The Abbey Theatre has initiated a series of post-show discussions on themes emerging from Tartuffe, Moliere’s 17th-century satire on religious hypocrisy and dangerous gullibility, in a new translation by Frank McGuinness. The discussions will focus on the origins of these themes in the play and broaden out to encompass reflections on their relevance for Ireland in the past and the present.

There will be two events for Tartuffe and they will take place after the show on 23 March and 6 April.

Changing the Conversation is curated and presented by Catriona Crowe, Curator of First Thought Talks at the Galway International Arts Festival.

The post-show discussions are free to attend with your ticket to the show that evening.


Thursday, 23 March: Me Too: confronting patriarchy and sexual oppression 

Tartuffe stars a woman who confronts her husband’s patriarchy and his mentor’s unwanted sexual advances. We still have such problems today, plus others, like widespread pornography and social media, which did not exist in the 17th century. How have we done since Waking the Feminists was launched out of this very theatre?  Is toxic masculinity a response to women’s attempts to defeat sexual oppression?

Guests will be Roisin Ingle, a popular writer with the Irish Times, resolute feminist and producer of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast, and Sarah Monaghan, Consent Project Manager at the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

Book now.


Thursday, 6 April: Religious hypocrisy: a besetting Irish failing? 

The main theme of Tartuffe, hypocrisy – don’t do what I do, but what I say – has been pilloried by many Irish writers from Sheridan to Boucicault to Joyce to Tom Murphy to John B Keane to Kate O’Brien and Anne Enright. Is hypocrisy part of the Irish system of elision of difficult things, for example, parents who proclaim themselves secular but still send their children to Catholic schools? And are we still participating in mass hypocrisy about the same Catholic church’s treatment of women and children over many decades?

Guests will be Gene Kerrigan, an eminent Irish journalist who has been writing about current affairs here for over 40 years and is currently a columnist for the Sunday Independent, and Caelainn Hogan, author of Republic of Shame: How Ireland Punished “Fallen Women and their Children”, on the Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools.

Book now.