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.
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...
'A high energy production delivering hit by hit.' Irish Times
Photo: Mark Fitzgerald, Brian Bennett by Maurice Gunning
to numerous new plays e.g. On City Water Hill by Philip St John at Theatre Upstairs in May 2014.
'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...
Speaking 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
The Irish Times on Speaking in Tongues
Noelle Brown & Karl O'Neill by Toshi Sakauchi
Rashomon for Storytellers Theatre Company
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.
Irish Times on Rashomon
Emma Colohan, Malachy McKenna, Eoin Lynch by Toshi Sakauchi
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....
Dates: 18th August to 6th September at 1pm Monday to Saturday.
Set Desigh: Eoin Lennon
Lighting Design: Colm Maher
Costumes: Helen Connolly
Sound: Eamonn Murphy
Producer: Bewley's Cafe Theatre
Funded by the Irish Arts Council
Having attended APAC14 (the All-Ireland Performing Arts Conference) this month in Limerick, Liam is researching a new Cross Border Theatre Consortium initiative to tour a world classic in 2015.
Liam is exploring a new 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 and the D15 Youth Theatre Group. This was kindly funded by Fingal County Council's Arts Office.
In 2015 he is looking forward to directing a revival of a forgotten but beautiful Irish play at Bewley's Café Theatre and to introducing Irish audiences to one of Canada's most popular playwrights at the New Theatre in March 2015. Details to be confirmed.
The Belle Bottoms by Eoin Colfer
at Vodaphone Comedy Festival, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin.
Music by Liam Bates performed by Sharon Clancy and Aileen Mythen.
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
A Kurt Weill Cabaret
This show, which Liam originally compiled and directed, was revived in The Studio at Birmingham Rep Theatre in March 2014 with Liza Sadovy and Walter van Dijk directed by the wonderful Lawrence Evans.
Liza Sadovy and Walter van Dijk
Photo: Lawrence Evans
'Extremely expressive...we experience all the raw emotion...a truly happy end.' Evening Standard
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.
Left: Hayleigh McGowan rehearsing I Remember by Ola Kusiak
Photo: Peter Kelly
Far Left: Aoife Rooney and Scott Byrne rehearsing Rainy Day by Faye Arejola
Left: Hayleigh McGowan rehearsing I Remember by Ola Kusiak
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 worked with Liam, Veronica Coburn and Gavin Kostick. The group wrote, performed, designed and stage managed their own work for four performances in the Civic Theatre in January this year.
Tenderfoot will begin again in October this year with a Mini Tenderfoot beginning at the Garage Theatre Monaghan in February 2015.
a new film by
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 an eighteen month period and will be due for release later this year.
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.
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.'
'There's a passion and eloquence in Naomi Elster's play.
It has great life.'
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
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
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 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
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
'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.'
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.
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'
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'
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.
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.
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).
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.
A 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...
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.
Laura Flynn and Laura McGuire in Another Twin
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:
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 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...