After the glorious weather at the weekend, if finally feels like summer’s on its way and with it all the summer festivals. Phizz Fest and the Drogheda Arts Fesitval were on this weekend and next up is the Dublin Dance Festival, from May 14- 26. I don’t go to that many dance shows and I’m not sure I’ve even been to the Dublin Dance Festival before, but I have seen and enjoyed a couple recently (I saw IMDT’s Body Duet at IETM and Cois Ceim’s Touch Me in Galway last year) and I’m also looking forward to Fabulous Beast’s double bill at this year’s Galway Arts Festival.
Egg Charade by Aoife McAtamney & Nina Vallon
Image credit: (c) Joan Corres Benito
I also think the Dance Festival has a particularly strong programme this year and it’s worth a look! (Probably the programme was always excellent, it’s just my taste that has changed!) I am particularly taken by Egg Charade
, which includes the following warning: Contains nudity (and bowling).
But there’s a wide variety of shows to chose from. Tickets are mostly around the €20 but some of the shorter shows are €12-15. This includes the shows in the Family Season strand, which all look beautiful and includes Spill – A Playground of Dance, which is free!
There’s also the Dance Deal where if you book 3 or 4 different dance deal shows you get 15% off full price tickets. If you book five or more shows, you get 20% off full price tickets.
There are also dance workshops with dancers performing in the festival. Some of them are limited to dancers or dance students but there are some open classes too.
All in all, a great looking festival!
The Best of Scottee
I have a complicated relationship with live art. I was exposed to a lot of it when I was studying Modern Drama, both recordings in class and what we were encouraged to go and see. The things we made often had a live art slant to them as well. I don’t always love it, I often really dislike it but I find it an intriguing genre because now and again, something will come along and blow my mind!
My most frequent complaint about live art is that it’s often more interesting for the artist than the audience. This usually involves durational performances or people cutting themselves or putting themselves in danger. I’m always coming at it from a theatre point-of-view so things that show a disregard for the audience really irritate me!
Live art is interesting because it can be so divisive. I’ve come out of a performance feeling irritated and annoyed that these people took my money and then wasted my time with this drivel, while someone else will rave ecstatically about the exact same piece. They will praise it so highly that I’m not sure how they could have possibly seen the same thing I did, even though they were standing next to me at the time.
It can irritate but it also intrigues me and the wonderful, perfect shows are always worth more because of the irritating pieces you sat though before. (And then I will walk out astonished and delighted by what I’ve seen while the person next to me to ready to ask for their money back.) This is all just a long way of saying that I’m looking forward to the <a href=”http://www.livecollision.com/” target=”_blank”>Live Collusion Festival</a> later this month. It’s been a while since I’ve sat through some truly odd things so I will attending a few shows and trying to work out how I feel about them. And if you’re going to see anything, let me know. It’s always better to go with a pal so you can argue afterwards about what you saw.
Live Collision Festival
It’s a short, blink and you’ll miss it sort of festival from 18-21 April. There are three double bills of work in Project each evening. On the Thursday there’s Dismantelment and Internal Terrains, on Friday it’s Wideawake and The Best of Scottee and on Saturday it’s The Woman Who Walks On Knives and We Used To Wait. Tickets are all €12 / €10. There are also three site specific pieces happening over the few days(Walking:Holding, Dublin’s Fare City and All Limit’s Are Self-Imposed), a free screening on Saturday afternoon called Discussions Without Time Limits and on Sunday night there is a live art party party, with performances at the Workman’s Club. It’s called dis.re.pute and starts at 8pm.
If you’d like to do more than just go and see shows, you can do a workshop with “live artist, show off, fat drag queen and attention seeker” Scottee which sounds really fun. The Scottee Workshop is on Thursday 18th April, 3-5pm and costs €20.
There is also a call for artists to take part in Walking:Holding. There is no fee but it is chance to work with artist Rosana Cade on this piece. You will need to have availability from April 16th – 20th. For more information or to register your interest, please contact Niamh McCann – mccann.niamh(at)gmail.com
Another open call for the Body and Soul Festival in Ballinlough Castle at the end of June:
Creative festival proposals wanted for Body & Soul Festival
The art and creativity flourishing within Body & Soul grows from strength to strength each year.
We invite you to create in a way that encourages people to look, listen, explore and interact.
It is once more time to pour our dreams and aspirations into exciting projects, to both inspire and be inspired. Be they big or small, simple or complex, cosmic or comical, organic or electronic – we look forward to your proposals with bated breath, as do the people who spend their weekend in awe of your work!
Past proposals have included giant kaleidoscopes, hanging moss pods, architectural light displays, a bandwagon of face painting charlatans, dragon birds, creative willow fencing, a giant elk complete with his own knitted jumper, suspended performers entrancing passersby’s below, video and sound installations, a singing angel in the garden, a 100 metre long serpent made from CD’s suspended in the tree tops, giant lanterns and more.
