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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Dubai theatre group bring award-winning Irish play 'The New Electric Ballroom' to the stage

Enda Walsh’s acerbic play follows the claustrophobic lives of three sisters who live in an isolated town on the West Coast of Ireland

Trauma permeates family story. Courtesy Padraig Downey
Trauma permeates family story. Courtesy Padraig Downey

An award-winning Irish play brings dark wit and turmoil to Dubai this weekend.

The New Electric Ballroom, by celebrated playwright Enda Walsh, will hit the stage at the Courtyard Playhouse in Al Quoz from Thursday.

Presented by the UAE-based theatre group Danú Dubai, the play follows the claustrophobic lives of three sisters who live in an isolated town on the West Coast of Ireland. The eldest two sisters, Breda (played by Gwen Watson) and Clara (Aileen Kelly) have not ventured out of their homes in decades. Most of the housework is done by the youngest sister, Ada (Mary Claire Ryan), but her pent-up existence is starting to take its toll.

The play is mostly set in a living room where the three sisters recall and reenact a turbulent night at The New Electric Ballroom from years ago, the events of which led to them shutting themselves away from society.

Since its debut in 2008, the play has received international acclaim, winning awards and honours, such as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. On its 2009 New York debut, the production was praised by The New York Times as casting “a powerful, macabre spell”.

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This UAE production is another feather in the cap of Danú Dubai, who celebrate their fifth anniversary this year. They have previously staged Kuwaiti playwright Sulayman Al Bassam’s The Al Hamlet Summit and a Middle Eastern adaptation of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

The New Electric Ballroom, runs Thursday to Saturday at 8pm, at The Courtyard Playhouse, Al Quoz, Dubai. Saturday matinee, 4.30pm. The play is suitable for 13 years and above. See courtyardplayhouse.com/events