David Bolger developed BALLADS out of a desire to come to terms with the emotional aspect the great Irish Famine of 1845. Using the power of dance to articulate beyond the spoken word, it captures the emotion of the real people who were caught up in this natural calamity and political holocaust which even today historians are keen to ignore. BALLADS sets out to explore defining emotional moments in the psyche of the Irish people. Tangible key objects are presented to us on this journey – a pair of boots, a mound of earth, the log books of ships that record our connection with the greater world beyond Ireland. We witness the manipulation of objects as symbols which transform themselves – a plank of wood becoming a door – an empty table – a platform to perform on- a gangplank.

Choreography and Direction David Bolger
Cello Music and Improvisations Diane O’Keefe
Music and Sound Designer Bell Helicopter
Lighting Designer Paul Keogan
Costume Designer Helen McCusker
Original Cast Ella Clarke, James Hosty, Diane O’Keefe, Simone Litchfield, Kevin Murphy, Liz Roche
Subsequent Cast Muirne Bloomer, Benjamin Dunks, Anne Gilpin, Robert Jackson, Simone Litchfield, Martin Nolan, Diane O’Keefe
Hair and Make-up Designer Val Sherlock
Technical Manager Eamon Fox
Stage Manager Catherine Nealon


Past Performances

24-29 November 1997 | Project at The Mint | Dublin, Ireland
Other Performances
2 December 1997 | Belltable Arts Centre | Limerick, Ireland
4 December 1997 | Garter Lane Arts Centre | Waterford, Ireland
6 December 1997 | Town Hall Theatre | Galway, Ireland
11 December 1997 | Firkin Crane | Cork, Ireland
28-30 June 2000 | Samuel Beckett Theatre | Dublin, Ireland
6-9 July 2000 | Doris Duke Studio Theatre | Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival | Massachusetts, USA
20-22 March 2001 | Samuel Beckett Studio | Trinity College | Dublin, Ireland
30 March 2 April 2001 | Theatre Royal | Ten Days on the Island Festival | Hobart, Tasmania



‘…a powerful expression of human strength and frailty, Ballads dramatically evokes the complex nuances of the human lives’ The Tribune Magazine

‘…the use of symbols and multi-purpose props, combined wit highly-imaginative choreography, results in excitement and catharsis’ Irish Times



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