Mayfesto: a month of revolutionary theatre
- Gareth K Vile
- 26 April 2016
Irish theatre at the heart of the festival's sixth programme
Now in its sixth year, it is perhaps inevitable that Mayfesto is celebrating Irish theatre. Given artistic director Andy Arnold's enthusiasm for Irish writing, and the recognition of the hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, Mayfesto's committment to engaged contemporary work finds a natural theme in political and historical plays.
In addition to a premier from Scotland's Peter Arnott – a writer who combines a sensitivity to language with urgency and seriousness – Mayfesto features a variety of shows that reflect the diversity of theatrical responses to Ireland's recent events. From My Name is Saoirse, which looks at abortion, to the Tron Studio's examination of power struggles The Present State, via panel discussions and readings of work by female authors, Arnold's programme makes a strong case for the theatre as a focus of public discussion. The mixture of established – My Name is Saoirse was an Edinburgh Fringe success in 2014 – and new work is supported by the panels to take the debate beyond the performance.
'This is a festival that has always endeavoured to challenge and provoke by showcasing edgy new writing,' says Arnold.'It's the perfect stage for powerful new drama from the best Scottish and Irish writers, theatre companies and performers working in the sector today, about one of the most significant events in Irish history'.
Tron Theatre, Sun 1–Mon 30 May.