Liam is an established freelance theatre director based in Ireland.
He has received numerous awards from the Irish Arts Council to develop his work over the past 13 years.
His work has been funded by Dublin City Council, EU Peace & Reconciliation Fund, The Gulbenkian Foundation, The British Council, The Midland Health Board and by Fingal, Monaghan and Westmeath County Councils.
Liam by Tom Lawlor 2013
He was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award as Best Director for two productions Speaking in Tongues (Quare Hawks) and Rashomon (Storytellers).
He trained as an actor at the Stanislavski Studio in the Focus Theatre Dublin under Deirdre O'Connell and Mary Elizabeth Burke Kennedy. Liam has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Lindsay Anderson, Sir Hugh Hunt, Declan Donnellan, Phyllida Lloyd, James Macdonald and Annie Castledine.
Recent script development...
Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series of books, is writing a second act to his play Holy Mary which Liam originally produced with Aileen Mythen in 2011 with the help of an Arts Council Touring Award for Wexford Arts Centre and Bewley's Cafe Theatre.
Liam interviewing Colm Toibin for The Next Stage
2011. Photo: David Prior
Liam helped Philip St John, a short story writer, develop his full length play The Sylvia.
The play was accepted onto Fishamble's New Play Clinic and was given a minimal production at the 'work-in-progress' Collaborations Festival 2013 in the main space at Smock Alley Theatre. It received some production support from Rough Magic Theatre Company and Fingal County Council.
Liam is in the initial stages of creating a new music led theatre piece with his collaborator, the composer Denis Clohessy. The first stage will begin in Draiocht Arts Centre in April.
Following the success of Mary Stuart last year Liam will announce another major production with Pageant Wagon Theatre Company very soon.
A Kurt Weill Cabaret, a show which Liam initially directed and compiled, will be playing in The Studio at Birmingham Rep Theatre on 22nd March with Liza Sadovy and Walter van Dijk, now directed by the wonderful Lawrence Evans.
Liza Sadovy and Walter van Dijk
Photo: Lawrence Evans
The Tenderfoot Project
Civic Theatre Tallaght Dublin Oct 2013 to end of Jan 2014
This is the seventh year of an apprenticeship programme for young theatre makers produced by The Civic Theatre and South Dublin County Council with the help of a Young Ensemble Award from the Arts Council.
Far Left: Aoife Rooney and Scott Byrne rehearsing Rainy Day by Faye Arejola
Left: Hayleigh McGowan rehearsing I Remember by Ola Kusiak
Photo: Peter Kelly
This is a rare opportunity for transition year students to learn the basics of theatre making.
Forty four young people drawn from seven secondary schools throughout the South Dublin region are working with Liam, Veronica Coburn and Gavin Kostick. The group write, perform, design and stage manage their own work for four performances in the Civic Theatre.
Dates: Thurs 23th January 2014 @ 12 noon, Fri 24th @ 12 noon,
Sat 25th @ 3pm and 8pm.
a new film by
Liam is delighted to be acting again, and on film! He is playing Seamus Monkton, a central role, in this contemporary banshee story.
The rest of the cast includes Kelly McAuley, Dylan Kennedy, Frank O'Sullivan and Marcus Lamb. The film has evolved over an eighteen month period and will be due for release in the summer of 2014.
Left: Kelly McAuley and Liam Halligan photo by Sean Garland. Right: Sean during editing.
Work in 2013...
Scabs by Naomi Elster
at Theatre Upstairs over Lanagans on Eden Quay Dublin.
This is a new play by a first time writer directed by Liam celebrating the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.
'Elster's first play crackles with fiercely help moral and political arguments....a lively and gripping production.'
Photo: Toshi Sakauchi of Aine de Siun and Rob Harrington.
'There's a passion and eloquence in Naomi Elster's play.
It has great life.'
'Scabs is insidious. It's infectious. So let the message spread.'
by Freidrich Schiller
The Freemasons Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
Dates: 29 July - 10 August at 7.30pm
xxxx 4 stars! Show Of The Week.
xxxx 4 stars!
Adapted and Directed by Liam Halligan
Lighting Design by Ciarán O'Melia
Costumes by Sinéad Cuthbert
Music by Pierpaolo Vitale
Produced by Pageant Wagon Theatre Company
Supported by Dublin City Council with production support from Rough Magic Theatre Company.
This was a sell out site specific production, in one of Dublin's most extraordinary venues. It offered a remarkable setting for this wonderful European classic.
Photos by Toshi Sakauchi: From top - Christiane O'Mahony as Mary, Aenne Barr as Elizabeth, Neill Fleming as Burleigh with Karl O'Neill as Paulet.
