IDGTF Comes of Age in 2021!

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival comes of age in 2021.

Over the past eighteen years, the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has worked to highlight LGBTQ+ stories through groundbreaking drama. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, our first ever bursary scheme was launched in 2020 resulting in the publication of The Plays Inside.

Carrying on from our successes last year, we are pleased to announce an action-packed 18th Festival for 2021. This includes our online festival, in collaboration with Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride, beginning June 7th and the eleven recipients of our artists’ bursary scheme for 2021. Against the ever-present anxieties and stresses of the past year, these plays are a testament to playwrights from Ireland and across the globe triumphing over the odds to produce breathtaking works of art. In a time when we cannot be together nor express ourselves through live theatre, it is important that these voices are heard. These plays are truly inspiring works borne out of these daunting times. IDGTF’s commitment to highlighting these stories can be viewed on streaming platforms and in print over the coming weeks.

IDGTF Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, had the following to say of this year’s phenomenal effort:

2021 is the second year our stages went dark due to Covid. We have had no income and no renewal of the essential volunteer effort that has sustained us to reach our 18th year. Grant support has been lost or cuts maintained. But there is a lot of good news! Pride month in June is our time to celebrate with you what makes Dublin a unique centre for LGBTQ+ theatre worldwide.

Our small team has produced a remarkable programme to celebrate our ‘coming of age’.

2500 euros was awarded to 11 Irish and Irish-resident playwrights for new Irish LGBTQ+ plays in May.

A new book ‘IDGTF: 18 and Coming of Age the Director’s Cut’ – including 13 new plays will be published in June to celebrate our special birthday, and available on

We are really delighted to bring our loyal audiences a free online virtual Festival of 13 plays from Ireland and abroad beginning from June 7th.

Thanks to our ongoing partnership with Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride, who funded the recording of new plays and who financially supported our artists, we are delighted to present this free festival of many new dramatic works. It is great to reconnect our artists with our audience online in June as we await our return to live theatre in May 2022. I salute all of the writers of the 65 new plays encouraged by our 2020 and 2021 Bursary opportunities – an unimaginable number of new Irish plays when we began in 2004. I am in admiration of the productions in our online festival who have adapted their plays to fit the digital format. We hope you enjoy being part of our 18th birthday celebrations and here’s to returning to live theatre in 2022!

The streaming of these plays will be available through Dublin Pride’s Vimeo account on both the Pride and IDGTF websites. All productions are free for viewing and uploads will start from June 7th. Tune in to catch moving stories and beautiful theatre produced against all odds.

This year was no easy feat for deciding bursary winners. We received twenty-nine wonderful plays from which the selection was made. The plays chosen are incredibly diverse and tell beautiful queer stories centring around this year’s theme. In the eighteenth year of the Festival, there was no theme more fitting than ‘Coming of Age’. All twenty-nine writers embraced this theme to explore pivotal moments in young queer lives.

We also want to acknowledge the support of the Arts Council for their support in 2021, which made it possible to run this initiative for a second year.

All of the following eleven plays can be read in this year’s book, 18 and Coming of Age: The Director’s Cut, which launches this June.


Two Gerry Sinnott Bursary LGBT Ally Bursaries


By David O’Brien, Dublin

A play exploring loyalty, legacy and the inseparable ties of family.

Trapped and made infamous by the literary diaries of the lover she murdered, Maxine decides to carry out a plan to reclaim her girlfriend and destroy those who damaged her legacy.

A spectacular life demands a spectacular death.



By David O’Brien, Dublin

A play about male vulnerability and what happens if it’s exploited by someone who has chosen hatred as their modus operandi. Thynne Davis runs a course for disenfranchised men to become ‘manlier’ through his acting workshop by embodying famous ‘masculine’ characters. However his irresponsible rhetoric radicalises those involved and has disastrous consequences.


Two Amy Dalton LGBT Ally Bursaries

Half of Nothing

By Ella Skolimowski, Dublin

Yaretsi is at that awkward age: their testicles have descended, but their periods still haven’t started. Sex ed class isn’t helping them feel any less worried. Yaretsi begins to suspect they might be a man. But that’s impossible – no one is a man, or a woman; gender is a spectrum. Anyone who claims otherwise threatens the stability of this genderless utopia. Failed by their parents, teachers and the courts, Yaretsi takes drastic action to live in the body he wants.

Suicide Pact

By Jason Goodwin-Tully, Limerick

Two strangers meet on a bridge one night and strike up an unlikely friendship after making a pact to kill themselves. As they share their stories, will the different paths that led them to the bridge that night and their newfound friendship be enough to save them both?

Four Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride Bursaries

The Dwyer Scandal

By Robert Downes, Dublin

A murder investigation is launched into the suspicious death of the minister for Education. Rumours are flying about the conduct of Minster Dwyer. A married man, a family man, found dead at a gay sex party with drugs in his system. What does this mean for the government, can they survive another scandal? What does it mean for the people involved? That is a matter for the courts, first we need to find out the whole story.


By Marcus Bateson, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

Stripes is trying to do post-graduate life right. Unpaid Internship in a hipster magazine – check. Tiring barista job earning minimum wage – check. Paying ridiculously high rent – check. Avoiding feelings of abandonment with meaningless and regular Grindr hookups – check. Stripes is a one act play which delves unromantically into the struggles and realities of being gay and in your early twenties in Dublin – crafting tragic events with a dark humour as it explores themes of mental health, queer loneliness and grief.

The Changing Room

By Eveanna O’Meara and Aoife O’Beirne, Dublin

It’s only 11 a.m. in Marks and Spencer’s changing room but a lot is already happening in those cubicles. Bra shopping isn’t fun when Lorna’s breasts are trying to kill her. Peggy thinks she needs parachutes not a sports bra to hold hers up because gravity isn’t kind when you’re 76 years of age! Charlotte has a new partner, she always thought she liked boys until she kissed a girl and liked it! Shauna needs a nursing bra, and possibly a paternity test. And Paula , the shop assistant well her mind is somewhere else, she’s just turned 50 and can’t stop thinking about becoming a swinger, she just needs to persuade her husband Eddie to have sex with other women! A lot of things are changing for them all, but will that change come at a cost and what if it all goes tits up!

The Death of Me

By Sean Denyer, Dublin

Susanne has a great life, a job she loves, a fantastic Polish wife and a son she adores, to say nothing of a gay ex-husband and his partner with whom she has made a rainbow family to be proud of. But during make-up sex her wife, Magda, a lump in her breast is discovered, and her life may never be the same again. ‘The Death of Me’ explores one woman’s cancer journey, one which will redefine all her significant relationships, but more importantly force herself to reflect on a very difficult question. What is it I want out of life?

Four Terrence McNally Bursaries

The Talk

By Jonathan Hughes, Limerick

Inspired in part by my own coming out story, THE TALK is a short comedy about the conversation that takes place between father and son, after a domineering unionist father walks in on his son in bed with a man. But, you see, when Dennis Foster walks in on his son, Dennis Foster is dressed in full IRA paramilitary gear. His secret life as a republican freedom-fighter has just been outed to his staunch protestant son. During the “talk” that follows indiscretions are revealed and old secrets come to light as acceptance and forgiveness are begged for.

Biding My Time

By Tighearnan Noonan, Dublin

After finally finding acceptance within himself and his loved ones, a man struggles with the restrictions a new culture brings as he enters a new life with his partner.

