The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival opens today, celebrating both its 15th year and the 25th anniversary of decriminalisation. With the theme Who We Are And Who We Were, this year’s programme asks how much LGBT+ life has changed since then and how much has it remained the same. GCN takes a peek at the programme and picks out the top 5 shows we’re most looking forward to.
Canadian comedian Franny McCabe-Bennett award winning play within a play tells her story of growing up in the suburbs as a femme bisexual while rehearsing a play about the feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman. While that may sound complicated, this comedy arrives in Ireland already an award winner.
The Drowning Room
A family gather to scatter the ashes of their loved one who was brutally murdered in a gay bashing. Following the inadequate sentencing of the perpetrator, an unexpected visitor arrives with a terrible truth. Invited to return to the festival after a previous appearance, this show remembers the 35th anniversary of the similar murder of Declan Flynn.
Three Lies About Brooklyn
The true story of an Irish orphan farmed out to Brooklyn by the Sisters of Mercy in the 1950’s, this show veers between hilarious and harrowing. John Farrell traces his journey from the orphanage, his discovery of his sexuality and his relationship with the Catholic church, in a piece which sounds quite timely.
In a very different look at religion in Ireland, comedian Breda Larkin investigates the summer of 1985 when statues of the Virgin Mary where reported to move of their own accord in locations across Ireland. Breda takes a comedic look at gender, faith, rural life and Ireland’s unsung heroines.
Blue Island 99
Coming from Taiwan, this is the story of gay people living on an island forced to choose between staying in their homeland and hiding who they are or venturing out into the unknown to become their true selves. With the show’s creators stressing the complicated problems of being out in a country with both a complicated political past and an uncertain future, this gives us a unique insight into Asian LGBT+ life.
Although these may be our Top 5, with a host of dramas, comedies, short plays and readings, there’s bound to be something there for all tastes.
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