In the wake of what have been massive strides taken for Irish women, from the historic win for repeal, to the ‘I believe her’ movement, and the slow unveiling of the Magdeline atrocities, constitutive of the reality of the oppressive church-state hybrid, Revolting Women – A Rebel Cabaret chronologically documents the women’s experience of Irish society from the 1916 Easter Rising in a vulnerable, buoyant collection of performances.
A mixed-media production, the all-female cast, or self-titled ‘rebel sisters’ use song, dance, film, and drama to tell the stories of Irish women, from prominent revolutionary figures such as Countess Markievicz, to everyday ‘superheroes’, highlighting both the struggle endured by Irish women, as well as their unfaltering strength in the face of adversity.
Donned in anachronistic dress and performing on a near-bare stage lit by a sole lamp in the corner, the rebel sisters filled the quiet, dark room with illuminating anecdotes, emotive renditions, and calls to action, emphasising the importance of those who came before us as integral to building a future for those who will follow.
Centred around the theme of rebellion, every piece endeavoured to tell a woman’s story, be it of the sex-workers struggle in an Ireland where colonial power had been replaced by church power, the LGBT+ experience told through “no star lesbian”, beautifully sung by BeRn, or a poignant dance piece of a working-class maid – the cabaret is a tribute to women who stood against the status quo and paved the way for the liberation we both enjoy and continue to seek, as ardently stated in one of the pieces: “I remain a rebel, unconverted and unconvertible”.
Drawing on heartstrings, inspiring giggles and raising fists, Revolting Women – A Rebel Cabaret is an honest production and a testament to the inextricable link between art and politics. Running every night at 9pm until Saturday, 11 May as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, you can buy tickets at the door, or on their website.
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