This excellent production from Kings Head Theatre must rank as one of the most graphic and hard hitting ever staged in the festival. The first rate cast of five fit guys are totally believable as they strip down, chill out and recite the graphic stories of real men whose life on the gay scene is reliant on drugs and sex. It is a shocking story. The absence of morality challenges the audience to morally respond to the stories of a couple, a Pakistani married father, a young American and a Welsh HIV positive guy. The basis of their “friendship” is to party. They know each other’s bodies but they don’t know the people. The only offer of comfort is sex, empathy is expressed through another hit.
Using real testimony of gay men who live their lives on the chem sex circuit, this play written and directed by Peter Darney is riveting theatre. It answers a lot of questions. Now free, there is a section of the gay community that has recreated its own underground. The ghetto is their home. There is a silent clock ticking behind this as the characters struggle for the attention gay guys get when they are young, which wanes unless relationships are made and thrive. This play offers a real insight into the gay obsession with gym fit bodies – it is all that is seen at these parties. It answers why so many “ex twinks” see no future other than suicide, so they hurl themselves towards premature death. The human sub plots, the loss and desperation for intimacy instead of sex, are stark and touching.
This wonderfully scripted and directed ensemble are not chilling as much as we shiver in the chill of one of the best pieces of harsh, realistic contemporary theatre to grace a festival stage. Don’t miss it!
‘***** – Inspirational accessories are used to underline the performances, which go hand-in-hand with the dialogue, complete with elements of clowning, dancing and slapstick. The energy is infectious, and the performances are flawless.‘
‘**** – This play draws the audience in from the start, with Bates bringing Robert Casement to life with a lightness of touch.‘
‘**** – great timing and have a great connection, and it’s the kind of show that has you debating with your friends afterwards. Go see it if you enjoy banter, exploring the playful use and misuse of words and watching performers who are totally in tune with each other.‘
Additional review for Botox Angels
“It seems like Botox Angels just has it all. Apart from the phenomenal script and great acting, the play is filled with wonderfully choreographed movements.” –Yana Writes About Theatre
This high speed zany comedy from Canada is infectious. Our two young attractive characters Jess and Nick are feckless, lazy and full of themselves – like a next generation ‘Will and Grace’ friendship. They hate their workplace an all night restaurant with a pretty gross clientele.
They do a certain amount of work but are wrapped up in themselves – straight girl and boyfriended male friend. They are self obsessed drinkers who when they are together neither see nor hear anyone else (not even straight co-worker) John – the cinderella of the story. John does everything to be included and the ‘ugly sisters’ are having nothing to do with it. A lovey cameo role that draws the empathy of an audience.
No, Word Play is not a childrens story even if Nick and Jess are childish in their assertions – it is contemporary modern and at times raw. The delivery is so fast paced it is like eaves dropping on a highly charged conversation where we are all on the same wavelength. Sometimes they shout over each other, other times they can’t as one of them is drinking stolen booze. There is real skill in the seemingly casual delivery.
They hug, reaffirm, insult, reject, challenge and question every word uttered in their end of shift ritual. The friendship is deep but there are boundaries. They love taboos and breaking them. Am I slim fat? Is that a name you called me or a term of affection? They are loud, opinionated and self effacing in their razor sharp humour.
If you are lucky, you will be offered a free beer, but don’t imbibe too much because you need all your wits to keep up with this marvellously delivered, very funny fast paced story. Word Play proves Nick and Jess do make a play about words and word plays matter. Runs until Saturday, you will laugh and love it!
From adult drama to cabaret to comedy we explore the loves, desires and lives of LGBT people from around the world.
Check out some programme highlights over the two weeks of the Festival exploring love, lust and relationships.
WEEK ONE – Mon May 2nd to Sat 7th
Bellelen Helen of Troy – A Greek Beauty Reveals Her True Self
A pole-dancer enthrals a lustful group of men with her dance… but she is more than she seems. This is legendary beauty Helen of Troy, transformed into a trans Greek migrant escaping economic chaos. As she performs she will reveal her true self to her audience…
May 2 – 7 2016 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 2 & 7 @ 2:30pm
Botox Angels – Feminism, Sexuality, Power, Art
In a fascinating piece full of surprises three women explore their sexuality, bodies, power relationships, feminism, philosophy, iconic female artists.
Funny, erotic, dark, cerebral, physical … this play has it all!
May 2 – 7 2016 @ 9pm; Matinee May 7 @ 4pm
Straightened Out – A Musical Celebration of (Equal) Love
Martin P. Koob brings us on a musical journey celebrating love and love songs. Enjoy a glass of wine and give in to romance at this late-night weekend show at the Cobalt Cafe.
May 6 & 7 @ 10:15pm
Waking Beauty – The Story of a Girl Who Wanted More
A little girl is raised to believe that happiness comes from her looks and being chosen to be loved one day by a man… But what if a girl demands more? This romantic drama reveals both hidden heroes and alternative happy endings.
May 2 – 7 @ 9pm; Matinees May 2 & 7 @ 4pm
… and don’t miss our Irish Historical Theatre Shorts featuring a real life lesbian love story from 1916 and our Marriage Equality comedy drama – ‘The Ref‘.
