How fringe are you? 12 shows pitch for your ticket-buying time
As the Tiger Dublin Fringe festival prepares for this month’s event, a dozen of the artists taking part give the low-down on their shows
Liz Roche Company
Project Arts Centre, September 11th-16th; iti.ms/2c6ZdZM
Who are you? The choreographer Liz Roche, the spoken-word poet Elaine Feeney, the film director Mary Wycherley, the dancers Sarah Cerneaux and Justine Cooper, the lighting designer Sinéad Wallace and the composer Ray Harman.
How fringe are you? The fringe is about taking risks and exploring new territory in your work. In Wrongheaded we are confronting the difficult issue of autonomy around women’s bodies in Ireland.
Why should we see your show? The current call for the repeal of the eighth amendment was very present in the minds of our creative team throughout the making of the piece, which began from an instinctive place where the raw feelings of frustration, panic and desperation are not so easily kept down.Wrongheaded intends to broaden, not narrow, the debate.
Dylan Coburn Gray
Briseis After the Black
New Theatre, September 19th-24th; iti.ms/2bUR11d
Who are you? I’m normally a writer, of dense spoken-wordy plays such as Boys and Girls or Citysong; plays that tend to have lots of dirty bits. I also make collaborative work with Malaprop Theatre, and my role is to say “That reminds me of this interesting thing I was reading . . . ” every five minutes.
How fringe are you? As bejaysus. Briseis After the Black is a reinvention of an already slightly mental play in a slightly mental way. We’ve taken the source text, chopped it up and replaced one of the performers with a volunteer who’s never seen the script. Working on it is exciting and scary for a writer (read: control freak) who’s used to dictating every moment of action. It’s very much in the crash-test fringe spirit of “Let’s see what happens if . . . ”
Why should we see your show? Nerdiness: if you are interested in Greek myths, paradoxes, female victimhood in fiction, female creative ghettoisation in real life, the problem of biography or the big questions of free will and meaningful choice, come see the show. Liveness: we’ve a different actor every night. Every show is an event that will never happen again. Deadliness: our participating actors are class.
Smock Alley Theater (Boys' School), September 21st-24th; iti.ms/2bWCcuY
Who are you? An outspoken word artist, theatremaker, friend and lover of life. Much of my work is born out of my tumultuous life events: they say write what you know.
How fringe are you? As I’m a queer artist, the forum of the fringe has automatic resonance for me. With Finem Respice I find myself exploring the fact that death as subject matter is ever present but largely unspoken. Death is on the fringes, so I’d say Finem Respice is right out there with it.
Why should we see your show? Finem Respice demonstrates how the personal connects us as a collective. It confronts you with grief, bereavement and loss, but it will comfort you by displaying the hope to be found even in the starkest of realities.
Smock Alley Theatre, September 15th-18th; iti.ms/2c6ZT1g
Who are you? I am an actor and writer from Dublin. I have written Hostel 16 as a response to direct provision in Ireland. The production has an ensemble of 11 actors and is directed by Raymond Keane.
How fringe are you? The fringe is a festival of investigation and discovery. As an artist I am interested in experimentation, collaboration, taking risks and exploring why and how we tell stories. Hostel 16 began as an impulse to creatively respond to a subject matter that I felt was urgent and important.
Why should we see your show? It’s a story of humanity and how love and connection prevail in times of bleakness and despair. It is a theatrical exploration of direct provision, an issue that we believe Irish society has a responsibility to respond to.
Spiegeltent, Merrion Square, September 21st. iti.ms/2bWHFSI
Who are you? Trygve Wakenshaw (first named pronounced trig-vee), theatre artist, pretend dancer, comedy body, 6ft 6in, new father, vegan, yogi, happy.
How fringe are you? Not as fringe as a man dressed as a tomato singing opera while a dog urinates on a papier-mache representation of his mother’s ashes, but not as mainstream as a joke about the problem with kids these days.
Why should we see your show? It’s very funny, I’m very talented at performing it, and seeing anyone’s show is better than seeing no one’s.
Outlandish Theatre Platform
Who are you? We make theatre and films from and about Dublin 8. We’re on the edge of town, in the Coombe hospital, where we have a three-year artistic residency in a gorgeous theatre tucked away on the grounds. We’ll be making a trilogy of work, under the umbrella title Mother Ireland, with a view to establishing a cultural hub for Dublin 8 on Cork Street.
How fringe are you? We tell stories about people from the heart of the Coombe, where our community is diverse and ever changing. We draw out unexpected stories and share them theatrically with our community. Our trademark style is our blend of professional and nonprofessional performers, or what we call bringing the real to the stage. We tell it like it is.
Why should we see your show? Megalomaniac is the first instalment of Mother Ireland. It’s based on a true story gathered from 15 qualitative interviews with women of Syrian origin living in the Coombe. We’re making it in collaboration with the world-renowned Ashtar Theatre, from Palestine.
Gays Against the Free State!