With a cast of ten actors and one musician we created an urgent, contemporary piece of theatre, played in traverse, creating an atmosphere of intimate intensity.
'A ripping political thriller played out on the chessboard-like patterned carpet floor of the Freemasons' Hall. Fascinating how contemporary it really is.'
Irish Theatre Magazine
'You feel like a spectator at a 16th century trial. This is a riveting piece of poetic drama, splendidly translated, full of dramatic twists and turns.PAGEANT WAGON deserve praise for bringing us another chance to see what a fine dramatist Schiller was.'
Irish Mail on Sunday
'The action plays out on a checkered carpet, as queens and counsel move like chess pieces. Director Liam Halligan keeps the movement fluid - Sinéad Cuthbert's exquisite costume collection. One of the rewards of Schiller's dramatisation is to bring both queens face-to-face - it's a moment perfectly measured by Halligan, as the room drops silent with tension - PAGEANT WAGON's glamorous and chilling production is a discovery of a powerful play in a mysterious venue.'
Musings in Intermission, Chris McCormack
'Fresh and vibrant - Aenne Barr's portrayal of the ruler is a subtle and nuanced performance - Christiane O'Mahony's portrayal of Mary Stuart is as tender as it is strong. Impressive, still, is the pipe organ, played by Pierpaolo Vitale.'
Town & Country
by Gary Duggan
Smock Alley Theatre 7.30 25th to 30th June 2013
Liam directed Gary Duggan's two new plays Town & Country for this year's Gaiety School of Acting graduates.
Gary saw this as an opportunity to experiment, partly returning to earlier elements of his work but also to try some new things.
Each play tells a separate, self-contained story. When viewed together several parallels in terms of theme and references are apparent.
This was the graduating production for the final year students at the Gaiety School of Acting - National Theatre School of Ireland.
Photo: (above)Teri FitzGerald, Ashleigh Dorrell & Rex Ryan in Town
(below) Katie McCann & Clodagh Duggan Smock Alley June 2013.
Collaborations 13 Festival
Smock Alley Theatre Dublin
by Philip St John
Directed by Liam Halligan
Designed by Marcus Costello
Photo: Anna Shiels McNamee
by Maciej Staroniewicz
With Anna Shiels McNamee, John Delaney, Gillian McCarthy and Matthew Ralli.
'Philip St John's drama is an exploration of the uneasy relationship between the viewer and the viewed, the slippery politics of exploitation, and the shifting value placed on constructed images. St John makes this argument compelling, and works to offer an additional critique by linking the ups and downs of the value of art, body and image to the fluidities of economic exchange and valuation in the midst of the recent financial crash. In broad
strokes, his narrative is cleverly constructed as a diptych, where the second half offers us a mirror image of the first, but with inverted positions of
power and privilege. Director Liam Halligan has worked well with his actors in shaping St John's pithy dialogue, the texture of which recalls the sly menace of Harold Pinter or Philip Ridley.'
Irish Theatre Magazine
'The Sylvia is a new attractive and elegantly constructed play by playwright Philip St John. Structured in two acts that mirror and oppose each other, at times dramatic, at times hilarious, The Sylvia delivers. The dialogues are rapid and witty and the staging, although minimalistic, is effective. The two main protagonists, Barry (Delaney) and Sylvia (McNamee) are excellent throughout. McNamee's rendering of the complexities of a character like Sylvia is impressive. The audience is constantly challenged and amused. The Sylvia is
a brave reflection on our society and its hidden obsessions.' Hi Magazine
Back in 2012 Liam was...
Artist-in-Residence at Draíocht Arts Centre
Photo by Tom Lawlor
See promo of the final performances in Draíocht Arts Centre...
Supported by Fingal County Council and the Arts Council.
Liam created an hour long devised piece of theatre with 30 people from the local area.
Fiona Fitzpatrick in 'You Yes You'
Below: The full cast.
Photo by Tom Lawlor
The piece arose out of consultation and drama workshops with local people from the Dublin 15 area.
You Yes You, a political cabaret, was performed on the main stage at Draiocht Arts Centre for 2 performances at the end of November 2012. We received very good audiences and the piece had an excellent response.
Director and Designer: Liam Halligan
Lighting Design: Marcus Costello
Music: Tom Lane
There was great interest in the project with over a hundred initial enquiries.
'I just want to say that the last year being involved in Liam Halligan's community project was amazing, and something I won't forget in a hurry. After our first meeting I knew I wanted to be involved to the very end. The community feeling was amazing. No one held back, which I think was largely due to Liam being such an open person. I would recommend anyone to look into any of the future projects that Draiocht or Liam have, because honestly it is one of the best things you will ever sign yourself up to, even if I was sick with nerves before each performance.'
