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Second Class Queer

Actor and writer Kumar Muniandy questions his identity, queerness, internalized homophobia and experiences of racism with his play. In the midst of these terms and their politics, Kumar seeks his own truth.

Is it possible to live as a brown gay man in Germany and find healing while carrying the weight of oppression from his motherland? Set in a speed-dating event, will Kumar’s leading man, Krishna, win the role he wants in this audition for love?

Through the lens of his experience as a Tamil-Malaysian queer person living in Berlin, Kumar Muniandy has developed a theater piece that investigates the connections between internalized homophobia that stems from anti-homosexuality laws of the colonial era and the structural racism he experiences.

What are the consequences of such merciless neocolonialism for the mental health of queer minorities living in Germany today? After all, Krishna, like Kumar, is on a pursuit of forgiveness and self acceptance.

Second Class Queer is dedicated to Nhaveen.

Following a work-in-progress presentation as part of the 2022 Expo Festival, we are thrilled to offer additional performance of the finished version of this production.

Josephine Baker – Mirror and Shadow

Josephine Baker – Mirror And Shadow explores a symbolic connection between Josephine Baker (1906-1975) and Étoile Chaville (1982-). Both artists are of African descent, dancer-singers and have French citizenship. However, seventy-six years separate them and their lives have unfolded in very different socio-economic contexts.

What connects them? Which struggles had to be overcome in Josephine Baker’s time and are still relevant today for women who don’t fit neatly inside a box? Built as a dialogue between past and present, Josephine Baker – Mirror And Shadow questions stereotyped images around races, gender or sexuality and their influence on our vision of the world and the Other.

The work-in-progress showing will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild. Multi-award-winning author Brenda Dixon Gottschild is an antiracist cultural worker. Nationwide and abroad she curates post-performance reflective dialogues, writes critical performance essays, performs self-created solos and collaborates with her husband, choreographer/dancer Hellmut Gottschild in a genre they developed that is called “movement theater discourse”.

SLUT: A Love Story

SLUT: A Love Story is a vibrant manifesto of joy, feminism and sexual exploration. Through the lens of her own life, performer and self-identified slut, Anne Marina Fidler courageously navigates the impacts of heartbreak, sex work and technology on this identity. Employing storytelling, dance and audience participation, Fidler crafts a compelling narrative that is both humorous and sincere.

Drawing from her own rich and charmed sexual history, Fidler invites audiences to participate in a narrative that celebrates the complexities of sex as part of our fully realized selves, while still acknowledging the collective trauma and shame that patriarchy places on sexuality.

In SLUT, Fidler challenges the conventional narrative surrounding casual sex and demands that the patriarchal scripts of hook-up culture be re-written.

Utilizing her background as a cabaret performer, Fidler employs both comedic flair and emotional depth to critically engage with delicate topics.  She celebrates the power of sex while refusing to elevate it to sacrosanct divinity, aiming to liberate audiences from the constraints of patriarchal ideology and internalized misogyny.

Happy Days

Oh this is going to be another happy day!” – Winnie

Under a mute sky of blazing light; Winnie, sunk to her waist in a mound of sand, and her husband Willie, mostly immobile in a cave behind her, attempt to cope with their doomed situation.

Winnie, “a bird with oil on her feathers“, as Beckett once described her, is woken by a bell “piercingly sharp like a knife“ that ignites her daily survival routine and quest to engage Willie with every aspect of it. Winnie‘s insatiable need for human connection and Willie’s unwillingness or inability to answer it, contribute to their “nec cum te and nec sine te” / “neither with you nor without you” bond, full of tragicomic moments, culminating in an ambiguous surprise once Winnie is neck-deep in the sand.

Happy Days first premiered in 1961 in New York and has since then unquestionably become a classic of the modern stage. In 2022, The Independent named it one of the 40 best plays of all time. More than six decades later, Beckett’s darkly comic vision of the apocalypse and the banality that comes after remains as timely as the day he wrote it.

Walter Asmus collaborated with Samuel Beckett on numerous theater and television productions from 1974 until the author’s death in 1989. He has directed all of Samuel Beckett’s plays internationally. His 1991 production of Waiting for Godot at Dublin’s Gate Theatre was revived multiple times, toured internationally until as late as 2008 and was accepted by critics and academics alike as “definitive”.

