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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.

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)

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

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

Happy Days

From now until mid-June, ETB | IPAC will present a series of notable Irish guest performances as well as a brand-new production of the Irish classic Happy Days as part of ZEITGEIST IRLAND 24, a season of Irish arts and culture in Germany, funded by Culture Ireland.

Before we present six award-winning shows by Pan Pan, Brokentalkers, Pat Kinevane, Eva O’Connor and Dee Mulrooney as part of the three-week festival IRISH THEATRE BERLIN in May and June, our new production of the dystopian classic Happy Days by Irish playwright and Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett, directed by Walter D. Asmus, a long-time collaborator and friend of Beckett, marks the beginning of our focus on Ireland.

“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)

Cynthia

Cynthia was a model, an influencer, a socialite, a celebrity and a household name in the USA in 1933.

But unlike other celebrities of her day, she got dismantled into pieces at the end of her day and stowed away in a body bag. Cynthia was a mannequin. Her creator, Lester Gaba, a window display designer in New York City, became her manager, puppeteer, and chaperone, taking her to dinner clubs, theater premieres and fashion shows, and performing for her and answering for her to her adoring fans.

Let this duet between Berlin drag king Alexander Cameltoe as Lester Gaba and a puppet version of himself as Cynthia, take you down the slippery slope from entertaining spectacle into the uncanny valley.

The play will be then performed at House of Yes in New York City in April.

In English

Maryša (Is Silent)

This nonverbal production of a classic Czech drama about a woman in an arranged marriage, who turns to murder in her desperation, is an extraordinary piece that not only touches on womens’ issues, but also on the domestic tradition of the realist drama.

The story is told without words – making it all the more intense: bottomless abysses of desperation meet powerful eruptions of passionate emotions, with shocking brutality and profound humanity, all performed with a good measure of exaggeration.

In 2019, the production was nominated for the Divadelní noviny theatre magazine award and actor Andrea Berecková was a nominated for the Thalia Award.

The Trojan Women

A production in collaboration with Ukrainian women actors who sought refuge in the Czech Republic.

Critics have celebrated this production as the most meaningful comment on the war on Ukraine in the Czech Republic.

The stories of the great heroes of the Trojan War have been burnt into our memory – but we usually forget the women who survived it. What will happen once the war is over? And what will begin again? The characters of the Trojan women are played by Ukrainian actresses without men.

This modern adaptation of the classical tragedies by Euripides, The Trojan Women and Hecuba, directed by Jakub Čermák and featuring Ukrainian women who found temporary asylum in Czechia in the leading roles, places its focus not on the current military conflict but instead on the victims of war in general.

Rumors in the Shadows

Berlin International Youth Theatre takes a trip to the castle of Henry VIII in the year 1535, where the power of rumor can cost you your head.

In this era of the internet, it’s hard to believe that we are as just easily manipulated as we were centuries ago. Drowning in a sea of misinformation while the one percent call the shots.

Our story: While the sneaky servant observes everything, the king’s trusted page is sent to spread fake news to incriminate Queen Anne Boleyn. Her loyal fans don’t believe it and try to stop the rumors. Other rumors are circulating as well, the ladies-in-waiting are running scared, everyone knows King Henry is a sexual predator but no one dares to do anything about it. Still more rumors are spreading which question the king’s sanity. We all know how this ends for the queen but how does it end for the pawns?