Setting the Scene: Seven Picks To Enjoy at Dublin Fringe Festival 2023!

Posted 2 weeks ago in Theatre Features

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The joyous juggernaut that is the Fringe Festival starts this month under the helm of new director David Francis Moore. Here’s seven which have taken our fancy.


We loved the electronic slow dance vibe of Crowd in the theatre festival last year. With Mosh, we are promised “a high-octane dance, theatre and music show about moshing and heavy metal culture.”

Five performers dive into the deeper meaning behind a misunderstood subculture. Is this violence or dancing? What are the rules?

Headbangers need apply.

Project Arts Centre, September 13-17, 6,15pm, €14-€18



Developed by Storey Horse Productions through the Fringe Lab and the Scene + Heard festival of new work, Retch is a debut work by Leanne Bickerdike which explores the world through the eyes of an angry, broke, young woman who is grief stricken after the death of her mother and unable to communicate with her father.

Set in Dublin in the mid ‘90s, this promises to be an intensive and fast-paced, physical theatre, one-woman show. Bickerdike cites influences such as Mark O’ Rowe and Sarah Kane.

Bewley’s Cafe Theatre, September 19-23, 6pm: 19th, 1pm & 8pm: 21st, 6pm: 22nd & 23rd, €11-€13



Image: Cian Jordan

In the near future, the Taoiseach announces that they have sold Dublin to corporate investors who plan on turning it into a Dublin-themed theme park, offering an experience as “more Irish than Ireland itself…”

That’s the premise of DublinLand, a daring, biting and wonderfully bizarre satire of all that Dublin is, and all that it’s becoming. Writers/performers Cian Jordan and Matthew Tallon, seek to explore the uniquely modern sense of social alienation that comes when a city starts to feel like a performance of itself. As they put it, “When your own identity is for sale, and you can only barely afford it. This play gives a voice to the discomfort we’ve all been feeling as the city gets sold from underneath us, while offering a cathartic comedic outlet for our collective outrage.” Indeed!

The Lir Academy [Studio 2] September 10 – 16.


Just A Minute

“Alienated, delusional, and with a monumental crush on the straight boy in the office, our intern is the ultimate corporate flop,” says the blurb for Conor Murray’s one-man theatrical comedy show.

“Join him for one life-changing day as he attempts to suppress his queerness and rise through the ranks at the Greenwich Meantime Museum.”

Just a Minute was developed as part of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts masters programme course exploring queer relationships to time and how distraction through work is a frequently used coping mechanism to deal with mental health.

Bewley’s Cafe Theatre, September 14-17, 1pm: 14-16th, 6pm: 16-17th, 8pm: 14th, €11-€13



The inimitable Fried Plantains Collective return to Dublin Fringe Festival, with their riotous live music and performance art-party BLACK JAM, an award-winning celebration of queer, punk, African and Irish musicians, performers and producers.

Now in it’s 4th year at the Fringe, this edition of BLACK JAM is set to serve up a sumptous feast of homegrown and international artists, all exploring themes of esotericism, sensuality, loneliness, and intimacy in an unstable, anxious world.  In the wake of upheaval, how do we gather together to play?

The incredible line-up attempting to answer that very question includes LIONSTORM, Coolgirl, DIAxDEM (Renn & Sal), Cami, Osaro, Nicol Faer, Leo Pellegatta, Niamh Beirne, and Rúairí Conneely. We can’t wait!

Bello Bar, Friday September 15, 8pm until late, €15


You’re Needy (sounds frustrating)

Image: Allie Whelan

This fascinating production from experimental theatre company tasteinyourmouth explores the all too common experience of living in your parents’ house in Dublin as a young person today, in parallel with the insidious ideology of the “wellness” industry and its intersection with capitalism.

Produced by Emma Coen, the play looks at the many ways in which the latter both seek to control women’s bodies under the label of “self-care”, touching on sleep, monotony, meditation and medication in the twenty-first century along the way. Oh, and did we mention Gwyneth Paltrow?

The unique offsite piece will be performed in a (real!) bathroom with one performer for one audience member and tasteinyourmouth creators Grace Morgan, Will Dunleavy and Laoise Murray tell us that we can look forward to experiencing an original work that is uncanny, shiny and feminist, in keeping with everything else they do.

Developed at FRINGE LAB. Supported by Dublin Fringe Festival’s Make Space For Art Fund. Supported by Corcadorca, Pavilion Theatre, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Shawbrook Residential, Pan Pan Starter Programme and Camden People’s Theatre.

Pembroke Cottages, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 (Meeting Point) September 14, 15, 19 to 22.


Life, Itself

Image: Yosef Phelan

In Life, Itself, Irish pop sensation ÓDÚ brings her debut album to Dublin Fringe Festival, and in the process creates a semi-autobiographical piece of gig theatre set to bring audiences on a special night out filled with some cracking pop bangers.

ÓDÚ explores the highs and lows of living life outside the norm, the tyranny of individual ambition, and the struggle to maintain platonic love in a world obsessed with romance.  As life in the city contracts and friends and community drift further and further apart, the play asks, how do we celebrate a life we never could have predicted?

Smock Alley Theatre, Black Box, September 14 – 16.

Dublin Fringe Festival runs from September 9 to 24.


The Abbey Theatre is proud to support the ‘Curtain Call’ section of Totally Dublin. This initiative aims to support discourse around theatre practitioners, venues and productions in Irish society.


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Dublin Theater Festival -23 – MPU


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