Helen Meany

Gate, DublinThe acclaimed writer’s version of the Greek tragedy focuses on her sister Ismene, with plenty of modern relevances Colm Tóibín’s new version of the Greek tragedy Antigone d…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:18PM
Monday, October 7, 2019

Dublin theatre festival review – gay clubs, glass houses and Greek tragedy by Helen Meany

Marina Carr’s Hecuba probes a mother’s grief, family secrets unravel in The Beacon and audiences are immersed in 80s LGBT+ Dublin in Faultline Questions of interpretation drive Nancy Har…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:36AM
Saturday, September 7, 2019

This Beautiful Village review – sexist graffiti sparks power games by Helen Meany

Abbey, DublinOnly those with the most righteous anger will triumph, in this small-town play about wider societal issues. Sexist graffiti on a suburban wall provokes blazing confrontation in …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Monday, July 22, 2019

Epiphany review – the meaning of ritual in a post-religious world by Helen Meany

Town Hall theatre, Galway There are echoes of Joyce and Beckett as guests gather at a dinner party and grapple with their own disconnectedness A highly strung dinner-party host looks set for…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:12AM
Friday, June 21, 2019

Cork Midsummer festival review – theatre for all … and one by Helen Meany

Various venues, CorkMini plays performed for solo festivalgoers are a hit – plus there’s a bluffer’s guide to the suburbs and a Tom Waits-esque concept album come to life The multi-dis…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 05:12PM
Friday, May 31, 2019

Citysong review – Dublin shimmers in poetic celebration of the cycle of life by Helen Meany

Abbey, DublinA versatile cast and evocative setting bring to life Dylan Coburn Gray’s award-winning script, which follows a taxi driver’s journey through an eclectic Dublin family In Dyl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 03:12PM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cotton Fingers review – abortion ban travelogue ends painfully by Helen Meany

The Mac, BelfastA Northern Irish teenager escaping to Wales for an abortion is played with huge empathy, lifting a script that is thin on drama A young woman lies across a row of hard plasti…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:12PM
Friday, March 8, 2019

The Children review – Lucy Kirkwood's taut tale of human and atomic meltdown by Helen Meany

Gate, DublinThree nuclear physicists are reunited in this drama about ageing, marriage and sexual rivalry, directed by Oonagh Murphy With its slow release of a series of moral questions, Luc…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:22AM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

'It is what it is': finding a path through the fog of men's mental health by Helen Meany

Two frank solo shows, East Belfast Boy and Every Day I Wake Up Hopeful, depict male crises with heart, humour and hip-hopSaggy and shuffling, his dressing gown flapping over a middle-aged sp…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:18PM
Monday, October 1, 2018

The Lost O’Casey review – unflinching look at Dublin's housing crisis by Helen Meany

Dublin theatre festivalA forgotten play by Seán O’Casey inspires Anu Productions’ immersive journey through a dilapidated block of flatsTwo or three return visits would be required to p…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 11:24AM
Saturday, August 25, 2018

Frnknstn review – modern mutation of Mary Shelley's classic by Helen Meany

Peacock, DublinStem cells, DNA and subtle psychology give an edge to Michael West’s deft contemporary reboot of FrankensteinPlaywright Michael West fuses old and new ideas in his gripping …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:48AM
Monday, July 23, 2018

Incantata review – pain, poetry and potatoes with Paul Muldoon by Helen Meany

Town Hall theatre, GalwayStanley Townsend brings the poet’s searing love poetry to life in a visually stunning show boasting some Beckettian touchesFor the bereaved it can often feel as if…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:54AM
Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Snapper review – Roddy Doyle's baby banter brought to vivid life by Helen Meany

Gate, DublinThe author’s adaptation of his comic novel about an unplanned pregnancy is filled with nostalgic touches and noisy energyRoddy Doyle’s recent books have delved into such diff…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:06AM
Friday, June 22, 2018

The Little Prince – review by Helen Meany

Lyric, BelfastMillions of children around the world love Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's story of a quest for companionship and understanding. The best-selling French novella from 1943 has succe…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 02:42AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Aristocrats review – unsentimental snapshot of a family in decline by Helen Meany

Abbey theatre, DublinA sensitive revival of Brian Friel's play about a Catholic family in Donegal offers no easy answers to the problems of class and kinThe title of Brian Friel's play from …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:33AM
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Grief is the Thing With Feathers review – Cillian Murphy takes wing by Helen Meany

Black Box, GalwayIn Enda Walsh’s adaptation of the Max Porter novel, Murphy is riveting as a bereaved husband – and an imaginary crowEnda Walsh’s plays are populated with characters co…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:00PM
Friday, January 5, 2018

Waking the Feminists: the campaign that revolutionised Irish theatre by Helen Meany

At Dublin’s Abbey and Gate theatres and beyond, a grassroots movement has put the spotlight on a new wave of female playwrights, directors and other creatives In The Red Shoes at Dublin’…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:05AM
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Irish theatre on the rise: jail confessions and the fight for women's rights by Helen Meany

At the Dublin theatre festival, Shakespeare is reunited with his son, Sebastian Barry’s prisoners look back, Ibsen’s Nora lands in a dystopian future and Anu Productions deliver an urgen…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:18PM

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