Dublin’s Fringe festival kicks off with some sassy political cabaret

The theatre festival is up and running; here’s some of what to expect over coming weeks

The Dublin Fringe has kicked off with a bang at venues around the city, including in the mirrored Belgian Spiegeltent @ Merrion Square, and with new shows opening throughout the festival.

Over the next fortnight, the capital is host to 412 performances of 73 shows in 23 venues, with a massive range of Irish and international theatre, dance, circus, music, comedy and live art.

The festival opened explosively at the Spiegeltent with Hot Brown Honey, an exhuberant, loud burlesque/political cabaret from Adelaide, performed by a troupe of sassy Polynesian and indigenous women promising to fight the power.

Some of the other highlights over the next two weeks from Fringe festival director Kris Nelson and programme manager Ruth McGowan include: Brokentalkers' This Beach, a critique of contemporary Europe; a family dance show Into the Water; video and satire shaking up four decades of pop culture in Penny Arcade's Longing Lasts Longer; hip-hop, spoken word and explosive beats from the Rusangano Family; comedy from Deirdre O'Kane and Jason Byrne; and RuPaul's Drag Race superstar Jinkx Monsoon and her dashing companion Major Scales.

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Liz Roche Company's Dance show Wrongheaded explores autonomy around women's bodies in Ireland; Briseis After the Black replaces one of the performers with a volunteer who's never seen the script; queer artist Vickey Curtis's Finem Respice confronts death; best new play winner at Irish Times Theatre Awards 2015 Stacey Gregg's new play Override is described as a bitter love letter to the future; Fionnuala Gygax's Hostel 16 responds to direct provision in Ireland; Outlandish Theatre's Megalomaniac tells stories about people from the heart of the Coombe; and Thisispopbaby promise a ferocious and entertaining disorderly cocktail, Riot, at the Spiegeltent. For more see fringefest.com

We'll be following the Fringe daily, with reviews live on at irishtimes.com the morning after opening nights.