Long Distance

By Katherine O Donnell, Cork

Long Distance is set in the mid 1980s in a Cork city domestic hallway when telephone answering machines were still a novelty. The play features a young lesbian and her older sister and how they triumph in stopping the aggressive phonecalls of a disgruntled ex-lover.

The Last Night

By ‘Benjamin Resande’, Armagh

Gerard and Anthony have bumped into each other after many many years. There is a lot of water “under the bridge”. We encounter them both as Gerard makes a short trip to visit Anthony at his Turkish coastal holiday home to meet up, chat about old times, get to know each other again. It’s the last night of the trip. One last night.


// Ends.


Press Release is downloadable below.

IDGTF Press Release 2021 Online Festival


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


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


2018 Programme Launch: 25 Plays for 25 Years of Decriminalisation

Press Release:

25 Plays for 25 Years of Decriminalisation


The 15th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival launched its diverse programme online on Tuesday April 10th on


“This is a special anniversary year for the LGBTI community in Ireland and the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has assembled a top class programme of Irish and International LGBT theatre, full of stories that could not be told in the past and that are waiting to be told today” said Founder and programmer Brian Merriman.

“It is 35 years since the appalling outcome in the Declan Flynn (Fairview Park) murder trial and “The Drowning Room” by Irish playwright, ‘Verity-Alicia Mavenawitz’ recounts a family gathering after a similar verdict in Ireland. Voices that lived before and during decriminalisation take to many stages including Tennessee William’s final years in ‘His Greatness” from Chicago, Oscar Wilde appears in ‘Beloved Sinner’ and again with, William Shakespeare and Mary Shelley who are amongst the “Writers In the Stars” battling for eternal fame.

“2HISstories” look at Irish life in the 1980s in ‘The Off Switch’ and UCD founder, Cardinal Newman’s lifelong friendship with Fr Ambrose St John in ’The Second Miracle’. John M Farrell’s ‘3 Lies About Brooklyn’ follows the story of being trafficked from an Irish Mother and Baby home to Brooklyn and back. ‘Let Me Look at You’ captures a moment in time in Soho in 1993.  Ireland’s Breda Larkin, Canada’s Franny McCabe-Bennett and UK’s Annabel Pribelski headline our top class female comedy performances.

‘Tab and Landon’ from Canada is a dark insight into family relationships arriving from Theatre Outre, Canada with ‘Blue Island 99’ a coming out story – our first by a Taiwanese  artist. The diversity of the Mens’ and Womens’ Shorts programme sees Ireland’s LGBT community group Acting Out team up with the world’s first Gay Theatre Company, New York’s TOSOS is excellent programmes of short plays.

Exciting theatre from young companies includes the UK’s ‘Cherry Pickings’, ‘Ginger Beer’ and ‘Memories We Lost In The Fire’. Young Irish playwrights premiering their work include Conor Burke’s “Ethan and Evan and All They Know” and Robert Downes’ ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’.

Renowned lesbian playwright, Carolyn Gage’s insight into Marty Mann, founder of the National Council on Alcoholism premieres from the USA as Irelands ‘Blue Heart Theatre Company’ premieres ‘Passing On’ a story of surrogacy, family and choices.

“We mark this 25th anniversary year with a free opening seminar on visibility and decriminalisation, with speakers Tonie Walsh, Grainne Healy, Kieran Rose and Chaired by Seamus Dooley. The free play reading is the world premiere of ‘Party Boy’ based on the true life story of an Irish gay go-go dancer” added Brian Merriman. There is a nightly Festival Club and the Festival is supported by The Arts Council, Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland.  All of this, plus our incredible voluntary support, makes Dublin the biggest centre for gay theatre worldwide.

“There are two separate weekly programme of accessible and low priced theatre in city centre venues from May 7th– 20th. It is an honour in this anniversary year, to stand on the  shoulders of all who got us to this point and those who continue to struggle for freedom worldwide” added Brian Merriman. “25 years ago, this would have been unimaginable – today, Dublin and Ireland opens its arms to diverse artistic voices and we are very pleased to welcome all the companies and you, our audience to our unique programme of 25 plays for 25 years”, he concluded.

Tickets are now on sale from For further information please contact Brian Merriman on 087 6573732

Press Release 2017: Celebrating Our History and Facing Our Futures Together

For immediate release    Download a copy here

Contemporary  stories  of  LGBT  life  in  Ireland  and  abroad  will  be  celebrated  on  Dublin  City centre stages for two weeks opening on the May bank holiday.

Reaching its 4000th performance this year, plays covering a range of topical issues — from being a gay Traveller boxing champion to lesbian  gangsters  in  East  end  London,  and  Mormon  missionaries —  are  packed  into  a  most innovative programme of theatre that makes Dublin the leading international centre in the world.

Launched  by  Senator  David  Norris  and  award  winning  actor  Mark  O’ Halloran,  a capacity audience, including  the Ambassadors of Chile and Norway and the US charge d’affaires, flocked to the announcement of a programme not hosted in any other global city.

Joni  Mitchell,  leaving  certificate  students,  inter -racial  love,  a  diverse  group  of  queers,  high school  students  from  NYC,  Calamity  Jane,  contemporary  HIV  and  transgender  stories,  gay escorts, older community members, a Mexican confessional, lesbian artist models in the 1920s, a  macabre  reunion  between  an  estranged  father  and  his  son,  a  man  with  a  wife  and  a boyfriend,  a  modern  exploration of masculinity separating the emotional from the physical self, and  a  closing  night  of  a  long  established  gay  venue,  the subjects of  new  and  emerging playwrights who find a voice and a stage in Dublin each May, make up this year’s  accessible programme of diverse theatre for the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Carefully curated from over 100 submissions from around the globe,  five venues across Dublin  city  will  become home to the best  international  gay theatre the world  has  to offer, providing a unique opportunity to see LGBT culture (nine  performances each night)  presented by theatre companies from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Mexico and Scotland.

“Dublin will  once again host the world’s biggest and most diverse LGBT Theatre Festival, in a year when the City Council decided to cut the already small grant being made available to this unique  theatrical  event  that  attracts  worldwide attention”  said  festival founder  Brian  Merriman.  “I suppose if you give so freely to your city, its often taken for granted and this cut of over 10% shocked the LGBT theatrical community, who recognises our work to give the city this valuable label as the world centre for the genre.  This is our fourteenth year staging new and diverse theatre,  welcoming artists  and  audiences  regardless  of  their  sexual  identity.  Everyone  is welcome in this unique festival of theatre, and if the city wants to reduce its small support so be it.”

– Ends –

For future information please contact:
Brian Merriman, Founder/Artistic Director

Secure online booking on
Tickets are priced at €15 per show (€13 Concession/€10 matinee).
Nightly Venue tickets; two plays in the same venue (7.30pm/9.00pm), available at €25.
Matinees are on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1st) and each Saturday (May 6th/13th).


Launch of the 13th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival – Press Release

For immediate release

2016 the year of our Heroes – Thirteenth International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival Launches

The programme of the world’s largest Gay Theatre Festival was launched today by Minister of State for New Communities, Culture & Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, celebrating a century of LGBT heroes.

“We are delighted to once again host the world’s biggest and most diverse LGBT Theatre Festival from May Bank Holiday for two weeks in this commemorative year. 2016 not only allows us commemorate the contribution of gay people to the freedom of Ireland as a republic, but the many people who led the way to a more equal world for LGBT people. This is our thirteenth year staging new and diverse theatre, welcoming artists and audiences regardless of their sexual identity. Everyone is welcome in this unique festival of theatre” said Brian Merriman, who founded the event in 2004, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde, with the aim to create new opportunities for visibility and affirmation of emerging LGBT artists and theatrical works.

