Best Upstart Theater Troupe
Solas Nua is dedicated to promoting “obscure work by contemporary artists in Ireland,” which means that there’s simply no room for Samuel Beckett and Sean O’Casey within the tightly packed schedule of local premieres by fringe voices Enda Walsh and Mark O’Rowe. Early, rule-breaking productions of Walsh’s Disco Pigs and O’Rowe’s Howie the Rookie certainly lent credence to the impression that modern Irish culture is equal parts violence and vulgarity. But Solas Nua has been expanding its focus lately with plays—like the tone poems of current obsession Marina Carr—that aren’t out to single-handedly obliterate the canon. Solas Nua’s seductive, site-specific production of La Corbière (staged for two days in a public swimming pool in 2006) is already overdue for a revival. It’s the kind of show that every company should be doing; other companies just aren’t that hip.