IDGTF: 2016 – The Year of Our Heroes – Thirteenth International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

dgtf_areyoubanneridgtf16_1The world’s largest Gay Theatre Festival will commence this Sunday, as five venues across the city become home to the best gay theatre has to offer, celebrating a century of LGBT heroes. “1916 – Because Freedom is Personal” a free academic seminar detailing the forgotten role LGBT people and women played in 1916 kicks off two weeks of music, drama, comedy and dance offering a unique opportunity to see LGBT culture (10 performances each night), presented by theatre companies from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Iran, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, & Greece [see Two Week Listing below].

“We are delighted to once again host the world’s biggest and most diverse LGBT Theatre Festival 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.

Speaking ahead of the festival, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture & Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said:

“The festival is crucial to providing a space for LGBT voices in the arts. 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.”

This centennial year, the festival is especially excited to feature a host of 1916-themed productions with a number 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 ranging from the times of Oscar Wilde, through to the modern day, exploring how far LGBT people have come.

“The term ‘Hero’ means something different to everyone. It is a word to which we apply our own meaning and from which we draw our own understanding,” said Conor Molloy, Public Relations Director, “Whether it be the Irish Republican heroes of 1916, the mythological figures of our legends, or the Irish electorate who changed the country as we know it in last year’s Marriage Referendum. This year’s programme seeks to highlight and commemorate those who are responsible for where we are today.” The modern heroes that passed the referendum for equal marriage, Helen of Troy, the Greek banking crisis, sportsmen, 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.

This year, the festival also received an endorsement from New York City Councillor Daniel Dromm, for the positive impact it 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.

Two Week Listing:

Week one

1916 Seminar – “1916 – Because Freedom is Personal” The seminar celebrates the contribution of lesbian and gay people to the 1916 Rising. Teachers Club, Dublin, Sunday May 1st, 12pm-3pm. Free event, registration required on

BELLEΛΕΝ Helen of Troy A contemporary pole dancing artist reveals the truth in mythology. Euripides got it wrong! BELLEΛΕΝ uses moments of unleashed passion to awaken her half asleep audience. She manipulates, gyrates and articulates to make them see the human being instead of just the body they lust after. Can a modern day Helen finally liberate her soul after centuries of unbearable silence? Outhouse Theatre @ 105 Capel Street, Dublin, 2nd-7th May, 19:30. Matinee: Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May, 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Word Play Two best friends – Nick, a gay man and Jess, a straight tomboy – in a drunken discussion argue their meanings, and the impact that those words have on their lives. Nick and Jess’s dark humour pushes the boundaries of their friendship, as they question appropriate, and appropriated word use within the dynamics of society and each other. Outhouse Theatre @ 105 Capel Street, Dublin, 2nd-7th May, 21:00. Matinee: Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May, 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Eirebrushed Can a flawed person be a hero? Did the new Ireland liberate all citizens or did it just replace the oppressor? Padraig Pearse, Roger Casement, Eva Gore Booth and Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell return to the modern Republic to discuss today their struggles for personal and national liberation in 1916. ‘You may have freed others but you didn’t free yourselves’. The untold story of the revolutionary lesbian and gay heroes of 1916 that have been airbrushed from our history until now. Players Theatre @ Trinity College, Dublin, 2nd-7th May, 19:30. Matinee: Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May, 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

A Sacrilegious Lesbian and Homosexual Parade In a bizarre twist of fate, a straight drummer from Dublin accidently becomes one of the organisers of Queens New York’s uniquely inclusive St Pat’s For All Parade, he witnesses the changing tide over 14 years as the ‘gay protest parade’ gradually becomes a cherished community event. Using humour, storytelling, bad dancing, bad striptease and his considerable musical skills, he draws us into his highly original take on the parade. One of the hits of Dublin Fringe 2014 and Frigid New York 2015, the show returns to celebrate LGBT inclusion in the 5th Ave St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2016. Players Theatre @ Trinity College, Dublin, 4th, 5th & 7th May, 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 7th May, 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Seriously. Camp. Cabaret Out of the night clubs and into the theatre… Let underCURRENT take you on a whistle stop tour of their acclaimed Seriously Camp Cabaret show featuring a glorious mix of drag, cabaret, burlesque and live music. With a variety of Broadway classics, pop hits and obscure musical gems there’s something for everyone in this fabulous evening of unapologetic camp. Players Theatre @ Trinity College, Dublin, Friday 6th May, 21:00. Tickets €15

