Each morning, the casts and crews gather in the Samuel Beckett Centre in TCD for a detailed critique of the previous day's shows from the panel of judges, skilfully chaired by Karen Fricker, editor of Irish Theatre Magazine and teaching assistant in UCD Drama Studies department.
In the snappy programme notes for UCC's Breathing Water the title is followed by "Cork-Dublin-Edinburgh": the play's slot in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is secured already.This high-energy ensemble piece, written and directed by Raymond Scannell, delves into an adolescent hall of mirrors: dating rituals, football frenzy, Catholic schooldays, summers at Carson's Cove, the terrors and the yearnings, all filtered through language that moves easily from comedy to lyricism.In 2016, he voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia, Shere Khan in the live action/CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book, Fluke in Finding Dory, and played the role of Krall in Star Trek Beyond.He made his directorial debut in 2018 with an adaptation of the 1992 novel Yardie by Victor Headley.Tomorrow's performances are Clare Mc Intyre's Low Level Panic (TCD, noon), Shakespeare's Hamlet (UCD, 3 p.m.), Owen Mc Cafferty's Freefalling (Space, 6 p.m.), Conor Mc Pherson's This Lime Tree Bower (SFX, 8.30 p.m.).
Saturday's performances are Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come!In a couple of productions so far there have been alarming levels of sloppiness, especially in stagecraft, and little evidence of the presence of a director.In a few cases, the director is also starring in the show, so the necessary objectivity is lost.They are used to the support and applause of their pals and can find it tough to listen to their efforts being dissected and dismembered.So far, the standard of performances and productions varies hugely."But I'm really excited that there are three new colleges participating - it prevents it from being cliquey. It's the only way people will get experience." Many of the plays competing are tried and tested, as is generally the case at ISDA: we have Pinter, Albee, Shaffer (two productions of Equus), Friel, Bernard Farrell and John B.