Sara Keating: Stripped back productions affirm the vitality of live performance

Post-pandemic, it is proving challenging to attract former, or new, audiences to the theatre; these two offerings admirably remind us of the ephemeral staged reality of a live show

Michael Keegan-Dolan’s How to Be a Dancer in Seventy-two Thousand Easy Lessons opens on the empty stage of the Gate Theatre. Picture: Fiona Morgan

There has been a lot of hand-wringing over the last two years about the future of theatre. Fighting for their livelihood, those working within the industry have insisted upon the unique, inimitable nature of live performance, the unrepeatable moment-by-moment action, its essentially ephemeral quality.

As arts venues reopen, however, Irish theatres are struggling to build audiences back to pre-Covid levels. Programmers observe that many established theatre-goers have fallen out of the habit, the discipline of ...