Dublin Theatre Festival. Young Critics 2012 – Sarah Mc Goohan

6 days. It is how long I have spent so far with my fellow Young Critics. 6 days. It is how long until myself and 15 other buzzing young theatre lovers are spoiled with an action packed weekend of good quality theatre, analytical discussion and guaranteed enjoyment. From the 5th to the 7th of October the Young Critics Programme, led by Alan King (NAYD’s youth theatre officer) and Dr. Karen Fricker, will hold their third and final residential weekend of 2012 as a part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.
I eagerly await next weekend with anticipation as from researching the line up of plays that we will be seeing and critiquing, I think it is going to be one of the best weekends so far which I can’t believe I’m saying after experiencing the wonderful Cork Midsummer Festival in June and prior to that, our weekend in Dublin in early April. Over the course of the three days we will be seeing three shows: Shibari by Gary Duggan presented by The Abbey Theatre, DruidMurphy- Plays by Tom Murphy : A Whistle in the Dark and The Wooster Group – Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
From tapping our feet to the music of Liam Ó Maonlaí and dancing on stage with the performers of ‘Rian’ in Cork Opera House, subtly taking over a shopping mall as part of Parallel Cities site specific Saturday afternoon show, Dylan Tighe’s emotionally provocative ‘Record’ and yet another late night visit to Parallel Cities: ‘House’, sitting down to relish in some straight drama like ‘Hamlet’ or ‘A Whistle in the Dark’ will contrast just beautifully.
Something that we, as 16 young critics, will be experiencing this weekend is publically discussing our feelings and opinions on what we have seen, heard, liked, loved or disliked at our public panel discussion on Sunday, October 7th at Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar. Both Dr. Karen Fricker and Alan King have (hopefully) sufficiently prepared us for this event by asking us questions and thus stimulating our thoughts and leading our analysis in the right direction. We now know what questions to ask and why to ask them. “Why did the director make the decision to do this or that?” “Did it work?” “If so, why?” – and so on and so forth.
The Young Critics Programme has also helped us with our own personal artistic issues. I find it much easier now to see from an audience’s perspective and how to access different obstacles we are faced whilst acting, directing or designing. It has made me more appreciative of theatre and my love for the stage and performance has done nothing but blossom since I have fallen in with NAYD.

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