English Theater Berlin
International Performing Arts Center
The Full Irish
10 days of contemporary Irish theatre and Performance
May 9 – 18, 2013

Author - Gary Duggan

Gary Duggan won the Stewart Parker Trust Award 2006 for his first play, Monged. His other plays include Dedalus Lounge, Mission, Trans-Europa Express and Neuropolis. Much of this work has toured throughout Ireland and performed internationally in the UK, Romania and New York. Gary has collaborated with director Louise Lowe on two site-specific shows: Rockpaperscissors and Basin. Gary also writes for film and television. He created Happyslapper, a web drama for RTE and has co-written a major four-part mini-series, Amber, which has sold to multiple territories throughout the world.

Last few bites…

It’s the last day of the festival already. The rehearsed reading of SHIBARI went really well last night. The cast all round were great. Very well chosen for each of the parts, I could easily imagine them working in a full production. It’s always exciting (and a little dauntíng) to experience a new cast working with a script that I’m so familiar with being performed by the cast that originated the play. Sometimes it’s only when a new cast play the roles that I fully realise what qualities and strengths the play has. Does the humour and emotion transfer from one set of performers to another? Is it extremely different or very similar with the new cast?

The director Rachel West did a great job and I enjoyed that she made a bold decision in creating a visual representation of the theme of the play which grew throughout the reading. Each of the actors had a ball of string that they unravelled and tied as they moved position for each new scene (the play is a series of two-hander ‘meetings’ where there is a different couple every time). As the reading progressed the patterns left by the string became more elaborate and left the connections between each character hanging in the air, the actors had to delicately navigate theír way through the maze of contacts. It was an extra layer of challenge for the performers but they were more than up for the task and the final Image beautifully highlighted all the references in the text to entanglements and patterns of contact that exist in a city the size of Dublin.


It’s been fantastic to be a part of THE FULL IRISH and it feels as though it has been a great success for English Theatre Berlin. There’s two more chances to get a last bite of the festival tonight, Brokentalkers have their final performance of HAVE I NO MOUTH and there’s a reading Enda Walsh’s excellent play PENELOPE. Get in if you can…

I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Berlin, discovering a lot more of the city than when I was briefly here years ago. I’ve made some new friends that I will certainly keep in contact with and I’m very much inspired to come back here sooner than later and hopefull bring more of my work again in the future.

Now, I’m off to be a full on tourist for the next day or so, tschüss!

Run Gary Run

So I found the theatre very easily on Wednesday evening and got to see the reading of Carmel Winter’s B FOR BABY performed by two excellent Irish actors who are based here in Berlin, Jon Smith and Ciara Goss. Afterwards I learned that both of these guys are also appearing in the reading of my play SHIBARI and I was very pleased as they really managed to bring Carmel’s characters to full and quirky life even in the context of a reading.
Yesterday (Thursday), my partner, Aenne, arrived from Dublin to join me for the next few days. She’s in the midst of producing (and preparing to play Elizabeth) in a new Irish production of Schiller’s MARY STUART, and is enjoying a brief break from prep to check out Berlin. In the afternoon we had a wander around the Pergamonmuseum and then sampled another one of the restaurants on Bergmannstrasse near English Theatre Berlin.
Brokentalkers opened there Show HAVE I NO MOUTH last night in ETB. I saw this in the Dublin Theatre Festival last year and it was one of the highlights for me. I found it a very inventive, intense and moving experience to behold and the audience here last night seemed to have a similar reaction. The show is running for two more performances tonight (Friday) and tomorrow. If you’re in Berlin, you should come check it out.
Afterwards I hung out with the Brokentalkers gang and we made a stab at wiping out the ETB bar of Jameson and ginger. I hope they have some left for tonight…
Very much looking forward to meeting the rest of the cast for the reading of SHIBARI this evening. The play was a challenge to cast in Dublin as it features a fairly ecclectic set of multicultural characters. Here in Berlin, the reading will Feature Performers from America, Japan, Germany, and of course a couple from Ireland. The play is a blackly-comic drama set in contemporary post-boom Dublin. It’s a bit funny, a bit sexy, and a little bit twisted. If you’re in Berlin today come and see how that all works! And if you’re reading this from afar, check back tomorrow and I’ll tell you how it went…

Nach Berlin…

The last time I was in Berlin was in 2004. Two very blurry days that left me with a fractured sternum and the middle act of my second play TRANS-EURO EXPRESS. I’m hoping this visit is less painful but equally inspiring.
I’ve got my five day Metro ticket, have just checked into my Hotel, and have probably already cooked myself (I am a paper-skinned Irish Vampire, not used to this sort of balmy May – where’s the rain and wind, volks?) with an extended wander around Friedrichshain, the East Side Gallery and around Alexanderplatz. Already have a better feeling for the geography of the city in those few hours than I managed all those years ago.
Going to seek out the English Theatre Berlin now and commit some more crimes against the German language along the way…