So, whatever your idea; whether it be hanging, planted or floating art pieces, suspended or stationary performances of conversation or song, string instrument or drums, we would like to hear from you.
Please apply on line using the application process in the Get Involved section of our website.
Even though we’re still in the depths of winter and even summer seems a long way off, application deadlines for the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Dublin Fringe Festival are already looming.
Dublin Theatre Festival are looking for Play On participants again this year. The programme lasts from March to October and is for both new playwrights and playwrights who have had professional productions of their work staged. Successful applicants will work towards a public reading of their work as part of the Festival next October.
The deadline is this Friday, February 15 but they only accept hard-copies so get them in the post by Wednesday! More information here.
The deadline for this year’s Fringe Festival is March 8 and as usual there is loads of information about everything you need to know on the Fringe website. They are also running a Pre-Application Workshop tomorrow at 6pm in Fringe HQ.
Show in a Bag
Fishamble, ITI and Fringe are running Show in a Bag again this year, unsurprisingly since it has been a great success over the last few years with shows picking up a number of Fringe awards and nominations and also having long, successful, touring lives after the Fringe. The deadline for this year’s Show in a Bag applications is March 1 and there is an information session tomorrow at 7.30pm, also in Fringe HQ. The application form and more information about how to apply is available on the Fringe website.
Fringe Fuse at Dublin Fringe HQ
In the last year, Dublin Fringe Festival
have moved into Sycamore House, which was the home of the Gaiety School of Acting. It’s a beautiful building with fantastic studio spaces with big windows over looking Meeting House Square. And last Monday it was full of people eager to see the new work that was being made there. It was the night of the first Fringe Fuse, a scratch night run by Fringe for theatre makers to show new work. Tickets were €3 and for that you got four short pieces of theatre and some refreshments! It’s going to be a monthly event, on the last Monday or each month and I would definitely reccomend coming along.
The first piece we saw last week was a new piece by Sonya Kelly (of Wheelchair On My Face fame) called Anywhere Else But Here about going to Austrailia to meet her in-laws. It was performed as a monologue, and was funny and endearing. It had a similar in tone to Wheelchair and Sonya performed it with her usual charm.
The second piece was a work-in-progress play called St. Patrick – The Lenged from The Gonzo Theatre Company. It was a play about the writing of the history of St. Patrick and contained some religious stories that I had never heard of, so I actually learnt something from it!
The third piece In Dog Years I’m Dead, all about turning 30 was written by Kate Heffernan and performed by Marie Ruane. It was performed as a monologue but there are plans to include a male performer as well. (As I said these are works in progress.)
The final piece was That Don’t Impress Me Much by Xnthony. It was performed with a whole lot of enthusiasim and was great fun. It was very difficult from the other pieces and it felt like the audience were just getting into it and then it was over.
The thing that struck me most was that the work was very traditional. There were three plays, with writers and actors (one performed by the writer) and a song and dance routine. This was the first Fringe Fuses so maybe people were playing it safe. I wonder if there were many applications or if people were waiting to see what happened with this first night. The four pieces were definitely in different stages of development but it’s a great opportunity to get up and test out new work in front of an audience. It’s also a brave thing to do and I appreciate the artists generousity to show us their half-finished masterpieces.
The next Fringe Fuse will be on 25 February and the deadline for applications is 15 February. If you would like to apply, email Róise and Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of what you are working on and why you’d like to show it (min 250, max 600 words). More information here and on the Fringe Lab’s Facebook page. Dublin Fringe Festival are also taking applications for the 2013 Festival and all the details are on their website.
The Theatre Machine Turns You On: Vol 3
The Theatre Machine Turns You On: Vol 3 is THEATREclub’s festival currently happening at Project Arts Centre. It started last week and is sadly closing this weekend but there is still plenty to see before it ends in a revolutionary bang on Saturday night.
There are four shows on Friday night and three on Saturday, plus the big closing night party. The shows are under different categories – Demotapes are short works-in-progress, New Releases are brand new pieces, LPs are longer pieces and EPs involve established artists trying something different.
Here’s the schedule for the next couple of days:
There’s also a couple of other things happening around the festival such as Occupy Project Arts Centre where you can go and visit Anna in her nest under the stairs.
And on Saturday night We, the People will be happening at the entrance to Meeting House Square, just up from Project where Speaker’s Corner will be held and curated by Veronica Dyas. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the list of Speakers.
There’s also the “revolutionary listening party” on Saturday night, which will include new writing from the amazing campaigner Orla Tinsey, a performative response to the festival from THEATREclubs’ Grace Dyas and Shane Byrne and music from Lisa O’Neil and others. And all that for only €12! Book your ticket here.
