Four Rivers Theatre along with our partners Verdant Productions and the Civic Theatre proudly present Isla by Tim Price at this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival. To set the scene, let us turn to journalist Ciara Murphy and her review of the play in The Irish Times: ‘The play begins with a familiar vista: it is March 2020, and the Covid-19 pandemic has caused Ireland to go into lockdown. As Roger (Mark Lambert) says, sure it will only last three weeks. Amid this global crisis, and concerned for her elderly father, Erin (Tina Kellegher) decides to buy him a virtual assistant for company. This device, named Isla (voiced by Sarah Madigan), helps a reluctant Roger to navigate this changing world and to try to hold back the tide of lockdown loneliness. Although he resists her help at first, Roger comes to rely on Isla, not realising that this will become a life-changing relationship.’

The play opened at the Civic on September 30th, with previews September 28th and 29th and continued Oct 3rd-7th.

The production then moved to Garter Lane Theatre in Waterford on October 12th and 13th.

Mark Lambert had a leading role in the recent Four Rivers’ production, Amongst Men. Tina Kellegher shot to fame as Sharon Curley in the Stephen Frears directed movie The Snapper. Isla is directed by Davey Kelleher.

Upcoming Productions

A Handful of Stars by Billy Roche

2024 marks the 35th anniversary of the first professional production of A Handful of Stars, the first play in Billy Roche’s famous Wexford trilogy, which also includes Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry, described at the time by The Guardian as ‘one of the year’s great theatre events.’

Directed by Conall Morrison and designed by Liam Doona, with lighting by Paul Keogan and costumes by Jeni Roddy, A Handful of Stars is coming home to Wexford in June with a fortnight run at Wexford Arts Centre.

As part of the Arts Centre’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2024, Four Rivers will simultaneously celebrate the career of Billy Roche – playwright, novelist, actor and singer -with public interviews, an exhibition of the playwright’s memorabilia, readings (Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry, directed by Heather Hadrill) and a panel discussion including Billy Roche and Conall Morrison, moderated by Tom Mooney.

Wexford Arts Centre, June 8|9|11|12|13|14|15|16
Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire, June 18|19|20|21|22.

Castel Gandolfo by Jim Nolan

A reading was held at the National Opera House this week of Jim Nolan’s new play, Castel Gandolfo. The work has gone through several drafts and the reading was held to identify any areas that need further tweaking ahead of the production of the play in 2024. Ben Barnes will direct with designs by Dermot Quinn (set), John Comiskey (lighting), Jeni Roddy (costume) and Jamie Beamish (sound). Both Jim Nolan and Ben Barnes were in attendance at the reading and the reading cast were – Anna Healy, Brian Doherty, Anthony Brophy, Catherine Walker and Elishka Lane. Rehearsal will start on March 11th and the play will run at Garter Lane, Waterford from April 13-27.