Patrice Sheridan December 2012
Holy Mary by Eoin Colfer
Produced by Wexford Arts Centre, Black Stair Productions and Bewley's Cafe Theatre.
Supported by an Arts Council Touring Grant
Holy Mary looks at the world from an eight year old's point of view as she prepares for the pivotel moment of her first Holy Communion.
Photo: Iseult Golden and Aileen Mythen by Arex Wnuk
Aileen Mythen plays Mary
Iseult Golden plays everyone else.
The production features sound and music composed by the award winning composer Denis Clohessy with set and lighting designed by Marcus Costello and costumes by Helen Connolly.
Eoin Colfer is a New York Times best-selling author especially known for his extraordinary Artemis Fowl series.
'Eoin Colfer's new play is funny, endearing and clever. Both Mythen and Golden deliver standout performances. Worthy of Roald Dahl, this is unalloyed enjoyment.' The Sunday Times
'Mythen is a great testimony to the power of live theatre. On stage her acting is captivating. Golden is versatility personified. Under Liam Halligan's direction both actors maintain a hectic pace of narrative and an energetic flow of action. Denis Clohessy contributes a haunting soundscape.' Irish Theatre Magazine
'Humour and pathos aplenty!' The Irish Times
'Exuberant engaging performances under Liam Halligan's expert direction. **** The Metro
'Both women are delightful...beautifully encapsulated'
See promo here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltQKCYCnAgY
Left: Iseult Golden and Aileen Mythen by Arex Wnuk
Right: Aileen Mythen by Toshi Sakauchi
The show opened in Wexford Arts Centre in August 2011 and toured to the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford and to Conary Community Hall near Avoca in Co.Wicklow.
The show played for 3 packed weeks in Bewley's Cafe Theatre in Dublin.
Dublin's ABSOLUT Fringe Festival 2011...
Last Year by Gavin Kostick
A Fishamble Show in a Bag 2011
Following the success of last year's 'Show in a Bag' Fishamble together with Dublin Fringe Festival and Irish Theatre Institute are continuing to join forces to provide actors with their own tourable production.
Photos: Maeve McGrath as Orla by Toshi Sakauchi
Liam was delighted to work with Gavin Kostick, the actor Maeve McGrath and composer Eleanor McEvoy on one of this year's baggable shows. The piece was performed during the Absolut Fringe Festival in Bewley's Cafe Theatre...
'Liam Halligan's staging is simple, with music and projected interludes alerting us to the play's shifting tone before the true nature of things is revealed. The end is truly moving as performer Maeve McGrath drops all defences and embraces her fate.'
*** The Irish Times Sarah Keating
'The everyday inevitabilities of both like and death are represented equally well here. Ably directed by Liam Halligan, McGrath plays Orlaith, a night shift nurse at a Limerick nursing home. McGrath is able by the end to effectively convey the emotional earthquake that Orlaith experiences.'
*** Irish Theatre Magazine Jessie Weaver
Other work in 2011...
Toxic by Michelle Reid
at Project Arts Centre
28 June - 2 July 2011
Liam directed this terrific new play by Michelle Reid. It is a full length play specially commissioned for this year's 18 graduating GSA students.
Set & Lighting by Marcus Costello. Sound Design by Karl Kennedy. Costumes by Helen Connolly.
Photos of cast by Toshi Sakauchi 2011
Michelle sees the play as a reflection on what the younger generation are in for in deepest recessionary Ireland.
Photo of Stuart Conlon and Caoimhe O'Malley by Toshi Sakauchi 2011
This was a dynamic, inventive and hard hitting production which received excellent houses and a number of standing ovations.
Stuart Conlon, Alicja Ayres, Tiernan Kearns by Toshi Sakauchi 2011
A Work in Progress...
'TRASH ' (working title) -
a piece of music theatre ...
Liam and German actress Claudia Schwartz worked on an hour long piece in The Backloft, St. Augustine Street, Dublin in May 2011. This is an Irish/German collaboration to create an original piece integrating live music, sounds, text and imagery. They are delighted to be collaborating with cellist/sound artist Claire Fitch.
Claudia in 'Trash'.
Photos by Elena Hermosa
This is a development of a piece called Filth which Liam and Claudia created for Project Brand New as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival in the Project Arts Centre in October 2009.
Some audience feedback...
' Needs to be seen by more people, doesn't need to be changed at all. Beautiful imagery and Symbolism.'
'Illuminating on the grotesque power of racism on the self. Really wonderfully and skilfully performed.'
'Provoked this amazing sense of unease, sometimes downright creepiness!'
