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Arts & Entertainment

The Arts and Entertainment Award was decided by public vote.

Award Recipient

Acting Out: The Decriminalisation Monologues

The 2020 GALA for Arts and Entertainment was won by Acting Out for their play The Decriminalisation Monologues. This is the company’s second GALA. Acting Out previously won the GALA for Irish Arts and Literature for The Ref and Paradise in 2017. The Dublin-based LGBT+ theatre company, which operates from Outhouse on Capel Street, performed The Decriminalisation Monologues as part of Dublin Pride 2018. The play celebrates Ireland’s 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

The Decriminalisation Monologues follows two characters’ stories; a gay man who moves to rural Ireland to live with his partner, and a woman who is ostracised at work. The play serves as a celebration of the people who lived through an oppressive Ireland to pave the way for a more progressive and inclusive society for all.

The show was also presented at Brighton Fringe Festival - where it received a nomination for Best New Play, Prague Fringe Festival and the Outburst Festival in Belfast. The play also garnered five star reviews from The British Theatre Guide and North West End.

Accepting the GALA on behalf of Acting Out, producer and writer Sean Denyer spoke candidly about the play’s intentions: “The Decriminalisation Monologues is a play that was made to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexual activity in Ireland.” Denyer acknowledged that while the anniversary was hugely significant, it was more or less ignored by every cultural institution in the state. Having said that, Denyer added that the hugely positive reception they received reaffirmed that the show had achieved what it had set out to do. Denyer said, “We have received more feedback for this show than any other we have done, and some of that has been very moving.” Denyer dedicated the award to members of Ireland’s LGBT+ community who have experienced prejudice simply for being who they are. He acknowledged, in particular, those who have been bullied and ostracised at work, those who have been stigmatised for their HIV status, and those who have been barred from attending their partner’s funeral. Honouring these people, Denyer said, “On their shoulders we stand.”

Denyer added that it was a tremendous honour to receive the GALA saying, “We have been lucky to have this show at Brighton, Prague and Manchester, but to receive this recognition from our own community is a very special moment.”

Denyer extended his thanks and gratitude to the cast and crew, his fellow writers Colette Cullen and Simon Murphy, the show’s directors, the actors who brought it to life and Outhouse on Capel Street which served as a home for the play.

Denyer concluded with a line from the show itself: “You see people forget what it was like back then. Everything has changed so much that it’s easy to forget. But our rights were hard won, and they shan’t be taken away. They’d do well to remember that.”

2019 also saw Acting Out’s production of Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina, which was performed as part of the Dublin Pride Festival.

In addition to their professional production company, Acting Out hosts a community based theatre strand which operates workshops and classes at Outhouse every Thursday evening from 7-9 PM. The group is open to all. The best time to join the programme is at the start of term in September.

For more information on how to get involved, visit www.actingoutgroup.com.

Nominees

LINC Drama Group

LINC (Lesbians in Cork) has provided a vital service for Cork’s queer women for over 20 years. As well as promoting equality and advocacy for queer women, LINC has a number of clubs that are open to all. This year was a particularly sensational year for LINC’s Drama Group. In February, the players took to the stage for a performance of Orla Egan’s Leeside Ladies at the launch of Outing the Past under Sonya Matthews’ direction. LINC Drama Group meets weekly - to get involved, and to see the other activities and groups for queer women in Cork, visit www.linc.ie for more info.

DJ Gerry Moore

DJ Gerry Moore - or GerBear for his friends and fans -is a mainstay of Ireland’s LGBT+ music scene. This year saw the iconic DJ celebrate 30 years in the business. Throughout his career, GerBear has become nothing short of an icon, especially among Ireland’s proud community of bears. Highlights of this year include his triumphant return to Ireland’s biggest bear fest - the iconic Bear Feile, as well as his unforgettable set at Dublin Bear’s Halloween party -the brilliantly named Grab Em By The Ghoulies.

Jack Shaun Murphy

The Fair City actor - who is also nominated for the GALA for LGBT+ Public Figure - is recognised not only for his activism, but for his contribution to Ireland’s arts and entertainment scene. The Dublin actor, blogger and YouTuber - who also appeared in Vogue Wiliams’ documentary On The Edge - made history in 2017 as the first trans character in Carrigstown. This year, Murphy played a pivotal role in Call It Out - the civil campaign that highlighted and addressed the damage of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Next up for Murphy is Cost You Nothing, a short film by Patricia Kelly.

Rodrigo Ternevoy

Originally from Sao Paolo, Brazil, Rodrigo Ternevoy moved to Ireland over ten years ago in search of a new beginning. Here, he met his husband David and launched a very successful acting career. Though he had a steady job back in Brazil, Ternevoy dove into the deep end and followed his passion - acting - in Ireland. He enrolled in Bow Street, and after a few extra gigs he found success in his breakthrough role as Christiano in Fair City. Additionally, Ternevoy has appeared in the 2019 film The Green Sea, and Big Boys Don’ Cry - a short film that examines masculinity and depression.

This article appears in the 363 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 363 Issue of GCN