What you will find as an audience member at ABSOLUT Fringe this year, is artists of immense talent and capability pushing themselves to their very limit. Charting a new course through a very changed Irish society is difficult. Imagining a new way of being is not an easy task. What surprised me most was how many artists decided to approach their next work in this context by themselves. While a cynic might point to a hostile economy where a solo work is cheaper and easier to produce, I am convinced that a deeper reason for this choice exists. These artists are going the distance, taking the path less travelled, without companionship. And what that does for me (and hopefully for you) is inspire courage as we together marvel at their bravery. A contemporary vision quest is demonstrated in Man of Valour, The Year of Magical Wanking, The Eternal Rising of the Sun, Where Do I Start?, No Man’s Land and also arguably Twenty Ten, written by a crowd of anonymous solo contributors struggling to deal with a very difficult year.
In thinking about our international programme for this year’s festival, we turned to another Brave New World: Australia. A faraway place that has straddled the line between Utopia and Dystopia in the Irish psyche for generations, and now the go-to destination for our once-again emigrating youth. I am delighted to present four very different shows as part of our Australian season this year; each one speaks to our audience in a very different way.
We are as ever, indebted to the talent, energy and achievement of the participating artists in the festival, whose work this year I am immensely proud of. We couldn’t make the festival happen without our incredible volunteers, courageous funders and media partners, particularly our core funder The Arts Council and title sponsor ABSOLUT, our patrons, our programme partners, a hugely dedicated voluntary board and you, the audience. I really hope you enjoy the festival this year.
Róise Goan, Director