I wrote a play – it’s on in a festival

The silence is over. Last night was the official launch of the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. it is being held from Monday May 1st to Sunday May 14th 2017 at various locations around the city.  I have had a play accepted into the Festival. It is called ‘An unexpected party’.

The festival programme completely changes from week 1 to week 2. My play will be held in the Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square at 9pm from Monday May 1st to Saturday May 6th at 9pm. Tickets for this will cost 15 euro.

There will be two matinee performances at 4pm on Monday May 1st and on Saturday May 6th. These tickets will cost 10 euro.

Over the course of this week of performances our show will be preceded (at 7.30pm and 2.30pm) by an American one man show called ‘Confessions of a Mormon Boy’. Written and directed by Steven Fales this  is the tale of a perfect Mormon boy from Utah who becomes a perfect rent boy in Manhattan and how he finds a middle ground. A venue ticket will allow admission to both our show and this show and will cost 25euro.

My play is a black comedy. Niall has gone away. His old flatmate Declan (who is played by my good self) invites Niall’s old boyfriend Andrew and Niall’s twin sister Karen around for Saturday drinks, Neither has seen each other since Niall left. Both blame the other for his departure. Andrew comes to the party with his new – younger – boyfriend Zach. Karen arrives drunk. Declan and Aoife (his new Dolly Parton loving lesbian flatmate) don’t know where to look. Things will be going down.

It is incredibly exciting and terrifying to be involved in this festival. My play is a comedy but it has a dark undercurrent. Niall has not simply ‘disappeared’ – he has taken his own life. This party is set approximately one year after his death.

Under no circumstances did I want to trivialise or joke about the issue of suicide as it is such a thorny and tragic subject for so many people in Ireland. I wanted to take a look at the lives of those left behind about a year after the event. And if that involves elements of awkwardness and humour then there is no harm in that at all.

I hadn’t planned to cast myself – but our glorious director Brian Quinn thought I was the most suitable candidate for Declan.

The other cast members are Dympna Heffernan (as Aoife); Lesley-Ann Reilly (as Karen); Benjamin Musgrave (as Andrew) and Jack Beglin (as Zach).

It is being produced by the theatre group with which I am involved – Firedoor Theatre.

The launch was an emotional rollercoaster. I met Senator David Norris who gave a speech. He is an absolute hero of both mine and of gay Ireland – being as he is the man whose singlehanded efforts led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993. I had my picture taken with him. I’m not remotely embarrassed to say it but my encounter with him almost left me in tears.

He’s a Cliff Richard fan you know.

Come to the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

Come to see ‘An unexpected party.’

Buy your tickets HERE………..

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