by Peter Handke

Directed by David Bolger and Garry Hynes

An artistic partnership between CoisCéim, Druid Theatre Company & Ireland’s National Theatre, the Abbey.

Searingly visceral, the present creates a terrifying new context for Handke’s THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER – a theatrically disruptive artwork that addresses urgent issues of our time. It places the audience at its heart as unique active observers, enabling each to experience an intense personal journey where an open square in bright light – the Abbey stage – will explode into 450 dances to:
– transform the way we view the everyday
– deepen understanding of the consequences of conflicted histories 
– embolden a nation to move forward, comprehend & heal
David Bolger and Garry Hynes’ Irish premiere of Handke’s wordless play is one element of a major inter-connected performance, participation and professional development endeavour to mark the culmination of the Decade of Centenaries that also includes:
– SPACE TO DEBATE – a national curated citizen engagement initiative to allow open discourse, that elaborates on key themes from the Decade of Centenaries encountered in the stage work. It will culminate in a series of live debates (in person and online) and the publication of a Toolkit to foster discursive skills
– BUILDING BACKSTAGE CHOREOGRAPHY – a professional development opportunity for six Stage Managers to actively contribute to improving diversity backstage

This year-long project is funded through an OPEN CALL Award from Arts Council Ireland.

More details coming soon. Find out more about ART:2023 HERE 



A PROJECT driven by conflicted narratives – some distorted through time – experiences that define those who inhabit this island now – to challenge the way we witness and digest difference and underscore the role of art in promoting a deeper understanding and recognition that shared historical experiences give rise to very different narratives and memories.

AN ARTWORK that resonates strongly with a key goal of the Decade of Centenaries programme, to focus on the everyday experience of ordinary people living in extraordinary times,  offer fresh insights & constructive dialogue, & foster deeper mutual understanding among people from the different traditions.

In many ways more pertinent today than when it was written in 1992, this rigorous, intensely Irish interpretation of Nobel laureate Peter Handke’s THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER will physically address acute issues of the present: displaced peoples; climate change; accessibility; inclusivity and the messiness of uneasy peace. 

The Abbey Theatre – an open space in bright light – the town square as a dynamic place for dialogue between art, artist, audience and citizen – to emphasise what performance is & can be and why it matters to daily life.

AN INVITATION to participate in safe SPACES TO DEBATE – not comfortable – not neutral – not linear – where differing opinions can be expressed.  Curated spaces of balanced equity that harness the choreographic energy in every human action / reaction and that allow for robust discourse around difficult themes. 


Garry Hynes co-founded Druid in 1975 and has worked as its Artistic Director from 1975 to 1991 and from 1995 to date. From 1991 to 1994 she was Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Garry has also worked with the Gate Theatre (Ireland); the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court (UK); Center Theatre Group, Second Stage, Signature Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, the Kennedy Center, the Mark Taper Forum and the Spoleto Festival (USA).

Awards include: The Joe A. Callaway Award (New York) for Outstanding Directing for The Cripple of Inishmaan (2009); a Tony Award for Direction for The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1998); Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Awards for Best Director for DruidShakespeare: Richard II, Henry IV (Pts 1& 2), Henry V, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Waiting for Godot and a Special Tribute Award in 2005 for her contribution to Irish Theatre. Garry has received Honorary Doctorates from University College Dublin, University of Dublin, the National University of Ireland and the National Council for Education Awards. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, and a member of the Honorary Council of the Royal Hibernian Academy (HRHA). In 2011, Garry was appointed Adjunct Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at University of Galway. Please see for more information. 

David is the Artistic Director and co-founder of CoisCéim Dance Theatre. His work has been seen by millions of people worldwide and has received prestigious awards for its innovation, performance and choreography. David has directed and choreographed over 30 original productions for CoisCéim, including GO TO BLAZES, FRANCIS FOOTWORK, the highly lauded THE WOLF AND PETER, BODY LANGUAGE, and co-directed the major international co-production THESE ROOMS (Irish Times Theatre Award, London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), TATE Liverpool). His work for the company has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Peak Performances in the USA, Spring Loaded (The Place) and the Brighton Festival in the UK, Ten Days on the Island (Tasmania), Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House (Australia).

David has received numerous choreographic commissions for theatre and opera including Druid (Ireland), Spoleto Festival (USA), Guthrie Theatre (USA), RTÉ (Ireland), National Theatre (UK), Abbey Theatre (Ireland) and Opera Ireland. He is a member of Aosdána. Please see for more information.

Caitríona is the Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre. She was born in Donegal and studied science at the University of Ulster before moving into theatre. She was Associate Director at the Abbey Theatre from 2017-2020, where her productions included: The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh (with Conall Morrison); Citysong by Dylan Coburn Gray (ITTA nomination Best New Play); On Raftery’s Hill by Marina Carr, (for which she won Best Director at the 2019 ITTA); and Two Pints by Roddy Doyle, which toured widely in Ireland and the USA. She also worked with theatre and opera companies on both sides of the border, including Wexford Opera, Hot for Theatre, INO, The Local Group, and Landmark, and she was the director on O’Casey in the Estate, a TV documentary shown on RTE.

Prior to moving into directing, with Patrick McCabe’s Frank Pig Says Hello at the Finborough Theatre in London in 2003, Caitríona worked as a drama facilitator in Northern

Ireland, working with young people and in conflict resolution. In London, she directed numerous productions, focusing primarily on new writing, and collaborated with the Royal Court in sourcing and developing a new theatre space. She was awarded a Clore Fellowship in 2007 and subsequently spent six summers with LAByrinth Theatre Company in New York developing new plays for Artistic Directors John Ortiz and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, at their Summer Intensive. During this time Caitríona also directed a number of plays in New York including Killers and other Family (part of the OBIE award-winning Hilltown Plays) and plays at Atlantic Theatre, Rattlestick, and Bard Summerscape.

Mark is the Executive Director of the Abbey Theatre. From Bray, Co Wicklow, he studied at University College Dublin, graduating with a Master’s degree in English Literature. He has had over 25 years’ experience in the theatre and wider culture sectors, as a leader, facilitator, actor, sound designer, administrator, and theatre director. He has also led, directed, and developed work in the youth theatre sector, and with Team Educational Theatre Company.

Mark was previously Director of axis arts centre Ballymun. Over ten years, he developed axis into an organisation and space of local, national and international renown, that created, facilitated and produced new and significant work, across theatre, arts development and engagement contexts. Mark led the organisation through two years of mentorship on the New Stream programme with the Devos Institute, at the University of Maryland and Business to Arts and completed a postgraduate diploma in Innovation and Social Enterprise at the Ryan Academy.

Under his leadership, axis became an artistic and cultural hub for both artist and public, saw a 100% increase in gross box office, developing new income streams, a building expansion, and a new operational model, all while instilling a developmental and supportive ethos with the over 35 full / part-time staff, and many artists / collaborators. His driving force was to achieve a shared vision of excellence through inclusion.

He built strong relationships with a range of stakeholders, across a diverse range of sectors – artistic, cultural, non- profit, private, statutory, academic, local government and government – and collaborated nationally and internationally with bodies including Dublin Port Company, British Council, St Patricks Festival, Health Service Executive, Creative Carbon Scotland, and Creative Europe.