'Brilliant performance... (scribble) I'm finding it hard to word how much I was affected.'
Synopsis of other work...
Liam has developed a reputation for creating visually striking pieces of theatre with strong vibrant performances based on adaptations or verbatim text i.e. Cracked (Hannah Greely), Rashomon (Ryunosuke Akutagawa), Dream of a Summer Day (Lafcadio Hearn), The Turn of the Screw (Henry James).
Top Left: Una Kavanagh in Speaking in Tongues.
Right: Emma Colohan in Rashomon.
Below: Ruth McGill in The Turn of the Screw
Photos by Toshi Sakauchi.
Liam is also known for his work on new writing, directing world premiere's by Ioanna Anderson, Ken Bourke, Mary Elizabeth Burke Kennedy, Eoin Colfer, Gary Duggan, Helena Enright, John Kavanagh, Gavin Kostick, Michael McCudden, Philip Osment, Barry McKinley, Paul Meade, Colin Teevan and with the Australian writer Lally Katz.
Liam was delighted to workshop Eithne McGuinness's (RIP) play One Hundred Strokes at the Abbey Theatre.
Left: Colin O'Donoghue in Philip Osment's Leaving (Quare Hawks) 2002.
Photo: Ken Wardrop
Colin O'Donoghue, Maria Tecce, Conan Sweeny, Diane O'Keffee and Aoife Malony in
'Dream of a Summer's Day' for Storytellers 2005
Photo: Toshi Sakauchi
Liam has directed classical works by Goldoni (Galloglass), Eugene O'Neill (Focus), Shakespeare (Storytellers/Irish Chamber Orchester), Oscar Wilde (Galloglass) and W.B. Yeats (Derby Playhouse).
Helen Delaney and Chris Patrick Simpson
in The Turn of the Screw Storytellers 08.
Photo: Toshi Sakauchi
Left:Brian Bennett in
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Photo: Maurice Gunning
Gaiety School of Acting - National Theatre School of Ireland...
Liam is a guest acting tutor at the GSA in Dublin. This is the most established professional actor training programme available in Ireland. He introduces the final year students to Shakespearean text.
2011 graduates in Toxic by Michelle Reid, directed by Liam in the Project Arts Centre.
Photo by Toshi Sakauchi
Laura Flynn and Laura McGuire in Another Twin
Aidan Turner and Paul Reid in Night Shift by Ioanna Anderson
Simon Stewart, Camille Ross and Francis Usanga in When the Hunter Returns by Lally Katz
National University of Ireland Dublin:
Over the past four years Liam has facilitated practical workshops on theatre direction for the MA in Drama Studies utilizing texts by Beckett and Ibsen.
Liam as Eilert Lovborg in 'Hedda Gabler' at Theatr Clwyd directed by Annie Castledine.
Liam is delighted to be an external examiner for drama students at the Cork School of Music. It is always inspiring and encouraging to meet so many passionate and energetic students.
In The Body September 2010
Liam attended this very exciting 3 day practice based symposium which was a collaboration between the RSC, the University of Kent and the Moscow Art Theatre School.
The symposium was the culmination of a 2 year Leverhulme funded project to exchange understandings and observe different approaches to movement training for actors.
Movement workshops were lead by Andrei Droznin (Master Teacher of Movement Vakhtangov Theatre Moscow), Natalia Federova (Movement Teacher Moscow Art Theatre School), Struan Leslie (Head of Movement RSC) and Niamh Dowling (Head of School of Theatre Manchester Metropolitan University).
Michael Chekhov Workshops August 2010
Photo by Scott Burrell by courtesy of MICHA 2010.
Liam received Arts Council awards in 2010 to take part in two Michael Chekhov training workshops with the Michael Chekhov Association from New York.
Windsor group of actors, teachers and directors. Joanna Merlin and Ted Pugh are seated centre.
Liam's first Chekhov workshop was aimed specifically at Drama Teachers and was hosted by NUI Galway in January. This was a week long workshop and the facilitators were Joanna Merlin and Fern Sloan.
Joanna is the only surviving pupil of Michael Chekhov who is still teaching.
The second 8 day workshop was hosted by the University of Windsor Ontario which houses the Micheal Chekhov Archive and was open to the participants. Here is a quote from a speech Chekhov made in January 1939 at the opening of his new school in Connecticut...
'There is a disharmony in our age because we are already dead to the higher level. So in our school we must try to awaken these dreams about another kind of people who are strong and flaming and cold as ice and storming.'
Getting a bit carried away..? Photo by Scott Burrell by courtesy of MICHA 2010.
See a short film by Ragnar Freidank on the Michael Chekhov week in Windsor...