Category Archive Reviews

ByIDGTF

Review – Eirebrushed

‘Eirebrushed’ by Brian Merriman is a controversial and challenging piece of theatre that takes a lot of cultural taboos and shakes them to their core. It is what a gay theatre festival is about, if it is to assert a mainstream relevance. This moving, provocative story invites Pearse, Casement, Gore Booth and O’Farrell back to the new ‘Republic of Equals’ to ‘tell their truth’ in 75 minutes of energetic delivery, interesting construction and a rapid fire of ideas, theories, sacred cows and twisted interpretation. It casts the fight for freedom in 1916 beyond the nationalistic struggle and into one for personal freedom. It makes a lot of sense. Ideas are thrown out in quick-fire delivery of questions with answers to an acknowledged audience but it stops rightly short of insisting on a particular conclusion. That is up to us and we have a range of options we didn’t have before the play began to consider. The audience has to work at this and it is definitely a piece that a walk along the boardwalks afterwards will help to digest.

Killian Sheridan presents a fragile Pearse, not the leader expected. He still struggles with truth and dogged certainty, a century later. Stephen Gorman’s rasping Casement is well presented without any baggage. He is forthright, to the point, honest sometimes with considerable humour. That is what might be expected of a story of heroism in 1916, but the discussion of womens’ rights, passionately placed in the hands of Joanne Logues’ Eva Gore Booth and Diana O’Connor’s empathetic Nurse Elizabeth O Farrell, is the real feminist heartbeat of the piece. Logue’s is eloquent as a campaigner and writer. Farrell’s down to earth, low energy logic connects the audience into a complicated plot with humour and ease. There is some astonishing research and the thematic connection of the common bonds between the heroes in the final scenes is powerful and revealing. The relevance of the struggle for personal freedoms today is not lost. Excellent lighting and design graphics keep the heartbeats pounding as the Republican idealists stand accused of replacing a political oppressor with a conscience oppressor for another century. It is a battle of Church and State as Casement notes, ‘oppression is often defined by borders but the worst is within’.

This play reaches out way beyond the remit of this theatre festival and if it begins a new approach to examining this oncoming decade of anniversaries then it will contribute something relevant and important and fuel many a debate in the days to come. It will not be so easy to ‘airbrush’ out the contribution of LGBT heroes in the future or to accept the narrow definition constructed in the text books so easily and limiting. Provocative, controversial, revealing and new. Runs until Saturday in the New Theatre at 7.30 pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Review – A Boy and a Bean

‘A Boy and A Bean’, by ‘Nick n Tom’ comes direct to Dublin from it’s Mardi Gras award winning performance in Sydney. Following a great tradition of Australian theatre at the festival, ‘ A Boy And A Bean’ is a twist on the classic fairytale ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ set in contemporary Sydney, with a marriage equality message. The story is charmingly delivered by Nick Atkins in an hour of intimate theatre that just flies by. The storytelling is delivered through the eyes of 19 year old Jack, 24 year old David and a Giant whose presence swings from sinister to reality. He cuts to the chase of modern relationships and raises the bar at crucial moments as we skip through a decade of Australian events that progressed and regressed marriage equality.

This modern urban tale also skips through modern day Australian politics (with an explanatory guide) with a timely message for those formulating their campaigns for equality in Ireland next year. It explores the manipulation of the marriage equality debate by religious groups who fundraise to oppose equal marriage via coffee franchises in a strong performance piece that charms, entertains and informs. From the chanteuse/cabaret welcome, to the careful manipulation of a mountain of coffee beans, through to general knowledge trivia, placed in the story to challenge you to be accurate in assessing your own actions in a relationships, this piece does a lot more than campaign for rights. Jack and David are two inadequately prepared young men at its centre and the play reveals all the truth and carelessness along the way to building a meaningful relationship. It is a love story which falls victim to the inadequacies of the boy from Wogga Wogga finding his way in the big city who struggles to find the format for a same sex relationship that works. Atkins is petite and powerful with a diversity of characterisation that sustains this structured piece in a warm and engaging way.

The use of multimedia, sharp technical delivery and an unflagging delivery makes for a charming afternoon of theatre that plays again on Saturday in the New Theatre at 4pm but nightly at 9pm all week until Sunday. This heart-warming tale of two guys, a dog, a beanstalk and an outcome is modern, relevant and thoroughly entertaining.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Musical Highlights 2014

dgtf_TheDressers

2 actors, 8 characters and a whole host of fabulous costumes

From award winning Irish Director Mark Pollard, The Dressers is a bright new fun show, full of wonderful tunes, lots of laughs and of course real heart.

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dgtf_ChickenFiredCiccone

From ‘junkie’ to ‘functional’ with a little help from Madonna

‘Chicken- Fried Ciccone’ is an unapologetic comeback story about turning adversity into personal triumph. Starring last year’s GALA award winner J. Stephen Brantley.

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dgtf_StellaBass

An evening of music of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim

Starring Stella Bass, one of Ireland’s leading jazz singers, A Little (Jazz) Night Music features brand new jazz-inspired arrangements by acclaimed musician/arranger, Cian Boylan.

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The decade of cheesy pop, too much eyeliner, and really big hair

Acceptable in the 80s – Lady K and Ruby Noir sing, play, perform and discuss the music of their favourite queer icons and artists of the camp 1980s, in this two-night-only prodcution.

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David Turpin’s exclusive performance

Equal parts Laurie Anderson and Hans Christian Anderson, ‘The Late David Turpin’s’ meticulously curated electro-acoustic songs invites you into a beautifully unsettling otherworld.

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Falling in love with a coke addicted rent boy…

Man Enough follows 18-year-old Chris loving life and conquering the world – one man at a time. But when he stumbles across Joey, love and sex will take on a whole new meaning.

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A drag comedy musical extravaganza like no other!

Join Maggie in the 80’s as she gets lost in Soho on the eve of a vote to pass an anti-gay law. Catch the Irish Premiere of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho.

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ByIDGTF

Comedy Highlights 2014

Is it possible to wear a strap-on without getting a wedgie?

Check out last year’s sell-out comedian, Breda Larkin, in her outrageous stand-up, Other Women’s Vaginas. You won’t want to miss this world premiere
comedy.

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A drag comedy musical extravaganza like no other!

Join Maggie in the 80’s as she gets lost in Soho on the eve of a vote to pass an anti-gay law. Catch the Irish Premiere of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho.

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Lesbian and Bi women bare all in hilarious storytelling play

In Lesbian Style we hear powerful warm tales from romance to role models, coming out to breaking up, bereavement to bejazzling in a revelation of honest heartfelt insight.

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Savagely funny, relevant and moving.

Civil Parting is the unravelling of one of the first gay marraiges in South Africa , never straightforward, often hilarious, sometimes not…

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Award-winning US comedy drama

Winner of Chicago’s best new LGBT writing award, At the Flash features the stories of five characters past & present.  Both moving and funny and not to be missed.

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Something for everyone in a packed ‘Shorts’ programme

The ever-popular programme of short plays returns, including a lesbian couple misremembering the night they first met and a handsome gay doctor who must confront his grandmother.

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Their lives are about to go tits up…come watch!

The world of a couple who, seem to have it all, is about to unravel as they are forced to face the lies they have told each other, and themselves. See the premiere of Tits Up only at the IDGTF.

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