International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival celebrates 20 years with stellar programme of LGBTQ+ shows

In 2023, the festival is celebrating two decades of bringing queer theatre to Dublin audiences.

Brian Merriman at the launch of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
Image: International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is marking a huge milestone in 2023 as it celebrates its 20th year of existence. Officially launched on Thursday, April 13, the event will run from May 1 – 14, boasting a stellar lineup of queer shows.

The programme features 23 different productions, 10 of which are from Ireland, with others hailing from Australia, Israel, Italy, Canada, Serbia, Spain, the UK and US. There is also linguistic diversity, with certain shows available As Gaeilge, and in Hebrew and Serbian, with English translations.

The works will be taking place across five different venues, including the Ireland Institue, Outhouse Theatre, Teachers Club Main Hall, DV8 and All My Friends.

Addressing the crowd gathered to commemorate the launch in the Irish Georgian Society, Assistant General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Séamus Dooley, stated: “the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is a shining light on the landscape with a deserved international reputation…The festival has survived through imagination, tenacity, hard work and a strong dose of stubbornness and defiance.”


Dooley continued by acknowledging that “so much has changed in 20 years, in our city, in the arts and entertainment scene, in the lived lives of the LGBTQ+ community.”

He added, “The power of the theatre is to challenge, to stimulate, to educate and to help us celebrate. Long may the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival continue to entertain, to provoke and at times, like its founder, occasionally infuriate. It is a vital part of our rainbow community and is deserving of support.”

The IDGTF Founder at the subject of Dooley’s teasing remark, Brain Merriman, also spoke at the launch.

“I salute all the artists who have sent us in their works. All our resources have been invested in showcasing as many high-quality new works during our unique fortnight of LGBT-inclusive theatre. They are exciting, cutting-edge, with comedy, drama, dance and music,” he said.

“We are showcasing new writing on a range of themes from gender identity and stories with a gay, LGBT+ character, theme or relevance. We have stories from the cancel culture of modern days right back to a wonderful distortion of Oscar Wilde.”


The full programme is available to view now, with tickets also on offer online. From April 24, there will be a walk-in box office in Street 66 from 12-3pm everyday except Sunday until May 13, where you can also secure your booking.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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