“It’s For You!” – Bank Holiday Start for the 12th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Dublin’s May Bank Holiday starts with curtains up on a dozen new Irish and international shows. Our diverse programme of accessible theatre proudly features performances by theatre companies from Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Iceland and Russia, with an entirely new programme beginning Monday May 11th. Playwrights and actors from the world’s best gay theatre companies will be entertaining Dublin audiences and showcasing their talents through a wide range of comedy, drama, music and dance theatre performances.
This year’s programme is full of compelling stories exploring universal themes from an LGBT perspective. Pauline in “Tuesdays at Tesco’s” used to be Paul, and her relationship with her father is strained as he is reluctant to accept her true self. In “Leaving Narnia”, local lad James Michael O’Sullivan is ‘as terrified as a turkey in November’ as he is about to come out to his parents. The Dean Kriel prepares for a private conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in “I’m Going Through Something”, where he takes the audience on a journey into the mind of a man split between himself, his nation, and his dreams. These themes have the power to resonate with all audiences, and are just a sampling of this year’s diverse offering (full programme on www.gaytheatre.ie).
“Everyone has a gift to tell their own story and for twelve years we have made Dublin the home of LGBT storytelling, passing our 3000th performance this year. It really is for you – we are communicating through theatre as an art form with the society in which we live, love, work and create. Previous festival alumni are now fronting major TV shows (David Ames, Holby City) or West End triumphs. At Dublin’s unique gay theatre festival, you will see a great array of talent, regardless of their or your orientation, telling stories from our history or presenting a new perspective on modern living. You are welcome and the ticket prices are great value,” said festival founder Brian Merriman.
The 12th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has something for everyone – from a hilarious take on life in rural Ireland in “The Equals” to an invitation to join the Cult of Cosmic Purgatory in “CASTRATI – An Electro Drag Opera” and a behind the scenes look at a 1950s sci-fi TV show in “The Further Adventures of…”, and so much more.
“Don’t attend because it is gay theatre, attend because it is good theatre!”
For further information please contact:
Brian Merriman or email@example.com
Secure online booking is now open on www.gaytheatre.ie. Tickets are from €10-15 with a new nightly venue ticket of €25 for two plays in the same venue (7.30pm/9.00pm) being launched this year. Matinees are on Bank Holiday Monday (May 4th) and each Saturday (May 9th/16th). Box office opens April 27th from 12 noon to 3pm daily in the Grattan Coffee Shop/Boteco Brazil on 6 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1. An entirely new programme of theatre begins each Monday 4th/11th May 2015, totalling 183 performances of 27 plays, music, comedy and dance.
We will at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 14th to 19th August and if you have have a production we might be interested in we’d like to hear from you. We have taken productions from every Fringe for the past 10 years and we hope that 2014 will be no exception.
Click here to find out about what we are looking for.
Click here to find out about submitting to our 2015 Festival.
For more information, to get in touch or tell us about your production please contact our Artistic Director Brian Merriman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally if you are looking for Festival tips with an LGBT relevance follow us on Twitter: @GayTheatre
‘Away From Home’ takes on another taboo – the premier league- in the Players Theatre at Trinity College. This well-produced one man show reveals the secrets of complex masculinity in ‘the beautiful game’ in a seemingly honest portrayal of contemporary sporting life.
Kyle is a complicated young man, rebellious and leading a double-life as an escort, comfortable enough in his own skin. He socialises with the ‘lads’ at the soccer games but services the lads on his client list. Hartsthorn-Hook Productions and Working Progress Theatre Company (UK) present a revealing drama which tackles homophobia in football both internal and group, in a very frank way. Kyle (Rob Ward) is a deserved star of one man show theatre. He is handsome, energetic and totally convincing as the desirable young escort who finds himself ‘crossing the line’ with a famous client.
Writers Martin Jameson (director) and Rob Ward unpack the hidden side of soccer from supporter to player which has strict boundaries between ‘laddishness’ and affection. The play does slightly over-egg the issues near the end, but it is Ward’s completeness in the role that drives the play forward with an honesty and struggle for truth and acceptance. It unpeels the layers of protection of the insisted machismo of throwing your arms around each others in supportive joy when your team scores, to the pub banter that is often offensive to the guy you have your arm around in celebration. Kyle’s separation of all aspects of his life is a precarious balance between telling the family he works with friends and vice versa. It all comes crashing down when love intervenes in an impossible scenario of clashing careers, publicity and fear. The charismatic playing engages the audience from the start and puts this performance truly into the premier league. It is sexy, honest, energetic and convincing throughout and will appeal to soccer supporters, players or anyone who finds love in an unexpected place. Showing in Players Theatre, Trinity College (Through Main Gate, veer left three blocks) at 9pm nightly and 4pm on Saturday.
