Our headliners have all that in spades; the astounding and charming Company 2 with their acrobatic circus extravaganza, Scotch & Soda. Soaring over your head, pulling off shocking stunts, these daredevils and their live band accompaniment will thrill you. It’s a total winner.
Are you ready to rumble? Dublin’s own Over the Top Wrestling is, in what’s set to be the head-knocking hit of the festival. Skilled performers, hilarious laughs, this one’s going to be a powerhouse of a tilt. The old - world charm of the Spiegeltent will be abuzz with great choons. Al Porter and the Swing Cats mix music and comedy and Booka Brass Band will have Wolfe Tone Square bursting at its seams, while Sounds Alive offers intelligent and quirky live radio stories and song. Cabaret legends will ignite our nights. Mx Justin Vivian Bond gives us wit and soaring song under the musical direction of Thomas Bartlett. Bourgeois & Maurice and David Hoyle offer a mundanity-inspired ripper of a music and comedy night with Middle of the Road. There will be more, keep your eyes peeled for special treats announced throughout the lead-up to the festival. It wouldn’t be a birthday without some surprises.
Now about that unconventional birthday party of ours. We invited a group of 21 year olds to celebrate their 21st birthday and the 21st birthday of Fringe. We handed them the keys to the festival, saying ‘Make! Create!’ They’ve surveyed 21-year old Dubliners and are transforming those results into an installation/ squat/laboratory/utopia. They’re also flipping the project on its head, refusing to be obedient subjects in an art experiment and asking why Fringe made the invitation in the first place. It will be bold, unusual and cheeky. Come visit, meet, play and feed.
Fringe is the festival where artists reimagine the city, giving us new memories of performances that resonate whenever we pass. Spirit of the Fringe winner Louise White creates an epic environment imagining a community emblematic of our times in Mother You. Company SJ returns to Fringe with some of Ireland’s performing arts legends with Beckett in the City: The Women Speak. Loosysmokes presents late-night acrobatics swooshing through the trees of Phoenix Park under the cover of darkness.
True-blue theatre fans will find performances to delight, harrow and inspire. Selina Cartmell brings us an all new production of GROUNDED by George Brant. MIRARI, Breach & Quinn, and the ever popular Show in a Bag series give shining examples of new writing and new performance. Stefanie Preissner assembles the lousiest Ard Fheis ever in a searing exposé on failure. Fringe is also where to discover new voices, here’s your chance to first hear from the likes of Alice Malseed, Áine Ryan, Sligo’s Tintoretto Sect, The Lir Academy grads Eccles Theatre Group and many more. Dance is one of Ireland’s most astounding art forms – get on the bandwagon. Newcomer Alba Lorca and Fringe favourite performers Justine Cooper, Luke Murphy, Liadain Herriott, Antje O’Toole and Emma Fitzgerald reveal new works built on story, disruption and joy. Croí Glan and ponydance join forces for a perception-challenging romp while John Scott and Irish Modern Dance Theatre burst forth with a new choreographic sensation.
Tying it all together is where theatre, dance and performance meet. Brokentalkers and junk ensemble, in a long-awaited co-created collaboration, put non-performers on stage in surreal acting and movement styles while the unclassifiable Ruairí Donovan and Asaf Aharonson involve us in a powerful meditation on decency, eroticism and intimacy. Object Piggy from aerialist Emily Aoibheann will explode our senses in a genre-breaking fusion of live sculpture, laser play and circus.
Comedy fans will split their sides as David O’Doherty, Alison Spittle, Katie O’Brien, Abie Philbin Bowman and Conor O’Toole offer great laughs. Martin McSharry theatricalises a comedian having his worst day. Kim Noble is set to redefine theatre, comedy and everything in one of the most profound performances out of the UK in the past decade. You’re Not Alone will push the envelope, push your buttons and get you right in the gut.
Music lovers: prepare to hit the streets to enjoy great gigs in unique venues across Dublin. Bottlenote weave their spell in 13 North Great Georges Street, Young Hearts Run Free take over the Freemasons’ Hall for one night only, while newcomer Seán Kennedy will wow you in historic Smock Alley. Keep an eye out for Famous Seamus and Sean-tastic, the livewire Lords of Strut who are hosting the sweatiest 30 minute Contain-A-Rave in the heart of the city. Afterwards, pop along with the opera fans revelling in Handel’s Agrippina, presented by Irish Youth Opera with Northern Ireland Opera.
It’s a rip-roaring festival full of sensational ideas, wild bodies, fierce minds and taboo-busting jokes. We are experimental. We are the avant garde. Fringe isn’t just something for arty types with designer glasses; adventurous performance is for everyone. These artists are at the height of cultural expression and we’re bringing you their very best. Lose yourself in fourteen days of Fringe and see you at the festival!