Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dublin Fringe Festival starts with tall story

Published 11/09/2010 | 05:00

Macnas performer Debbie Wright is dwarfed by the 15-foot puppet that stalked around the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin, yesterday
Macnas performer Debbie Wright is dwarfed by the 15-foot puppet that stalked around the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin, yesterday

STALKING softly on giant papier mache feet, the boy explorer flutters his net in a bid to capture an elusive butterfly, as the wild beasts from his dreams come alive.

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Who else could it be but Macnas, the ultimate creators of fantasy -- and back in Dublin after an eight-year absence.

The Galway theatre group will tonight stage an opening spectacular of the Absolut Dublin Fringe Festival in the square in Collins Barracks museum. The event is open to the public, free of charge and starts at 8pm, finishing off with a visual feast of pyrotechnics.

Head of Services at the National Museum of Ireland Seamus Lynam said it was delighted to have the museum at Collins Barracks recognised as a cultural space, and to engage with the city in a new and modern way.

"We want to let people know that the museum is here," he said.

With public grants looking like "chopped liver", things may have become increasingly tough in the arts world.

But you would never have guessed at the launch of the 16th annual Dublin Fringe Festival yesterday.

Starting off with the Macnas show, the festival will continue until September 26, with 16 days and nights of performing arts, music and comedy.

From a surprise comedy show staged at a dole queue, to the recreation of horrific murders using glove puppets, no stone has been left unturned in a bid to shock and awe audiences.

"It's going to be exciting," promised festival director Róise Goan, who expects 5,000 people to attend tonight's event and 50,000 to attend in total over the duration of the festival.

The festival will focus mostly on the Absolut Fringe Factory on Lower Liffey Street. It will feature: music by Taylor Mac and YouTube sensation Miranda Sings; an eclectic Irish music weekend with Camille O'Sullivan; a Pocket Jazz festival; and an Icelandic weekend of music with Amiina, Olof Arnalds and FM Belfast.

Also on the bill are comedy set the Pajama Men, with a hurricane of bizarre characters blending theatrical skill with side-splitting humour.

Irish Independent

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