The Bull

The petty materialism of modern Ireland may bear scant resemblance to the heroism of Cúchulainn's time, but Michael Keegan-Dolan has sewn the two together seamlessly… every shameful aspect of Irish life is wrung out… That [he] picks a much-loved Irish legend to illustrate Ireland’s downfall shows his delight in irreverence… barrels along at a thundering pace, a maelstrom of black humour, perversity, percussion and dance. Historically entertaining.

Markham Nolan, Sunday Business Post ★★★★★ Full Text

Very funny… brilliant… a hell of a way to finish off an evening.

Michael Moffatt, Ireland on Sunday ★★★ Full Text

A mesmerising show of such relentless energy, outrageous black humour and rough beauty that you cannot peel your eyes from the stage

Siobhán Murphy, Metro ★★★★★ Full Text

What was originally a saga of heroism and honour is now a ruthlessly comic anatomisation of greed, stupidity and corruption as the two families, their pets, their lovers, even the cast of an Irish dance show (The Celtic Bitch), are slaughtered in a deliriously accelerating torrent of tribal bloodlust… This is murderously good satire, from which only the bull emerges unscathed.

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian ★★★★ Full Text

As with most works that brush against genius, Keegan-Dolan’s is the art that conceals art… sensationally unsettling, deliriously funny and awesomely savage.

Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times Full Text

A savage, scarily hilarious kill-or-cure-and-don’t-mind-your-language extravaganza… Keegan-Dolan has energy, a beady eye, a flaring sense of the ridiculous and a no less bright, if despairing honesty… The cast is uniformly splendid…

This is a bold and bullish piece of angry wit. Vaut le voyage.

Clement Crisp, Financial Times ★★★★ Full Text

For the past ten years, Fabulous Beast has been building an international reputation as one of the most daring and highly original dance theatre companies in the world. Now, after two previous triumphs in London — Giselle and The Flowerbed — Fabulous Beast presents a third, The Bull, even more dazzling and ambitious.

Debra Craine, The Times ★★★★ Full Text

A five-star night out; the kind of lavish production that elicits standing ovations… honestly human and technically superb, this is a must-see.

Alan O’Riordan, Irish Examiner ★★★★ Full Text

Draw a line from Samuel Beckett to Quentin Tarantino and somewhere along it you’ll find Michael Keegan-Dolan.

Luke Jennings, The Observer Full Text

The highlight of this year’s Dublin Theatre Festival… Keegan-Dolan looks increasingly like a saviour for performance here. Each year he [has] moved another stretch down the line towards creating a style and a language all his own… startlingly direct… aimed squarely at the very people likely to occupy Dublin’s auditorium seats.

Luke Clancy, Metro Full Text

The work of Michael Keegan-Dolan… has a feeling of weightlessness attached. He is liberated — by virtue of his medium — from Ireland’s primarily literary tradition; his drama leaps into a mix of humour, movement and striking visual imagery. Yet it is language that gives [this] production… its rough potency… [he] takes a brutal swipe to the darkness at the heart of the new prosperous Ireland… The spectacular, brave ending… is almost transportative in its wildness. The slick, glossy commerciality of Ireland is undermined: a much truer ruthlessness has taken its place.

Rachel Andrews, Sunday Tribune Full Text

The new voice of Irish theatre… a fresh form that includes text, song, movement and dance… in a mix that is willing, apparently, to employ whatever works… the most important artist working in Irish theatre today, the one who promises to carve out a brand new language for performance here, the one who has stared hard into the future and come back with some answers about what theatre needs to be now, and what it needs to do… You might call it a landmark production, but something so free should never be likened to something tethered.

Luke Clancy, Evening Herald Full Text

A blackly comic tale of murder, lust and avarice… that punches above its weight as both dance and drama… a spaghetti western played out in a peat bog… with Keegan-Dolan taking irreverent aim at Ireland’s sacred cows… with a foul-mouthed devilment that caused a scandalous stir in Dublin. London won't be so easily shocked, just royally entertained.

Keith Watson, Metro ★★★★ Full Text

An Irish legend brought smack up to date, The Bull is violent, vulgar, vicious and filled with avarice and obsession. Its cast of a dozen performers portrays a multitude of roles, each of them utterly irredeemable… Michael Keegan-Dolan’s company just keeps getting better, his vision richer, his production values impeccable. This man has a fresh sense of ensemble dance theatre that ranges from the eerie to the grotesque. His grand guignol comedy of horrors is irresistible… a compelling evening of anarchic theatre.

Allen Robertson, Time Out ★★★★★ Full Text

A howlingly funny, wildly theatrical epic of Irish greed, vulgarity, self-indulgence and savagery… it is truly unforgettable, with choreography that ranges from the frenetic to the acrobatic, performances that leave you gasping, an extraordinary set and lighting, voice production that is awesome, and ensemble work that roars of dedication, expertise and perfection. Indeed, perfection seems a lame word to describe this extraordinary theatrical event… a breathtaking evening.

Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent Full Text