Several notable queer Irish artists were recognised during the Dublin Fringe Festival awards ceremony on Sunday, September 24, including Pea Dinneen, Aoife O’Connor, and Matthew Bratko.
With 77 productions hosted in venues across Dublin, the 29th annual Dublin Fringe Festival was a massive success. The 16-day festival was attended by 33,000 people, and festival director David Francis Moore called it “a celebration of boundless artistry and joy.”
The awards ceremony took place in The Botanical Garden at Opium on Wexford Street, where Moore introduced the awards, saying: “The artists in this year’s festival have truly outdone themselves, and the energy and enthusiasm from the audiences has been nothing short of electric.”
Dublin’s dazzling queer cabaret ‘EGG’, playfully called Cabaregg, won a total of three awards. The show itself, Egg: The Proclamation of the Irish Republegg, won the Beyond the Pale award, which honours “outstanding performance work with the potential to transcend boundaries and thrive in a greenfield festival setting.”
This brilliant queer collective described as a “musical political rally for a new EGG-shaped Irish Republic” includes songs, dance, comedy, and drag featuring incredible artists Pea Dinneen and Aoife O’Connor. Aoife is a “non-binary revolutionary”, while Pea Dinneen is the first transgender member of Cumann na mBan.
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In addition to that, performer Tadgh Griggin won the Radical Spirt Award, presented by the Dublin Fringe Festival and Project Arts Centre. This award recognises an Irish artist who embodies the radical spirit of both Fringe and Project and makes bold, contemporary work.
Finally, artist Pea Dinneen was recognised as the winner of the Next Stage Wild Card award, which includes an invitation to participate in Next Stage, an artist-development programme run by Dublin Theatre Festival in partnership with Theatre Forum. Additionally, queer icon Sarah Devereux of Egg, better known as The Dirt Bird, was shortlisted for the Dublin Fringe Festival Spirit of Wit: Moira Brady Averill award.
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Another fantastic show, KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE Has a Complicated Relationship With Reality and With Himself, starring Matthew Bratko and known “the only act that dares to have seven of the same first name in a row” was among the winners of this year’s awards.
Described as having “seductively hysterical deadpan comedy”, this original performance creates an impactful evening that is “deeply deranged but with a reassuring internal logic that renders it entirely unforgettable.”
The show won the Spirit of Wit: Moira Brady Averill award, which was created in memory of Moira Brady Averill, who “had the power to transform space and thought through alchemic wit”. Each year, this award is given to an artist who is “willing to take risks and whose work defies categorisation with bold and unconventional material.”
KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE KYLE was also shortlisted for the Listowel Residency: the George Fitzmaurice Award, which recognises experimental artists with an original voice.
The panel of judges noted that these awards represent only a few of the incredible artists who participated in this year’s festival programme full of invention, artistry and mischief.
Award organisers said this list of winners “represents just a handful of the mavericks, trailblazers and legends who made brilliant and impactful performances at this year’s festival. Every one of the 560 artists who brought their talents to the 2023 festival is a champion in our eyes.”
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