Thursday 27 April 2017

Review: Riot delivers one of the most colourful nights out Dublin has ever seen

Riot, Spiegeltent, Merrion Square, Dublin

Riot features Emmet Kirwan (Dublin Oldschool), Queen of Ireland Panti, Up and Over It, The Lords of Strut, Ronan Brady, Alma Kelliher, Megan Riordan, Ruth Smith, Nicola Kavanagh and Adam Matthews.
Riot features Emmet Kirwan (Dublin Oldschool), Queen of Ireland Panti, Up and Over It, The Lords of Strut, Ronan Brady, Alma Kelliher, Megan Riordan, Ruth Smith, Nicola Kavanagh and Adam Matthews.
Rory O'Neill 'Panti'. Pantibar, Capel Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

As Culture Night vultures flock around Merrion Square, a much more flamboyant strand of cultural expression takes flight in the newly installed Spiegeltent.

At previous fringe events, the distinctive mirrored travelling tent was often not used to its full effect. Riot occupy every inch of an in-the-round stage for a kaleidoscopic evening of theatre, music, comedy, drag, variety, circus performances and searing social commentary.

Riot also marks the tenth anniversary of Thisispopbaby; a theatre company who have staged numerous bold and daring productions in the Abbey, IMMA and Electric Picnic, plus nationwide tours from national treasure and “accidental activist” Panti.

The Queen of Ireland also contributes to Riot with an impassioned and inspiring speech on how destiny doesn’t really exist and you simply have to seize the day and fulfil your dreams through sheer hard graft.

Panti is probably the only performer in Ireland, and quite possibly the world, who can wear a medical boot to nurse a leg injury and still look stylish.

Emmet Kirwan raps about repealing the eight amendment, poverty, inequality and the challenges of modern life and the audience hang onto his every word. It packs more of a visceral punch sandwiched between strip tease routines and sketches from spandex sporting comedy duo Lords of Strut and Up and folk dance misfits Up & Over It.

Riot more than lives up to its name in delivering one of the most colourful nights out Dublin has ever seen.

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