Words: Ciarán Howley
Ireland’s wildest arts festival is back.
Tickets for the annual Dublin Fringe Festival go on sale today and the 2022 program is not to be missed.
In its 28th outing, this season offers an enormous 527 performances taking place in 27 venues around Dublin. The festival will be home to 50 world premieres and 15 Dublin premieres from a mix of new and venerated writers, directors and production teams.
Every year Fringe offers an opportunity for theatre-makers and performers to present work, often debuts, with the aid of resources, space and professional development. For theatre-lovers in Ireland, the festival is a go-to to get a glimpse of the most-talked about performances of the year.
Here’s just a few to be excited about.
This is Pop Baby have spent fifteen years in the game redefining modern Irish theatre. This year sees the production company take their show Wake to the National Stadium from 8-17th September.
Wake finds This is Pop Baby exactly where they thrive; Dublin’s queer party scene.
“WAKE lifts the veil between worlds, where club culture meets Irish tradition in an exquisite frenzy of ritual, rave, grief and joy. Conjuring up the spirits of the good times, of the marginalised, of everything that’s been and gone, WAKE toasts yesterday’s passing as we dream up tomorrow, together.”
Expect a mix of dance, music, dramatics and a ballsy romp through Dublin nightlife.
For fans of Irish pop culture, leading drag star Candy Warhol’s new show is an absolute must. From Teresa Mannion to Nadine Coyle, Warhol is paying homage to gay national treasures in the most Irish way possible; having a dig at them.
“Prepare for a night of missing passports and dogs, cancelled flights at Terminal 3 and enough Irish dancing to exhaust B*Witched and Riverdance. Irish costumes highly encouraged!”
Featuring guests Alison Spittle (Wheel of Misfortune), Jaye Mac (Glow Up) and queen Maud Gonne Wong, Warhol’s show hits the Smock Alley Theatre on the 16 and 17 of September.
For something a little darker, Dylan Coburn Gray’s Absent the Wrong is a new drama examining Ireland’s backwards adoption system, and one man’s struggle against his family to locate his heritage.
“A woman looking for her child is lied to. An artist pitches a memorial that’s never built. A landlord raises rents. A parrot disappears. (Or does it?) Thousands of children disappear. (No question this time.) There’s family reunions, collective actions, inexplicable Mormons.”
From Dublin playwright Dylan Coburn comes a brooding meditation on memory, history and family. The writer is known for his playful approach to text, form and dark themes, a style that his seen him take awards home, including Fishamble’s Best New Writing Award in 2013. For tense, gripping drama launching at the Abbey Theatre is not one to be missed.
Comedian Anna Clifford takes her hit one-woman show to this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Returning from her tour across the UK & Ireland, I See Deadly People is a comedy set in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. On a retreat, Anna wrestles with an existential crisis over the course of sixty minute crisis, her maddening mother and her boyfriend whose just ghosted her.
Arriving at the International Bar for a five day run, Clifford’s one-woman show is set to be a hoot.
The title of this one is enough to ruffle some feathers. This outrageous alt-cabaret from provocateur XThony reexamines Irish colonialism – through the lens of one Oliver Cromwell.
This queer romp is a musical romp through the military statesman’s time in Ireland, taking jabs at cancel culture and disregarding history altogether.
“Framed by a high-tempo disco soundtrack, lyrics and movement; my alter-ego ‘Xnthony’ channels Oliver Cromwell through song, historical reenactments, frothing at the mouth nationalism and contentious historical revisionings,” said the playwright-performer.
There’ll be absolute scenes at this one – and we can’t wait.
Click here for more info and tickets.
Elsewhere on District: ZASKA and shiv perform new songs at The Dublin Liberties Distillery