Dance, performance and more – so many rich gems to be enjoyed at this year’s at this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Check out our features online and in print this month, but in the meantime, here’s a selection of five of our picks for 2018.
Promising to be equal parts witty, poignant and beautiful, Assisted Solo by Company Philip Connaughton explores how we support each other to be our best versions of ourselves. The work draws on Connaughton’s personal experience as a carer for his mother, who lives with advanced dementia. A performer and choreographer of grace, wit and verve, Connaughton’s previous work (Tardigrade, Extraterrestrial Events) has managed to tread the elusive line between farce and beauty, reflecting the complexity and contradictions of the human experience.
Unwoman is the new work from Dublin-based theatre-maker, composer, tireless-social-activist and well-informed feminist Maeve Stone (The Shitstorm, Wake).
Created in collaboration with Australian feminist collective The Rabble (also one of Australia’s most celebrated companies) and performer Olwen Fouéré (most recently in Jesse Jones’ Tremble, Tremble), Unwoman is the first international collaboration commissioned by Dublin Fringe Festival.
With a blurb in the key of The Handmaid’s Tale (‘A postmenopausal woman carries her unborn child, subject to constant physical labour.’), the the work is shaping up to be a boundary-pushing mixture of physicality, sound and text.
TALK/SYMPOSIUM Roisin Agnew – I Am Dynamite
The brainchild of Guts magazine editor Roisin Agnew, I Am Dynamite is a two-day ‘creative symposium on dissent’ that looks at what this word means for art in our current topsy turvy world of liberal groupthink and radical conservatives. With a solid line-up of thinkers, makers and shakers, this promises to be an … explosive … chat/performance series unfolding over two days. Most excitingly, Agnew’s programmed The Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence (Gary Farrelly and Chris Dreier), an irreverent and intelligent ongoing artistic project all the way from Brussels/Berlin.
Anarchic, weird and sprawling, Meltybrains? are an Irish band known for unpredictable performances of electronic music. In the interests of objectivity, here are some press reviews from the ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ press sections of their website: Good: Their live show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and unique shows in Ireland, if not the world. (Feel Good Lost) Bad: Meltybrains? are the only band I ever walked out on. They’re a really popular Dublin band who are irredeemably shit and unironically have a question mark in their name. (4chan) As part of this year’s Fringe, they’re playing on the Abbey main stage, a rare chance to see chaos unfold in our national theatre.
“If I were a seahorse, he’d be pregnant”
As opening lines for a theatre production go, this is up there with the most engaging and intriguing. Christiane O’Mahony and For The Birds explore the life of Mara, a 35-year-old overqualified underachiever. Blending performance, animation and videography, this surreal underwater experience is about trying to be grown-up and wishing you were seahorse.
Words: Rachel Donnelly, Rose Ugoalah
Seahorse Image: Ste Murray