Fringe Preview : The Circus Of Perseverance

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The 8th of September brings the Absolut Fringe festival back into town for sixteen days of arts, music, comedy and theatre. A self-proclaimed “dream  factory”, it’s probably safe to say there is something for every taste on show from comedy about finding Fassbender to a showcase of photographs of everything tight jeaned in the brilliantly titled ‘Hipsters We Met and liked’. One such show that sums up this up is the highly ambitious ‘The Circus Of Perseverance’ starting from the 10th of September in The Back Loft.  Set in Dublin the play deals with the very real and common problem of feeling everything is a little bit rubbish at the moment and wanting to escape that. Using a series of interwoven stories the characters will break out from the crowd of negativity all set in a circus theme.   ‘The Circus of Perseverance’ is a rambunctious, highly profane production that … There’s more

Theatre: Singlehood @ The Absolut Fringe

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I have to admit I’m not really one for theatre stuff. I am. But I am-ish, not. It’s a bit like, The Strokes are playing The O2. Yeah ? I’ll think about it. As versus Led Zep are playing. Yeah ? Mee meep. Roadrunner. I’m already there. Theatre, does that to me. Sometimes however you get a wee little kick in the wotsits. A good kick. A metaphorical one, so to speak and you think could this be the next example of hindsight I may use in a pub quiz ? Like the time The White stripes came to Ireland just after I saw them on Jools Holland and I never went and regretted it ever since ? What kind of play makes me say that ? One with comedian and actor legend Eric Lalor in it. Well, that’s how I cocked an eye and then watched this video below … There’s more

Preview: Absolut Fringe Festival 2011

Always doing things a little bit differently, Dublin’s Fringe Festival (which continues its partnership with Absolut this year), launched this morning with a breakfast buffet rather than the usual drinks reception. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and bolder than any of the previous 16, incorporating nearly 900 artists in 82 shows which will take place in 34 venues across the city from September 10-25.  

Absolut Fringe Review: Lipstick Service

When the press release for Lipstick Service arrived it sounded like something a little bit different. “Prison is the setting for LIPSTICK SERVICE, a cutting edge production from La-Di-Da, which premieres in this year’s Absolut Fringe.  The play centres on the experiences of three female prisoners, Natasha, Chrisso and Faith, and their ability to cope with life behind bars.  In an engaging and gripping presentation, these women reveal the raw truth and harsh reality of living within a prison community.” Then again, press releases have a habit of using adjectives like ‘engaging’ and ‘gripping’ and ‘raw’ with wild abandon so we weren’t particularly worried about picking two seats in the front row until the lights came up on the opening scene of a girl being forced to go down on a prison officer. It’s intensely difficult to look away from something on stage the way you can on TV. There’s … There’s more

Absolut Fringe: The Cappuccino Culture

The Cappuccino Culture – this was a fun show. On entering the Boys School in Smock Alley each audience member is handed a tourist map of Dublin with a colour (your team), a number, and a phrase, place or name written on it. The performance began with each performer welcoming the audience in their own language and I was reminded of the Eurovision results process when everything is repeated several times in quick succession in different languages. Except in Eurovision it is usually just English and French – here we had 14 performers! Next the performers introduce themselves or each other through short little snippets of information in a very lovely and interesting way about what ‘groups’ they belong to – the 80% of people who are afraid of rats, for example or the 0.1% of the population who dislike chocolate. And with that we were off into the game … There’s more

Absolut Fringe: Heroin

Heroin. What did I expect to see in a show about heroin addicts? Some skangers banging up, robbing their grannies for a few quid, making a mess of things and coming to a nasty or sad or messy end. Did I get that? No. Heroin was very different to that. It was almost a play about actors playing heroin addicts. Maybe that’s what it was, I wasn’t sure when they were playing addicts and when they were playing the actors playing addicts. I saw this on Wednesday evening and I am still unsure as to whether or not I enjoyed it. “Enjoy” is probably the wrong word. I was hooked on their words, on their action. I took out my notebook to take notes but I wrote nothing, not one word. Although at times it was violent, loud and aggressive, I couldn’t look away. The seven people who left at … There’s more

