IDGTF 2020 Cancellation

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, sadly, the Festival Executive formally announces its decision not to hold the 17th edition of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival as planned. It is with heavy heart that we have made the difficult decision of postponing our festival to next year. We are very proud that our festival has run uninterruptedly for 16 years, and we assure you that we have exhausted all possible options. However, we act to ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, and our audience, and to respect the limitations we are all now living with, which prevent the festival from going ahead in May.

We wish to thank all the companies, our Artistic Director and our committee for their devotion and hard work that has gone into preparing two weeks filled with amazing theatre. We would like to take this opportunity instead to show you the 2020 programme to honour this great work. All of the 2020 companies are automatically offered a place in the 2021 programme – so you may yet get to see the live performances! Please have a look at the programme on our website here to see what we had in store for 2020!

We understand how difficult the current situation is for all of our participating companies and artists in general. Cultural events worldwide are being cancelled, and the artists are now more than ever in need of your support! We’d like to give a shout-out to our new sponsor Dublin LGBTQ Pride, and long-term supporters, Dublin City Council’s Arts Office, and Events Office and the Arts Council for continuing their support for our festival this year. We will continue our hard work to support the lgbtq+ and arts communities for our 18th edition. #SupportArtists

Stay safe, follow the guidelines of the government, the WHO, and the HSE, and see you all at the 18th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival!


Questions: contact us at


Cancelled: IDGTF Table Quiz Thursday 19th @ 8pm

Our table quiz has been cancelled due to the current COVID-19 situation.

We will keep you updated.

Please respect the government guidelines and maintain social distancing and other important measures.

Want to support IDGTF by adding to our range of prizes?  We’d love to hear from you –


IDGTF Is Going to London

Our Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, is bringing some Irish culture to the London stage after our successful fundraising pub quiz in November. From 14 till 18 April, people can go see three plays presented by previous editions of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival at the Cockpit Theatre in London. Get your tickets here.


Party Boy, by Brian Merriman

Party Boy, an explosive new play based on the true story of Ireland’s first gay go-go boy, will storm onto The Cockpit stage as part of its consent and taboo series in April. Set in contemporary multicultural Ireland, we are taken on a high energy trip through Patrick’s roller coaster life as he evolves from Catholic schoolboy to ‘start my life…’ And what a life he leads: from naked photo shoots in Australia to live sex shows on the European go-go circuit, Patrick sheds all his Irish inhibitions in a no-holds-barred exposé of life through decriminalisation, marriage equality, love, drugs, violence, and exploitation. ‘Dave Flynn’s rendition of the party boy himself is, quite simply, electrifying,’ Dr Kerric Harvey review USA.  

Meet the women in his life: ‘Maria Blaney brings on stage the Irish mammy we all wish we had’ (review: No More Workhorse) and a dozen characters who Patrick encounters on his life-changing journey. The 48 men in Patrick’s chaotic life are played by Colin Malone. ‘Malone is, quite literally, astonishing in his range and elasticity, moving from one persona to another with effortless ease and absolute authenticity,’ (KH, USA).

Written by the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival’s founder/Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, this ‘kaleidoscopic 75-minute epic, ‘Party Boy’ is more than just a peep show into the contemporary world of the gay male porn industry, with all of its glamour, heartache, and lethal drug scene. It’s also a whirlwind journey through some of modern Ireland’s most complicated social issues, beginning with the historically repressive influence of the Catholic Church on, well, everybody, continuing on through the heady and tumultuous years of the Celtic Tiger, and venturing into Ireland’s vaguely uncertain future as the EU re-invents itself and the island struggles with related complexities arising from immigration, patchy economic stability, rapid social change, and escalating internationalism,’ (KH, USA) .


Calamity Jane Sends a Message to Her Daughter, by Carolyn Cage

To add some international flavour to our London showcase, the IDGTF presents Calamity Jane Sends a Message to Her Daughter by award-winning US playwright Carolyn Gage. Starring Maria Blaney as Calam a woman equal amongst men who knows much more.


The Off Switch, by Brian Merriman

Originally presented as part of a double bill with another of Brian Merriman’s shorts, The Second Miracle, The Off Switch tells the story of a young man (played by Conor Burke) born in a time where it was better to ‘switch off’ than to hope for a relationship. who considers what would LGBT rights campaigner Mark Ashton and his contemporaries make of this modern gay world they campaigned to liberate.


Party Boy and The Off Switch feature alongside eight other short plays in Brian Merriman’s 10 HISstories. Click here to buy the book!