The role of Winnie is played by Berlin-based Irish actor Mary Kelly. Mary has performed extensively in Ireland, including at the Gate Theatre, and in Germany most regularly at English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.

The role of Willie is played by Tomas Spencer, who began his career at ETB | IPAC in the early 2000s and has gone on to appear in numerous films and television programs, including The Last Station, Nymphomaniac and Passport To Freedom.

Photos:  ETB_Maureen Gleason (“Winnie”) / Rosie Condon (Mary Kelly) / Tim Dobrovolny (Tomas Spencer)

Where Ye From?

by Growler

Meet Growler, the 82-year-old drum banging, shamanic vulva from the Liberties in Dublin.

Wise as witches with a tongue like a lash and a heart of gold, she will take you on an alchemical theatrical journey.

Using storytelling, song, spoken word and comedy, her mission is to give voice to the voiceless and to transmute the shite out of the female collective trauma.

“The beauty of Growler is in its roughness, its erratic meandering, its refusal to be one thing or another. It has a sacred chaos of its own, in which Mulrooney thrives.”
The List

The Examination

by Brokentalkers

“I’d like the people to know I’m not an animal. Did I cause harm? Yes. Should I be punished? Of course. But do I deserve my human rights? Absolutely I do.”

The Examination is the award-winning production by Brokentalkers exploring mental health and human rights in the prison system, performed by Brokentalkers’ Gary Keegan and stand-up comedian and former prisoner Willie White.

Featuring Brokentalkers’ distinctive blend of biography, socio-political discourse and breathtaking theatricality, The Examination draws on historical research and testimony from current and former prisoners. With powerful imagery and a visceral soundscape, The Examination is an uncompromising and revelatory interrogation of an aspect of society too often ignored.

The Examination is the outcome of a 12-month research period that saw Brokentalkers’ directors Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon hold theater workshops and interviews with life sentence prisoners and former prisoners in various settings including Mountjoy Prison and PACE Training and Education Services. They have also drawn on wider historical analysis undertaken by Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD) and Professor Hilary Marland.

Best Production – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020

Best Soundscape (Denis Clohessy) – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020

Best Production – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019

Best Performer (Willie White) – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Superbly slippery piece of theatre” – The Stage
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “No easy escapes in Brokentalkers’ sly, provocative play” – The Irish Times
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Again and again, ‘The Examination’ pulls the rug out from under you” – Fest

Brokentalkers was founded in 2001 by Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan after graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester. For over a decade, Brokentalkers have been making formally ambitious work that defies categorization and have built a reputation as one of Ireland’s most innovative and original theater companies.
Their working method is founded on a collaborative process that draws on the skills and experiences of a large and diverse group of contributors from different disciplines and backgrounds. Some are professional artists, performers, designers and writers, while others are people who do not usually work in the theater but who brings an authenticity to the work that is compelling.
They make work that responds to the contemporary world, using elements such as original writing, dance, classic texts, film, interviews, found materials and music to represent that world in performance.
Their recent work includes The Boy Who Never Was (Dublin Theatre Festival 2022), MASTERCLASS (Winner: The Scotsman Fringe First Award 2022, premiered at Project Arts Centre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2021), The Examination (premiered at Project Arts Centre 2019), Woman Undone (premiered at Project Arts Centre & Mermaid Arts Centre 2018, followed by a national tour in 2019 & 2020), The Circus Animals’ Desertion (Dublin Theatre Festival 2016), This Beach (Munich Kammerspiele, Dublin Fringe Festival 2016, followed by a national tour in 2017), Have I No Mouth (Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, followed by a national & international tour; winner of the Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh 2013) and The Blue Boy (Grand Prix winner, Kontakt Festival, Torun, Poland, 2014).
Brokentalkers have presented their work worldwide in over twenty countries.
Photos: Luca Truffarelli

 

 

 

 

 

Silent

Fishamble´s Silent by Pat Kinevane

Silent is the touching and challenging story of homeless McGoldrig, who once had splendid things. But he has lost it all – including his mind. He now dives into the wonderful wounds of his past through the romantic world of Rudolph Valentino.

​“Hopeless, helpless, in-the-way person”

Dare to laugh at despair and gasp at redemption in this brave, bleak, beautiful production for which Fishamble and Pat Kinevane won an Olivier Award in 2016.

