First up was ‘Quarantine’ by Brian Quinn, produced by Firedoor Theatre. Terri (Tania Hosseinian) and Adrienne (Marina Duarte) are a young couple in love, living together in a small apartment when the pandemic arrives. Their world suddenly becomes claustrophobic, and tensions start to rise. Will their relationship survive under such a pressure cooker environment? Is Terri trying to kill Adrienne? Can the home delivered Tesco apple-tart be used for Instagram likes? Why are kiwi fruits suddenly so important? Told in chapters – in intervals of days and weeks as the lockdown progresses the pressure keeps mounting. This is a witty and relatable show. The audience laughed at the developing scenarios onstage – all recognising how emotionally overwhelming the past two years have been. Hosseinian and Duarte give strong performances, entertaining and sharing excellent onstage chemistry. The Tesco delivery man (Simon Mombrun) who brings their weekly grocery deliveries is a good comic foil as he watches the couple unravelling, in real time as the quarantine drags on.
Speaking of drag. The second piece ‘Three queens stuck in Dublin city’ is by Melting Meadows company, written by Tadgh Dolan and directed by Cliodhna McAllister. It features three Dublin drag queens of different generations who get stuck in a lift on their way to a corporate pride gig. This leads to fireworks as they get increasingly frustrated by the disembodied voice from the lift security company cannot tell them when they will be released from their confinement. Between sniping at each other they examine their place in the world and the challenges they face. Is that relationship working? Are they still satisfied with their lives. Will the lift ever be fixed to allow them to get to the event. It is a funny and moving show.
This was an afternoon well spent. Both shows are recommended. Kudos to the festival organisers for bringing this unique and vibrant festival back onstage, after the unexpected break. Hopefully by next year the Arts Council can resume its funding. LGBT theatre has a place in Ireland and the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is an essential part of this.
You can book your tickets at http://www.gaytheatre.ie.