Fringe 2017 is edging closer and closer: can you hear that festival buzz? We're taking another peek behind the scenes at Fringe HQ: this time with our Programming Assistant Beth Hayden. Apart from bringing our 23rd edition to life with aplomb, Beth is founder of hugely popular queer variety show Glitter HOLE. Here she tells us the big secrets...
What drew you to Fringe?
I’ve always been a big fan of Fringe and made sure to see as many shows in the festival as possible. The programme is always really vibrant and diverse and I suppose I was drawn to working on a programming team that produces such an impressive festival each year. I was also drawn to Fringe as it’s a multi-disciplinary festival, so I wanted to gaining an understanding of programming across a number of different disciplines.
What are you up to each day at Fringe?
It changes all the time! Initially I was mostly managing the hundreds of applications and assisting Ruth and Kris as they curated the amazing 2017 programme. After that there was a lot of work putting together the festival schedule. Lately I’ve been planning travel itineraries for international artists, helping out with the management of FRINGE LAB, setting up meetings with all of the wonderful artists programmed in the festival, and also getting to see some work in progress showings of upcoming productions. The role changes the closer we get to the festival so it’s always really varied.
Tell us about Glitter HOLE.
Glitter HOLE is a DIY queer variety show that I run as often as I can in Dublin’s sweetest back street shed, Jigsaw. The inspiration to set up the night came from a couple of trips to other cities where I went to some fantastic queer cabaret events and I wanted to try and emulate some of that energy for audiences in Dublin. The shows generally showcase a mix of drag performance, musical acts and comedy, but we’ve also hosted a roller skate double act and a radical cheer leading group. I have a strong preference for all things camp and trashy, but I’m really open to any type of queer performance and I also like keeping the space open to new performers or people trying out new material. The Hole has expanded a bit of late, collaborating with artist Liadh Young to organise a queer art fair and food God Finbar James Deery for our Glitter HOLE Banquet fundraiser.
Do your roles at Glitter HOLE and Fringe inform each other?
I think they probably do. Both roles require skills in project planning and event management. Working for Fringe has taught me a lot about the process of programming that I can apply to my work with Glitter HOLE. I also think that I share a similar taste to the programming team at Fringe and it’s very exciting that lots of previous Glitter HOLE performers have shows in the festival this year (Alison Spittle, Attracta Tension, Hannah Mamalis, Ruth Hunter – check out their shows, they’re all fabulous).
Which shows are you excited about seeing?
So many! I’m always really excited about the international work at Fringe because you get to see some really cool work that isn’t usually shown in Dublin. I saw a taster of Triple Threat at Yestival in May and can’t wait to see the show in its entirety. I’m also really looking forward to Tomboy Survival Guide and MDLSX. Everything Malaprop do is fab, so I know Everything Not Saved will be amazing. BLACK JAM in Fibbers is going to be so much fun. I am also excited to hear the line-up of performers for Fully Automated Luxury Gender Oasis.
Describe Fringe 2017 in one word?
Photo: Finbar Deery