“I am delighted to be here at today’s launch. The festival is crucial to providing a space for LGBT voices in the arts,” said Minister Ó Ríordáin, “This of course is a very special year for our country and as we reflect on the last 100 years and all of the positive things that we have achieved. We need only cast our eyes back to last May, to when we became the first country in the world to vote Yes to marriage equality, to see how far we have come as a nation.”

For two weeks the Festival will offer a unique opportunity to see LGBT culture on city centre stages (10 performances each night), presented by theatre companies from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Iran, Russia, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, & Greece. From a wordless contemporary interpretation of the mythical story of Apollo & Hyacinth, to a satire of last year’s Marriage Equality Referendum, this varied programme of music, dramas, comedy and dance is a celebration of diversity and identity.

This year, the festival is especially excited to feature a host of 1916-themed productions in the form of full length plays, including “Eirebrushed,” written and directed by Festival Director Brian Merriman, in which the hidden lesbian and gay heroes of 1916 return today to discuss their place in modern Ireland. There is also a collection of Irish historical shorts and a free academic seminar detailing the forgotten role LGBT people and women played in 1916.

Also featured this year is the story of Alan Turing whose computer cracked the Nazi codes in World War II, and Ireland from the times of Oscar Wilde to the modern heroes that passed the referendum for equal marriage. Helen of Troy, the Greek banking crisis and even “the devil” Julie Andrews, make an appearance in a programme that welcomes, for the first time artists from regimes who endanger their lives as LGBT people in Russia and Iran.

Last week, the festival also received an endorsement from New York City Councillor Daniel Dromm, for the positive impact their work has had on LGBT people of Irish decent. “It is a great cause for celebration that Dublin is the recognised worldwide centre for the celebration of the LGBT identity through theatre as an art form.” said Brian Merriman.

They are all a part of the thirteenth annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Are You?


For further information please contact:
Brian Merriman, Founder/Artistic Director


International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2015 is Launched – Press Release

“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

“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

Secure online booking is now open on 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.


Artistic Director Brian Merriman – Programme Launch Speech 2014

Address by Brian Merriman, Founder, International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, at the launch of the 11th Festival in the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 on Tuesday March 18th at 5.30pm.


Sen. David Norris, Patrick Mason & Brian Merriman at the launch

“Lord Mayor, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you Lord Mayor for the great honour you do for us again today by acknowledging the citizenship of the LGBT community in Dublin and our contribution to the arts. It is important to be included and very nice to be welcomed into the home of the First Citizen. Dublin City Council, which you lead, gets inclusiveness – it is part of what makes Dublin a good place to express yourself and one of the key pillars of the success of Dublin as being the biggest international home for gay theatre on the planet! You and your predecessors, and your Arts office have been a considerable help to us in reaching our second decade and long may that cooperation last!

Yes, The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is the biggest of it is kind in the world. It is also an established example of what people can achieve together when they have a common cause. Not for the first time are we in the presence of a Tony Award winner. Our patron Terrence Mac Nally has graced this festival previously. I am particularly thrilled to welcome Tony Award winning director Patrick Mason here today. He truly honours us, not only with his distinguished presence, but with the gift of his theatre at home and abroad. He has directed over 150 works. I think he is responsible for me seeing my first gay play in Ireland in the National Theatre – ‘Angels in America’ – what a far-seeing and wonderful production that challenged Irish audiences to embrace other cultures. It was, as always, ahead of it’s time for Ireland. Most recently I attended his wonderful study of Frank Mc Guinness’s latest play ‘The Hanging Gardens’, and his powerful interpretation of ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster’ still lives in my memory. All of that, Wilde and what many of you here today do, is gay theatre. When not advertised as that, they pack out in mainstream – when we advertise them as gay theatre, we battle for hearts, minds and seats! That is our inter-cultural dialogue – to show that gay theatre is good theatre and it is for you.

I would like to congratulate Patrick on being elevated to a Doctorate by UCD last June. Patrick placed at the centre of his stewardship of the national theatre at the end of the twentieth century, an artistic courage through the liberation of voices. We share, but in an incredibly modest way as you can clearly see, his inspiration and Yeat’s call that art and intellect could integrate with the social and political, as it must. In trying to contribute in some way to the liberation and recognition of gay voices in theatre, we too seek to enable Yeat’s call to ‘speak the deeper thoughts and emotions of Ireland’.

Welcome too to Sean, his partner and I know they and you will all join with me in marking the recent passing of Ireland’s foremost gay artist Patrick Scott. Pat was yet another gay man whose art shone through in a much less accepting time, proving my old mantra again ‘it is not acceptable to laud the art and loath the artist’. Pat’s remarkable journey of creativity in a very hostile time in Ireland also proves what many minorities struggle with – you really do have to be brilliant just to be equal, and he certainly was that. When he was made a Saoi in Aosdana I wanted to celebrate his complete identity at a launch to claim him as a role model for his achievement for us as well, but I couldn’t as I didn’t know if his personal life with his partner Eric Pearce was public. It was good to see his life fully acknowledged at his passing. Our sympathies go to Eric, his family, colleagues and friends. May he rest easy and may we continue to enjoy his great legacy.

We also are celebrating the beginning of our second decade at a time when something remarkable happened in Irish theatre. There is always an open door welcome for Irish artists in this International Festival and I am thrilled to launch the biggest Irish programme ever this year. In this multi-media age, some question the relevance of theatre – and then Rory O Neill dons his latest glamorous outfit and produces probably his finest piece of theatre on the Abbey stage. The show was over, he walked onto the stage as a noble call and delivered in the most expertly crafted lines, a voice to the ongoing story of unchallenged oppression that still gets us all on a daily basis. One short moment in live theatre captured our multi media world, went viral and is now, thanks to the ‘Pet Shop Boys’ topping the charts. And with all the fuss and attention, the truth of Panti’s message is still the most triumphant element of his achievement in not bowing to adversity. It was remarkable theatre by a remarkable artist. It is equally remarkable that so many people were enlightened by what to the rest of us is our daily experience, internalised or externalised oppression.

It is somewhat frustrating that despite a decade of either achievement or survival, this worldwide event in Dublin is at risk of falling with the last volunteer. We have no office, no computer, no staff and not even a chair as an asset, after a decade of unrivalled output and considerable success. It is exhausting trying to work real standards driven theatre with such a paucity of resources, despite the generosity of our volunteer base. I want genuinely to acknowledge the support given to us in staging 180 performances of new Irish theatre and international voices in Dublin this May with the essential help of 6,000 euros from the Arts Council and 4,000 euros from Dublin City Council. We are, with six weeks to go, anxiously awaiting to see if Fáilte Ireland will maintain or hopefully add to our 3,000 euros grant from 2013. ‘RTE Supporting the Arts’ has kindly offered us a free TV ad this year, if we can raise the resources to make it. That’s a much better way for them to use their scarce resources. RTE, through the Festival, first broadcast the word ‘gay’ in an ad on radio and later on TV, just as the City Council made history when they first flew the word ‘gay’ on the flagpoles on the River and will facilitate us doing so again this year – thank you.
You can read all about that and more in my book ‘Wilde Stages In Dublin – a decade of gay theatre’ now on sale here, in the Little Museum of Dublin and Book Upstairs on online on Our thanks also go to the our long-standing friends in the Arlington Hotel group, who really do look after our guests each year so well and to the Front Lounge, the gay media and all venues for their ongoing support.

