19th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival – Preview
May 1 – 15
The 19th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival kicks off this Sunday the 1st of May and runs for a fortnight until May 15th. Having survived the Covid lockdown, this year’s Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. The Festival was founded in 2004 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde, in his native city. With an emphasis on new or recent international and Irish works with a broadly gay theme or relevance, the Festival creates new opportunities for visibility and affirmation for existing and emerging gay artists and theatrical works.
This year’s Festival offers a total of 23 productions, 4 free readings and other events in venues throughout central Dublin, including The Teacher’s Club, Players Theatre Trinity, The Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre, Street 66 Bar, and Pennylane Bar. Patrons can see two shows per night (four on matinee days!) with different programmes on each of the two weeks.
The Festival leads off on May 1 with a free reading of two one-act plays, “Half of Nothing” and “Porn!” by IDGTF Bursary winner, Irish playwright Ella Skolimowski at Pennylane Bar.
The week one programme (May 2-7th) starts with Bank Holiday Monday matinees and includes an exciting first for the fest: “Oíche Léite Drámaí (Scratch Night)” a free presentation of five Irish-language short plays from the queer Irish-language arts collective AerachAiteachGaelach, at Players Theatre, Trinity College on May 7 at 16:00.
Award-winning writer, Amanda Brunker makes her Festival debut with ‘Curiosity’ a sexually fluid story starring ‘Fair City’s Sorcha Furlong and Annette Flynn in Players Theatre. This is coupled with an Irish/Australian double bill from young women writers ‘Trolley’d/Who Pays the Bill and Babies and Bathwater’ at 9pm.
American Les Kurkendall returns to the festival with a “The Real Black Swann: Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen” on the main stage of The Teacher’s Club. The play tells the true story of William Dorsey Swann, a former slave who became Queen of Drag in Washington DC in the late 1800s.
“Take Desire Away” the award-winning story of the writings of A E Housman, with UK TV actor/writer Mansel David is in The Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street at 7.30pm.
“Who’ll be the Mammy?” written and directed by Blue Heart Theatre Company’s Brian Higgins (IDGTF Best Actor, 2015) is about a married couple deciding whether they want to be two Daddies. It runs at the Ireland Institute/The Pearse Centre at 9pm.
Joanne Callum Powers comes to Dublin from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her solo show “Miss Delta Township”, which will run at The Teachers Club Studio at 7.30pm.
Brian Merriman’s “Straight Acting”, a comic drama premiers from May 2-7 at The Teacher’s Club Studio, starring Jeremie Cyr-Cooke and Colin Malone. Do you have to be gay to play gay? 9pm.
SQUAD Productions, “a socially conscious theatre company” from Ireland will present a free staged reading of their work-in-progress “Shame is the Name of the Game” by Robert Downes at Street 66 bar on May 8 finishing up an action-packed first week of new, diverse theatre.
A preview of Week 2 will come next week…