WEEK TWO – Mon May 9th to Sat May 14th
Erect But Unstable – Multi-Faceted Comedy about Queer Love
This gem from Canada explores queer love and sexuality through multiple monologues. Don’t miss this award-winning comedy drama.
May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 14 @ 2:30pm
F*cking Men – A Portrayal of Male Desire
Three gorgeous men star in this smash-hit play from London’s King’s Head Theatre. A look at the erotic encounters of 10 men searching for sexual satisfaction.
May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm & Matinee May 14 at 2:30pm
5 Guys Chillin’ – True Stories of Drugs, Hook-ups and Grindr
This graphic and gripping play also from the ‘King’s Head Theatre’ explores real stories of real men from the world of ‘Chemsex’, Grindr and instant gratification…
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
Remember Me – Retracing a Relationship
Luc pays his ex a visit, both men searching for comfort and consolation. Swinging from hysteria to moments of tenderness a relationship is laid bare in this Irish drama.
May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 14 @ 2:30pm
Away From Home – A Male Escort & a Premiership Footballer
Male escort Kyle gets more than he bargained for when he is hired by a closeted premiership footballer. But can the truth be hidden forever in this exploration of sexuality and homophobia in the world of soccer.
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm
Proposal Under the Rainbow – Meet the Mother-in-Law!
Two fictional dynasties, the Jamesons and the Guinnesses are about to be united as Vivyan plans proposing to his partner Timothy. But first he must face a tricky challenge… the approval of his formidable future mother-in-law, Lady Dorothy!
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
Alex seems like a normal 25 year old guy on the surface. But behind the moral facade he indulges in his deepest darkest desires. Don’t miss this high-energy adult drama from Germany.
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
… and from a moving coming-out tale to condoms to lesbian nuns and Julie Andrews don’t miss our sparkling selection of International Theatre Shorts.
Discover our special 1916 programme and please note some important programme changes
At IDGTF 2016 we celebrate heroes and history makers.
One of the highlights of the Festival is our special 1916 Rising programme, where we celebrate the courageous LGBT women and men who fought for personal and national freedom but whose true stories were suppressed or forgotten.
Through drama, short plays and our free seminar we will ensure that their incredible stories are finally heard, including fascinating accounts in their own words.
Don’t miss this special programme running as part of week one of the Festival from May 1st to 7th
IDGTF 2016 launches with a special free seminar exploring the contributions of lesbian and gay people to the Rising.
Chaired by Seamus Dooley of the NUJ it will feature a distinguished panel of academics and writers who will explore the Rising from different perspectives.
This free event is open to all but please register online to guarantee a place.
Sunday May 1st at The Teachers Club (Main Hall): 12-3pm.
This exciting new addition to the programme looks at one of Ireland’s most controversial revolutionary figures and famous gay icons – Roger Casement.
Drawing on his own journals, letters and writings – as well as the infamous ‘Black Diaries’ this play has been described by critics as ‘powerful’, ‘thought-provoking’ with ‘an impressive and assured performance’.
May 2 – 7 @ 7:30pm; Matinees May 2 & 7 @ 2:30pm;
(Replaces ‘Beautiful Friends’ advertised in the brochure)
Eirebrushed looks at the LGBT revolutionaries who fought for personal and Irish freedom and asks what they would think of the modern Ireland that was born from their struggles?
Named after courageous Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell who was literally airbrushed from historical images of the Rising, this play also looks at Padraig Pearse, Roger Casement and Eva Gore-Booth the revolutionary sister of Countess Markievicz.
May 2 – 7 @ 7:30pm; Matinees May 2 & 7 @ 2:30pm.
Our ‘Irish Historical Shorts’ take a look at LGBT history from the time of Oscar Wilde up to late 20th century Ireland. One highlight of this fascinating shorts programme is Honor Molloy’s ‘And In My Heart’ – the true love story of her great aunt as a young lesbian in a revolutionary era.
May 2 – 7 @ 7:30pm.
New Festival Venue and New Book
Appropriately for our 1916 Centenary Programme we introduce a new Festival venue for 2016 – ‘The Pearse Centre’ on Pearse Street opposite Trinity College. Check our 2016 Venue Map for more.
The plays ‘Eirebrushed’ and ‘Wretched Little Brat’ by Brian Merriman have been published in a single volume priced at €15 online including postage.
Also available for a limited period for just €10 direct from Festival venues and our soon to open Festival pop-up shop.
Learn new perspectives on the personalities surrounding 1916 and the lovers of Oscar Wilde.
Due to circumstances outside of our control, all performances of ‘Beautiful Friends’ and ‘To Kill A Machine’ have regrettably been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. For any queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The good news is that we have added four new productions into the 2016 programme – more history makers, more comedy and more music!
‘McKenna’s Fort’ – the story of Roger Casement (see above)
‘A Sacrilegious Lesbian and Homosexual Parade’ – a straight drummer accidentally becomes a gay rights activist in the fight for LGBT inclusion the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Don’t miss this witty and highly original take on the parade.