In the 21st Century, the latest crumb to fall from the rights table, is that we are to be allowed ask for permission to marry in a referendum next year – the final ignomy perhaps to end 130 years of legislative oppression, formalised with the 1885 Act that incarcerated Wilde, forbade Edwards and Mac Liammoir from marrying, never acknowledged the 1923 election of Dr Kathleen Lynn as our first and perhaps only lesbian TD, saw the IRB abandon Casement in the dock as his diaries revealed his prowess, encouraged Francis Bacon and thousands of others to stay away, and still criminalised us until 21 years ago. In all that we still find the space to tell the stories of the past and our stories of today in this innovative and entertaining programme and to be fair, more people straight and gay listen for the 11th year in succession.

The vibrant programme this year reflects our history as plays unpack the stories of the Great War in ‘For the Trumpets Still Sound’. My own play ‘Eirebrushed’ looks at the concept of a flawed person being a hero in the context of Pearse, Casement, O’Farrell and Gore Booth, who along with Kathleen Lynn and Madeleine ffrench Mullen were among the many gay heroes of a struggle in 1916, which was to end with no minority being subject to the majority. We are glad to return to the New Theatre this year.

We out soccer players in ‘Away From Home’ – when an escort falls for his premier league client. Marriage equality shines through in the retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk in ‘A Boy and A Bean’ from Australia and the other side of the coin ‘Civil Parting’ about divorce, coming to us from South Africa. Pearse and Casement are not the only political figures under the spotlight as politics and culture from the 1980s is quite a theme this year. Margaret Thatcher becomes the ‘Queen of Soho’ finding herself lost in Soho on the eve of Clause 28 and accidentally becoming a cabaret star. If only she had remained in that career choice.

We kick off our free events programme with ‘Show and Tell’ and ‘Spoken Word’ curated by David Doyle in ‘The Harbour Playhouse’ in Portobello. ‘T-Girls’ is our free play reading on Sunday May 11th in the Front Lounge, set on the drag scene in Dublin 1980s. In a year where transgender identity rights take another step forward, we also look at gender identity in a special matinee ‘child friendly’ play called ‘Aunty Ben’. Ciara Gannon and Siobhan Killen treat us to a musical 80’s feast of what was ‘Acceptable In The 80’s’ – part of a specific series where Irish LGBT voices direct from the community, share their talents this year. This includes the accomplished LGBT ‘Acting Out’ Group presenting their politically incorrect comedy ‘Tits Up’ both in the wonderful space at Outhouse, the LGBT community centre in Capel Street. It is good to be back there amongst friends.

We continue to encourage new writing and our audiences continue to flock to the ever popular ‘Theatre Shorts’ programme. This year we have five shorts in the Cobalt Café with ‘Blue Boy’ by mark Ward, ‘Dear Madonna’ by Mark Power, ‘Grace and Maggie’ by Therese Prendiville, ‘Bitten’ by Penny Jackson and ‘The Interview’ by myself, Irish and international writers. We are delighted to welcome our first play from Derry ‘Lesbian Style’ powerful storytelling theatre.

What is a strong bond in gay theatre is that is doesn’t need any translation if it comes to Ireland from abroad. ‘Faggot (Jesus Loves Me)’ deals with the struggle a Canadian couple have with one being influenced by religion and the other not. Gay icon Madonna gets her homage in the shorts, in Outhouse and also in ‘Chicken Fried Ciccione’ by last year’s best Actor J Stephen Brantley from New York.

Ireland’s stand-up comic Breda Larkin is back with another hit ‘Other Women’s World’ and we link up with the legendary Provincetown Gay Theatre Festival to bring ‘Two from Provincetown’: ‘A Shining Attribute by Candyce Rusk and a short, ‘What to Throw Out’ by our Ambassador Kathleen Warnock, so instrumental in bringing ‘Panti’ and our Festival to the streets of the inclusive ‘St Patricks for All Parade’ in New York, recently.

We have some great musical treats. Renowned star ‘The Late David Turpin’ will play his only 2014 Irish concerts in two late nights in the Cobalt, the week after Stella Bass presents a jazz version of some of composer Stephen Sondheim’s best songs in ‘A Little jazz Night Music’. The UK’s Exist Theatre combines original music in their contemporary relationship piece called ‘Man Enough’ and we camp it up big time in a backstage musical delight called ‘The Dressers’ completing our musical programme.

We are delighted to renew our acquaintance with the legendary gay theatre producer David Zak. David’s Chicago based ‘Bailiewick Theatre Company’ and his ‘Pride Film and Play’ competition results in a visit for the first time in years by this company, with the award winning comedy ‘At the Flash’.

Young Irish writers continue to identify the Festival as a place where they will be heard, supported and showcased. Del Masterson premiere’s his latest work ‘Two Sides Of A Coin’ as does the prolific Alan Flanagan who will meet us at the junction of ‘Dupont and Davenport’. We present two accounts of historical gay writers in Israel’s ‘Jean Genet – Son of a Bitch’ and we would not be complete without some Oscar and look forward to a visit from ‘My Dorian’ from Starving Artists, a university company from the USA. It is great to see their university funding this trip.

I can think of no better way to begin a new decade that to mark an incredible coincidence. In May 1964 – the 18th to be precise – retired dancer Joe Cino broke new boundaries by staging the first ever ‘gay play’ in gay theatre. ‘The Madness of Lady Bright’ by Landford Wilson was the trail blazer and exactly 50 years to the night, our Gala night will celebrate International Gay theatre in our awards concert and ceremony titled in tribute ‘A Night At The Café Cino’. Here we will present awards in the names of Wilde, Edwards, Mac Liammoir, Eve Gore Booth, Patrick Murray and pioneering gay playwright from the Cino days, Doric Wilson, in a celebration of what I am sure will be a Festival of merit to begin our second decade.

We are also launching today a fundraising partnership programme with the LGBT community groups where we invite them to book out a theatre on an opening night at a discounted rate, and to charge what they like to raise funds for their diverse and essential causes. We hope this will in some way assist them as they too struggle to preserve essential services and to fight the cause of human rights for all, through the marriage equality campaigns that are ahead.

My attempts to step down as the organiser of this event after a decade have been a spectacular failure. I am very grateful to the small team that continues to step forward and to dedicate their considerable time and talent to ensure other voices will be included in our intercultural dialogue with mainstream society at home and abroad. Interns Ramona and David have made their mark and Company Secretary, Gareth, John James, Annick, Vinny or very talented designer who takes the helm for the first time this year, Joe, Adam, Meg, our ‘straight’ technical Director Paul, and the team of volunteers with endless patience and dedication will see this event through once more, backstage, front of house and in marketing and promotion, I am sure. We do need help over the next two months and we need support, resources, and a generosity of talking the event up, to ensure it’s second decade will build on the achievements of the first. I live in hope of finding a successor to Chair this dynamic entity.

We are suffering from goodwill. So many people look at the event and go ‘well done’ and then self exclude themselves from it because they are not LGBT or they think they are not into theatre. This programme will appeal to many and we need your help in convincing them, that as mainstream theatre is inclusive and relevant, so are we. If you have never done it before, book a show online at – top price is only 15 euros. If you have done it before, book in a friend or make this your group activity in May. 50% of our audience is straight, we attract tourists form abroad but we need more people from all walks of life to cross the threshold of innovative theatre to support these great companies who sacrifice so much to showcase their work at our Festival. We do not personally profit in anyway from our work, but I believe we all profit from this visibility, this diversity, this inclusiveness of all, regardless of their identity, in a unique artistic celebration of new voices, new work and new horizons in Dublin in May.

