Saturday 23 March 2024

 scenofest is funded by The Arts Council Arts Grant Funding 2024 and Dublin City Council. Presented in partnership with Project Arts Centre and Irish Theatre Institute

Celebrating the Art of Collaborative Stage Design

29 & 30 March 2024 at Project Arts Centre

The Irish Society of Performance Designers is delighted to present its very first festival on scenography. 

Join us this Easter for a stimulating and thought-provoking celebration of the art of collaborative stage design.

The festival line-up includes panels, workshops, PechaKucha presentations, networking events, a student forum, and a final performance with sound, lighting and AV designers, also showcasing costume.

Scenofest is conceived to celebrate and bring together the community of designers and of the performing arts at large, to foster and deepen dialogues, and to showcase the broad and diverse range of voices and disciplines in stage design. 

Highlights of the programme include a panel on collaborative design with Aedín Cosgrove, Esosa Ighodaro and Tom Lane, chaired by John Comiskey; workshops with Wayne Jordan on Collaborative Writing, and Niall Laverty on Gesture Drawing; PechaKucha presentations including The Pit Collective: Peter Daly, Noelle Brown, Esosa Ighodaro, Dee Roycroft and Catherine Fay, and a final performance curated by Peter Power.

Monday 9 December 2019

Friday 22 March 2019

Irish Times Theatre Awards for 2018

Having seen more than 130 shows in 2018, the judges have made 60 nominations in 15 categories.

Best Set Design,
Susan Hilferty for Hamlet
Francis O'Connor for Richard III
Jamie Vartan and Will Duke (video projection) for Grief is the Thing with Feathers
Paul Wills for The Snapper
Best Costume Design
Katie Davenport for The Tales of Hoffmann
Francis O'Connor and Doreen McKenna for Richard III 
Victoria Tzykun for Il Bravo
Paul Wills for The Snapper
Best Lighting Design
Aedin Cosgrove for Eliza's adventures in the Uncanny Valley
Paul Keogan for Hamlet
Sarah Jane Shiels for FRNKNSTN
Kris Stone for How it Is

See for more

Monday 8 October 2018

Mind over Matter 2018, last chance to book a face to face!

Last chance to book your face-to-face!
Your deadline extended to Midnight tonight Monday 8th October

Mind Over Matter 2018 is the perfect opportunity to have a tete-a-tete with experienced pros from diverse fields. Whether you're looking to revisit your Creative Process, add to your skillset, how to manage Creative Block/Impasse, or you're in the business of growing your business, this is the occasion for you: gain invaluable insights, promote yourself, engage with peers and do some serious good.

100% of fees go straight to Aware. Event takes places at a venue near you on Oct 10, World Mental Health Day!
So, are you up for doing good and getting better? Follow the links below to book now or learn more...

Book your place before Mid-Night tonight Oct 8th or I might turn into a Pumpkin!

Thursday 12 October 2017

“Tribes” seen at The Gate Theatre, Dublin

The Gate Theatre production of; “Tribes” seen at The Gate Theatre, Dublin. Part of the 2017 Dublin Theatre Festival

On 11th October last I had a very edgy, challenging, engaging and informative theatre experience at the Irish Premier of Nina Raine’s play “Tribes” at The Gate Theatre, Dublin

Scenographer Conor Murphy’s performance space for the play is set in a dark, ultra-stark, austere modernist dining room. Above the stage there are three borders the width of the performance area. Each border consist of five synchronised flat screen televisions in line so as to provide a horizontal linear image the width of the performance space. They were to good dramatic effect, augmenting the oscillating emotional moods of the performance and denoting time of day or night. They also were used to good effect in showing thoughts, translating sign language, showing memory flash-backs, the symbolic silence, isolation of an underwater sequence and provided for a change in location by lowering the downstage border of screens to near stage level.

Conor Murphy uses his control of costume colour and monochromatic greys to good effect in expressing emotion, happiness, dysfunction, hearing v deafness,

Photo Curtsey of The Gate Theatre

The dramatic and subtle lighting changes designed by Mimi Jordan Sherin moves in tandem with the mood changes of characters and the tensions of the moments. Characters are isolated, sometimes apparently freeze framed and at other moments animated into action by a lighting change.

