25 Plays for 25 Years of Decriminalisation
The 15th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival launched its diverse programme online on Tuesday April 10th on www.gaytheatre.ie.
“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.
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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.”
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For future information please contact:
Brian Merriman, Founder/Artistic Director email@example.com
Secure online booking on www.gaytheatre.ie.
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).
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
“It’s For You!” – Bank Holiday Start for the 12th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Dublin’s May Bank Holiday starts with curtains up on a dozen new Irish and international shows. Our diverse programme of accessible theatre proudly features performances by theatre companies from Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Iceland and Russia, with an entirely new programme beginning Monday May 11th. Playwrights and actors from the world’s best gay theatre companies will be entertaining Dublin audiences and showcasing their talents through a wide range of comedy, drama, music and dance theatre performances.
This year’s programme is full of compelling stories exploring universal themes from an LGBT perspective. Pauline in “Tuesdays at Tesco’s” used to be Paul, and her relationship with her father is strained as he is reluctant to accept her true self. In “Leaving Narnia”, local lad James Michael O’Sullivan is ‘as terrified as a turkey in November’ as he is about to come out to his parents. The Dean Kriel prepares for a private conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in “I’m Going Through Something”, where he takes the audience on a journey into the mind of a man split between himself, his nation, and his dreams. These themes have the power to resonate with all audiences, and are just a sampling of this year’s diverse offering (full programme on www.gaytheatre.ie).
“Everyone has a gift to tell their own story and for twelve years we have made Dublin the home of LGBT storytelling, passing our 3000th performance this year. It really is for you – we are communicating through theatre as an art form with the society in which we live, love, work and create. Previous festival alumni are now fronting major TV shows (David Ames, Holby City) or West End triumphs. At Dublin’s unique gay theatre festival, you will see a great array of talent, regardless of their or your orientation, telling stories from our history or presenting a new perspective on modern living. You are welcome and the ticket prices are great value,” said festival founder Brian Merriman.
The 12th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has something for everyone – from a hilarious take on life in rural Ireland in “The Equals” to an invitation to join the Cult of Cosmic Purgatory in “CASTRATI – An Electro Drag Opera” and a behind the scenes look at a 1950s sci-fi TV show in “The Further Adventures of…”, and so much more.
“Don’t attend because it is gay theatre, attend because it is good theatre!”
For further information please contact:
Brian Merriman or firstname.lastname@example.org
Secure online booking is now open on www.gaytheatre.ie. Tickets are from €10-15 with a new nightly venue ticket of €25 for two plays in the same venue (7.30pm/9.00pm) being launched this year. Matinees are on Bank Holiday Monday (May 4th) and each Saturday (May 9th/16th). Box office opens April 27th from 12 noon to 3pm daily in the Grattan Coffee Shop/Boteco Brazil on 6 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1. An entirely new programme of theatre begins each Monday 4th/11th May 2015, totalling 183 performances of 27 plays, music, comedy and dance.
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 http://www.gaytheatre.ie. 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 http://www.gaytheatre.ie – 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.”
11th INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN GAY THEATRE FESTIVAL 2014
LAUNCHED BY LORD MAYOR OISIN QUINN AND TONY AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR PATRICK MASON
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 http://www.gaytheatre.ie 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 / email@example.com
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 websitehttp://www.gaystarnews.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.gaytheatre.ie and follow us on Facebook for updates.
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.
Images and more information available on request to email@example.com
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.
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 www.gaytheatre.ie.
For further information contact John O’Driscoll PRO on 087-2470243 or visit www.gaytheatre.ie
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 www.gaytheatre.ie.
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.
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 www.gaytheatre.ie.
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: www.gaytheatre.ie (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 www.gaytheatre.ie
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 www.gaytheatre.ie
For Further Information & Images:
Connell A. Kennedy, Public Relations Officer, ABSOLUT Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
Tel: 00 353 (0)86 1620503, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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