Festival Review Team
‘Tits Up’ is the gloriously politically incorrect, predictable comedy contribution from the ever popular ‘Acting Out’ LGBT community drama group that continues to power ahead. It is good to see this form of theatre being included in the programme for 2014. There was quite a subdued audience on Monday night and it is essential with a comedy that insists on ‘sending up’ ever possible minority in an ‘un-PC’ way to go with the flow. If you don’t, you will find yourself the subject of the outrageous humour in the next sequence.
The play centres around a mismatched couple, Clive (Howard Lodge) and Susannah (Rachel Fayne) whose marriage survives on putting others down rather than facing their own realities. It is a series of monologues by writer Sean Denyer than annoyingly evolve from the predictable into the ‘you can’t help but laugh’ scenario for the audience – and that’s what you do – laugh at things you probably should not. Clive is an interior designer in serious denial. Susannah is his outrageous spoiled D4 wife who insists on not ‘judging’ people with hilarious rebounds. However ultimately these thin stereotypes prove to be quite open to change and new horizons, even if some precious status symbols get sacrificed along the way. This marriage fumbles along until Magda and Chuck intervene and all hell breaks loose in the previously sublime surrounds of D4 living. The plot is contrived – it has to be. Sometimes the build up to the predictable is agonising as there can be nothing subtle about this comedy. The pace is somewhat laboured and deliberate and the audience does not need that much assistance in throwing itself into a series of one liners designed to offend and amuse. Do not bring your value system to this just join in one of Susannah’s aerobic classes and watch the consequences unravel as two lives go ‘tits up’ is an hour of farce, humour, and fun in a well lit and camp sound-tracked show in the entertaining hands of this community drama group. Runs at 9pm until Thursday.
Festival Review Team
‘Eirebrushed’ by Brian Merriman is a controversial and challenging piece of theatre that takes a lot of cultural taboos and shakes them to their core. It is what a gay theatre festival is about, if it is to assert a mainstream relevance. This moving, provocative story invites Pearse, Casement, Gore Booth and O’Farrell back to the new ‘Republic of Equals’ to ‘tell their truth’ in 75 minutes of energetic delivery, interesting construction and a rapid fire of ideas, theories, sacred cows and twisted interpretation. It casts the fight for freedom in 1916 beyond the nationalistic struggle and into one for personal freedom. It makes a lot of sense. Ideas are thrown out in quick-fire delivery of questions with answers to an acknowledged audience but it stops rightly short of insisting on a particular conclusion. That is up to us and we have a range of options we didn’t have before the play began to consider. The audience has to work at this and it is definitely a piece that a walk along the boardwalks afterwards will help to digest.
Killian Sheridan presents a fragile Pearse, not the leader expected. He still struggles with truth and dogged certainty, a century later. Stephen Gorman’s rasping Casement is well presented without any baggage. He is forthright, to the point, honest sometimes with considerable humour. That is what might be expected of a story of heroism in 1916, but the discussion of womens’ rights, passionately placed in the hands of Joanne Logues’ Eva Gore Booth and Diana O’Connor’s empathetic Nurse Elizabeth O Farrell, is the real feminist heartbeat of the piece. Logue’s is eloquent as a campaigner and writer. Farrell’s down to earth, low energy logic connects the audience into a complicated plot with humour and ease. There is some astonishing research and the thematic connection of the common bonds between the heroes in the final scenes is powerful and revealing. The relevance of the struggle for personal freedoms today is not lost. Excellent lighting and design graphics keep the heartbeats pounding as the Republican idealists stand accused of replacing a political oppressor with a conscience oppressor for another century. It is a battle of Church and State as Casement notes, ‘oppression is often defined by borders but the worst is within’.