Irish Historical Theatre Shorts: The Ballad of Reading Gaol, And In My Heart, The Gentleman Caller. Three plays spanning over a century of Irish LGBT history from the 1890’s and Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment through a love story in 1916 to the height of the Celtic Tiger. ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ looks at Oscar Wilde’s renowned, heart-rending poem reflecting on his two years’ hard labour, a fellow inmate’s execution and the brutality of man’s punishment of man. ‘And In My Heart’ draws from esteemed playwright Honor Molloy’s Great Aunt Florence Kane’s account of the Easter Rebellion, recorded in the summer of 1974. Molloy transcribes this source material, presenting an authentic retelling of the events of the 1916 Rising from Molly’s unique and lost perspective – a young lesbian’s love story in a revolutionary era. ‘The Gentleman Caller’ tells the story of the LGBT generation left behind by the emerging liberalisation and LGBT visibility in a modern Celtic Tiger

Ireland. Steven Masterson tells the story of ‘Little Martin’ the local sacristan is laid to rest by the heartless church he served and asks in the new liberal Ireland, did anyone notice him? Cobalt Café, Dublin, 2nd- 7th May 19:30. Tickets €15

Wilde Without The Boy Direct from its sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival, this masterful performance finds a chastened Wilde on his release from imprisonment for acts of gross indecency. Brilliant, loving, witty and passionate, “Wilde Without the Boy” is a glimpse into the humbled, bruised, loving soul of one of the greatest geniuses ever to have lived. Cobalt Café, Dublin, 2nd – 7th May 21:00. Tickets €15

Straightened Out All love songs are equal – not only since May 2015! Award-winning actor, director and set-designer Martin P. Koob goes back to his roots – Music. He’s sung with Orchestras, starred in numerous Musicals, been on the Opera Stage, sung with Rock & Pop Bands and performed solo almost all over Europe. After years of working mostly “behind the scenes” he’s taking this opportunity to show that Love songs do mean the same to all of us, that they are EQUAL. Expect the Unexpected, the Obvious, and the maybe Unknown. All in a very reduced acoustic setting. To let the songs shine.

Cobalt Café, Dublin, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th May 22:15. Tickets €15

The Ref The build up to the marriage equality referendum has begun, and for one family it’s very personal! Watch as matters come to a frenzied climax in an all singing-and-dancing debate on National Television featuring forged identities, a Eurovision-like ode to Voting No, a surprising coming out, and a rousing anthem for equality. The Ref is a comedy which puts a funny, but satirical lens on the trials and triumphs of one of Ireland’s greatest achievements. The Pearse Centre Theatre, Dublin, 2nd – 7th May 19:30. Matinee: Monday 2nd & Saturday 7th May 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Waking Beauty Inside every woman is a little girl who has been raised to believe that her looks and the virtue of being chosen to be loved by a man will define her happiness. What if she demands more? Waking Beauty gives a voice to previously invisible heroes in our folklore so as to forge their own happy endings out of other love stories. The Pearse Centre Theatre, Dublin, 2nd – 7th May 21:00. Matinee: Monday 2nd & Saturday 7th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

