Kicking off 18 days and nights of great theatre from Ireland and around the world.
Festival runs from 28 September – 15 October

Dublin Theatre Festival 2023 will burst out onto stages and locations across the city this Thursday 28th September. This will be one of the most ambitious editions of the festival in recent years, inviting audiences from ages 4 upwards to be part of this annual celebration of live performance.

DTF 23 will feature:

  • 38 productions
  • 18 days and nights
  • 15 world premieres
  • An international focus on Brazil and Flanders
  • A very strong programme of Irish work around themes of family, resistance and resilience.
  • Many familiar faces return alongside new and exciting voices.
  • Initiatives in place to continue to make theatre and the festival ever more accessible to everyone.

When announcing the programme Willie White, Artistic Director of Dublin Theatre Festival said, “I’m delighted to share this programme with the public. There is so much exciting work to discover by brilliant artists from Ireland and around the world, showcasing the breadth and diversity of contemporary theatre.” 

Download the DTF2023 programme HERE

A selection of photos can be downloaded HERE

The festival has always facilitated and encouraged dialogue between Irish based and international artists. This year it offers a very strong International programme alongside a stellar line up of new Irish work.

Note: the dates listed below include previews.

DTF 2023 opens with large-scale works by two leading Brazilian artists, exploring contemporary themes of economic, ecological and political upheaval. Zona Franca from Alice Ripoll and Cia Suave is a portrait of a complex and divided society at a moment of change, striving for a more hopeful future (28-30 Sept, O’Reilly Theatre). After the Silence (from Venice Biennale winner Christiane Jatahy) uses history, fiction and documentary film to trace the roots of deep and enduring social inequalities (29-30 Sept, Project Arts Centre).

There is also strong representation from Flanders in the international programme, reflecting its status as a vibrant hub for European performing arts. The shows range from carnival to social activism, relations between generations and the defence of fragile ecosystems from mining exploitation. Carnival is shown as the ultimate metaphor for the human condition in Do the Calimero from LOD & hetpaleis / Lies Pauwels (29-30 Sept, Samuel Beckett Theatre). She Was a Friend of Someone Else from Gosia Wdowik, Nowy Teatr, Poland and Campo, explores the line between burnout and activism, the fear that rights are not acquired forever (3-4 Oct, Project); Silke Huysmans and Hannes Dereere (Campo) return to DTF with the final part of their trilogy on mining Out of the Blue (6-7 Oct, Project); Lake Life is a collaborative game, a puzzle and a celebration from Kate McIntosh (14-15 Oct, Samuel Beckett Theatre) and DTF is delighted to announce that Miet Warlop is back with another extraordinary work. To close the festival, this remarkable group of performers will perform a mesmerising ritual about life and death, hope and resurrection in an exuberant outpouring of energy – One Song: Historie(s) du Théâtre IV (Miet Warlop | Irene Wool and Ntgent, 13-15 Oct, O’Reilly Theatre), which was rapturously received at the Avignon Festival in 2022.

Other international projects include:

From Cardellini | Gonzalez, Switzerland, Golden Age – a project that takes the form of guided tours of shopping centres, banks and office buildings but in the manner of sightseeing strolls through archaeological sites (13-15 Oct, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre).

In his new work, Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel, Tim Crouch plays with ideas of virtual reality to travel back to the future of a play he left (from Crouch and The Royal Lyceum Theatre, 10-14 Oct, Smock Alley).

Irish and Irish based artists feature strongly, as always, with a succession of premieres that create an inspiring mix of excitement and artistic risk. These new works include themes of family, resistance and resilience. They celebrate the power of storytelling to renew and sustain our communities.

The world premiere of Breathwork from Irish National Opera is an intimate new opera by Éna Brennan (aka Dowry), a statement of horror and protest in response to the destruction of our environment (28-30 Sept, Project).

Presented across four, forty-five minute episodes, Luke Murphy’s Attic Projects’ Volcano blurs the lines of experimental theatre, contemporary dance and psychological sci-fi thriller in live performance made for the Netflix era (28 Sept-1 Oct, The Lir).

The legendary Marie Mullen returns in Landmark Productions’ The Saviour, Deirdre Kinahan’s fiercely funny and utterly gripping new play (27 Sept-8 Oct, Pavilion).

Verdant Productions and The Civic bring us the world premiere of a new play by Eugene O’Brien, Falling to Earth – My Summer with Bowie (27 Sept-15 Oct, Civic).

Comedian and writer Martin Beanz Warde’s debut play about an Irish Traveller returning home after 10 years is a powerful and moving dark comedy (28 Sept-14 Oct, New Theatre).

Isla is a dark comedy, a touching and troubling inquiry into our relationship with AI from Verdant Productions, Four Rivers and The Civic (28 Sept-7 Oct, Civic)

In 2021 To Be A Machine (Version 1.0) meditated on the use of technology to improve the human condition. Dead Centre’s To Be A Machine (Version 2.0), goes further, exploring how virtual reality will soon feel more immersive than reality itself. Performed by Jack Gleeson (29 Sept-8 Oct, Smock Alley).

