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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 14 years. 

Liam by Tom Lawlor 2013

He contributes as a part-time Lecturer to the:-

MA in Drama & Performance at UCD 

BA (Hons) in Theatre & Drama Studies for CIT at the Cork School of Music.

Short Biography

After training as an actor at the Stanislavski Studio at the Focus Theatre Dublin Liam worked with internationally renowned directors such as Lindsay Anderson, Sir Hugh Hunt, Declan Donnellan (Cheek By Jowl), Phyllida Lloyd, James MacDonald and Annie Castledine.


Liam interviewing Colm Toibín for The Next Stage Dublin 2012.

His work has been funded and supported by:-

The Arts Council

Dublin City Council

EU Peace & Reconciliation Fund

The Gulbenkian Foundation & The British Council

The Civic Theatre, Draíocht Arts Centre, Garage Theatre 

 Fingal, Monaghan and Westmeath County Councils & Midland Health Board.

Liam's work is eclectic, ranging from...


a devised piece like Cracked looking at the lives of women in mental asylums in 1950's/60's Ireland...

'A vibrant and powerful piece. This is exemplary and innovative stuff.'            Sunday Times

Photo: Diane O'Keeffe, Liz Keller, Dawn Fleming by Hannah Smolenska


to his own adaptation for four actors of

The Turn of the Screw which toured nationally... 

'A truly memorable work...a superb production and a riveting adaptation.'           Irish Examiner       



Photo: Ruth McGill by Toshi Sakauchi


to a site specific A Midsummer Night's Dream in co-production with the Irish Chamber Orchestra co-directed with Lawrence Evans...

'A high energy production delivering hit by hit.'                                                              Irish Times

Photo: Mark Fitzgerald, Brian Bennett by Maurice Gunning


to numerous new plays e.g. in 2014 On City Water Hill by Philip St John at Theatre Upstairs; The Importance of Being Honest by Billie Traynor at Bewley's Cafe Theatre; The Belle Bottoms by Eoin Colfer for the Tiger Fringe Festival in Smock Alley Theatre. 

'Not to be missed!'     Daily Mail

Poster with Pat Nolan & Neill Fleming designed by Beata Barylka


Liam was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award as Best Director for...

SIT_1_copySpeaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell  

for Quare Hawks Theatre Company.

'There can be no doubt about the strength of Bovells creative imagination. The four actors bring clarity and depth. Liam Halligans direction is fluent and sharply etched, against Marcus Costello flexible design.'          

The Irish Times on Speaking in Tongues

Noelle Brown & Karl O'Neill by Toshi Sakauchi

Rashomon for Storytellers Theatre Company RASHOMON

based on two stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.

A savage drama. For seventy-five minutes a hypnotic stage creation unfolds. The original music by Denis Clohessy adds a haunting dimension. This is new ground for Storytellers and they have harvested it with profit.    

The Irish Times on Rashomon

Emma Colohan, Malachy McKenna, Eoin Lynch by Toshi Sakauchi

Two Publications in 2014:


Mushroom, a play by Paul Meade, commissioned and produced by Liam in 2007, has been published by Cork University Press in a volume of new plays called Staging Intercultural Ireland.

The volume includes plays by Donal O'Kelly, Ursula Rani Sarma, Rosaleen McDonagh and Mirjana Rendulic.

There is an excellent introduction to the play by Jason King from the University of Limerick. 

Tenderfoot, a volume of plays by and for young people.

It contains 16 short new plays all written by 15/16 year olds over the past 8 years on the Tenderfoot programme at the Civic Theatre Dublin. The volume is published by South Dublin Libraries & Arts and The Civic Theatre.

Current plans...

Rosa_danceCrios/Cross network

Liam is planning a new cross border theatre network called Crios/Cross to tour a world classic in November 2015 in collaboration with The Civic Theatre Dublin, The Lyric Belfast and 8 other venues in the Border region. This tour will be confirmed in late February.

The creative team will be Marcus Costello (Set), Mark Galione (Lights), Denis Clohessy (Music/Sound), Sinead Cuthbert (Costumes).


The Lower Road

Liam has begun to explore an original music theatre piece with composer Denis Clohessy. They had an initial 2 week R & D period over Easter at Draíocht Arts Centre working with 3 young actor/singers Kate Gilmore, Roseanna Purcell and Jaimie Hallahan and the D15 Youth Theatre  Group funded by Fingal County Council's Arts Office.

