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The Eleventh Annual International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is set to take place next month and will feature a host of plays, music, comedy and cabaret at various venues around the city for an entire fortnight. More than 150 performances will take place, in fact, from a total of 30 unique productions.
Local talent will be featured alongside plays from countries as diverse as South Africa, Australia, Israel and America during the event from May 5 to 18. There will be evening and weekend events as well as lunchtime shows at the event which is the biggest of its kind in the world. The Festival tends to attract both a straight and LGBT audience and is described acclaimed by the Festival’s Artistic Director and Chairman, Brian Merriman as “a unique artistic celebration of new voices, new work and new horizons.” The programme for the event – which is already available to download from the Festival’s website – includes free talks and readings as well as paid events which can be booked in advance with tickets bought at the Festival Box Office at The Arlington Hotel Temple Bar, Lord Edward Street and various event locations throughout the city. Some of the highlights for this year include: CHICKEN FRIED CICCONE – a comedy at the Cobalt Café which reveals how the queen of punk and reinvention Madonna helped actor and playwright J Stephen Brantley journey from ‘junkie’ to ‘functional.’ Brantley’s reinvention begins in New York, takes in South Texas and ends in a detox in Dublin. A LITTLE (JAZZ) NIGHT MUSIC – also at the Cobalt Café, Ireland’s own Stella Bass returns to the festival after her successful show last year, to blast out music by Stephen Sondheim. The show includes new jazz-inspired arrangements from acclaimed musician/arranger, Cian Boylan (Van Morrison/Imelda May/Camille O’Sullivan). TWO SIDES OF A COIN – playing at the Outhouse Theatre in Capel Street, this production by ‘No Tears’ follows three businessmen as they entertain themselves in a nightly fashion, fuelled by homophobia, malice and sexual repression. It’s not for the fainthearted or those looking for some cosy, relaxed entertainment.
But it is engrossing, according to early reviews. Actually there is a whole host of topics which come under the microscope in this festival including family, love, gay marriage, happiness and sex in the 1980s. There’s also a World War 1 romance in the trenches. But without fail, the Festival will show stories of and about that unpredictable and uncontrollable organ – the heart,” added Merriman. Then there is the end of show evening on Sunday, May 18. This Gala Awards Night will feature the more popular shows in the 2014 programme, together with the annual awards ceremony, hosted by a variety of special guests.
It’s a great time to go along for some fun celeb spotting.