Bursting with works of conscience and consequence, expect the pure, the empowered and the wild, brought to you by hundreds of messers, leaders, dreamboats and deep-thinkers who will shake-up your September. It’s a complete city take over. We’re bringing you Fringe experiences in more postcodes than ever, lighting up and animating new sites. And lots of it is free! On offer are some special Fringe-fuelled international collaborations between Irish artists and their Canadian counterparts. Trophy by STO Union (Ottawa/Gatineau) creates a glowing pop-up tent city on Barnardo Square for the festival’s opening weekend. Inside, Dublin’s Change of Address reveal moments in their lives where everything changed. Town Choir from Theatre Replacement (Vancouver) and Tonnta (Dublin) transforms notable writers’ observations on the city into choral song with a wry twist. We want to add phenomenal artistic experiences to your memory maps of Dublin.
This edition is gritty and ambitious. It’s taking stock of the world around us, propelling us forward. We are right in the fire because that’s where the world is. You want grit? Look no further than Lucy McCormick (London)’s Triple Threat, her megalomaniac one-woman (+ Girl Squad) retelling of the New Testament - where she stars in every ecclesiastic, fantastic role. Leading Italian company Motus (Rimini) serves up their sensational MDLSX. Shaped like a VJ/DJ set, it’s an explosion of memoir and gender fluidity featuring one of the most ferocious performances you’ll ever see. Both of these launch Neighbours — international disruptions from Fringe and Project; a brand new partnership that brings Dublin some of the best of the world stage. Add to that Fringe and the Abbey’s co-presentation of Ivan Coyote’s Tomboy Survival Guide (Vancouver) - a blissful campfire sesh of fearless songs and stories on gender you’ll want to gather around. One of Brazil’s hottest young theatre companies, Grupo Tripé makes their international debut at Fringe with Entre Quartos (Within Rooms), a visceral take on the messy lives and loves of 20-somethings in Brasília.
Irish artists are calling the nation to account. Grace Dyas (THEATREclub) and Emma Fraser (NINE CROWS) create a waiting room that holds an archive of testimonies from women who have travelled to access abortion services, asking them what was different because they were NOT AT HOME. Junk Ensemble grapples with violence and PTSD as experienced by Ireland’s military with Soldier Still. Headlines, back-room whispers and unspoken myths from all corners of the island inspire artists from Belfast, Carlow, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Roscommon, Waterford and a whopping ten of ‘em from Cork!
Fear not, thrill-seekers and craic-hounds: the pursuit of pleasure is still at the heart of the festival. Loosysmokes takes over one of the last standing warehouses of the Docklands for nine nights of incredible aerial circus and inky performance art. After their deliciously nightmarish turn in Pheonix Park, this is one not to miss. NEON Western by Cork’s Conflicted Theatre and Peter Power transforms the Samuel Beckett Theatre into a saloon with a rave twist. Homebeat brings Panorama Bar to D-Light with electronica wizard Edward. Mavens of magnificence, Film Fatale electrify Liberty Hall with a glittering cabaret extravaganza. Fried Plantains Collective serve up BLACK JAM; a knees-up night of the best of punk and hip-hop from the African diaspora with legends Big Joanie as headliners. See yis’ there, yeah? Fringe makes its momentous first foray onto the Abbey Stage with Foil Arms & Hog’s brand new show OinK. If comedy is what you’re after, Alison Spittle, Conor O’Toole and Davey Reilly make much-anticipated returns and Pajama Men’s Shenoah Allen premieres a new solo about a man transforming into a truck (gas). Be sure to catch red-hot Fringe debuts from artists you’ll want to know including Jessie Doyle, Luke Casserly, Hannah Mamalis, Sahar Ali, Erin McGathy and Sugar Coat Theatre Company and many more new voices. Did we mention our first-ever Young Radicals: Fringe for Kids? Co-presented with Collapsing Horse, this line up features breakout new shows from LORDS OF STRUT & THISISPOPBABY, Eccles Theatre Group; Cobra’s Quest, a free podcast produced by 7-year old Cadhla and her dad; international hit for under-fours, Whoosh!; and a very special Young Hearts Run Free featuring teen bands and Dublin’s glitterati in a gig for ages 13 and up. Tell your friends, bring the chizzlers (and grown-ups, we won’t blame you if you sneak in by yourself). Thanks as always to the Arts Council / An
Chomhairle Ealaíon, Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland, our core funders. They, along with an incredible mix of supporters, sponsors, embassies and FringeKin Friends make all the difference in bringing this year’s Fringe to life. Thanks to the hundreds of festival artists, technicians and team members, the 100+ volunteers, and most of all to you, dear Fringer. Thanks for exploring with us and making this festival yours. This edition is the biggest and best blast of smelling salts Dublin has ever had. Fringe 2017 will delight the senses and give you all kinds of reasons to explore the city. Revive yourself with new perspectives, urgent ideas and hands in the air, full-body art experiences. Get back in the ring with Fringe. Join us for an unforgettable fortnight that will leave you reeling in all the best ways.
— Kris Nelson and Ruth McGowan