See you in London!


IDGTF 2020 is coming! May 4 – 17th

We are working hard on finalising an exciting range of productions for our 2020 Festival which opens on Bank Holiday Monday May 4th & ends on Sunday May 17th with our Gala Awards Night.


We will announce the programme and open online bookings in the second half of March.   Keep watching the website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or sign up for our newsletter for more!



Be Part of Festival 2020: May 4 – 17

Want to be part of the largest festival of LGBT-related theatre in the world?

We are currently accepting submissions for our 17th annual Festival which will run from May 4th – 17th 2020.

The deadline for submissions is December 1 2020.

See here for more details.



2019 Gala Awards Winners Announced

It’s been an amazing fortnight of theatre – and the results are in!
Congratulations to all our companies on a gripping, engaging, quality and emotive fortnight of theatre:

Amy Dalton Award for Volunteer of the Year:

WINNER: Amy Dalton

Doric Wilson Award for Intercultural Dialogue:


Revolting Women for rebelling to assert Women’s contribution to Irish society.
A Southern Fairytale for exposing the role of conversion therapy and evangelicalism in dehumanising LGBT people
The Baby Monitor for exploring the external pressure on LGBT parenting
Velvet for situating LGBT actors into the #MeToo experience
Bingo for journeying on the many roads of the impact of a HIV diagnosis.
Obligatory Scene for representing the consequences of the sexual inequality for women
WINNER: Obligatory Scene for representing the consequences of the sexual inequality for women

Pat Murray Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish LGBT Theatre

Dublin University Players for their supportive partnership by standing with us since 2004

Sean Meehan Identity in Theatre Award:

Julie Gieseke, Borderline A**hole dating in later life USA
Bern, Revolting Women for being a rebel with a cause IRL
Tom Ratcliffe Velvet for telling his story of sexual exploitation UK
Alan Flanagan Bingo for illuminating the journey of a man with HIV IRL
Gavin Roche Measure of a Man for getting his courage up! AUS
WINNER: Tom Ratcliffe, Velvet for telling his story of sexual exploitation UK

Hilton Edwards Award for Best Aspect of Production:

Revolting Women – concept and blending theatre, song and film IRL
Lesley Anne Reilly Cello – the blending of music with drama IRL
Woody Shticks Schlong Song high-energy performance art USA
Theatre Outre technical presentation and direction of Like Orpheus CAN
Mia Cain direction, Obligatory Scene USA
WINNER: Theatre Outre technical presentation and direction of Like Orpheus CAN

Micheal Mac Liammoir Award for Outstanding performance by a male

Leo Goodman as Josh in The Baby Monitor USA
Ciaran Griffiths as Bobby in All I See Is You UK
Christian Edwards as Ralph in All I See Is You UK
Brett Dahl as Man in Like Orpheus CAN
Alan Flanagan as Cormac in Bingo IRL
WINNERS: Christian Edwards as Ralph in All I See Is You UK
Ciaran Griffiths as Bobby in All I See Is You UK

Eva Gore Booth Award for Outstanding performance by a female

Amanda Jones as Claire in The Baby Monitor, USA
Alicia Sia Kabia as Drew in Obligatory Scene USA
Carli Rhoades as Vivey in Obligatory Scene USA
Lynita Crofford as Alice B Topkas in Gertrude Stein and A Companion RSA
Shirley Johnson as Gertrude Stein in Gertrude Stein and A Companion RSA
WINNER: Lynita Crofford as Alice B Topkas in Gertrude Stein and A Companion RSA

Oscar Wilde for Best New Writing:

David Stallings, The Baby Monitor USA
Thalia Gonzalez Kane, A Drunken Lesbian Love Affair, IRL
Kathrine Smith, All I See Is You UK
Tom Ratcliffe, Velvet UK
Alan Flanagan, Bingo IRL
WINNERS: Alan Flanagan, Bingo IRL, Kathrine Smith, All I See Is You UK

Taoiseach Visits the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

On Monday, 13 May, our Taoiseach came to see Velvet, by Tom Ratcliffe. We were honoured by his presence and support for the festival.

’16 years and then this happens. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) books two tickets and joins us at our opening night party in Cafe Rubis. Sadly these things don’t happen in other countries, but they do in ours. He and his partner were so unassuming our foreign guests couldn’t believe it! I understand Culture Minister Josepha Madigan who launched the Festival gave him the programme. In all the negativity that populates debate – these things happen and they are important. Thank you. After 16 years of volunteering- I never thought I would introduce a show by saying “Taoiseach, Ladies and Gentlemen … it has happened and I’m proud of Ireland.’