Set and Costumes designed by scenographer Conor Murphy. The production is directed by Oonagh Murphy, Lighting Design by Mimi Jordan Sherin, Sound Design Ivan Birthistle, Hair and Make-up Stacey Regan, Wardrobe Assistant and Dresser Corinna Govan, Video Designer Conan McIvor

Nina Raine:       

Oonagh Murphy:
Conor Murphy:  


Stacey Regan:  

Ivan Birthistle:                                         m=&artistID=706

Conan McIvor:  

Corinna Govan: 

 Gate Theatre:   

Sunday 8 October 2017

“On Blueberry Hill” at The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin

Fishamble The New Play Company’s production of; “On Blueberry Hill” at The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin

On 5th October last I had a very entertaining, engaging and uplifting theatre experience at Fishamble The New Play Company’s production of “On Blueberry Hill” at The Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin

This is a very entertaining, thought provoking and uplifting Production of Sebastian Barry’s new play ‘On Blueberry Hill’ The pitiful and desperate  characters of mutually dependent Christy and PJ are superbly performed by Nial Buggy and David Ganly. The near minimal stage setting of isolated prison cell bunk beds is designed by Scenographer Sabine Dargent.

Photo curtsey Fishamble, 

The tight lighting designed by Mark Galione isolates the characters and performance space in the initial phases of the production. As the story reveals itself and the relationship between the characters unfolds, the lighting changes to include both characters simultaneously and gives poignancy to the subliminal background festooned with unanswered letters. This lighting change moves in tandem with the change in tempo of performance culminating in the closing, unbounded scene of unbridled forgiveness, joy and celebration of unfettered love of the human spirit. Thus undermining the earlier bleak murderous intimacy, the isolation and the claustrophobia of a two souls trapped in a prison cell.  

Set designed by scenographer Sabine Dargent. The production is directed by Jim Culleton, Set and Costumes Designed by Sabine Dargent, Lighting Design by Mark Galione, Sound Design Denis Clohessy,

Sabine Dargent:
Mark Galione:    

Denis Clohessy:

Fishamble Theatre:

Pavilion Theatre:

Sebastian Barry:

Friday 6 October 2017

Woyzeck in Winter at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival 2017

Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival production of Woyzeck in Winter at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival 2017

On Wednesday 4th of October last I saw Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival’s production of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck in Winter at The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. The massive, teetering set composed of dark, brooding Piano carcases is designed by Scenographer Jamie Vartan. The set references Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise which Schubert was still working on in 1827 when he died aged 31. Jamie Vartan’s stage setting provides a menacing performance space with semi concealed stairways, doors and performance areas. Influenced by the poetical work Winterrise by poet Wilhelm Müller, the poetic, nihilist Woyzeck in Winter is set or around 1833-37 Austria.

This dark, despairing and robustly performed production is not for the faint hearted, do not expect to whistle a production tune on your way home. Informed by the accounts of the French Revolution and of women, wives, lovers’ brutally murdered by nihilistic men, Büchner struggles to contextualise and express this human condition through his, arguably unfinished work.

The overall performance space and smaller ensconced spaces presents an apt and visually satisfying set design. The scenographer Jamie Vartan. I collaboration with Lighting Designer, Paul Keogan, provide the performers and audience with a collaboratively menacing environment in which to embrace the ambience and menace generated by this dark production.

The Costumes designed by Designer Joan O’Cleary and Supervised by Orla Long provide the actors with convincing evocative characters of a time and place long past yet appallingly relevant to the contemporary world. All in all it is an appealing design solution, a setting that provides a menacing and versatile performance space for the actors and the characters they portray.

The production was developed and directed by Conall Morrison, Scenography (Set Design) by Jamie Vartan, Costumes Designed by Joan O’Cleary, Lighting Design by Paul Keogan (based on original design by Ben Ormerod), Sound Design Mike Nestor

The €5 programme has an introductory piece by Festival Artistic Director and CEO Willie White and a thoroughly researched informative and provocative piece by author Belinda McKeon on writer Georg Büchner, Composer Schubert and Poet Wilhelm Müller. The programme also includes cv synopses of the production team, cast and crew,

Jamie Vartan:    


Orla Long:         

Paul Keogan:    

Ben Ormorod:   


Belinda McKeon:

Mike Nestor:      


Dublin Theatre