Thank you, Lord Mayor for your gracious hospitality and support. Thank you Patrick for you ongoing contribution to great theatre and for allowing us to associate ourselves with you today. Thank you all for writing, acting, singing, producing, technical support, front of house, administration, funding, sponsoring, fundraising and attending. Booking opens online tomorrow morning! See you at the 11th festival with a new programme of quality theatre each week beginning May 5th and May 12th 2014.”



IDGTF 2014 Programme Launch




March 18th 2014, The Oak Room, Mansion House, Dublin 2, 17.30

The Eleventh Annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival programme was launched today at The Oak Room at the Mansion House.

The Festival will take place from May 5th to May 18th at various locations around Dublin and present plays from abroad – USA, Canada, South Africa, Israel and Australia as well as plays from closer to home from Northern Ireland and Britain.

This year’s Festival will also feature a record number of plays by Irish playwrights and gladly supports the growing interest in LGBT issues and the gay community at home. During the two weeks in May the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy drama, comedy, music and cabaret at accessible prices, as well as a range of free events.

In his speech, the Festival Artistic Director and Chairman, Brian Merriman, highlighted the need for inclusion of all people in the Festival events.  Although 50% of the Festival audience is straight, he pointed out that the Festival is “suffering from goodwill. So many people look at the event and go ‘well done’ and then self-exclude themselves from it because they are not LGBT or they think they are not into theatre.”

He added: “We do not personally profit in anyway from our voluntary work supporting professional artists, but I believe we all profit from this visibility, this diversity, this inclusiveness of all, regardless of their identity, in a unique artistic celebration of new voices, new work and new horizons in Dublin in May.”

This year the Festival audience will have the opportunity to experience stories about family and gender, musings on love and happiness with a poignant look at gay marriage and divorce, love and loss.  There will be talk about gay rights, politics and sex in the 80s, a rethink of children’s tales and fairy tales.  Love will blossom in the trenches of World War 1, football pitches and Northern Ireland, and in spite and despite religion.

There will be stories about privilege and assumed rights that go with it; pure malice and perceived evil, obsession and corruption of beauty.  1916’s heroes feature as does the work of Wilde and Jean Genet, Stephen Sondheim and even Margaret Thatcher will make an appearance on stage!  But without fail, the Festival will show stories of and about that unpredictable and uncontrollable organ – the heart.

Booking is available online at or at the Festival Box Office at The Arlington Hotel Temple Bar, Lord Edward Street from April 28th 12 noon to 3.00pm daily.

For further information please contact the Director Brian Merriman at 087 6573732 /


Gay Star News Announced as Global Media Partner for International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2013

Gay Star News Announced as Global Media Partner for International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2013

Gay Star News have come on board as the Global Media Partner for 10th year of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Festival Secretary, Gareth Hurley, has expressed his enthusiasm for the pairing.

“I am really looking forward to the possibility of working with Gay Star News, this promises to be a very productive partnership for both of us.” He said.

This partnership will support the festival in bringing the news of the festival 2013 festival to a wider international audience. Reaching 200 countries worldwide on a monthly basis, Gay Star News is the ideal global media partner.

The International Dublin Gay Theatre festival is the largest festival of it’s kind in the world.  In 2013 over 200 performances will take place in six venues around Dublin bringing together artists from around the world.

Gay Star News has previously partnered with Sydney Mardi Gras, National Diversity Awards and Iris Prize Festival. News, features and reviews from the festival can be found on the Gay Star News website


Dublin Going Wilde For Festival 2013


Dublin is going ‘wilde’ in May to celebrate ten years of international gay theatre. Musicals, drama, dance, Opera, drag, cabaret and comedy from five continents will be presented in over 200 performances in city centre venues during May 6th to 19th 2013. The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is the biggest event of its kind in the world. “This year we will reach our 200th performance of gay theatre in the birthplace of Oscar Wilde” said founder Brian Merriman. “We present works by gay authors or that have a gay character, theme or relevance such as feminism, masculinity or gender identity in small theatres throughout the city centre at reasonable prices” he added.

City Centre Hotel Accommodation packages of up to 50% discount are available to festival attendees at and excellent theatre value is available in secure online booking from 10 to 15 euros per performance for matinee an evening shows. “There are some free events including a nightly festival club where casts, crews and audience socialise” continued Brian Meriman. “The Festival presents the best in new writing that appeals to a mainstream audience and we are delighted to welcome visitors during the ‘Year of the Gathering in Ireland’ for a unique theatrical and social experience” he concluded. The 30 play programme features productions from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia and is available for online booking in April on and follow us on Facebook for updates.


Senator Katherine Zappone to Launch 2012 Programme

Senator Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s first lesbian member of parliament, will launch this year’s programme for us at 1pm this Wednesday 28th in The Arlington Hotel, Temple Bar, Dublin.

This year the festival hosts worldwide entertainment from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, the USA, Canada, Germany and South Africa in nine city-centre venues around Dublin. This unique festival runs from 7th to 20th May and welcomes audiences of all ages and sexual identities.

Press release available for download here >>

Text only copy available here >>

Images and more information available on request to


Arts Minister Launches Festival 2011

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., officially launched the Eighth Dublin International Theatre Festival at Copper Alley, Arlington Hotel Temple Bar.

This year the festival hosts worldwide entertainment from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, the USA, Canada and Venezuela in seven city-centre venues around Dublin. This unique festival runs from 2nd to 15th May welcomes audiences of all ages and sexual identities.

See the Press Release >>

Speech of Brian Merriman, IDGTF Artistic Director >>


Lord Major Launches Seventh Dublin Gay Theatre Festival Programme


Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Emer Costello Launches Seventh International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival Programme

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello today (March 22nd) officially launched the programme for the Seventh Annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival at a special event in the Mansion House at 5.30pm.

The unique festival which runs from May 3rd to 16th, is the largest such festival of its kind in the world, and has now grown to become one of the biggest annual showcases of theatre in Dublin with twenty seven plays vying for audiences’ attention this year.

The exciting programme of features, comedy and musical theatre includes Eight World Premieres, Eight European Premieres and Four Irish Premieres in what promises to be a tantalising two weeks of entertainment. This year the festival includes productions from Ireland, UK, USA, Spain, South Africa and Australia, with a particular emphasis on new writing from emerging playwrights.

Highlights from the programme include The Laramie Project (USA) a play which recounts the brutal kidnap and murder of Mathew Sheppard, Kiss the Women (South Africa), a brave and deeply moving exploration of growing up as a black lesbian in South Africa, Loaded (USA) a no-holds barred look at internet sex, identity and ageism, Exiles (UK) a fresh and unique perspective on James Joyce’s only play, Working Late (Ireland), a coming out comedy set in today’s economic crisis, Under the Rainbow (Ireland) a musical journey through the many lives of actress and entertainer Liza Minnelli and Drags Aloud (Australia) Joan Rivers support act that’s part Glee, part Scream, with a health dose of Priscilla Queen of the Desert!

Speaking at the launch the Lord Mayor said, “This festival continues to play an important role in the cultural life of the capital and its policy of inclusiveness and innovation has served it well since its foundation. It has made a strong contribution to livelihood of many artists and to date has given audiences a diverse range of entertainment. I wish the Festival well as it launches, what is a very ambitious programme for 2010.”

