Monday 26 August 2019

Dublin Fringe Festival: All the world is a stage with plays in Croker and the Dart

Dancing queens: Lucia Kickham (left) and Rachel Ní Bhraonáin at IMMA during the Dublin Fringe Festival programme launch yesterday. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Dancing queens: Lucia Kickham (left) and Rachel Ní Bhraonáin at IMMA during the Dublin Fringe Festival programme launch yesterday. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

From Atticus Finch’s closing argument in To Kill A Mockingbird, to Elle Wood’s perm related denouement in Legally Blonde, courtroom dramas always make for compulsive viewing.

And now for the first time, the prestigious Bencher's Room in Dublin's Four Courts is to become the venue for an immersive theatrical performance as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival.

In a bid to bring the arts outside their traditional homes, the organisers have chosen some rather unusual venues to stage plays this September.

Audience members attending 'The Justice Syndicate' will take on the role of jurors in a fictional trial, and deliver a verdict at the end of the performance.

The Bencher's Room is a room ordinarily used by judges and senior counsel.

There will be also be stagings at Croke Park, in abandoned VIP nightclubs, in hairdressers and on ice-rinks.

Performance: Avant garde artist Deirdre Griffin of Headonbody, who will bring her new work ‘Soup’ to the Festival Fringe in September. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.
Performance: Avant garde artist Deirdre Griffin of Headonbody, who will bring her new work ‘Soup’ to the Festival Fringe in September. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

There is also a so-called "sonic aural pilgrimage" on the Dart (which thankfully won't take place during rush hour).

"We wanted to use all of the city and get people into different spaces, and areas they may not have had access to," said Ruth McGowan, director of the Fringe Festival.

Set in a Croke Park dressing room, 'Grounds for Concern' is a one-man show based on anonymous interviews with GAA stars discussing mental health.

Meanwhile, the Peacock Theatre will be transformed into an ice-rink with patrons encouraged to get their skates on.

The theme of this year's festival, which runs from September 7-22, is Power and Passion.

The festival also caters for families and younger audiences.

'Rainbow in a Box' is an interactive art installation using prismic light to mimic the experience of being inside a rainbow.

This year is the festival's 25th anniversary and it has expanded rapidly during that time. Jimmy Fay established the inaugural event on a budget of IR£3,000 in 1995, after an application to stage Caryl Churchill's 'The Skriker' in the Dublin Theatre Festival was rejected.

The Fringe Festival has launched the careers of some of Ireland's best regarded directing and acting talent.

Playwright Conor McPherson, and companies such as The Corn Exchange and Pan Pan, began showcasing their works at the Fringe.

A staging of Enda Walsh's 'Disco Pigs' also launched the playwright's career and those of its cast members, Cillian Murphy and Eileen Walsh.

Irish Independent

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