Currently working on...

The Tenderfoot Project  
Civic Theatre Tallaght Dublin and Garage Theatre Monaghan until April 2015.

See link to Video from The Irish Times...



This is the 8th year of our apprenticeship programme for young theatre makers presented by The Civic Theatre, South Dublin County Council with the help of a Young Ensemble Award from the Arts Council.

This is a rare opportunity for transition year students to learn the basics of theatre making. 

Approximately 40 young people, drawn from seven secondary schools throughout the South Dublin region, work with Liam, Veronica Coburn and Gavin Kostick.


The group write, perform, design and stage manage their own work for 4 public performances in the Civic Theatre on 23rd and 24th January 2015.

Left: Hayleigh McGowan rehearsing I Remember by Ola Kusiak

Photo: Peter Kelly

 A Mini Tenderfoot will begin at the Garage Theatre Monaghan in February 2015.

Most recent production...

The Belle Bottoms by Eoin Colfer

at Wexford Opera Festival in the Spiegeltent from 29th to 31st October, show completely sold out.

It opened at the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2014 at Smock Alley Theatre.

Two ladies sing songs of restraining orders, gay brothers, spermy young fellas and growing up in the 1970's.  There will be flares, there will be attitude, there will be glitterballs!

With Sharon Clancy and Aileen Mythen

Lyrics by Eoin Colfer

Compositions by Bressie, Heathers, Eleanor McEvoy and many others.

Musical Direction by Liam Bates

Lighting by Mark Galione

'Sharon Clancy and Aileen Mythen bring a sassy presence and formidable vocals...'                                                                                                       The Irish Times

**** 4.5 stars 'An hilarious one hour disco delight.'                  The Public Reviews

'The reliably inventive Eoin Colfer...the Belle Bottoms could yet reach the top!'                                                                                                            The Irish Times

'Highly entertaining...a spectacular show.'                                           The Public Reviews


Coming up in 2015...

A Kurt Weill Cabaret

with Lisa Sadovy and Walter van Dijk

as part of Music on the Brink of War for The Soundings Festival

20 May 2015

at the Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas, Texas, USA

Originally compiled and directed by Liam Halligan. Now directed by the wonderful Laurence Evans.



In July 2015....

The Importance of Being Honest

by Billie Traynor

The production had a 3 week 'sell out' run in Bewley's Cafe Theatre in 2014

with Noelle Brown, Billie Traynor and Eamon Rohan.

Two of Oscar Wilde's favourite characters, Gwendolen and Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest, meet after 20 years in 1913....

'A wise play in an entirely delightful production by Liam Halligan.' Sunday Independent

'Liam Halligan's direction works fabulously. Traynor and Brown's onstage chemistry is unshakeable'.                                                                                          The Public Reviews


Photos: L to R Billie Traynor, Noelle Brown and Eamon Rohan by Toshi Sakauchi


'An engaging proposition...Traynor deploys expected witticisms but her true intention is more serious. Liam Halligan's production follows that artful inversion to reveal a poignant picture of lives in stasis.'     

 Irish Times

Cecily_dancing_smallSet: Eoin Lennon    

Lighting: Colm Maher 

Costumes: Helen Connolly

Sound: Eamonn Murphy

Producer: Bewley's Cafe Theatre  

Photos: Toshi Sakauchi

Funded by the Irish Arts Council


Other recent work...

On City Water Hill by Philip St John

at Theatre Upstairs, Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. May 2014

With Pat Nolan and Neill Fleming.  Designed by visual artist Laura Kelly.

**** 'Not to be missed' Irish Mail of Sunday   

'Fleming and Nolan are a powerful combination'  Daily Mail 


Pat Nolan and Neill Fleming by Beata Barylka


Gaiety School of Acting full time students rehearsing their Shakespeare scene presentation November 2014 directed by Liam...


Left: Gordan Quigley & Aurelia Grierson.

Centre: Larry Wilson & Ian Dunn. Right: Madeleine O'Carroll & Diana Melo.

Photos by Tom Maher courtesy of the GSA 2014.


And coming up in the Spring of 2015....

Banshee Blacktop

a new film by Sean Garland


Liam is delighted to have the opportunity to act 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 a two year period and will be due for release in the spring of 2015.


Far left: Kelly McAuley & Liam

Left: Sean during editing.

Far Left: Kelley and Lp


Work in 2013...