– Brian Merriman


The Reviews for Week Two are Here!

The 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival continues with ten new plays in Week Two!

We have finished our first week, and what a week it’s been! Read all reviews for week one here.

Week two has started, and the first reviews are already coming in!

Velvet, by Tom Ratcliffe

Read all reviews for Velvet here.


All I See Is You, by Katherine Smith

Read all reviews for All I See Is You here.


Monastic, by David Donovan

Like Orpheus, by Brett Dahl

Read all reviews for Monastic / Like Orpheus here.

Read all reviews for Like Orpheus here.


Gertrude Stein and a Companion, by Win Wells

Read all reviews for Gertrude Stein and a Companion here.


The Little Pink Book of Masculinity, by John Best / The Measure of a Man, by Gavin Roach

Read all reviews for The Little Pink Book of Masculinity / The Measure of a Man here.


Bingo, by Alan Flanagan

Read all reviews for Bingo here.


Obligatory Scene, by Carolyn Gage

Read all reviews for Obligatory Scene here.


The Reviews for Week One Are Coming in!

The 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has started with a bang!

The reviews for some of our shows are pouring in, and we couldn’t be happier with them!

You can read all the reviews here:

Borderline A**hole, by Julie Gieseke

Read all reviews for Borderline A**hole here.

Revolting Women – A Rebel Cabaret, by Sonya Mulligan

Read all reviews for Revolting Women – A Rebel Cabaret here.

I See You, Tom Kennedy, by Tom Noone

Read all reviews for I See You, Tom Kennedy here.

The Baby Monitor, by Antonio Miniño & David Stallings

Read all reviews for The Baby Monitor here.

A Southern Fairytale, by Ty Autry / The Number, by Simon Murphy

Read all reviews for A Southern Fairytale here.

Read all reviews for The Number here.

Read all reviews for the double bill here.

Party Boy, by Brian Merriman

Read all reviews for Party Boy here.

Schlong Song, by Woody Schticks

Read all reviews for Schlong Song here.


Show Ticket Availability Update

You can generally buy tickets at the door for Festival performances.  However we strongly recommend pre-booking for Friday & Saturday evening shows.

Note the ticket status for the following shows:


Please arrive on time if pre-booked.  There are unlikely to be any tickets available at the venue:

  • Monastic: Friday 17 @ 19:30
  • All I See Is You: Friday 17 @ 19:30


The following performances still have some tickets available but are selling well and may sell out.  We would suggest arriving early as seating is unallocated.  Pre-booking recommended if possible but tickets still available at the venue.

  • Monastic: Thursday 16 @ 19:30


Last updated: 16/5/19 @ 4pm


Join us at our Nightly Festival Club

Mingle with audience, performers and volunteers at our rotating, free, nightly Festival Club.  The Festival Club starts around 10pm as our 9pm shows close until late .

For both weeks of the Festival the club nights are:

Tuesday: Street 66, Parliament St

Wednesday: The George, Sth Great George’s St.

Thursday: Pantibar, Capel St.

Friday: Street 66

Saturday: The Teachers’ Club, followed by The George until late!

(Monday is a party to welcome our participants to Dublin)

Free  entry to the George if you show your ticket or Festival pass any evening until May 19.

Check out the locations here.


Bank Holiday Monday Matinees

To celebrate the opening of Festival 2019 we have €10 Monday matinees of all our week 1 shows at 2:30pm / 4pm.

Comedy, drama, cabaret, love, scandal and intimate stories await.

Check out our week 1 shows & matinees here.

Can’t see our matinees?  Don’t worry – we have more matinees on Saturday.



Our Box Office in Street 66 is open now!

Our physical box office in Street 66, 33 Parliament Street is now open Mon-Sat April 29 – May 18, 12noon-3pm.

Feel free to drop in a get information on the Festival programme or bookings to or to book tickets by cash or card.

You can also phone the box office at +353 89 219 6898 during box office hours.
Click here for more information.

If you can’t make it to the box office, don’t worry:


Download our 2019 Brochure

Our 2019 Programme has been launched.  You can download a printable copy of our brochure here.

You can also view the programme online and buy tickets 24/7 here.

Brochures will be available throughout Dublin city centre and selected other areas from this week onwards.

You will also be able to pick them up from our venues and our up-coming Box Office at Street 66.