Festival Director, Brian Merriman, said “This year we break through many barriers with our diverse programme of theatre that seeks to dialogue culturally with mainstream society. He added that festival was “delighted to welcome so many Irish companies to our programme this year. Playwrights as young as 18 year old Aaron Rogers were successful amongst the largest ever cohort of Irish applicants.”

Full details of our programme and ticket prices are available on


For further information contact John O’Driscoll PRO on 087-2470243 or visit


ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival präsentiert das Program für 2009 (Deutsch)

Zum 6. Mal infolge findet das einzigartige Dublin Gay Theater Festival statt

Das ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival präsentiert 40 Theaterstücke, die sich mit homosexuellen oder homosexuellen relevanten Themen befassen. Das Theater findet vom 4.5. – 17.5.09 in Dublin, Irland, statt. Pro Nacht werden 15 verschiedene Stücke im Zentrum Dublins aufgeführt, die zwischen Drama, Comedy, Dance und Musical Theatre variieren.

Das Festival bietet internationale Stücke aus Simbabwe, Süd Afrika, Australien, Canada und den U.S.A., aber auch europäische Stücke aus England, Irland, Deutschland, Polen und Frankreich.

Das Dublin Gay Theatre Festival ist das einzige Theater Festival weltweit, dass sich nur mit homosexuell relevant Themen widmet. Es wurde 2004, am 150. Geburtstag von Oscar Wilde zu dessen Gedenken, gegründet.

2009 wird das Festival seine 1000. Aufführung in der ersten Woche verbuchen können.

Für mehr Informationen zu den Aufführungen sowie zu Onlinebuchungen besuchen sie bitte unsere Homepage

Das Festival wurde vom Minister für Kunst, Sport und Tourismus, Martin Cullen, Senator David Norris und Anna Nolan, Finalistin der 1. UK Big Brother Staffel eröffnet.

Minister Martin Cullen TD sagte: „Das Festival hat sowohl an Quantität als auch an Qualität seiner Produktionen zugenommen und sich somit zur einer Niche in der Kunstszene entwickelt. Es hat homosexuellen Artisten und homosexuellen Inhalten eine Plattform gegeben. Das Theatee Festival ist sich in seinem Ziel treu geblieben internationale Theater, Künstler und Autoren zu unterstützen und zu fördern. Die Entscheidung den amerikanischen Tony Award Gewinner, Autor Terrence McNally, zu seinen Patron zu erwählen, ist ein eindeutiger Beweis dafür.“

Brendon Buckley von der Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, Distributor von ABSOLUT Vodka in Irland sagte: ”ABSOLUT war einer der ersten global erfolgreichen Marken, die seit 1981 die gay community auf der ganzen Welt unterstützt hat. Als sich ABSOLUT vor ca. 30 Jahren den Rechten des Individuums verschrieben hat, wurde dies allgemein als kühner und gewagter Schritt gesehen. Heute kann ABSOLUT mit Stolz auf die damals getroffene Entscheidung zurückblicken. Unser Sponsoring des ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival ist demnach nur ein weiterer Schritt, Leute zu inspirieren Konventionen zu hinterfragen und die Welt in einem breiterem Spektrum zu begreifen.”

Obwohl sich alle Stücke mit homosexuellen Themen befassen, war es für den Artistic Director des Festivals, Brian Merriman, wichtig, dass es eine große Bandbreite hat, sodass das Festival ein Event ist, an dem jeder – gleichgültig seiner/ihrer sexuellen Präferenz – teilnehmen kann. „Jeder is willkommen an dem ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival beizutragen und viele tun es auch. Unsere Teilnehmer sind genauso facettenreich wie unsere Publikum: homosexuell und heterosexuell, Männer und Frauen, jung und alt, Leute aus verschiedenen ethnischen und religiösen Bereichen. Zwei Wochen lang bieten wir Leuten von Dublin und außerhalb qualitiv hochwertige Unterhaltung für einen guten Preis. Im Verhältnis zu den Resourcen, die uns zur Verfügung stehen, übertrifft das Endergebnis die Mittel bei weitem, was wir den großzügigen Unterstützungen und Förderungen zu verdanken haben, die dieses einzigartige Event möglich machen.“

Die Irish Times Living Dublin Awards überreichten 2008 ihren Culture & Tourism Award dem Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, der die Bemühungen von Organisationen anerkennt, die zum kulturellen Leben Dublins beitragen.

Programmüberblick 2009

Eines der diesjährigen Highlights ist „The Bird Sanctuary“ des irischen Autors Frank McGuiness, das seit seiner Premiere am Abbey’s Theatre nicht mehr in Dublin aufgeführt wurde. Dieses Jahr wird es während der ersten Festivalswoche im The Project Arts Centre wieder gezeigt. Als zweites Stück des Abends wird „Loupe”, ein mutiges Stück aus Simbabwe, folgen, dass die Nuancen des Landes unter Mugabe mit Blick auf Politik, Sexualität, HIV und brüderlicher Zuneigung in einer aufgewühlten Gesellschaft thematisiert.

In der zweiten Woche des Festivals wird im The Project Arts Centre “A Dog Called Redemption” zu sehen sein. Das Stück erzählt von einer ungleichen Freundschaft zwischen zwei Obdachlosen Männern. Es ist eine lustige und zugleich rührende Geschichte, die den Preis des Besten Neuen Stückes 2008 bei den Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards gewann.

Desweiteren ist ”Silenciados” – ein Stück aus Madrid – angesetzt. Es beschreibt fünf unterschiedliche Geschichten, die zwar in unterschiedlichen Jahrzehnten spielen aber dessen Protagonisten immer Diskriminierung ausgesetzt sind aufgrund ihrer sexuellen Präferenz.

Zur visuellen Unterhaltung bilden die energiereichen Performances von Tchaikovsky’s Wife und Dog of All Creation, die sich der Form des Tanzes bedienen.

Aufklärung, Jugend und Homophobie sind Elemente, die stark im diesjährigen Programm vertreten sind. Unter ihnen sind „Killed By Curriculum“ vom Dublin ’s Independent Youth Theatre, “Care Takers” und “Phi Alpha Gamma”. “I Love You, Bro“ befasst sich mit dem Leben eines Teenagers in Internet Chatrooms, „Minor Gods“ mit einem unerwartetem Wendepunkt im Leben eines Callboys und in „Walnuts Remind Me Of My Mother“ wird die Coming Out Geschichte einer Lesbin in einer Kleinstadt geschildert.

Dieses Jahr gibt es außerdem eine große Auswahl an Stücken von Oscar Wilde mit einer Aufbereitung von „The Picture (of Dorian Gray)“, „The Happy Prince“ und Wilde’s berüchtigter Prozess wird in „More Lives Than One – Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas“ widergespiegelt. Ein weiterer wahrer Skandal des 19.Jahrhunderts wird in „Lord Arthur’s Bed“ präsentiert.

Titel wie „Wonder Woman – The Musical“ und „Santa Claus is Coming Out“ lassen keinen Zweifel daran, dass auch musikalisches Theater und Komödie ihren Platz im Festival erhalten. Die irische Mutter der Hölle ist in „Goodnight Alice“ zu sehen, eine Rap Opera in „Bash’d“ und eine ungewöhnliche Folge von Ereignissen in „Pig Tale – An Urban Faerie Story. Auch die klassische Komponente kommt in „Two Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter’s Night“ und „Listen to My Heart“ mit Liedern von David Friedman nicht zu kurz.