Absolut Fringe: Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again…

Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again… I was unsure about this show before I went in. I knew that Shane had done a very successful show, Group Therapy For One both at last years Fringe and at this years Kilkenny Arts Festival but I had managed to miss it both times. But surely someone who does one man shows is a bit of an egotist? A bit full of himself, a bit arrogant? Well maybe he is, but I certainly didn’t see it in ‘Shane Byrne left his SLEEPING BAG in the car again…’ The set, a scouting campsite, was done so simply and wonderfully. There was a small bit of audience participation which was great, it made everything comfortable and personal and it felt like a dialogue for the rest of the show rather than a monologue. Shane Byrne is a naturally funny guy and … There’s more

Absolut Fringe review: Group Therapy for One

Last evening I saw one of the most interesting shows I’ve seen at Absolut Fringe thus far. It’s Group Therapy for One by a young and exciting theatre company called TheatreClub. “Shane’s a bit fucked up. He wants us all to go to his gaff, where he’s holding an inquest into his life. With the bravado of his father and the softness of his mother, he will tell you things he doesn’t want you to know. Some say he’s comedy gold. Other’s think he’s self-indulgent. Why don’t you decide? If you’re lucky, he might even invite you to his 21st!” So we meet as directed on O’Connell Bridge where we’re then taken by bus to Shane’s house by a few of his friends, including the director of the show. We’re given an introduction to who Shane is, or rather the good side and attributes of Shane as a counter-balance to … There’s more

To err is human, to Arrrr is pirate

Avast ye landlubbing sons of Culchurs! Saturday be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Yahrrr. I knows this because I be a matey over on the fair ship Facebook where there’s swag to be blagged, booty to be heaved and tickets to be won to see THE LOST PIRATES down at the Metro Bosco Theatre in Dublin tomorrow night. Their gig be one of “fusing Pirate Shanties with Disco, Ska, Punk, and Rum” while telling the story of Captain Porkbelly vs the dreaded Siamese Pirate Twins. It sounds like a raucous night out. There be people already talking like pirates for this, the 14th International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Started in 1995 by John Baurand Mark Summers, it’s become a pretty much worldwide celebration of all things pirate. Take a look at what people – everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Trivial Pursuit – have said in past … There’s more

Interview: Broken Croí/Heart Briste, a bilingual play at ABSOLUT FRINGE

What it’s called: Broken Croí/Heart Briste Where it is: Filmbase, Temple Bar When it is: 7pm every evening until Saturday, September 19 How long it is: 40 mins How much it is: €16 or €13 I sat down with the cast – Manchán Mangan and Eva O Connor – after this play in Gaeilge and English to find out how it developed and how the run was going for them: You can read my review and more about the play below.

Competition: The Legend of Zocorro tickets

***Competition now closed*** Read my review of The Legend of Zocorro? Thought it sounded like fun? Well thanks to the lovely Leonor Bethencourt, the lady behind the mask, we have a pair of tickets to give away to tonights performance of Absolut Fringe Festival show The Legend Of Zocorro at 6pm in Bewleys Café Theatre. To enter the competition, please leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the show The competition closes at 3pm and I’ll email the winner with details. Venue: Bewleys Café Theatre, Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Time: 6pm, 16 September (tonight)

Review: Red Lola at the Mill Street Studios, part of ABSOLUT Fringe

Ever watched a play that you’re not entirely sure what’s going on for most of it, where the unexpected keeps on happening, where you’re laughing but you shouldn’t and where you come out thinking “Wow, that was good”? Well, that was Red Lola for me. Asylum Theatre brought their show – a sold-out run at the Cork Midsummer Festival – to the Mill Street Studios for the past week and Saturday was the first chance we had to see it. I’m very glad we did. While the blurb is just that bit extreme: Red Lola just left grandma’s house and strayed right off the path. Red Lola’s not a little girl anymore. Red Lola lives in a land where pre-teenage girls wear Playboy tee-shirts, and every male is a potential predator, where premature sexuality and the fear of ‘stranger danger’ collide. Red Lola is a surreal and darkly comic journey … There’s more

The rest of ABSOLUT FRINGE – it’s not too late to see great shows!

We’re in the second week of the ABSOLUT FRINGE Festival and there’s still loads to go, see and experience. Here’s a few of what I’d recommend (and will be going to see). Go on, have a look below. You might enjoy it!