Press Release: Minister Josepha Madigan TD to Launch 16th Annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

Minister Josepha Madigan TD to Launch 16th Annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

‘16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival Returns’

The 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Ireland’s most exciting and diverse theatre festival returns to the capital from May 6th to 19th, kicking off the summer season with 21 world class performances from the four corners of the world, across 5 Stages for two glorious weeks this May.

The festival, the largest LGBT+ theatre festival in the world which will be launched tomorrow (16th April) at 6pm in City Assembly House by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, brings critically acclaimed productions from the UK, USA, Canada, Ecuador, South Africa and Australia, as well as home-grown talent to Dublin’s stages for this jam-packed two week long event.

Minister Madigan said “I’m delighted to lend my support to the launch of this wonderfully diverse festival. The continued excellence and professionalism shown year on year has ensured the growth of this festival from humble beginnings in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde. The fact that these performances can take place in an ever more inclusive Ireland is something that should be celebrated just as enthusiastically. We have come such a long way for the better in this regard.”

The festival, which is in its 16th year has gone from strength to strength, drawing audiences and performers from all over the world to Dublin annually, even weathering the financial cutbacks and darkest days of the financial crisis.

Ms Madigan continued “Through the very financially straightened times from 2008 onwards when funding of the arts suffered severe cutbacks, the internationally famous event that we know today provided a beacon of hope when many festivals and events fell by the wayside. It is indeed testament to the fantastic work of Brian and his team, that performers from as far afield as the United Kingdom, from USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia and of course from Ireland, will perform to packed houses in venues throughout the city from May 6th to 19th.”

This years programme includes a ‘Broadway World Best Actor Award Winner’, a ‘GLOBE Artist of the Year Winner’, a ‘UK National Octagon Prizewinner’, a ‘2019 Fleur Du Cap Best Performance by an Ensemble Nominee’, many other critically acclaimed performers and theatre pieces as well as emerging writers and performers.

Upon launching the festival Brian Merriman festival director said

“I am very grateful for the Minister’s presence today and that of our first supporter and patron Senator David Norris and longtime supporter Senator Jerry Buttimer and other Oireachtas colleagues. To live in a society where diversity is embraced and encouraged is a privilege many of our LGBT+ artists abroad do not enjoy. To identify that need and to place Dublin at the centre of welcoming diverse artists and writers has, in the absence of sustainable resources, been the key to the longevity and relevance of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival since 2004.”

“Artists at home identify this Festival as being one open to new voices. We are. Artists abroad make huge sacrifices to tell their stories here. Our audiences understand the art form and are open to theatre holding a truthful mirror up to society as we know and live it today. The topics are historic and contemporary. They are shared by other sections of society and all are welcome in our festival.” 

“The Me Too experience not only impacts on women but on gay actors too, drug abuse and chemsex is a reality of life today. Parenting, masculinity, relationships and how to hold onto them, changing times in the Gardai and in seminaries all feature in our theatrical discussion. The still almost silence on the age of AIDS and modern HIV diagnosis is challenged as is the experience of secrets in the past. The hidden  lives of heroic Irish women are among the dark and very funny characters you will encounter. There are stories of criminalisation, love, growing up in Ireland or the Deep South, from talented and award winning artists waiting to take to our small stages.”

“Do something different this year – see these wonderful plays – they complete the theatrical conversation that informs and shapes the contribution of the arts to a modern society.”   



Media contact: Sean Hegarty PR Director 

For more information and to purchase tickets visit


Artistic Director Brian Merriman introduces our 2019 programme

Founder & Artistic Director of IDGTF, Brian Merriman introduces the 2019 programme:

Welcome to our “sweet 16th!”

We are honoured to present twenty one plays in four city centre venues from Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia this year.

We are in awe of the work of these innovative writers and companies who choose our festival as one of the world’s best spaces for LGBT+ theatre to thrive and to be appreciated.

What is even more encouraging is that we are not without choice. Almost 100 companies were in contact this year and had we more resources and support to offer, they could have joined us too.
We are delighted to welcome new Irish writers and companies this year and hope this small international cultural networking event we host will mean their work will be showcased abroad too.

Thanks to the increased support of the Arts Council and Dublin City Council and our kind commercial sponsors, we are still here.

Most especially, after 15 years, we were rewarded with an influx of new and generous volunteers on our hard-working executive team. They have made the difference in pushing out new boundaries and in broadening our welcome for all.  Thank you.

We welcome everyone as our audience and appreciate it when you share our information online. If you have a new play for next year or want to volunteer check out for information.

