Take the homophobic and transphobic words by Northern Irish politicians and mix them with orchestral music, cabaret and drag. Now move this concoction to Ireland’s leading cultural institution and here you have it: Conor Mitchell’s award-winning ABOMINATION, A DUP Opera is coming to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
Artistic director Caitriona McLaughlin and executive director Mark O’Brien have just introduced the spring season for 2022 at Abbey Theatre and it was a very pleasant surprise to see that ABOMINATION will be live on stage from March 23 to April 2.
The opera features comments made by members of the DUP, combining political satire with cabaret and drag performances. It was created by Northern Irish composer Conor Mitchell and produced by the Belfast Ensemble and Outburst Queer Arts, an organisation that supports hundreds of LGBTQ+ artists and performers.
Abomination, A DUP Opera, Abbey Theatre Dublin in March/ April. WE ARE EXCITED! Congrats @belfastensemble @conorcomposer and all the cast and musicians pic.twitter.com/tzDrg39lyx
— Outburst Queer Arts (@OutburstArts) January 20, 2022
The show won Best New Opera Production at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards and a gained five-star review in The Observer.
The creator, Conor Mitchell, was inspired by a comment made in 2008 by DUP MP Iris Robinson, in which she deems homosexuality “an abomination”. The result of his idea to turn these hateful words into opera is a direct challenge to the ways in which language is used around LGBTQ+ experiences and a way to reclaim the power these words have over us, which is something the queer community has proved to be a master of throughout its history.
Abbey Theatre announces new shows and associate artists for Spring 2022: https://t.co/QcshodoRHC pic.twitter.com/lUkxeFFSTm
— Abbey Theatre (@AbbeyTheatre) January 20, 2022
And, with its endeavour to promote inclusiveness, diversity and equality, the Abbey Theatre is the perfect place for such type of opera. The themes that ABOMINATION explores and brings to the centre of the stage seem to be aligned to the words executive director O’Brien used when describing the work they’re doing at Abbey Theatre: “The real push in the independent sector for artists and arts workers is to validate their lived existence. I think the public are realising art is not something separate to people’s lives, that it’s a core part of what we’re about”.
You can book tickets to see ABOMINATION, A DUP Opera here.
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