¡Viva la Revolución!
is an arts festival that also aims to improve mental heath awareness and help remove the stigma associated with mental health issues in this country. It happens in the first weeks of January, a very suitable time of year when we’re all feeling a little bit under the weather mentally. 2013 will be the fourth year of the festival, which is run entirely by volunteers, and they have a very exciting programme prepared.
Unsurprisingly my top two picks from the programme are theatre but they also have a selection of films, including free shorts in Filmbase at lunchtime, Le Galaxie performing at the Button Factory, a panel discussion in Earlsfort Terrance (also free), The Therapy Sessions which are music and spoken word nights in The Workman’s Club and visual arts in Filmbase. There really is something for everyone and all of it either at a very affordable price or free!
However, the First Fortnight show that you really need to see is Fishamble’s production of Silent. This is Pat Kinevane’s one-man show that has been touring the country to critical acclaim for the last couple of years. If you haven’t seen it yet, you are in for a treat and if you have seen it, I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel it requires a second viewing or have a couple of people that you want to bring along this time around. That’s my plan and I’m sure that there a more than a few people out there who feel the same. It’s on for three nights in Smock Alley (in the Main Theatre, a space which I think will suit the show very well) so book your tickets soon. Get them as a gift for someone – despite being about homelessness, it’s actually a funny, uplifting show and Pat Kinevane’s performance is just wonderful! Go! Bring a friend, maybe someone along who doesn’t think like theatre, or someone who wants to see more plays in the new year.
First Fortnight also offers another chance to see Solpadeine is my Boyfriend in the New Theatre. I missed this when it was on in the Fringe earlier this year, though I did enjoy many of the Solpadeine mints that were part of it’s promotional campaign. I listened to it as a RTE radio play a little while ago and really loved the language and the way the story unfolded. It’s a wonderful fit with that First Fortnight are trying to do. I’ve heard great things from people who did manage to see the live show so I’m looking forward to it. It’s on early in the year – 2-5 January, so you’ll need to be on your toes to catch it!
Book a few shows for First Fortnight – it means you’ll have something to look forward to in the bleak first couple of weeks in January. And having things to look forward to is good for your mental health!
Fingal County Council are running free talks and classes all around Fingal as part of Writing 3.0 – Fingal’s Annual Writer’s Festival. There’s talks from Declan Burke and Thisispopbaby, as well as classes in screen-writing, song writing and rap! The full list of programmes is here and you can book your place here.
I find Anu Productions a little bit frightening. I admire their work hugely, I think they are one of the most exciting Irish companies making work right now but I would still be wary about recommending an Anu show to someone. I would be wary about going to see it myself! I was glad I went to see Laundry in last years Dublin Theatre Festival because it felt important to recognise what went on in the Magdalene laundries and to act as a witness to what those women went though. It was also a beautifully realised piece of theatre that was heart-breaking and incredibly moving.
Despite that, I was still in two-minds about whether to see The Boys of Foley Street. I wasn’t sure if I was up to it. I knew it was out on the streets and I knew World’s End Lane, situated in the same area, had been a fairly harrowing experience. My first few shifts as a festival volunteer were at the Lab, doing Front of House for the show. Seeing the audience members coming back looking a bit subdued and slightly shell-shocked didn’t really reassure me.
Then I got a ticket out of the blue and it’s hard to say no to a free ticket so off I went. It knew a little bit about what was coming from hanging being in the Lab but it was still quite an experience. The performers take you away to a different time and place and you’re pulled out and moved through those places quickly, urgently. The women in Laundry shyly beckoned you into a room, here you’re told to “Move! Move! Faster!” and you do it because you don’t know what else to do. You want to be a good audience member so you do what you’re told; stand where you’re told to stand, look where you’re told to look. And all this doing and looking makes you complicit with the terrible things that happen on on the streets and in the back alleys and the flats.
Everyone is looking after themselves as best they can and because that’s not easy, they don’t have time to look after anyone else. As an audience member, it’s all too easy to slip into this frame of mind.
The cast is so good and there performances so accomplished and so natural that it all feels frighteningly real. Laundry felt like it was performed by ghosts but here the performances are more corporeal and much more in your face. You go into a grim little flat at the back of Foley Street and it feels like going back in time. You only spend 10 or 15 minutes there (maybe more, maybe less – time is hard to judge as you’re are ordered in and out of cars and rooms and lives) but it’s a heart-breaking glimpse into these people’s lives. You can see their past and their future expanding on either side and it’s depressing and so hard to see. Leaving is difficult because you feel like you are betraying them but at the same time, you are so glad that you have the option.
The characters and stories explored in Boys of Foley Street feel very current. After the show, it can be difficult to tell the different between the actors and the inhabitants of the area. It stays with you when you leave.
The work is important and political and terrifying at times. The actors, who performed 20 times a day for the entire length of the festival, astound me. Their performances are so strong and so believable that it feels like a privilege to witness it. Next year I will be first in the queue to get a ticket for the final part of Anu’s Monto quadrilogy. I’m looking forward to it already.