Rough Magic marks our 40th Anniversary with a series of events celebrating a distinctive and eclectic mix of work. Events will take place in Project Arts Centre and The Irish Film Institute on the 9th and 10th February.

RoughMagicForty Programme

Friday 9th February

7.00pm  Arena (live broadcast) – Project Arts Centre 1h
Hosted by Sean Rocks, Arena present a live broadcast with contributions by Anne Enright, Owen Roe, Arthur Riordan and many of the actors, musicians and writers who have made the Rough Magic story such a unique, eclectic and powerful element in Irish theatre. 

Saturday 10th February

10.30am  Hecuba – Irish Film Institute 2h
Screening of Hecuba – a dynamic filmed version of Rough Magic’s critically acclaimed theatre production (a sell-out hit from the 2019 Dublin Theatre Festival); a passionate reimagining of the aftermath of the Trojan War by internationally renowned playwright Marina Carr. Directed by Lynne Parker, with DOP Colm Hogan and edited by Tony Cranstoun.

Surrounded by the devastation of her city, her husband slain, Hecuba waits in the throne room for the conqueror Agamemnon. She and her daughters now face a future beyond their control, in a history written by the victors. An extraordinary ensemble cast (led by Aislín McGuckin, Brian Doherty and Owen Roe) offer a series of intense, dangerous, personal encounters and impossible choices in this visceral depiction of the effect of war and its cost to the individual.

2.00pm The Big Bang – Project Arts Centre 1h
Historian Diarmaid Ferriter chairs a panel consisting of Paul Mercier, Jim Nolan, Eleanor Methven and Lynne Parker, all from companies founded between 1983 and 1985; Passion Machine and Rough Magic in Dublin, Charabanc in Belfast and Red Kettle in Waterford. 

We look at at the genesis this eclectic bunch of companies and how they, and others, formed the powerhouse of Irish theatre during the unprecedented explosion in independent activity at a time of deep recession

3.30pm  Copenhagen – Project Arts Centre 2h
Staged Reading of COPENHAGEN by Michael Frayn. The Irish Premiere of Frayn’s internationally acclaimed play, produced by Rough Magic in 2003 starred Owen Roe, Ingrid Craigie and Declan Conlon. It received 3 Irish Times Best Actor nominations and a Best Director nomination (Lynne Parker); winning the awards for Best Production and Best Design (John Comiskey).

A chance to revisit one of the highlights of the Rough Magic cannon. Directed by Lynne Parker and read by the original cast.

COPENHAGEN takes place in the autumn of 1941, at a critical point in World War 2, when German physicist Werner Heisenberg pays a strange visit to his Danish mentor, Niels Bohr. To this day, speculation has raged over precisely what they discussed, for these two former friends were among a handful of scientists around the globe who could unlock the secret of nuclear warfare. In probing the mystery of this meeting, Michael Frayn has created an extraordinary play – gripping, haunting, exhilarating and moving – which asks how we can ever know why we do what we do.

7.00pm  Here Comes Everybody – Project Arts Centre 2h
A collection of Rough Magic playwrights in a round-table discussion of the ideas that characterise their work – in all its many forms. Leading and established dramatists engage in conversation with new writers, looking into the future across subject matter, scale and form, and observing how theatre legacy can cross-fertilise with the present and regenerate the dialogue with the audience.

The conversation will be punctuated by excerpts from classic and new Rough Magic plays performed by a team of actors to illustrate themes and performance styles –  and celebrate the sense of fun that runs through all of our work, however profound its ambition. The evening will finish with an excerpt of WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? a work-in-progress, written and performed by Peter Hanly.

Panel includes Declan Hughes, Marina Carr, Erica Murray, Shane Mac An Bhaird, Jimmy McAleavey and more.

For information on Hecuba tickets contact 

For all other events, tickets from Project Arts Centre are on sale now at this link!

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