Absolut Fringe


Various venues, Dublin Until Sep 23 1850-374643 fringefest.com

In the expansive and disparate programme of the Absolut Fringe, patterns emerge each year, whether by design or accident. That there would be a pronounced participatory agenda this year was always on the cards, with various immersive games in the Playground strand, such as the technological treasure hunt Just in Time (above) or the eye-opening city tour As If It Was the Last Time.

Elsewhere, audiences are encouraged to get in on the act, becoming unwitting group thinkers or imaginative insurgents in the Lebanese writer Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and matchmaking stakeholders in Lauren White Goes on a Date.

Less predictable themes echoing around this year’s Fringe seem to be depression and solubility, as though various artists are worried about a dissolving society. In the main, it’s not an exercise in hand-wringing or brow- beating: Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend presents pain, addiction and resistance with effervescence, A Wine Goose Chase addresses the character-absorbing solvents of alcohol without fretting over the one that’s one too many, and Mass is eager to reestablish the loosened bonds between us.

Where it comes to forging connections or shedding new light on old problems, this year the Fringe is offering solutions.