Ireland has changed a lot since year one. Many countries continue to discriminate and silence LGBT+ voices in the arts. It is important that Dublin provides a stage and an audience for this quality art form.

Thank you for your company during the artistic celebration of diversity that is the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival!


IDGTF 2019 Programme has been formally launched!

6The programme for the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival was launched today at the City Assembly Rooms, South William Street with guests of honour Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD and Festival Patron, Senator David Norris.

Artistic Director & Festival Founder Brian Merriman introduced the programme with to an audience of participants, media, volunteers and invited guests.

To find out more:



IDGTF 2019: 20 plays – 2 weeks – 4 stages

Twenty diverse shows with LGBT+ themes will arrive on Dublin city centre stages
for the 16th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival from May 6-19th 2019.
Following an extensive curatorial process, the Festival has secured productions
from Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia to perform over the two
week long event in May.

“New writing continues to dominate the selection process which also included
visiting 50 productions at the Edinburgh Fringe. I am delighted that South Africa
and Australian LGBT theatre return with new companies this year and acknowledge
the great efforts these companies make to showcase their work at the world’s
biggest Gay Theatre event in Dublin” said artistic director, Brian Merriman.

“We are pleased that new Irish companies are embracing this genre with
challenging and important LGBT stories for the stage. This opportunity to share
stages and network internationally within this theatrical genre is hugely important
for all writers and artists and has sustained us for our 16th year”, he added.

Details of the selected shows will be announced later this month at a launch event
in Dublin.

“We are very pleased to have increased support this year from The Arts Council
and Dublin City Council to help us build mainstream audiences for such an
innovative programme of work, as we meet the challenges to let audiences know
that everyone is welcome at our Festival”, concluded Brian Merriman.

Festival updates regularly appear on , and on social media.


For press information, email Sean at


2019 Programme Available Now!

The programme for IDGTF 2019 is now available with secure online booking.
IDGTF 2019 takes place from May 6 – 19 with tickets €10/€13/€15.

The programme features a range of drama, comedy, comedy drama and more with productions from Ireland and 3 continents. Details of free events will be announced shortly.

Book Now


IDGTF Christmas Gifts on Sale

Give the gift of theatre this year!

IDGTF Christmas gifts on sale online now… t-shirts, Festival gift vouchers, books and more

For details and secure online booking click here.

Includes postage & packaging to Ireland and abroad.


IDGTF at Edinburgh Fringe 2019

We are viewing LGBT-related works and artists at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

Each year we seek works and artists who may be interested in participating in the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.  We have invited many works from Edinburgh to Dublin (and in turn many of our productions have gone on to perform at Edinburgh).

Want to speak to us or have a suitable work?

Send us a message on Twitter at @GayTheatre or email  You can also contact us through the Fringe Arts Industry Office.

We will also be at the promoter’s breakfast on Sunday 19th August.

You can find out more about IDGTF on our Submissions page.


Week 2 Preview – Sexuality, Scandal and Secrets

The second half of our programme, designed to celebrate 25 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland, sees plays covering a range of topical issues; from historical LGBT figures, visibility, the Trump era, bisexuality, surrogacy and alcoholism are packed into Week Two of a most innovative programme of theatre that makes Dublin the leading international centre in the world.

‘Tab and Landon’ from Canada is a dark and adults-only insight into scandalous family relationships arriving from Theatre Outré, Canada.

‘Women’s Shorts’ features a trio of powerful and funny pieces about LGBT women.  The hilarious ‘Butt Trumpet’ (USA) reveals some unusual ‘talents’ of Trump’s former spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway. ‘Cherry Pickings’ (UK) follows queer women on a night out and ‘Unseasonable’ (USA) explores the aftermath for two women of a mysterious incident.

“Memories We Lost in the Fire” (UK) and “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (Ireland) both explore young gay/bi men on a journey to understand their sexuality.

Renowned lesbian playwright, Carolyn Gage’s insight into Marty Mann, founder of the National Council on Alcoholism premieres from the USA in “Easter Sunday” (running in a double-bill with lesbian relationship comedy “The Christmas Drill”)

Irelands Blue Heart Theatre Company premieres ‘Passing On’ a story of surrogacy, family and choices as a gay couple’s plans to have a child are thrown off-course by a shocking revelation.

This week also presents an opportunity to see “2 HIStories” a duet of short stories from festival founder and artistic director Brian Merriman, exploring Irish life in the 1980s and UCD founder Cardinal Newman’s lifelong friendship with Fr Ambrose St John.