By Saoirse Anton
Duck! January has landed. The season for advice columns on mindfulness and budgeting in every magazine, for the deluge of fitness gear and Nutribullets in every shop, and, of course, for New Year’s resolutions. I’m not about to give you advice on fitness or diet resolutions, they’re not my thing in the slightest (I’m currently sitting at my desk eating a Chocolate reindeer), and nor am I going to give you any tips and tricks for budgeting (if anyone has them, answers on a postcard please). No, we’re going to chat about a different sort of resolution – New Year’s Theatre resolutions. Pick and choose the resolutions that suit you or add your own, and let’s set off together on our 2019 theatrical expedition!
1. Re-visit an old favourite
Whether it’s rooting out a copy of a play you read for your Leaving Cert, listening back to a radio play you heard once, or booking tickets to a show you loved that is back on tour, check back in with an old favourite and enjoy it again. Personally, I’ll be heading along to Bat the Father, Rabbit the Son when it comes to my local venue on its 30th anniversary national tour. I reviewed it back in 2017, and I know I’m going to enjoy revisiting this lively story!
2. Step outside your comfort zone
Book yourself a ticket to a show that you would never normally think of going to see, or head to your library and find a play from a writer that you always skipped over in the past. I’m looking forward to learning more about styles of dance that I haven’t seen much of before. I’m also hoping to catch Corps Ensemble’s new production of This is What Happened by Adam Wyeth. Described as “a trippy triptych of verbal warfare, media spin, and shocking talk-show showdowns,” it sounds like a challenging and intriguing show!
3. Create something
Pick up a pen and write a couple of lines, pop on your favourite song and make up a dance to it, or find a workshop you’re interested in and head along to it. There are so many workshops and groups around, and lots of them are free to attend. Pop in to your local arts centre or library and ask them about writers’ groups, art classes, reading groups, or other craft groups. As you can imagine, I’ll be writing lots!
4. Support new work and emerging artists
If you’re looking for something to fulfil resolution number two, have a look at smaller venues and fringe events. Keep an eye out for scratch nights and new readings, and if you see a new company has announced a production, give it a go! I’m looking forward to catching some of Witchwork Theatre Company’s work in the new year; they are bringing their second production, The Harvest, to the New Theatre in March.
5. Share something
Tell a friend about something that you saw, read or heard that you enjoyed this year. As Virginia Woolf wrote, “pleasure has no relish unless we share it.”
6. Treat yourself!
I don’t mean you have to splash out on something you can’t afford, in fact, you don’t need to spend any money at all. Just pop out on your lunchbreak to see your favourite street performer, or set aside half an hour to enjoy something you’ve been looking forward too. I recently booked myself a ticket to see the Glasgow Girls at the Abbey Theatre; I’ve been dying to see it for a few years now and I’m excited to catch it here in Ireland.
The start of a new year is always exciting. Who knows what the coming months will hold? Let’s hope it’s lots of theatre! So list off your resolutions, book your tickets, pick up your pen, open your script and dive in.
Happy New Year!