Link to BOYS OF FOLEY STREET Production Programme: BOFS programme DTF 2012
* * * * * “Simultaneously meticulous and wild, minutely calibrated and terrifyingly exposed, Lowe’s work is unforgettable” – Fintan O’Tooole, The Irish Times
“Performed with ferocious precision, here is a play that takes a few streets and reveals a whole world.”Susannah Clapp, The Guardian
“Louise Lowe’s extraordinary Monto Cycle about Dublin’s north inner city has reached a level where it is the rawest enactment of the dark side of Irish life and the most sophisticated theatre we have. It ignites aesthetics and politics, the historic and the contemporary, in a controlled explosion of cold rage.”
– Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times
“Performances are mesmerising, making this the strongest cast of the whole festival. Chilling, sad, scary and claustrophobic, this is an experience deserving of the overused expression ‘unmissable’” – The Stage UK
* * * * * “If, in the coming weeks you draw up a list of Top Five Things To Do Before You Die, prioritize THE BOYS OF FOLEY STREET… it takes you to places you never wanted to go but needed to, show you things you never wanted to see but needed to and bring you up close and personal to the trials of a community, the death of innocence, the devastation of drugs and face to face with you own personal responses to some harrowing questions frighteningly relevant today. Thrilling, terrifying, transforming this is a theatrical experience like no other”– Chris O’Rourke, The Examiner
“It is fully immersive; it is intense, heartbreaking, frightening. The extraordinary cast are so engrossed in their roles that they don’t seem to be acting; they blend seamlessly with much of the local colour… You stop to process all you have seen, all that you have been part of. And in these moments, you recognise how little has changed. This was a war zone – is still a war zone. Then is indeed now”– Sophie Gorman, Irish Independent
* * * * * Immersive, impressive and at times terrifying, this confronts head on the reality of life in Dublin’s inner city.. Its rare a piece of theatre stays lodged in your brain for as long as this does” – Metro Herald
“…a piece that is deeply unsettling then oddly reassuring, exhilarating then shaming, coherent and chaotic… Hair raising and intimate…Deeply affecting production” – Peter Crawley, The Irish Times
“Extraordinary work… violent, extreme, physical and possibly the most resonating theatre experience you will have in a long time. Not for the faint hearted, but you should strengthen your heart and go and see it. It is remarkable”. – RTE Radio 1 Arena
“… It tears your senses asunder. You know it’s only a play. You’ve seen the other two in the series. Yet every part of you bucks in panic and loathing as you partake in activities you would never consider engaging in. As with their last productions, Laundry and World’s End Lane, The Boys of Foley Street insures the ghosts they’ve resurrected will haunt you from here on out.”– Entertainment.ie
* * * * * “The highlight of the Dublin Theatre Festival is The Boys of Foley Street. Admirably, while The Boys of Foley Street is a call for justice and for civic engagement from its audience, it also acknowledges our huge disempowerment. The call for political engagement is a recurrent motif in contemporary Irish theatre, but it’s seldom handled with such nuance.” Irish Examiner
“The Boys of Foley Street does what the company have been refining throughout the project: they break down the fourth wall and drag the audience through to the other side. They also set the standard for the sort of theatre that forces the audience to get up onto their feet…” – Irish Theatre Magazine
“One of the most striking pieces of Irish Theatre I have ever seen” – Darragh Doyle, World Irish
Taking it’s lead from a seminal documentary made in 1975 by broadcaster Pat Kenny where he interviewed four young boys about their lives, families, ambitions and their involvement with petty crime. THE BOYS OF FOLEY STREET was a large-scale durational performance, presented as part of the 2012 Dublin Theatre Festival. Our most ambitious project to date; Performing to over 1,850 audience members in 456 shows durationally each day of the festival and exploring the third regeneration of the area, it was a breathing, living exploration of the decade 1971- 1981.
Reflecting an era where recession and unemployment fed male aggression and thievery. It reflected a time all too similar to our present. Embedding RFID technology it chronicled a period of immense change, the demolition of tenement housing, the impact and rise of heroin, the Dublin / Monaghan bombings, the Concerned Parents against drugs movement and ultimately a community imploding in on itself.
The Boys of Foley Street was curated and cued entirely by the audience based on the choices they make within the performance using interactive RFID (radio frequency identification) technology.
We were fascinated with how technology, especially mobile devices, creates new cultural spaces. In The Boys of Foley Street, we began to explore how this can be customised and personalised for each audience member and what the implications of this shift might be for our artistic practice.
The Boys of Foley Street won The Best Theatrical Production of the Year Award (ERICS entertainment.ie) and was nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards; Best Director (Louise Lowe) and Best Actress (Caitriona Ennis). It was also voted one of the top 10 theatre productions in Ireland and the UK by critic Susannah Clapp.