Wed 4, Thu 5, Sat 7 May @ 9pm; €10 matinee Sat May 7 @ 4pm.
‘Seriously. Camp. Cabaret’ – for one night only cabaret and burlesque favourites underCURRENT bring you drag, cabaret, burlesque and live music, from Broadway and pop hits to obscure gems.
Fri May 6 @ 9pm.
‘Dear Attracta’ – if you enjoyed the sell-out hit ‘Angela She Wrote: Lansbury the Musical’ in 2015 you’ll love this late-night drag and comedy show from GLAD Productions. Meet agony aunt Attracta Tension as she dishes out no nonsense replies – and songs – on life’s problems.
Fri May 13 & Sat May 14 @ 10:15pm.
IDGTF is the largest event of its kind in the world. It celebrates the contributions of the LGBT community through theatre and gives a valuable platform to talented and varied participants from Ireland and abroad.
Our programme is carefully curated by our Artistic Director from over 100 submissions to ensure high artistic standards. But most of all it is fun, exciting and open to all!
In 2016 we celebrate heroes and history makers. From ancient Greece to Oscar Wilde to 1916 and on to modern Ireland, Iran and Russia we explore where we have come from and where we now.
Our programme features revolutionaries, footballers, boxers, nuns, hedonists, feminists, geniuses, heroines, lovers, poets and more!
Here is a preview of the 2016 Festival Programme:
Julie Andrews, Alan Turing, Padraig Pearse, Oscar Wilde, Roger Casement and Helen of Troy will all be joining us for Festival 2016. We hope that you can join us too!
‘Away From Home’ takes on another taboo – the premier league- in the Players Theatre at Trinity College. This well-produced one man show reveals the secrets of complex masculinity in ‘the beautiful game’ in a seemingly honest portrayal of contemporary sporting life.
Kyle is a complicated young man, rebellious and leading a double-life as an escort, comfortable enough in his own skin. He socialises with the ‘lads’ at the soccer games but services the lads on his client list. Hartsthorn-Hook Productions and Working Progress Theatre Company (UK) present a revealing drama which tackles homophobia in football both internal and group, in a very frank way. Kyle (Rob Ward) is a deserved star of one man show theatre. He is handsome, energetic and totally convincing as the desirable young escort who finds himself ‘crossing the line’ with a famous client.
Writers Martin Jameson (director) and Rob Ward unpack the hidden side of soccer from supporter to player which has strict boundaries between ‘laddishness’ and affection. The play does slightly over-egg the issues near the end, but it is Ward’s completeness in the role that drives the play forward with an honesty and struggle for truth and acceptance. It unpeels the layers of protection of the insisted machismo of throwing your arms around each others in supportive joy when your team scores, to the pub banter that is often offensive to the guy you have your arm around in celebration. Kyle’s separation of all aspects of his life is a precarious balance between telling the family he works with friends and vice versa. It all comes crashing down when love intervenes in an impossible scenario of clashing careers, publicity and fear. The charismatic playing engages the audience from the start and puts this performance truly into the premier league. It is sexy, honest, energetic and convincing throughout and will appeal to soccer supporters, players or anyone who finds love in an unexpected place. Showing in Players Theatre, Trinity College (Through Main Gate, veer left three blocks) at 9pm nightly and 4pm on Saturday.
Festival Review Team
‘Tits Up’ is the gloriously politically incorrect, predictable comedy contribution from the ever popular ‘Acting Out’ LGBT community drama group that continues to power ahead. It is good to see this form of theatre being included in the programme for 2014. There was quite a subdued audience on Monday night and it is essential with a comedy that insists on ‘sending up’ ever possible minority in an ‘un-PC’ way to go with the flow. If you don’t, you will find yourself the subject of the outrageous humour in the next sequence.
The play centres around a mismatched couple, Clive (Howard Lodge) and Susannah (Rachel Fayne) whose marriage survives on putting others down rather than facing their own realities. It is a series of monologues by writer Sean Denyer than annoyingly evolve from the predictable into the ‘you can’t help but laugh’ scenario for the audience – and that’s what you do – laugh at things you probably should not. Clive is an interior designer in serious denial. Susannah is his outrageous spoiled D4 wife who insists on not ‘judging’ people with hilarious rebounds. However ultimately these thin stereotypes prove to be quite open to change and new horizons, even if some precious status symbols get sacrificed along the way. This marriage fumbles along until Magda and Chuck intervene and all hell breaks loose in the previously sublime surrounds of D4 living. The plot is contrived – it has to be. Sometimes the build up to the predictable is agonising as there can be nothing subtle about this comedy. The pace is somewhat laboured and deliberate and the audience does not need that much assistance in throwing itself into a series of one liners designed to offend and amuse. Do not bring your value system to this just join in one of Susannah’s aerobic classes and watch the consequences unravel as two lives go ‘tits up’ is an hour of farce, humour, and fun in a well lit and camp sound-tracked show in the entertaining hands of this community drama group. Runs at 9pm until Thursday.
Festival Review Team