“A passionate one-man show … Mr. Kinevane interprets Valentino’s highly theatrical screen presence to stunning effect … A carefully wrought production … [he] doesn’t just demand [the audience’s] attention, he commands it. And that difference is what makes Mr. Kinevane an artist of the theater.”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

​WINNER – Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Performer – Visiting Production, 2020
WINNER – Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, OLIVIER AWARD 2016
WINNER – Scotsman Fringe First and The Herald Angel, Edinburgh Festival 2011
WINNER – Argus Angel, Brighton Festival 2012

Pat Kinevane is a native of Cobh, Co. Cork. He has worked as an actor in theater, film, television and radio for 33 years. ​In 2016 Pat won a Laurence Olivier Award in London for his Outstanding Achievement as an Actor and a Writer this year. This prestigious award was shared with Fishamble and Jim Culleton who have been integral to the production and direction of Pat’s four solo shows. As a writer he completed his first full length play The Nun’s Wood in 1997 which won a BBC Stewart Parker Trust Award and was produced by Fishamble. Fishamble then produced his second play The Plains of Enna (Dublin Theatre Festival 1999). Pat wrote The Death of Herod for Mysteries 2000 at the SFX. In 2008 his piece Evangeline Elsewhere premiered in New York in the First Irish Festival.

Pat has been touring since 2006 with his four solo pieces Forgotten (Irish Times Theatre Award Nominee), Silent (Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel and Brighton Argus Angel Award), Underneath (Scotsman Fringe First and Adelaide Fringe Awards), and Before (Herald Archangel Award winner) all produced by Fishamble.

King

Fishamble´s KING by Pat Kinevane

KING tells the story of Luther, a man from Cork named in honour of his Granny Bee Baw’s hero, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Luther only leaves his apartment for essential journeys, and to perform as an Elvis impersonator. The play explores prejudice, privilege and resilience, as Luther struggles to live life to the full.

PICK OF THE FRINGE, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Nominated for the Mental Health Foundation award, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Nominated Solo Performance at the OffFest Awards, 2024

“incredibly compelling and poignant narrative”  – Irish Times    “the stagecraft [is] unsurpassed…immaculate” – Sunday Independent

“impressive…moments of pure Kinevane gold” – The Arts Review     “virtuosic theatricality…excellent…inventive” – Irish Independent

Pat Kinevane is a native of Cobh, Co. Cork. He has worked as an actor in theater, film, television and radio for 33 years. ​In 2016 Pat won a Laurence Olivier Award in London for his Outstanding Achievement as an Actor and a Writer this year. This prestigious award was shared with Fishamble and Jim Culleton who have been integral to the production and direction of Pat’s four solo shows. As a writer he completed his first full length play The Nun’s Wood in 1997 which won a BBC Stewart Parker Trust Award and was produced by Fishamble. Fishamble then produced his second play The Plains of Enna (Dublin Theatre Festival 1999). Pat wrote The Death of Herod for Mysteries 2000 at the SFX. In 2008 his piece Evangeline Elsewhere premiered in New York in the First Irish Festival.

Pat has been touring since 2006 with his four solo pieces Forgotten (Irish Times Theatre Award Nominee), Silent (Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel and Brighton Argus Angel Award), Underneath (Scotsman Fringe First and Adelaide Fringe Awards) and Before (Herald Archangel Award winner) all produced by Fishamble.
Photo: Maurice Gunning | Main Image: Leo Byrne, Publicis

Cascando

Pan Pan’s Cascando by Samuel Beckett

Accompany Samuel Beckett’s curious figures into an uncertain future. Attired in dark cloaks and given headphones, audiences are guided through a rhythmic, immersive, group choreographical experience.

First broadcast in 1963, Cascando begins with the curious character Opener (Daniel Reardon) setting the scene: the month of May, a time of “reawakening”.  The Opener commands two other presences: the winding Voice (Andrew Bennett) caught between arrest (” – stories … if you could finish it …”) and progress (“- nearly … just a few more … a few more”), and Music (designed by Jimmy Eadie), whole and forceful.

