Dublin Fringe Festival 2018 returns for another two week city take-over offering 16 days of brand new shows from dreamers and doers, wordsmiths and radicals, crafters and grafters, pirates and bad bitches, this September
Dublin Fringe Festival announces its 24thedition today as the festival gears up for yet another magnificent city take-over this September introducing the hottest new talent across 23 venues – from a vintage bus travelling around the Phoenix Park to City Hall; from Stephen’s Green to outside the GPO; inside your earphones and on the heads of iconic Dublin statues. The festival prides itself on making and creating spaces for artists throughout our citywhile the many Fringe partners along with makers and doers, together champion their ideas, making the impossible possible.
Dublin Fringe is Ireland’s largest multidisciplinary arts festival, and home to the bold and brave showcasing brand new ideas for the first time – this year the festival will run for 16 days and nights, stage an impressive 80 productions, 554 performances, with 55 world premieres. Fringe introduces the hottest new talent and connects artists with audiences. As a year round organisation it sources and develops talent -for example artists like Alison Spittle, Rusangano Family, and the hit play Dublin Oldschoolwhich has now been made into a movie, in cinemas now– and it all started at Dublin Fringe.
Ruth McGowan, Dublin Fringe Festival’s new artistic director says; ”This programme is pulsing with energy, adventure and joy. It’s a festival of firsts – each of the 80 events are brand new and happening in Dublin for the very first time at Fringe. We’re introducing the essential voices you need to hear from – I can’t wait for you to meet them.”
This year’s edition is as ambitious as ever, and Fringe is making sure the right person has the biggest microphone to tell their story. The 2018 festival programme has eight chapters to get stuck in to – these include:
Parties, Club Nights & Gigs: Dublin after-dark demands your attention. Throbbing dancefloors and hot gigs to send you home starry-eyed. Fringe is championing Club Culture as an essential part of the cultural fabric of our city.
Inventors & Mavericks: Works that defy categorisation: live art, dance, theatre, music and genre-bending performance.
13 Good Plays: New writing from playwrights you need to know.
Punchlines: Uproarious stand-up, improv and musical comedy that will leave you begging for more.
Young Radicals: Five cool shows for those on the right side of adulthood as our Fringe for Young Audiences strand returns for a second time in association with Collapsing Horse.
Sharpened Senses: Tune in and reach out with intimate sound art, live art and visual art.
Bodies in Time: Feats of dance, circus, performance and physical theatre.
This year’s festival highights include The Money by Kaleider Productions (UK) which is cross between a game and a theatrical performance. Choose to be either a Silent Witness or a Player and take a seat in City Hall as the audience have one hour to decide unanimously how to spend a pot of real cash. Craicling by Foil Arms & Hog. The lads have been literally cracking up Dublin Fringe audiences at sold out shows every year since 2012. With over 100 million hits on YouTube, Foil Arms & Hog celebrate their seventh Fringe outing with their best show yet. The Sound of Phoenix by Shanna May Breen,brings us on a site-specific travelling soundscape of Phoenix Park, from the vantage of a vintage bus. Dublin city is continually shifting and this monumental back garden is witness to it all, noticing massive moments for the park and the city, while also paying attention to tiny stories that may have gone unnoticed. Trial of the Century’s by The Mess Around & Popical Island is courtroom musical from the fun-loving popstar twins Trevor and Elliot Century (AKA ‘Trelliot’) that’s more “two giddy boys” than Twelve Angry Men, Giles Brody (RTÉ’s Irish Pictorial Weekly) and Bobby Aherne (art-pop act No Monster Club) take you on a bizarre, toe-tapping adventure about fame, family, friendship and aliens. Unwoman Part III by leading feminist theatre company THE RABBLE (Australia) and trailblazing Irish artist Maeve Stone, stars Olwen Fouere, as a post-menopausal woman who carries her unborn child, subject to constant physical labour. This production is an exploded ordinance site of what it is to be Unwoman. I Am Dynamite is a creative symposium curated by journalist, writer, and screenwriter Roisin Agnew, who will explore the role of artistic dissent and causing offence to celebrate the fact that we’re all free to disagree over two days of talks and panel discussions. Confirmation is a poignant pop concert from the award-winning creative teamX+Co about looking for confirmation and wondering if we can ever find it. Fringe favourite, Xnthony, returns with this musical memoir about growing up in Roscommon.
Shows to watch out for are: Sarah Gordon and Alice Malseed return to Fringe with their new play BILLY (developed at Scene & Heard 2018), a disbelieving look at the weird ways we try to order our lives with the newest space-saving solution. Cock Cock, Who’s There? by Samira Elagoz, a 26 year old documentary maker, where she reconstructs the raw aftermath of a sexual assault in her award-winning performance about violence and intimacy. As part of NEIGHBOURS at Project Arts Centre. A Holy Show by Janet Moran and presented by Mermaid Arts Centre is a new comedy about the 1981 hijacking of an Aer Lingus plane by an ex-Trappist monk with a bottle of water as his weapon, the Pope as his nemesis, and a burning desire to know the third secret of Fátima. MADHOUSE by Una McKevitt and PJ Gallagher is based on the true life story of comedian PJ Gallagher and stars telly’s favourite funny lady Katherine Lynch. Hookers Do It Standing Up by Lady Grew who makes her come back to Dublin Fringe. Check out “Ireland’s Favourite Courtesan” (Sunday Independent) with her back against a brick wall. Perhaps failing in prostitution she may seek refuge as a stand-up comic. Astronaut by Joe Wright a spoken-word multimedia theatre piece which premiered in London is inspired by the Apollo House occupation in 2016. Soho Theatre and Fishamble present Drip Feed by Karen Cogan, is a fast-paced blistering new play about sexuality, the messiness of being youngish, female and queer in 1990s Ireland. The Fattest Dancer at St. Bernadette’s from The Breadline Collective – It’s the day before Julian La Blanc’s School of Dance and Drama’s annual showcase and everything is falling apart. Hear Julian’s story as he divulges how he should have been a star, flanked by some of the sassiest 10 years olds in Dublin 1. Everything Can Be Dismantled by Joan Somers Donnelly and Donncha MacCoil is an interactive fantasy about the politics of housing, this is a show about the spaces we live in now and the spaces we desire. Owing To The Failure Of by Zoë Comyns is an audio experiment for podcast lovers. Comyns is radio producer who finds 100-year-old Marconi Code books in a junk shop, starts to read the code lists obsessively and twist them into her own life story mimicking a live podcast. SHAME by Pom Boyd and Sean Millar a highly entertaining and cathartic new show which invites you to witness a sacred punk theatrical ritual through song. Give up the exhausting pretense and wear your crippling shame on your sleeve.
