As a key component of our ongoing development support process for artists designed to bring exciting new productions to the Civic stage, we are delighted to announce a summer of work in progress with key partners the Corps Ensemble. Known to our audience for their daring take on existing texts such as Tallaght writer Mark O’Rowe’s ‘Made in China’ as well as for showcasing emerging writers such as Philip Doherty’s ‘Close to the Sun’, the company bring an outstanding ensemble ethic married to a daring artistic ambition that leads them to tackle plays of scale and substance with a rare energy and daring.

Kicking off in June, the Civic will host a series of workshops, discussions & free showings of work in progress by Corps Ensemble allowing the artists involved to explore and develop their craft as well as offering you the audience a free taste of what’s to come further down the road (plus a wonderful behind the scenes opportunity to see into the theatre making process itself).

The Civic’s Artistic Director Michael Barker Caven, comments:
“The current economic and funding environment has led many artists to downscale their ambitions and increasingly hone in on personal experiences as a source for making new work. Whilst this has its many merits, the theatre has always thrived best when it holds true to the belief that it is first and foremost a place of ambitious imagination and scale of vision. Audience’s respond to stories that whilst offering familiarity also take them somewhere else, that stretch the space between the everyday and the extra-worldly. Corps Ensemble are one of the few companies that have this kind of fierce and exciting intent. Further they recognise that whatever the style of work they present, the primacy of the single writer imbued with a complex, multi-layered vision, still remains the driving heart-beat of an engaging and memorable theatre experience. By having the company based in the building over the next few months, not only will we facilitate their need to explore new forms and practises in their work but we will also play a collaborative role in helping them nurture ambitious production concepts that will no doubt thrill and enthral our audience in the very near future”.

Edwin Mullane, Artistic Director of The Corps Ensemble, on the process ahead and what it means to bring the ensemble’s work to Tallaght.
“Over the last two years some of our most memorable performances have been at Civic, so it is a special honour to begin a process where we will create and develop work specifically with that local community and audience in mind. At the heart of our ethos is a desire to connect with audiences both new and existing and to engage with a wide range of artists and creatives to make vital, visceral, and vivid work. Over the next few months we look forward to reconnecting with the Civic audience in our pursuit to create uniquely theatrical worlds and discover synergy between spectator and performer.”



8th June, 10.30am – 5.30pm

The Ensemble as Physical Story Maker

Civic Studio

Performance workshop facilitated by Civic AD, Michael Barker-Caven and Artist in Residence Davey Kelleher where Corps Ensemble will explore physical storytelling, building images through ensemble and the use of music as dramatic, physical inspiration.


12th -15th June

Between Body and Ghost: An exploration of The Great Hunger by Tom Mac Intyre
Civic Studio

The cows and horse breed,

And the potato seed,

Gives a bud and a root and rots

In the good mother’s way with her sons;

The fledged bird is thrown

From the nest – on its own.


First performed in 1983 by the Abbey Theatre, The Great Hunger changed the landscape of Irish drama with Tom Mac Intyre’s adaptation of Patrick Kavanagh’s epic poem being celebrated in New York, Edinburgh, Paris, Moscow and Dublin for its physical and poetic force.

The Great Hunger portrays the terrible isolation of a man, Maguire, tied to the husbandry of poor soil. Maguire’s hunger is not a physical one – a need for food – ‘but a hunger of the senses created through upbringing, poverty and religion’. Despite his sterility, absence from world affairs and sexual pleasure, the play is both celebratory and spiritual.

The Corps Ensemble in collaboration with Civic Theatre aim to explore one of the Irish canon’s most important yet long side-lined works through a series of workshops and discussion culminating in a free, publically open rehearsed reading of the full play.


Friday, 15th June, 3pm

Studio Theatre

A free rehearsed reading of The Great Hunger by of Tom Mac Intyre followed by a followed by a chaired open discussion (Panel TBC)


26-29 June, 2nd -5th July 

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue (Development Process)

Studio Theatre & Main Auditorium

I can’t help anyone unless they tell me their story.

Terrible tales

Fabulous tales

Old tales in new skins.


Thirteen tales are unspun from the deeply familiar, and woven anew into a collection of fairy tales that wind back through time.
Acclaimed Irish author Emma Donoghue reveals heroines young and old in unexpected alliances – sometimes treacherous, sometimes erotic, but always courageous.
Using the intricate patterns and oral rhythms of traditional fairy tales, The Corps Ensemble aim to explore the exciting theatrical possibilities of the piece and open discussion on its themes of human rights and gender equality.


Thursday, 5th July, 4pm

Civic Main Auditorium

A work-in-progress showing of a foretaste of Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue followed by a chaired open discussion (Panel TBC).



9th -13th July 

THE FETCH WILSON – Technical Rehearsal
Studio Theatre

Ahead of its debut at the international Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, the Civic is supporting Corps Ensemble in preparing the work by providing a week of technical rehearsals in our studio theatre.