McKenna’s Fort On the centenary year of the Easter Rising comes McKenna’s Fort, a new play about one of Ireland’s most famous gay icons, the revolutionary Sir Roger Casement, the last rebel leader to be executed for his part in the 1916 rebellion. Presented by Fire & Ice Theatre Company, McKenna’s Fort is an unflinching look into the life of one of Ireland’s most controversial revolutionary figures. Told in direct and at times poetic language, the play evokes Casement’s own voice as found in his many journals, letters, and official writings as well as drawing from Casement’s infamous Black Diaries.Teachers Club (Studio), Dublin, 2nd – 7th May 19:30. Matinee: Monday 2nd & Saturday 7th May 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Botox Angels From Dood Paard from Amsterdam comes the Irish premiere of this feminist lesbian relationship comedy about militant female sexuality. Three women, for whom sex is a very aggressive game, negotiate shifting power relationships, dildos, and fake breasts while exploring the eternal struggle between the head and the heart. Opening with a three-way orgy, the play espouses thoughtful dialogues about social forces, giant emotions, philosophical constructs and feminism with a great big “F.” Teachers Club (Studio), Dublin, 2nd – 7th May 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 7th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Week 2

Gypsy Queen – Free Play Reading ‘Gypsy Queen’ is the story of two men who find themselves, and each other, in the most unlikely of worlds and asks what they are willing to do when the fight moves outside of the ring. A play about the influence of our roots, the satisfaction of our desires and the formulation of our identity. Teachers Club (Main Hall), Dublin, Sunday 8th May 15:00. Free event –

Erect But Unstable A comedic cabaret of monologues and spoken word examining queer love and sensibility, sexual awakening and obsession, erectile dysfunction and relationship malfunction. Accompany John on his journey through Montreal’s Gay Village, with side trips to Science, Religion and Psychotherapy, in search of some answers about sex and attraction. Outhouse Theatre @105 Capel Street, Dublin, 9th-14th May 19:30. Matinee: Saturday 14th May -14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Proposal Under the Rainbow Welcome to the drawing room of fictional Lady Dorothy Jameson, head of the world famous Irish Whiskey distillery, where the ‘stout’ beerneighbour and keen game bird hunter, Vivyan Guinness, is contemplating ‘popping’ the question to Dorothy’s son, Timothy. But first, of course, Vivyan has to negotiate the tricky and unpredictable approval of his potential new ‘mother-in-law’ Lady Dorothy! Sit back and enjoy the chaos that ensues, reflecting closely the rocky road of love, attraction, compromise and eventual commitment that is the journey of us all! Outhouse Theatre @105 Capel Street, Dublin, 9th-14th May, 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

F*cking Men Ten gorgeous men star in The King’s Head Theatre “fan-f*cking-tastic” smash success F*cking Men. A moving portrayal of hunger and desire as it follows the erotic encounters of the men in their interconnected search for sexual satisfaction. Each scene is a frank, candid and sometimes brutally honest depiction of the lustful transaction between two men. Players Theatre @ Trinity College, Dublin, 9th-14th May 19:30. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

5 Guys Chillin 5 guys is a graphic, gripping, funny and frank verbatim drama exposing the gay ‘Chill-Out’ scene. From surgeons to students, couples to kink; guys that love it and lost guys longing to be loved. An original look into the drug fuelled, hedonistic, highly secretive world of Chem-Sex, Grindr and instant gratification. Taken from over 50 hours of interviews with guys found through Grindr and other social media creating an intimate exploration of the relatively new scene that social media apps have been fundamental in creating. Players Theatre @ Trinity College, Dublin, 9th-14th May 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