Boys’ School, Smock Alley Theatre, September 20th-24th; iti.ms/2bWIOtu
Who are you? I’m a writer, theatremaker and spoken-word poet from Dublin. I make queer performances about Ireland, pop culture and politics.
How fringe are you? To some people we might seem completely radical, but to others we’d seem pretty tame. With this show we want to disrupt accepted narratives on events like the marriage-equality referendum and the Easter Rising. The show is playful, energetic, very political and a bit inflammatory: all quite fringy qualities.
Why should we see your show? Gays Against the Free State! features drag performance, spoken-word poetry and biting political satire, backed up by a banging original score, played live. If you’re interested in activism, feminism, Irish history or drag, this is the show for you. Fans of Reeling in the Years, Paris Is Burning and Mary Robinson’s Mná na hÉireann speech will all delight.
Shane O’Reilly/ White Label
Project Arts Centre, September 9th-17th; iti.ms/2c799lU
Who are you? This is my fifth year performing at the fringe. I sometimes make my own work and sometimes collaborate with others, like White Label, a Dublin collective of independent theatre artists.
How fringe are you? I’m a full, blow-dried fringe with a razor-sharp edge. I’m a horse’s plaited fringe, a spirit of the Fringe, a finger-spelled F-R-I-N-G-E in Irish Sign Language. I’m fringe in a bag. My fringe has been crimped, toured, restyled and modernised over the years. I’m five years of nonstop fringe, with various styles; Follow, Farm, The Matador and now Override. This year I’m a kind of fringe that you’ve not seen before. You couldn’t have. It’s from the future, made of fibre optics and run off an implanted chip at the back of my head.
Why should we see your show? It’s a signature cut by the writer Stacey Gregg, washed and blow-dried by the director Sophie Motley and complemented by the actor George Hanover. Peter Power, fresh from Prodigij, is breaking down classical sounds and kicking them into a digital future. It’s not to be missed. It’s on fleek.
Longing Lasts Longer
Peacock Theatre, September 12th- 16th; iti.ms/2bWKe7g
Who are you? A writer, actress, poet and spoken-word performer. I am sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, and one of the people who invented performance art in New York’s 1980s, for which I apologise to everyone.
How fringe are you? I have been part of every radical theatre and performance movement since the 1960s. I was one of the first artists who wore glitter on stage. One of the first who did rock’n’roll theatre with live bands on stage. I was a Warhol Factory superstar. You can read more about me in Please Kill Me: The Oral History of Punk.
Why should we see your show? I make real work for real people. Work that is funny, smart, political and tells truths no one else has the guts to say on stage. No 25-year-old can out-rock me, but I have a lot to say that can make sure that 25-year-olds are still rocking at 60. Bill Hicks said he wanted to be me when he grew up. Sadly, he died too young.
The Humours of Bandon
Bewley’s Cafe Theatre @ Powerscourt, September 13th-15th, 17th-19th, 22nd, 24th; iti.ms/2c79PI1
Who are you? I go by Margaret professionally, but most people know me as Mags with the Red Hair. I’ve always wanted to fuse my background in Irish dancing with the theatre. I’ve seen lots of Show in a Bag shows and always thought it to be the perfect platform upon which to explore an idea.
How fringe are you? I’m an actor living in Dublin since 2010. That’s six years of tenacity-building, table-waiting, dance-instructing, workshop-giving, play-attending, voice-using and auditioning enthusiasm.
Why should we see your show? As an ex-Irish dancer I want to bring theatre audiences to the rehearsal and performance arenas of the competitive Irish-dancing community. The show is funny and sweet, and you’ll feel all nostalgic for those after-school piano lessons in the parish hall.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
New Theatre, September 15th-24th; iti.ms/2bWJSNP
Who are you? An Irish theatre company who have been making magic for eight years. Diane Crotty is a founding member and our resident director. Risk is a female gangster epic being staged in the New Theatre.
How fringe are you? We are an unfunded, female-led theatre company that takes inspiration from experiences and communities that would normally be sidelined.
Why should we see your show? Risk is about women, power and family. It breaks away from traditional Irish female theatrical tropes. These women can kick ass, and you’ll be rooting for them the whole way. Say so long to oppression porn and come see Risk.
Sickle Moon Productions
Lir Academy, September 20th-24th; iti.ms/2c7agC5
Who are you? We’re a cowriter couple, Jeda de Brí (director) and Finbarr Doyle (actor). We’ve produced six critically acclaimed plays in the past three years.
How fringe are you? Fringe taps into the heartbeat of Irish theatre, and Dublin city itself, and we’ve tried to capture the psyche of modern Dubliners in Tryst.
Why should we see your show? Tryst captures the struggle of three twentysomethings confronted with the consequences of taking things for granted, and finding out too late that it’s time to grow up. Played out in real time in one scene of 75 minutes, it’s exciting, intense and darkly funny – and the dialogue is razor sharp.