Return to the Fringe

DubFringe5 -Maeve Higgins Moving CityCMYK

Culture vultures and lovers of the performing arts will once again be holding their breath in anticipation of this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. The first wave of news is upon us so we spoke with Róise Goan, Director of the Festival.

The news provided so far talks about the festival in thematic terms, as being about “activists, whistleblowers, women, children and industry”. We wanted to know how the themes of the festival are determined. “Well, we put out the call every year for applications, and they come in and as I sort through the work, themes emerge on their own. It’s what’s in the news, it’s what’s contemporary that the artists respond to.”

As befitting the imminent anniversary, one intention this year was integrating a sense of the significance of the 1913 Lock Out. One of the more hotly anticipated events this year is the ANU Production group’s production Thirteen, which will play out over as many days of the festival, with thirteen individual works gradually building to create a sense of the Lock Out unfolding in the present day.

The other elephant in the cultural room this year is, of course, The Gathering, which Dublin Fringe are supporting.
“Our response to the Gathering concerned Irish artists – or artists of Irish descent – who are based abroad and could bring a show back. There’ve been a lot of people bringing comedy this year – Maeve Higgins, pictured above, (of RTE’s Naked Camera) is debuting her first play with us. Then, on the other hand theatre artist Nic Green has a new show Fatherland which is about her Scottish roots, so it’s not just comedy.”

When asked what she is particularly excited about, Róise says simply, everything. “The festival is closely curated and I have had a hand in all of it, so I’m excited about everything. If I had to pick, I‘m looking forward to Taylor Mack’s 20th Century Music, which I recommend to all music fans: it’s a very eclectic approach to the music of the last century.”

See for details. The full programme launches August 13th.

Picture from the Dublin Fringe Press Office.

By Ruairi Conneely