INTERNATIONAL THEATRE SHORTS 2016: Turning 18, Superlubricated, Julie Andrews is the Devil, Each to Each Four International short plays, three continents, one great evening of theatre at the Cobalt Café. ‘Turning 18’ presents the true story of Ara B’s own life experience in Iran; the challenge of coming to terms with his own sexual identity in a conservative society. He details his struggle, as well as his troubled relationship with his mother as her health continues to deteriorate, culminating in his revelation to her about who he really is, directly challenging the cultural restrictions which she represented to him. ‘Superlubricated’ is set in the early hours of the morning. Two strangers; Helen and Perry, a widow and a clerk, explore love, loss, and condoms, only to discover the secret of life might be as obvious as a box hanging on a rack at the local Walgreen’s. ‘Nun of the Above’ are two shorts, each with a current or recent resident of a convent as a main character. New York’s original gay theatre company returns with ‘Julie Andrews is the Devil’ which sees Marissa, a lesbian dycon folksinger playing ‘Women’s Week’ in Provincetown. She meets Tabitha, who’s left the convent behind, and isn’t sure what comes next. Can they find out together? ‘Each to Each’ finds a shy Irish nun and a lovely – if foul-mouthed – mermaid trapped in a pool, each have a secret wish they find they both share. Cobalt Café, Dublin, 9th – 14th May 19:30. Tickets €15

Away From Home Kyle is comfortable with his life as a male escort. He is young, sexy and solvent. One day he is hired by a premiership footballer, and finds himself falling in love. Will Kyle maintain a relationship with a closeted footballer in a country where not one pro player is out? Can he go on pretending that the homophobia endemic in the beautiful game is nothing to do with him? Does he really know what a relationship means, when, for him, sex has only ever been a transaction? Will he now tell his friends – and his family – the truth? Cobalt Café, Dublin 9th-14th May 21:00. Tickets €15

YES The majority said one simple word; for a minority that word meant everything.YES captures the excitement, drama and humour of the marriage equality campaign whilst also looking under the surface of what that vote meant. YES follows four very different campaigners on their personal journey as they share their individual stories. Peter a veteran gay activist, Gina a straight woman campaigning for her gay son, Laura a lesbian in a committed relationship and Josh a gay student just up from the country. The Pearse Centre Theatre, Dublin 9th-14th May 19:30. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Must Be Nice Exiled to Hollywood, Jimmy Doyle finds himself battling a climate hostile to fair skin and intellectualism, all the while threatening to cash in his dual citizenship and live on a farm in Ireland. Produced by renowned singer Brian Kennedy, “Must Be Nice” explores the humour and conflict of what it means to be ‘too Irish’ in America and ‘too American’ in Ireland. Doyle reveals the family secrets of growing up gay in a “bat-shit crazy” but passionately tribal Irish Catholic family whose first language is a cross between sarcasm and envy. The Pearse Centre Theatre, Dublin 9th-14th May 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Remember Me Luc, pays his ex a visit in the hope of finding refuge from the misery of his father’s illness. The ex, Jean Marc, is a college professor, disillusioned with his lot in life and living with his new piece, ‘Natasha’. The two men finally say everything that went unsaid during their relationship, including Luc’s thirst for any port in a storm and Jean Marc’s forbidden lust for his students. The play swings from hysteria to moments of tenderness as two desperate lives are laid bare. Teachers Club (Studio), Dublin 9th-14th May 19:30. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 14:30. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Sexmaniac Anarchist Theatre Only for the Mentally Unhinged Twenty-five-year-old Alex is just like everybody else. Almost. A Bio major, now in his 9th semester, is failing college. A loner, he appears to live in his own world, where he indulges his deepest darkest desires. A moral pretender, but living a lie; a conspicuous consumer, high-gloss lifestyle, devoid of meaning. His life shrinking to a single dimension. Neurotic. Insatiable. Sexmaniac. High energy adult performance (over 18’s only). Teachers Club (Studio), Dublin 9th-14th May 21:00. Matinee: Saturday 14th May 16:00. Tickets €15, €10 matinee

Gala Awards Night 2016 Join us for a celebration of the best of the Festival as IDGTF reaches its climax at our closing Gala Awards Night. Enjoy snippets of the plays that have entertained you during the past fortnight as we give awards for acting, writing, production, contributions to gay theatre and intercultural dialogue. We will also remember important LGBT figures linked to the arts past and present. There will be drama, comedy and musical acts with special guests. Teachers Club (Main Hall), Dublin, Sunday 15th May 20:00. Tickets €15

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival
13th Annual Festival: May 2nd-15th 2016

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