00032: International Dublin Gay Festival
I’m four years behind this post. And if you want to know why, I ask you to read the entry titled, “000 29: Intentions,” where I explained what happened regarding this event. So, what I’m recalling now is from memory and it still means the same as it did when I meant to write about it.
Because of my participation at the festival with my one-man show “JOTO: Confessions of a Mexican Outcast,” and because of performance scheudles, I was only able to see four plays out of the many that were being presented during the week we my one-person show was being featured as part of the festival. I will talk about each show in no particular order.
Spool is a short two person show written and choreographed by the actors, Otto Farran and Finn Cooke. The innovated part of this show was its physicality. Two young men joined by a rope, one plays the mind the other the body and thus the struggle between them. The show demonstrate incredible talents, recalling the physical, mental, emotional, and sexual tension a person who’s through when engaging in sexual activity. I truly enjoy this piece, mainly because of its physicality and the idea of the body and the mind bickering and ultimately divorcing each other. By the way, this show came to Dublin via the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Bleach is a one-person show about a gay sex worker. In the story, we meet Tyler who tells us of his many experiences as a, well, gay male prostitute. And also about witnessing a murder of one of his clients. The story was very interesting and the author/actor did an incredible job in both the writing and the acting. It is no wonder that as of today, the show has been done Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, in major cities around the UK, including the famous Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, New York, and of course, in Dublin.
At the time Bleach was performed in Dublin, its author/actor Dan Ireland-Reeves was carrying copies of his published play. I had the opportunity to meet him and of course, snatched a copy of the play for my collection and one play I will teach about in my gay theatre class in the near future.
I had the pleasure to share the stage with the next play, The Elephant Girls, which is a one-woman show written and performed by Margo MacDonald. Her show and mind alternated afternoon/evenings on the same stage for the time of the festival. I have to say that Margo’s play was exquisitely written and her performance was top notch. From the moment she stepped onto the stage dressed to kill (literately) in her men’s garments, Margo commanded attention. Her delivery was carefully crafted, and so was the engaging blocking by director Mary Ellis from Parry Riposte Productions.
Because we both shared the same space, I had the honor to talk to Margo during the entire runs out our shows and let me tell you, I have never met someone so professional and inviting as her. Like Dan’s one-man show, Margo’s play also has been presented in in other theatre venues, including the Brighton Fringe Theatre Festival, at the Ontario Street Theatre, and at the Draper Hall Theatre in London.
The fourth and last show I saw during the festival is one of my favorites and one that I still think about all the time, Gypsy Queen By Rob Ward. These show is the story of two boxers who are enemies in the ring but lovers outside of it. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that for there are complications and appearances to keep.
What fascinates me about this play is the fact that its writer wrote the play for two actors who play all the characters, male/female and young/old, and the instances of nudity and sexual scenes are not there for gratuity but as part of a very emotional and powerful story.
And just like the two one-person shows mentioned above, Gypsy Queen has been presented beyond the Dublin Festival, at several spaces in London such The Vaults, and the Hope Theatre in Manchester, UK.
Interesting fact: Ryan Clayton, who was the counterpart actor with Rob War in the original production, had to be replaced later in the run with professional actor John Askew because Mr. Clayton became a member of the famous and long-running British soap opera “Coronation Street.” #carlosmanuelspeaksthetruth