Dublin Gay Theatre Festival cancelled in response to COVID-19 concerns

Following nationwide restrictions placed upon public spaces, the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 17th edition has been cancelled.

'We Are Stories Of Love And Survival': International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival Returns

The 17th Edition of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (IDGTF) has been cancelled until May 2021 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

The IDGTF team announced the decision to postpone the 17th edition with the following message, “We are very proud that our festival has run uninterruptedly for 16 years, and we assure you that we have exhausted all possible options. However, we act to ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, and our audience, and to respect the limitations we are all now living with, which prevent the festival from going ahead in May.”

Founder of IDGTF, Brian Merriman, said, “We will miss presenting these great plays, but even more, we will miss meeting you – our friends. It is wonderful to share the buzz of bringing LGBT theatre to Dublin with friends old and new each year. That we will miss a lot.”

Last year’s International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (IDGTF) was it’s most successful outing in its past 10 years, however sadly the event will not be going ahead in 2020. Though there is no longer an official Programme Launch, a look into the potential 17th edition lineup showcases a powerhouse of talents and sparks excitement for what 2021 has in store. 

A person standing shirtless holding a mouse which is glitching like a computer, it is an image for I Am B-19, part of the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2020
I AM B-19

Merriman said, “We received a huge submission again this year from Ireland and abroad. Thank you all. After weeks of reading, we selected 23 plays to bring to our stages for you in May. We were to welcome two plays from Australia, our first from Sweden, and some great work from the USA, Canada, and the UK, including old friends and new. To top it all, we gathered a great set of new Irish plays from all over the country. Wonderful new writers and companies coming on board, verifying the great success and appeal of Festival 2019.”

A person sitting behind an empty picture frame, a still from the Haunted Host
The Haunted Host

Acts such as Trolley’d and Trouble Down South, Pariah, the Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F***king Queens and a Duck, and Riot Act highlights the vibrant creativity within the international and local LGBT+ community.

Image of two women in a shopping cart, a still from Trolley'd and Trouble Down South, which would have been part of Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2020

Other performances include the captivating I AM B-19, Lured, Outlier, A Partnership, and Shorts about Women. With so many phenomenal artists involved, it demonstrates the festivals continuous celebration of the immense diversity of queer stories and art. 

A still from the Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F***king Queens and a Duck showcasing the three queens looking regal in black dresses alongside a wooden duck, it would have been part of Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2020 lineup

Due to a nationwide lockdown of social gatherings and public spaces, the art sector has been greatly affected and many artists face difficult financial situations.

Still from Riot Act of a man taking off his flannel shirt, Dublin Gay Theatre lineup 2020 image
Riot Act

The team at IDGTF acknowledged the harsh reality which performers are now dealing with, “We understand how difficult the current situation is for all of our participating companies and artists in general. Cultural events worldwide are being cancelled, and the artists are now more than ever in need of your support!”

Two men kissing, one is shirtless, in a promotional image for Lured

Merriman further shared, “Please stay home, stay safe and stay well during these challenging times. It took a global epidemic to finally darken our vibrant stages – but don’t forget… after the darkness… there is always light.”


All performances selected for this year have been invited to take part in 2021. Vouchers purchased for the 17th edition are automatically valid for next year’s festival. However, if you would rather have vouchers refunded, contact [email protected].

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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