Nach variationsreichen Stücken von polnischen Puppenspiel (“BrokenNails”) bis zu Berliner Kabaret (“The Iron Eyelashes – After the Wall), bildet die Gala Night and Awards den Abschluss des Festivals am Sonntag, den 17.5.09 in der Button Factory. Über 250 Künstler, Crew-Mitglieder, Organisatoren und Freiwillige werden an der Ausführung des Festivals beteiligt sein.

Das Festival wird offiziell am 30.4. mit der ABSOLUT Drama Queen Launch Party in der Front Lounge beginnen. Der Kartenvorverkauf befindet sich im Kulturellen Informationszentrum Temple Bar und öffnet am 25.4.09.

Für weitere Informationen und Onlinebuchungen, besuchen sie bitte unsere Homepage


El Festival ABSOLUT de Teatro Gay en Dublín : Programa 2009 (Espanol)

El único festival de teatro gay en el Mundo regresa por sexta ocasión.

Dublín, Abril 7 del 2009:

El Festival ABSOLUT de Teatro Gay presenta un diverso rango de 40 producciones con contenido o relevancia homosexual entre el 4 y el 17 de Mayo. Ahora en su sexto año el festival presenta 15 espectáculos por noche de diversas variedades que incluyen drama, comedia, teatro musical y danza, en locaciones del centro de la ciudad.

Aunque el festival ha quitado la palabra “Internacional” de su título debido al patrocinio de ABSOLUT, no significa que haya reducido con esto su contenido internacional. A pesar de la recesión global, el festival le da la bienvenida a Dublín a compañías que vienen desde Zimbawe, Sur África, Australia, Canadá y los EUA, además de las compañías Europeas y de la Gran Bretaña que nos acompañan.

El festival es el único de su clase mundialmente, dedicado exclusivamente a teatro homosexual y fue establecido en el 2004 para conmemorar el 150 Aniversario del nacimiento de Oscar Wilde en Dublín. La muestra del 2009 superará las 1,000 actuaciones dentro de su primera semana. Detalles de todos los shows y reservaciones en línea están disponibles en: (Ver la sección de la descripción del programa abajo)

El festival fue lanzado por el Ministro de Artes, Deportes y Turismo, Martin Cullen, el senador David Norris y la celebridad Anna Nolan, una finalista de una de las primeras series de Big Brother en la Gran Bretaña en el 2000.

El ministro Martin Cullen TD dijo: “Este es un festival que ha crecido en número y calidad de sus producciones y ha desarrollado su propio nicho en la escena de las artes. El festival le ha dado voz a artistas gay o relacionados con la comunidad gay. El festival de teatro se ha mantenido veraz a sus convicciones incentivando uniones internacionales con teatros, actores y escritores de obras. La decisión reciente de designar al ganador del Tony a mejor escritor de obra Americana, Terrence McNally como su representante es una fuerte evidencia de esto.”

ABSOLUT ahora es el patrocinador titular del festival, y respecto al incremento de apoyo Brendan Buckley, de las destiladoras Pernor Ricard, distribuidores de ABSOLUT en Irlanda dice que “ABSOLUT es una de las primeras marcas en apoyar a la comunidad gay y lo ha estado haciendo por todo el mundo desde 1981. Cuando ABSOLUT decidió por primera vez hace 30 años respetar los derechos de los individuos fue acusado de ser atrevido. Hoy en día la marca puede ver hacia esos años y enorgullecerse de ello. Para nosotros, el patrocinio del Festival ABSOLUT de Teatro Gay en Dublín, es una manera natural de continuar inspirando personas, desafiar lo convencional y vernos en un mundo más inclusivo.”

Aunque las 40 producciones en el programa de este año están relacionadas por tener una temática o relevancia homosexual, el Director Artístico del festival Brian Merriman insiste que el festival es un evento inclusivo. “Todo el mundo es bienvenido a contribuir en el Festival ABSOLUT de Teatro Gay en Dublín. Nuestros participantes son tan diversos como nuestra audiencia; heterosexuales y homosexuales, hombres y mujeres, jóvenes y maduros de muchas razas y creencias. Nosotros proveemos dos semanas de empleo para actores, escritores de obras de teatro, técnicos, buenos precios y entretenimiento de calidad para las personas de Dublín y más. Este festival sobrepasa su límite cuando se toman en cuenta los recursos con los que cuenta, y agradezco a todos aquellos los cuales sus generosas contribuciones han hecho que este evento único, sea posible en la ciudad de Dublín.”

Después de celebrar un exitoso año en el 2008, el festival recibió un premio en la categoría de Cultura y Turismo de los premios “Irish Times Living Dublin Awards”, los cuales reconocen organizaciones que trabajan para incrementar la calidad de vida en la ciudad de Dublín.











Uno de los puntos culminantes de este año es la obra irlandesa de Frank McGuiness, El refugio de las Aves (The Bird Sanctuary), la cual ha sido aclamada por los críticos. Sin haber sido vista desde su premier Irlandesa en el Abbey, se presentará en “The Project Arts Centre” durante la primera semana. Será seguida cada noche por la obra ganadora de premios Loupe, una valiente producción desde Zimbabwe. Una obra que ilustra las matices de las políticas del país bajo el mando de Mugabe. Loupe muestra una vista de cerca de una sociedad problemática, sexualidad, SIDA y amor de hermanos. En el mismo establecimiento la segunda semana, Un Perro Llamado Rescate (A Dog Called Redemption), cuenta la conmovedora e hilarante historia de una amistad inverosímil formada por dos vagabundos la cual fue ganadora al premio de la Mejor Nueva Obra en los premios del 2008 Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards. También esa misma semana en “The Project” se presenta Silenciados desde Madrid, cinco historias independientes en diferentes tiempos y diferentes partes del mundo atadas por la temática de la discriminación sexual. Un agasajo visual de tetro físico a la que se le une en el programa por otras poderosas producciones las cuales incorpora baile como La Esposa de Tchaikovsky’s (Tchaikovsky’s Wife ), y Perro de Toda la Creación (Dog of All Creation).

Los temas de educación, juventud y homofobia son presentados fuertemente en el programa del festival. Junto con ellas la nueva obra por la Compañía de Teatro Joven Independiente de Dublín, Muerte por Curriculum (Killed By Curriculum), así como Cuidadores (Care Takers) y Phi Alpha Gamma. La oscura Te Amo, Hermano (I Love You, Bro) muestra la vida de un adolescente en sitios de chat en Internet. Dioses Menores (Minor Gods) nos enseña un giro inesperado en la vida de un chico que se prostituye y Las Nueces me Recuerdan a mi Madre (Walnuts Remind me of my Mother) es una historia de dos lesbianas llegando a la madurez.

Este año se muestra una fuerte selección de obras ligadas a Oscar Wilde con una adaptación del El Retrato De Dorian Gray (The Picture of Dorian Gray), la mágica El Príncipe Feliz (The Happy Prince) y el ensayo infame de Wilde en Más Vidas que Una – Oscar Wilde y el Negro Douglas (More Lives Than One – Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas). Otro escándalo gay del siglo XIX se muestra en, La Cama de Lord Arthur (Lord Arthur’s Bed).

