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Gay Theatre Festival


Shoegirl gets all cultural

Very quietly, May is creeping into our lives, and with it, the Dublin Gay Theatre festival. This has been an excellent festival in recent years and this year should be no exception. Festivities start today and continue until 19th May, with plenty for all tastes, and even a few shows that are family friendly.

This year’s venues include The Cobalt Cafe, The Teachers Club, James Joyce Centre Players Theatre but also Pantibar and The Front Lounge, amongst others. So there is a venue to suit everybody. Most are small, situated off the north-end of O’Connell St and tickets are priced€ 15 for full price tickets and €13 for concessions. There are also about half a dozen free events for those who can’t afford to pay, so no excuse for not coming.


Eilish O'Carroll from Live, Love, Laugh

For the Birds
Live, Love, Laugh is a one woman comedy show featuring out actress Eilish O’Carroll. This includes the intriguing request to the audience to be there at least 10 minutes early to “assist our front of house staff” so we take it audience participation is involved. (Players Theatre)

Shout! – the mod musical involves no less than 5 girl performers, and music from 60s greats such as Dusty Springfield and Petulia Clarke. (Powerscourt Townhouse)

I Run, I Sing, I Swim, I Dive tells the tale of Countess Markeiviz’s women-loving sister Eva Gore-Booth (I didn’t know either). Well now you and I both have the chance to go and find out. (Teachers Club)

Maria Callas, worth fighting for


Free Stuff
Again, we are spoilt for music. The Lisbon Traviata appears to be basically 2 queens squabbling over Maria Callas (so what’s new?). It’s in Outhouse parterre.com is your only friend.

Interesting Stuff
Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince. A family friendly, musical setting of the Wilde classic, this is showing in the Teachers Club in Parnell Square. This is the classical parable of the prince statue and the migrating swallow that should cheer the cockles of your heart.

As an ex-musican who played and sang a lot of Handel and specialised largely in 17th and 18th century German music, I couldn’t resist mentioning Handel’s Cross. Described as fetish/drama, this is the tale of castrati and debauched divas. Just like modern opera and its performers really.

The Francis Bacon Opera, produced by UK based Upstart Opera, is described as “Pretentious nonsense masquerading as experimental theatre”. It’s on in the Hugh Lane Gallery and the James Joyce centre on Nth Gt George’s St. The very fact that they’ve used this review tempts me to go.


Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears


Yet more plays of a musical nature includes Once in a While the Odd Thing Happens, about gay English composer Benjamin Britten. His lifelong love affair with tenor Peter Pears is one of the few happy stories of gay life of the 20th century, so it could be interesting. At the James Joyce centre.

This is just a small taster of what is available, so there is no excuse for dropping over to the festival website and sampling these and other shows on offer.

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