There’s laugh a minute COMEDY from Deirdre O’Kane’s A Line of O’Kane. Footloose from her glittering turn on the telly’s Dancing with the Stars and reveling in her return to stand-up, Deirdre has really hit her stride. Don’t miss this hilarious and frank take on 12 frantic months in the life of a tango- tripping, family-minding, telly-making, house-moving, comedy dynamo. / Abie Philban Bowan makes his Fringe return with Don’t Kiss Me. I’m Irish. We’re Probably Related, a show about parenthood. This comedy show for anyone who suspects that happy parents are really prisoners in denial, posting cute photos of their jailers on Facebook.
Dance at Fringe includes the world premiere of Assisted Solo by Company Philip Connaughton. Connaughton and his long-time collaborator Lucia Kickham and French dance artist Magali Caillet are accompanied by video footage of Madeleine, Philip’s mother, who suffers from advanced dementia. Liv Donoghue makes her first large-scale choreography project, AFTER, using live-stream film, physicality and performance. Investigating our very human fear of endings, O’Donoghue’s show tackles the rise of the right wing. CAGED by Femme Bizarre examines feminine behavior through the decades. They put themselves through the ringer with aerial stunts, high-octane voguing, explosive vocals and spoken word. FABLE by Human Collective is a virtuosic street dance show that tells five cautionary tales. Choreographed by Matt Szczerek this highly physical dance show dissects modern life, revealing the disease that sits just under the skin. NÄHER… CLOSER, NEARER, SOONER from Liz Roche Company is a co-production with Goethe-Institut and Liz Roche Company. Choreographer Liz Roche with cast of 20 performers, along with theatre maker Shane O’Reilly, have together created a site-specific dance piece to mark the opening of the newly refurbished Goethe-Institut.
DREAMGUN Film Reads: The Fringe Binge curated by Stephen Colfer brings some comedy all-stars together for script reads of your favorite modern classics. Includes irreverent spins on Harry Potter; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Psycho; The Matrix ; Titanic ;Spider-Man ; and Batman Begins.
DJ Donal Dineen hits the decks for the Young Radicals programme and hosts a musical rollercoaster ride. A proper DJ set designed for kids (under 8s) but suitable for adults too in Tiny Dancer: A DJ Set for Kids – it’s time for the kids to throw some shapes and bust out their best moves.
This year’s festival boasts lots of FREE programming. There are ten free shows this year which includes a public art eventcalled Question Project by Mil M2 (Chile). This piece of interactive sculpture will roam the city streets for 16 days crowd sourcing questions for the city from passers by. This offers Dubliners a chance to ask their burning questions of the place they call home. Award-winning Irish milliner Margaret O’Connor brings her haute couture creations to the streets of Dublin as she designs bespoke hats for the heads of some of our city’s most iconic statues, as well an introducing you to some statues you might never have noticed before in Spitfire Bird. The PeopleSway is a devised, immersive movement-theatre piece which transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Stories of the heart, home and homeless in Ireland, revealing beautiful communal truths no longer only at the fringes. Dublin Fringe Festival’s first ever virtual venue is Dublin Digital Radio – DDR X Fringe. There will be three intimate radio encounters which are appointment listening only as this unique space, where Ireland’s left-of-centre talent finds a new home for music, discussion, experimentation and radical ideas. dumbworld ltd create a street-art opera which is a comic story of passion and revenge played out by octogenarians on zimmer frames in Drive-by Shooting. Loosysmokes return to Fringe with The Lightkeepers’ Last Stand – anenergetic, impressive, humorous and entirely unexpected performance by one of Ireland’s leading modern circus companies in Dubh Linn Gardens at Dublin Castle. And the Young Radicals strand commissions Leaving Cert teenager Ayesha Ahmad’s Epoch – a documentation of change, a coming-of-age; it explores the summer of 2018 where she captures her last summer in Dublin as school student.
Show up, See it first. Step under our spell on every streetcorner this September. Watch as Fringe transforms Dublin’s map into stages and performances that will make you stop in your tracks. Fringe has the antidotes for whatever ails and brings joy which is yours for the taking. Want a big night out? A great adventure? The freshest new art? You’ll find it all at Fringe.
DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL 2018 runs city-wide from September 8 – 23. All 2018 Fringe events are now on sale at fringefest.com or 1850 FRINGE (1850 374 643) from August 29.
All images courtesy Dublin Fringe Festival; AFTER photo credit Jose Miguel Jimenez