Con títulos como La Mujer Maravilla – El Musical (Wonder Woman – The Musical) y Santa Claus Sale del Closet! (Santa Claus is Coming Out!) dejan muy poca duda de que el teatro musical y la comedia van a estar representados fuertemente en el programa de este año. La “mammy” irlandesa del infierno es vista en Buenas Noches Alice (Goodnight Alice), una opera de rap en Bash’d y una voltereta de eventos extraños se muestran en Cuento de Cerdos – Una historia de Hadas Urbana (Pig Tale – An Urban Faerie Story). La cómica pero sexy Dos Chicos en Una Cama en una Noche Fría de Invierno (Two Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter’s Night) y las canciones de David Friedman en Escucha a Mi Corazón (Listen to My Heart) demuestran que también hay clásicos en esta mezcla.

Teniendo de todo desde Títeres Polacos (Uñas Rotas [Broken Nails]) un cabaret de Berlín (Las Pestañas de Acero – Después del Muro [The Iron Eyelashes – After the Wall]), y la Noche de Premios y Gala llevan al festival a su fin el 17 de Mayo en “Button Factory”. Habrá más de 250 actores, organizadores y voluntarios para finalizar el evento de dos semanas.

El jueves 30 de Abril sera la fiesta de lanzamiento ABSOLUT Drama Queen en “The Front Lounge”. Una taquilla dedicada al festival será abierta dentro del Centro Cultural de Información Temple Bar el día 25 de Abril.

Para más detalles y reservaciones en línea visite la página


2009 Festival Press Launch


Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has revealed ABSOLUT as its new headline sponsors at the official announcement of this year’s programme. The fortnight long festival which returns for its sixth year on the May Bank Holiday, will now be known the ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, ‘ABSOLUT’ replacing the word ‘International’ in its title. Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen TD launched the programme of the festival, the only one of its kind worldwide dedicated solely to gay theatre, at an official reception in The Gaiety Theatre. Taking place in city centre theatres between May 4th and May 17th, the festival will present a diverse range of 40 productions, including drama, comedy, musical theatre and dance. The omission of International from this year’s festival title is by no means an indication of a reduction in the festival’s significant international element. In spite of the global economic situation, the festival welcomes to Dublin, companies from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the USA, in addition to many from Europe and the UK. Established in 2004 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde, the 2009 run will see the festival surpass its 1,000th performance within its first week.

Speaking of his company’s decision to increase their support of the festival to that of title sponsor, Brendan Buckley of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, the distributors of ABSOLUT in Ireland said that “ABSOLUT was one of the first mainstream brands to support the gay community and have been doing so all around the world since 1981. When ABSOLUT first decided to support the rights of the individual some 30 years ago, it was considered bold. Today the brand can look back on those days and that decision with pride. For us, our sponsorship of the ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is a natural way to continue to inspire people to challenge convention and to see the world in a better, more inclusive light.”

Minister Martin Cullen TD said: “This is a festival which has grown in the number and quality of its productions and has developed its niche in the arts scene. It has given a voice to gay and gay-related artists. The Theatre festival has stayed true to its stated ambition by fostering international links with theatres, performers and playwrights. The recent decision to appoint Tony award-winning American playwright Terrence McNally as its patron is strong evidence of this.”

Although the 40 productions in this year’s programme are connected by having a gay theme, character or relevance, the festival’s Artistic Director, Brian Merriman insists that the festival is an inclusive event. “Everyone is welcome to contribute to the ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and many do. Our participants are as diverse as our audience; gay and straight, men and women, young and old, of many races and beliefs. We provide a fortnight of good employment for actors, playwrights and technicians, good value prices and quality entertainment for the people of Dublin and beyond. This festival punches way above its weight when you look at the resources we have to draw upon, and I thank all those whose generous contributions make it possible for this unique event to happen in Dublin city.”

Among the highlights of this year’s festival is Frank McGuiness’ critically acclaimed play, The Bird Sanctuary. Not seen in Dublin since its Irish premiere at the Abbey, it is staged at The Project Arts Centre during the first week. It is followed nightly by the award winning Loupe, a brave production from Zimbabwe. A play that illustrates the nuances of that country’s politics under Mugabe, Loupe takes a magnified look at a troubled society, sexuality, HIV and brotherly love. In the same venue in the second week, A Dog Called Redemption tells of the unlikely friendship formed by two homeless men. Winner of the Best New Play Award at the 2008 Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, it is a hilarious and touching story. Also that week at The Project is Silenciados from Madrid; five separate stories from different times and across the world tied together through the common theme of sexual discrimination. A visual treat of physical theatre, it is joined in the programme by other powerful productions incorporating dance in the form of Tchaikovsky’s Wife and Dog of All Creation.

The themes of education, youth and homophobia feature strongly in the festival’s programme. Among them the new play by Dublin’s Independent Youth Theatre, Killed By Curriculum as well as Care Takers and Phi Alpha Gamma. The dark I Love You, Bro looks at a teenager’s life in internet chat-rooms, Minor Gods at an unexpected twist in the life of a rent boy and Walnuts Remind me of my Mother is a lesbian coming of age tale.

This year also sees a strong selection of plays with links to Oscar Wilde with a reworking of The Picture (of Dorian Gray), a magical The Happy Prince and Wilde’s infamous trial in More Lives Than One – Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas. Another true 19th century gay scandal features in Lord Arthur’s Bed.

With titles such as Wonder Woman – The Musical and Santa Claus is Coming Out!, there is little doubt that musical theatre and comedy feature strongly in this year’s programme. The Irish mammy from hell is seen in Goodnight Alice, high-octane ‘rap opera’ in Bash’d and a strange turn of events in Pig Tale – An Urban Faerie Story. The comic but sexy Two Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter’s Night and the songs of David Friedman in Listen to My Heart mean that classics are also added to this mix.

Following everything from Polish puppetry (Broken Nails) to Berlin cabaret (The Iron Eyelashes – After the Wall ), the Gala Night and Awards draws the festival to a close on Sunday, May 17th in the Button Factory. It will take over 250 actors, crew, organisers and voluntary staff to stage the two week event.

Preceding the festival on Thursday, April 30th will be the ABSOLUT Drama Queen Launch Party in The Front Lounge. A dedicated festival box office will open inside Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre on the same week.

After celebrating a fifth successful year in 2008, the festival received a highly commended award in the Culture & Tourism category of the 2008 Irish Times Living Dublin Awards, which recognise organisations that work to improve the quality of life in Dublin city.

For more details and online-booking, visit the new-look website at


For Further Information & Images:

Connell A. Kennedy, Public Relations Officer, ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

Tel: 00 353 (0)86 1620503, E-mail:

For further information about the sponsor, ABSOLUT, please contact
Tara O’Connor at FD on mobile: 086 236 6936 or Liz Burke at FD on mobile: 087 955 1655

left to right: Brendan Buckley of ABSOLUT, Senator David Norris and TV star Anna Nolan

Dublin, Wednesday, April 1st 2009: Actress Rachel Devlyn, star of ‘Fraulein Von Klinkerhoffen’, one of 40 shows in this year's ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, launches the sixth annual festival. The festival runs from May 4th to 17th in city centre venues. Pictured at the launch was Brendan Buckley of ABSOLUT, Senator David Norris and TV Star Anna Nolan. For details and online-booking, visit: Picture Jason Clarke. No Repro Fee.

Dublin, Wednesday, April 1st 2009: Actress Rachel Devlyn, star of ‘Fraulein Von Klinkerhoffen’, one of 40 shows in this year’s ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, launches the sixth annual festival. The festival runs from May 4th to 17th in city centre venues. Pictured at the launch was Brendan Buckley of ABSOLUT, Senator David Norris and TV Star Anna Nolan. For details and online-booking, visit: Picture Jason Clarke. No Repro Fee.