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My post-show Q&A with writer Dylan Coburn Gray & the cast of Citysong, for which he won the 2017 Verity Bargate Award

Dylan Coburn Gray’s Citysong won the 2017 Verity Bargate Award for new and emerging playwrights and now receives its world premiere in this acclaimed co-production between Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and London’s Soho Theatre.

I was mesmerised by this time-hopping, Dublin-set urban poem – originally commissioned for a spoken word festival – which, over the course of ninety minutes, captures one day and a multitude of moments and feelings in the lives of three generations of an Irish family.

“Let’s begin with an ending”

An ensemble of six play family members, narrators and an array of some 60 Dubliners across time, space and inner and outer dialogue in Catriona McLaughlin’s stunning production.

After yesterday’s matinee, I got to quiz Citysong‘s talented young author Dylan Coburn Gray – incredibly, he was only 22 when he wrote Citysong and trust me, you’ll be hearing more of him in the years to come – and the cast: Amy Conroy, Blaithin Mac Gabhann, Clare McKenna, Dan Monaghan, Daryl McCormack and Jade Jordan.

“Time ticks on, not cruelly, but unstoppably”

How does the Verity Bargate award change a young writer’s life? Why is it difficult to see canonical Irish plays in Ireland? What is “the Irish twinkle”? Was Coburn Gray named after Welsh Under Milk Wood author Dylan Thomas… or a rabbit? How does the set – quite literally – reflect Dublin? Does a Dublin accent vary as much as a London accent? Would the play wield the same power in an American accent or in translation? Who’s getting a tattoo to commemorate Citysong… and who has one already?

We covered this and much much more in a lively and laughter-filled post-show discussion. Please watch and share.

Citysong continues at Soho Theatre until 6 July 2019.


Q&A video


Q&A photos

Event photography by Peter Jones.

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Show photos

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Show trailer


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