Jack Furness directs one of the world’s most manipulative love stories, Charles Gounod’s Faust for Irish National Opera, with Duke Kim in the title role and Jennifer Davis as Marguerite (1,3,5 & 7 Oct, Gaiety)

World premieres on the Abbey and Gate stages. A beautiful new work by Erica Murray The Loved Ones from Rough Magic and Gate Theatre (from 28 Sept) and at the Abbey Nancy Harris’ dazzling romantic comedy with a twist, Somewhere Out There You (from 27 Sept).

Also at the Abbey Ironbound by Pulitzer prize winner Martyna Majok (from 3 Oct).

Everyone knows somebody who has suffered from cancer. Karen Egan’s own journey has inspired her to explore the vulnerability, chaos and humour of that experience in Warrior (2-7 Oct, Smock Alley).

From the UK, a highly critically acclaimed act of communal storytelling. A story of us, our future and how we get there in the end. We Were Promised Honey! (YESYESNONO Productions, 3-7 Oct, Project).

Quake by award-winning performer/writer Janet Moran, examines the gaps between what we say and what we really feel (Once Off Productions and Mermaid Arts Centre, 3-8 Oct).

SPIN SPIN SCHEHERAZADE is a live artwork by Orla Barry, performed by Einat Tuchman, her long standing collaborator, blending autofiction and oral history (5-7 Oct, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios).

Luke Casserly takes us on a performative journey to the Irish bog landscape through scent in Distillation (Casserly, Abbey Theatre and Solas Nua, 6,7,13 & 14 Oct, Goethe-Institut).

From Pan-Pan comes History Play, featuring an ensemble of prominent historians and performers who will explore everything historical and disgustingly relevant about the past right up to yesterday (5-15 Oct, The Bank @ Digital Hub).

Following on from his hugely successful plays, The Man in the Woman’s Shoes and I Hear You and Rejoice, Pavilion Theatre presents Mikel Murfi’s new one-man show The Mysterious Case of Kitsy Rainey (Loco and Reckless Productions and Pavilion Theatre, 10-15 Oct).

Three years ago, Róisín Stack set out to investigate a woman’s tireless pursuit of alone time. Now in No Woman is an Island, she presents her findings (10-14 Oct, Project).

Powerful Trouble, a highly visual live performance installation from dance innovators Junk Ensemble in collaboration with artists Jesse Jones, Amanda Coogan, Olwen Fouéré, Aideen Barry, Vicky Langan, Planningtorock and Katie Kim (11-15 Oct, RHA).

Based on a true story, This Solution is a new documentary-theatre hybrid from Shaun Dunne. Inspired by a young Irish man’s experience of the gay porn industry, it fuses revelatory testimony with new writing, dance, and original music (from Dunne and Project Arts Centre, 11-15 Oct).

Explored through the dynamic of a mother daughter relationship, Fishamble: The New Play Company’s In Two Minds by Joanne Ryan is a deeply personal, inventive and ultimately uplifting new work that examines the charms and challenges of living (11-14 Oct, Draíocht).

DTF 2023 features an expanded Family Season which includes the Theatre for Children programme curated by The Ark.

At The Ark:

    • Created by Branar and performed by Miquel Barceló and Moisés Mas García, this joyful production, Rothar, celebrates the places your imagination can take you. Includes a relaxed performance. (27 Sept-1 Oct, for ages 4+).
    • Through movement, music and imagination, Simone de Jong (The Netherlands) creates a highly visual and funny show about being alone and coming home, in Hermit (5-8 Oct, for ages 2-7).
    • Fall and Float is a new dance performance from Mónica Muñoz for audiences aged 7 years and over. In this exciting, impressive and highly visual show, two dancers create a magical world to explore childhood, adventure, fantasy, imagination and friendship (12-15 Oct, The Ark, for ages 7+)

At Draíocht for ages 12+ – Beautifully adapted by Amy Conroy, from the book by Martin McKenna, The Boy Who Talked to Dogs is a magical and mischievous tale of transformation, redemption, and what happens when the underdog finds his pack (Slingsby and Draíocht, 5-7 Oct)

At Axis Ballymun for ages 3-6. A Square World (Daryl & Co, UK) is an endearing and funny performance that looks at the unfairness of being left out in a world designed for everyone else but yourself (10-14 Oct).

Explore more on and off stage in Festival+, a series of talks, critical events and works-in-progress. Dublin Theatre Festival is committed to supporting and presenting new work and voices and is very proud that quite a number of those who have featured as works-in-progress have gone on to present them as fully staged productions in a later festival.

This year the WIPs include:

  • Guest Host Stranger Ghost (Kate Heffernan) 7 Oct
  • The Building Project (One Two One Two) 6 Oct
  • He Sits of a Tuesday (Axis Ballymun) 5 Oct
  • The Rachel Baptiste Programme: First Look Readings (Smock Alley Theatre) 13 Oct
  • Perf Corp Mo-Cap Experiments (The Performance Corporation) 15 Oct

Join some of Ireland’s leading designers to talk about the role of design in Irish theatre, put on your walking shoes for the Dublin’s Older Theatre History tour and hear International and younger critics debate work they have seen in two different panels, as well as the return of The Next Stage and International Theatre eXchange.