Director Gavin Quinn, dramaturg Nicholas Johnson and designer Aedín Cosgrove recognize this as a journey. The audience are sent walking in an outdoor landscape, wearing cloaks and listening to the play on headphones.  The unhurried pace of Bennett’s deep and riveting voice provides a rhythm for our steps, as we listen to Voice’s struggle to tell a story.

The absent figure named Woburn is identified by his “same old coat” and vague memories of a cave or shelter. As the same-dressed audience pass each other in the dark surroundings, it appears that images of the text have been slyly extracted. Has the audience been unknowingly cast as the play’s mystifying wanderer?

Along this journey, the tremendous pulse of Eadie’s music threatens to overwhelm. It rises in a wave of crashing strings, eventually settling to ring, pining, with Voice’s efforts. If you suspected that Woburn’s journey resembled a pilgrimage, Reardon’s sullen Opener somewhat confirms it, suggesting God and a parable: “two outings and a return, to the village, to the inn”.

Pan Pan was founded in 1993 by Co-Artistic Directors Aedín Cosgrove and Gavin Quinn. The company has created 52 new theater and performance pieces and toured worldwide, receiving multiple national and international awards. Pan Pan have toured extensively to prestigious venues and festivals around the world including BAM, Lincoln Center, St Ann’s Warehouse, NCPA China, Edinburgh International Festival Sydney and Melbourne Festivals, the Barbican and HAU Berlin. Since its inception, Pan Pan has constantly examined and challenged the nature of its work and has resisted settling into well-tried formulas. Developing new performance ideas is at the center of the company’s mission. All the works created are original, either through the writing (original plays) or through the totally unique expression of established writings. Pan Pan tries to approach theater as an open form of expression and has developed an individual aesthetic that has grown from making performances in a host of different situations
and conditions.
Photo: Matthew Andrews

 

Mustard

Fishamble´s Mustard by Eva O’Connor

When E meets the man of her dreams, a professional cyclist, love hits her in the pubic bone like a train. But when it ends she plummets into a black hole of heartbreak at the speed of a doped up team on the Tour de France.

​A one-woman show about heartbreak, madness and how condiments are the ultimate coping mechanism, by award-winning playwright & performer Eva O’Connor.

WINNER – Scotsman Fringe First Award 2019
WINNER – Lustrum Award, Edinburgh 2019
​NOMINATED – Scottish Mental Health Awards 2019
WINNER – Critic’s Circle Award, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2023

“Part Fleabag, part Marina Abramovic, it straddles the line between theatre and performance art. Eva O’Connor delivers a fiery performance that never wavers in its intensity… Her writing, too, is strong. The script is densely packed with jokes and rich metaphors and she explores the issue of mental health with sensitivity and aplomb.”
★★★★ Irish Times

“So scarring and funny, so laden with jealousy and hate and wickedness…The stagecraft is starkly simple, the set could be a work of conceptual art, but delicious and shocking to watch, if not to eat…What a privilege to see this …if you want to see a bit of real theatre, go see Mustard.”
★★★★ Scotsman

Eva O’Connor is a writer and performer from Ogonnelloe, County Clare. She studied English and German at Edinburgh University before completing an MA in theater ensemble from Rose Bruford drama school in London. Her plays include My Best Friend Drowned in a Swimming Pool, Kiss Me and You Will See How Important I Am, My Name is Saoirse, Overshadowed, The Friday Night Effect (co-written with Hildegard Ryan), Maz and Bricks and Mustard.
Eva’s runs her own company Sunday’s Child, with Hildegard Ryan. Eva has won various awards for her work including Best Emerging Artist Award, 2012 (Edinburgh Fringe), First Fortnight Award, 2014 (Dublin Fringe), Argus Angel Award, 2015 (Brighton Fringe), Fishamble Award for Best New Writing, 2015, Best Theatre Award, 2017 (Adelaide Fringe), Scotsman Fringe First Award in 2019 (Edinburgh Fringe) and Lustrum Award 2019 (Edinburgh Fringe).
Her play Overshadowed was recently adapted for television by BBC Three and Rollem productions, directed by Hildegard Ryan. It won Best Drama at the Mind Media Award 2019.
Eva has also written for radio. Her play My Name is Saoirse was adapted for radio by RTÉ Radio 1 and Eva’s short story The Midnight Sandwich was recently aired on BBC radio 4.
Photo: Jassy Earl