All I See Is You
Hailing from the UK, All I See Is You documents the forbidden passion between two men in the years before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partly decriminalised homosexual acts. We talked to writer Kathrine Smith about the show.
“It’s a powerful, moving and sometimes funny two-hander about two ordinary lads poised between lust, self-doubt and imprisonment.
“Ciarán Griffiths of Shameless fame plays Bobby whose world is turned upside down after meeting Ralph. One kiss and they’re both hooked, but it’s 1967 and their love is illegal. While Ralph buries his head in his books and tries courting his sister’s pal, Bobby can’t deny who he is and throws himself into the underground queer scene risking blackmail and arrest.
“I wrote the play for the 2017 Bolton Octagon National Prize which coincided with the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation. Back in the 1960’s men were arrested on the slightest suspicion of being queer and the police would routinely trick them into revealing any associates. While was doing the research it was shocking to discover the terrible things many had to go through to hide their sexuality. I knew wanted to write a love story that celebrates the courage it took for queer people to overcome prejudice and be their true selves.
“Now the play is on tour, it’s alarming to see gay rights back under the spotlight with news of Brunei’s vile anti LGBT+ laws. We just want the same as everyone else – to be free to fall in love.”
A Drunk Lesbian Love Affair
Canadian-Ecuadorian writer and performer Thalia Gonzalez Kane fills us in on the genesis of her show - A Drunk Lesbian Love Affair.
“One night was with a dear lover I’d been on and off with for a while. I was a bit tipsy and exclaimed, ‘I’m going to write a play about you!’ She responded, ‘What’s it going to be called -A Drunk Lesbian Love Affair?’ very quickly wrote the name down.
“A few months later, as found myself coming into my queerness stumbled upon that title once again. I started to consider, why do relationships work out when they do? Why can it be so hard to accept our sexuality and feelings? What exactly are we under the influence of when we’re in lust? In love? How do we know the difference? These questions formed the basis of what the show has become.
“People can expect to see scenes and feelings they recognise from their own life, or someone else they may know. The show, at its core, is about desire, longing and figuring out what love is. It’s about accepting oneself, however that may come about. People coming to the show should expect an intimate piece where the chaos of life is embraced and celebrated for what it is. I hope people will find comfort and familiarity with the feelings explored in the show that inherently make us all human. Messy, confusing, imperfect and beautiful humans.”
The homegrown theatre piece, Revolting Women: A Rebel Cabaret features a host of talented female artists celebrating the power of women. Producer Sonya Mulligan told us what to expect.
“The show is a response to the Waking The Feminists movement in 2015. BeRn, who created our first show Eastrogen Rising: A Rebel Cabaret, was indignant and thus inspired by the lack of women playwrights in the 2016 commemorations of the 1916 Rising. Revolting Women: A Rebel Cabaret was born from the ashes of that.
“It’s a show about women in Irish history, from 1916 forward, who have fought for their country, for the vote, for equal pay, for equal rights, for bodily autonomy, for dignity and respect. Told through a variety of performances, we remember women lost to Irish history, bringing them to life and telling their stories through song, dance, film, poetry and drama. It is a show of honesty, disgust, delight, heartbreak, anger, strength and power. It is a celebration of the resilience of women, from Grace Gifford to the Dunnes Stores Strikers to Repeal.
“I love getting to see work from all over the world and also discovering local productions that may not have been aware of before. It’s great to be part of a festival that highlights all aspects of queer life. IDGTF is an opportunity to push the boundaries and create work without limits.” On a side note, BeRn, the executive producer as well as one of the artists who will perform on the night, is releasing a CD of her music at The House Presents Venue on May 3. More information is available at www.bernmusic.ie.
Seattle based comedian and storyteller, Woody Shticks, is bringing his high impact extravaganza Schlong Song over from the US to entertain Irish audiences.
“I’ve had an unusually high number of unusual sexual experiences. My life (and my career) has been moulded by unruly sex - good, bad, and ugly - and Schlong Song began as a celebratory frolic through the landmines of queer intimacy. Through good ol’ fashioned storytelling, found frank discussions of sex to be the best-decorated entry point to confrontations of power and privilege while getting to the bottom of respectability politics. Plus, it’s the funnest plunge into fruitful vulnerability around!
“Folks should expect salacious comedy, fitness montages, soft lights, hard truths, strip-tease shenanigans, emotional nudity, ravenous revelations, and a damn good time built on sound storytelling.
“My great grandparents Duffy moved to New York from Galway, and when hitchhiked around the country first in 2012, felt right at home. I’m excited to splash my Irish American comedy all over Dublin and to revel in the ever-growing network of queer makers from around the world.”
A Southern Fairytale
Writer and performer Ty Autry brings his story of a gay Christian growing up in America’s Deep South to Dublin. So where did the idea for A Southern Fairytale come from?
“My inspiration started with my mentor, Alex Bond, who told me before she passed away that should write down my story because people needed to hear this journey. I took it upon myself to look at my past and my adventures of growing up in the Deep South part of Georgia and create this fictional character who takes a similar path to mine. His journey with faith and queer identity is a struggle a lot of us have had or continue to have today.
“I’m hoping, dreaming, wishing, that people take away the level of impact our words have on others in our lives. Alex Belmont’s journey is marked by what people told him. I remember what people said to me after every single time I came out of the closet, and yes, came out of the closet three different times. Talk about a journey!
“The audience can expect to go through a full range of emotions while watching. It’s a sassy queer show full of humour, but also don’t hold back my punches at showcasing the damage done by a community that was supposed to protect me, while at the same time, proving that forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal.”