By Jennifer McShane, GCD Intern

For those who love a night at the theatre or just want a little something different for that well deserved evening out, the Dublin Theatre Festival could be just the thing for you.

Starting from September 30th and running up to October 17th, this year?s festival has a total of 363 varied performances in 22 venues from over 10 different countries in it?s two and a half week run, which means there will be definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

Asides from the hundreds of main-stage productions preformed, there will also be special events. A definite must for those who are interested in the makings of a theatre show is the unique ?In Development? programme: This gives the audience an opportunity to see major Irish theatrical works in development before they reach full production on the stage. In Development will feature rehearsed readings, open rehearsals and semi-staged performances.

Also described as a festival favourite for all, ?The Next Stage? event is the artist development strand of the Festival. The challenging programme, spanning all 18 days of the festival, is an intense combination of exposure to the highest quality theatre and active participation. In addition to an extensive and exhaustive schedule of performances, there is a series of talks and workshops led by some of the world's leading theatre makers.

There is also masterclasses from the world's top practitioners, a series of selected readings, film screenings, symposiums, schools and workshops, the International Critics? Forum, panel discussions and much, much more.

The Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival is Europe?s oldest specialist theatre festival and has been on the world's Festival calendar since 1957. The Festival stages major international theatre and has hosted productions by the world?s most highly regarded artists. The Irish programme in the past has been made up of shows by some of Ireland?s most respected artists including Seamus Heaney, Roddy Doyle, Brian Friel, Enda Walsh and Tom Murphy. International artists who have appeared in the festival include, Ciarán Hinds, Vanessa Redgrave, James Cromwell and Geoffrey Rush.

It?s the ideal night out for students: It?s very affordable, there are a huge variety of events to choose from and you get to experience an array of talent at one of the world?s most elite theatre festivals right here at home.

Tickets starting from ?15 are on sale now, checking out their online booking facility

Be sure to visit Dublin Theatre Website for the full programme guide and check out the Facebook and Twitter pages for up to the minute information on all the events.

The mandate is simple. If it?s the best in the world, it?s coming to the Festival!

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