Scabs by Naomi Elster
at Theatre Upstairs, Eden Quay Dublin.

Scabs_3This 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.' 
Irish Independent

'There's a passion and eloquence in Naomi Elster's play. 
It has great life.' 

Sunday Independent

Photo: Rob Harrington, Aine de Siun by Toshi Sakauchi

'Scabs is insidious. It's infectious. So let the message spread.'     Le Cool


Mary Stuart by Freidrich Schiller

The Freemasons Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 for Pageant Wagon Theatre Company
August 2013.

Irish Mail
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

Supported by Dublin City Council with production support from Rough Magic Theatre Company.

Bess_2This 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 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. 
Sinéad Cuthbert's exquisite costume collection...the action is perfectly measured by Halligan, as the room drops silent with tension. This glamorous and chilling production is a discovery of a powerful play in a mysterious venue.''

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

'A fresh and vibrant production...Aenne Barr's portrayal of the ruler is subtle and nuanced, 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.

ck Alley June 2013. 



Far left: Teri Fitzgerald, Rex Ryan, Askleigh Dorrell in Town

Left: Katie McCann, Clodagh Duggan in Country


Collaborations 13 Festival
Smock Alley Theatre Dublin
Feb/March 2013

Frame_1bThe Sylvia 
by Philip St John

Directed by Liam Halligan
Designed by Marcus Costello


With Anna Shiels McNamee, John Delaney, Gillian McCarthy and Matthew Ralli. 

Photo: Anna Shiels McNamee by Maciej Staroniewicz




'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

Matthew-Ralli-and-Anna-Sheils-McNamee'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.

   IT Magazine


Back in 2012 Liam was...

Artist-in-Residence at Draíocht Arts Centre


Photo by Tom Lawlor
Nov. 2012

See promo of the final performances in Draíocht Arts Centre...

Supported by Fingal County Council and the Arts Council.

There was great interest in the project with over a hundred initial enquiries. 

Liam created an hour long devised piece of theatre with 60 people from the local area.

The final piece, You Yes You,  became a political cabaret performed on the main stage of 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


Liam in rehearsal with 85 year old Mary Yeats who remembered the bombings in the North Strand during the 2nd World War.

'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 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' 
Sunday Independent

See promo here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltQKCYCnAgY


Photos: Iseult Golden & 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 Fringe Festival 2011 

Last Year by Gavin Kostick 

A Fishamble Theatre Company 'Show-in-a-Bag'

Last_Year-9Following 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.


Photo: Maeve McGrath in Last Year 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 
June/ 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.Toxic-33

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.' Naked


'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...

SIT_UNA_2_copyLiam 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).

Una Kavanagh in 'Speaking in Tongues'



Colin O'Donoghue in 'Leaving'

Below: Ruth McGill in The Turn of the Screw

Liam is also known for his work on new writing, directing world premieres 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 the Australian writer Lally Katz.

Ruth McGill in 'The Turn of the Screw'

Liam was delighted to workshop Eithne McGuinness's (RIP) wonderful play 

One Hundred Strokes at the Abbey Theatre.



Fall_1A scene from 'The Dream of a Summer Day' based on the life and work of Lafcadio Hearn

Liam has directed classical works by Goldoni (Galloglass), Eugene O'Neill (Focus), Shakespeare (Storytellers/Irish Chamber Orchestra), Oscar Wilde (Galloglass) and W. B. Yeats (Derby Playhouse).




Above left: Helen Delaney & Chris Patrick Simpson in The Turn of the Screw Storytellers 2007   Photo: Tohi Sakauchi

Far right: Brian Bennett in A Midsummer Night's Dream Storytellers/ICO 2008      Photo: Maurice Gunning

Gaiety School of Acting - National Theatre School of Ireland...

Toxic-92Liam 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.

Another_Twin-26Laura Flynn and Laura McGuire in Another Twin

y Katz


Past students include: Ian Lloyd Anderson, Sarah Green Caoilfhionn Dunne, Carl Kennedy, Marcus Lamb, Jane McGrath, Clare Monnelly, Charlie Murphy, Paul Reid and Aidan Turner. 


National University of Ireland Dublin:

liam_at_manifestoOver the past four years Liam has facilitated practical workshops on theatre direction for the MA in Drama Studies utilizing texts by Beckett and Ibsen.


External Examiner

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.


Favourite Workshops...

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...



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