This play reaches out way beyond the remit of this theatre festival and if it begins a new approach to examining this oncoming decade of anniversaries then it will contribute something relevant and important and fuel many a debate in the days to come. It will not be so easy to ‘airbrush’ out the contribution of LGBT heroes in the future or to accept the narrow definition constructed in the text books so easily and limiting. Provocative, controversial, revealing and new. Runs until Saturday in the New Theatre at 7.30 pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Festival Review Team
The nominees and winners of our Festival Awards were announced at the closing Gala Night and Awards in the Sugar Club on Sunday May 18th in front of our audience, guests and companies.
Again this year it was challenging to choose just one winner in each category and we congratulate all of our winners and nominees.
Micheál Mac Liammóir Award for best Male Performer
Nick Atkins – A Boy and a Bean
Matt Tedford – Margaret Thatcher, Queen of Soho
Zion Ashkenazi – Jean Genet
Rob Ward – Away from Home
David Leeper – At the Flash
WINNER: Matt Tedford
Oscar Wilde award for Best new Writing:
Nick Atkins – A Boy and a Bean (Australia)
David Leeper and Sean Chandler – At the Flash (USA)
Hilary McColum – Lesbian Style (Northern Ireland)
Rob Ward and Martin Jameson,- Away from Home (UK)
Zion Ashkenazi – Jean Genet Son of a Bitch (Israel)
Nicholas Spagnoletti – Civil Parting (South Africa)
WINNER: Jean Genet, Son of a Bitch
Doric Wilson Award for Inter-Cultural Dialogue:
My Dorian (USA) for university collaboration
Aunty Ben (Ireland) for bridging the generation gap
Acting Out with Tits Up (Ireland) for Community Drama
Away From Home (UK) for tackling homophobia in sport
For The Trumpets Shall Sound for presenting the experiences of war and the trenches
WINNER: Aunty Ben!
Eva Gore Booth Award for Best Female Performance:
Kayleigh Hawkins as Nora in For the Trumpets Shall Sound (UK)
Therese Prendiville as Grace in Grace and Maggie (Ireland)
Amy Flood as Tracey in Aunty Ben (Ireland)
Sarah MacDonnell from Two from Provincetown (USA)
The Ensemble from Lesbian Style (Northern Ireland)
WINNER: Lesbian Style: Michelle Wiggins, Abby Oliviera, Claire Dooher, Mel Bradley!
Patrick Murray Award for Outstanding contribution to Irish Gay Theatre
WINNER: Annick Thijs, Director of Volunteers IDGTF
for outstanding dedication to the Festival
‘A Boy and A Bean’, by ‘Nick n Tom’ comes direct to Dublin from it’s Mardi Gras award winning performance in Sydney. Following a great tradition of Australian theatre at the festival, ‘ A Boy And A Bean’ is a twist on the classic fairytale ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ set in contemporary Sydney, with a marriage equality message. The story is charmingly delivered by Nick Atkins in an hour of intimate theatre that just flies by. The storytelling is delivered through the eyes of 19 year old Jack, 24 year old David and a Giant whose presence swings from sinister to reality. He cuts to the chase of modern relationships and raises the bar at crucial moments as we skip through a decade of Australian events that progressed and regressed marriage equality.
This modern urban tale also skips through modern day Australian politics (with an explanatory guide) with a timely message for those formulating their campaigns for equality in Ireland next year. It explores the manipulation of the marriage equality debate by religious groups who fundraise to oppose equal marriage via coffee franchises in a strong performance piece that charms, entertains and informs. From the chanteuse/cabaret welcome, to the careful manipulation of a mountain of coffee beans, through to general knowledge trivia, placed in the story to challenge you to be accurate in assessing your own actions in a relationships, this piece does a lot more than campaign for rights. Jack and David are two inadequately prepared young men at its centre and the play reveals all the truth and carelessness along the way to building a meaningful relationship. It is a love story which falls victim to the inadequacies of the boy from Wogga Wogga finding his way in the big city who struggles to find the format for a same sex relationship that works. Atkins is petite and powerful with a diversity of characterisation that sustains this structured piece in a warm and engaging way.
The use of multimedia, sharp technical delivery and an unflagging delivery makes for a charming afternoon of theatre that plays again on Saturday in the New Theatre at 4pm but nightly at 9pm all week until Sunday. This heart-warming tale of two guys, a dog, a beanstalk and an outcome is modern, relevant and thoroughly entertaining.
Festival Review Team