Reviews

ByIDGTF

Festival Review 2019: Borderline A**hole

‘True Integrity In The Exploration Of Love And Loss’: Borderline A**hole At International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

Julie Gieseke has brought her solo show Borderline A**hole to the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival from the “lesbian capital of the world”.

After years of chasing unavailable women, Julie found her ideal girlfriend. She’s really into Julie. Miracle: This doesn’t make Julie want to run. The only trouble is they can’t agree on one thing – that Julie is the problem. Is Julie an asshole or a borderline? Julie can’t tell.

As part of this year’s International Gay Theatre Festival, the charismatic and curious Julie Gieseke has brought her solo show Borderline A**hole to the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival from the “lesbian capital of the world”, San Francisco.

It is hard to believe that Gieseke only began writing for stage 8 years ago when she took a solo performance workshop to get over her fear of public speaking. Through the workshop, she discovered that she actually loved performing her own writing.

She has gained an avid and loyal following for her no-holds-barred, courageous authenticity which we are treated to en masse in Borderline A**hole.

Borderline A**hole press shot featuring JULIE GIESEKE
Julie Gieseke

Julie brings us on her journey of meeting “the one” and along the way, the story unearths many great human truths performed wonderfully through layers of humour, sadness, curiosity and hope.

There is true integrity in the story’s exploration of love and loss that will resonate with many. This is due in no small part to Julie’s ability to make you feel like your talking to an old friend. The poetic rhythm and ease in which she tells the story with only the addition of two stools and lighting transport you to the situations she describes.

Her use of body language to embody the characters, evoke an emotion and create a situation is a real testament to Julie’s talent for storytelling.

Borderline A**hole is a time capsule of an emotional journey exploring mental health, grief and relationships. Do not miss the opportunity to see this five-star performance.

Running until May 11 as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, you can buy tickets for Borderline A**hole at the box office at Street 66, or on here.

Read the full article by Katie Donohoe in GCN here.


FESTIVAL REVIEW: Borderline A**hole, Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 until Saturday 11th.

Julie Gieseke is an American storyteller of charm, insight, wit and wisdom. She lulls the audience into a false comfort with her mellow tones and gentle pace, but her observational skills are razor sharp. Julie is questioning. She holds herself responsible for her lack of a date and walks on eggshells to achieve her goal putting herself second. Her observations on her dating pool are wonderfully colorful and brutally honest. Quite easily, she could turn the piece into an angry rant against the stereotype but she is too clever for that, as she lays out all types for us to rant about if we choose to do. As with most reality TV or contemporary American storytelling, illness or tragedy is used to create empathy. Gieseke’s skills as a storyteller don’t need that but she dips in anyway. We sail through the expensive world of therapy until she is finally challenged about having a borderline personality disorder. Here our artist spares us the $6000 dollars and six months of sessions by condensing in a wonderful way, the therapy process into a few minutes of finely tuned theatre. Yes, amongst all the characters we meet, one does have a personality disorder. It’s not a borderline case either and spoiler alert – I didn’t think it was Julie – perhaps neither will you. An hour of warm womanly wisdom, cleverly told by an actor with a charming presence.

Read the full article by AO’B on our Facebook page.


Borderline A**hole – International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival – Review

Everyone has a type, or so we think. Julie was no different. She knew what kind of woman she liked and was so determined to find her, she had even employed a lesbian dating coach. But then she meets her dream woman who is nothing like what she envisaged for all these years. The only problem is that she thinks Julie may be borderline (suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder for those not in the know)  and isn’t prepared to be with her until she seeks help for her issues. Cue a one-hour journey through one woman’s struggle with her sense of self and her mental health all while dealing with her mother’s terminal illness an imminent demise.

Written and performed by Julie Gieseke this is a very genuine and moving piece. It is more like sitting listening to a friend lament their lack of dating success than a show. Admittedly, the Ireland Centre is an intimate venue but you get the impression that Gieseke could make an audience feel like that no matter how large the space was. It is almost conspiratorial – like you are being let in on a secret.

The writing is witty and poignant. When she talks about her mother you feel the genuine affection emanating from her. Her escapades with the dating coach are hilarious and her experiences in group therapy make for plenty of comedic moments. She has paced this well. It coasts along running the gamut of emotion. Throughout, Gieseke is engaging and genuine.

The lighting design is simple and effective. It doesn’t distract from one woman telling her story. The stage is sparse other than two stools which Gieseke utilises as props becoming everything from a sports car to luggage to the table in a fancy restaurant. While this mainly works there were one or two occasions where I found the constant playing with the stools somewhat distracting. It almost took me out of the story. Gieseke has enough presence and physicality not to have to rely so heavily on props.

You often look at one person shows and imagine how they would be if you expanded the world of the play and employed a few more actors but in this case it is difficult to imagine anyone other than Gieseke sharing this intimate story.

Extremely compelling, it is difficult to believe that Gieseke is only writing and performing for eight years. It is surprisingly endearing and warm, this doesn’t feel like an hour and when it ends you will find yourself wanting to know more.

Read the full article by Fran Winston for No More Workhorse here.

ByIDGTF

Preview: Lust, Love and Laughs – Celebrating Love in All its Forms


From adult drama to cabaret to comedy we explore the loves, desires and lives of LGBT people from around the world.

Check out some programme highlights over the two weeks of the Festival exploring love, lust and relationships.
 
WEEK ONE – Mon May 2nd to Sat 7th
 
Bellelen Helen of Troy – A Greek Beauty Reveals Her True Self
BellelenA pole-dancer enthrals a lustful group of men with her dance… but she is more than she seems.  This is legendary beauty Helen of Troy, transformed into a trans Greek migrant escaping economic chaos.  As she performs she will reveal her true self to her audience…
May 2 – 7 2016 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 2 & 7 @ 2:30pm
 

Botox Angels – Feminism, Sexuality, Power, Art
Botox Angels
 
In a fascinating piece full of surprises three women explore their sexuality, bodies, power relationships, feminism, philosophy, iconic female artists.
Funny, erotic, dark, cerebral, physical … this play has it all!
May 2 – 7 2016 @ 9pm; Matinee May 7 @ 4pm
 


Straightened Out – A Musical Celebration of (Equal) Love
Straightened Out
 
Martin P. Koob brings us on a musical journey celebrating love and love songs.  Enjoy a glass of wine and give in to romance at this late-night weekend show at the Cobalt Cafe.
May 6 & 7 @ 10:15pm
 
 

Waking Beauty – The Story of a Girl Who Wanted More
Waking Beauty
 
 
A little girl is raised to believe that happiness comes from her looks and being chosen to be loved one day by a man… But what if a girl demands more?  This romantic drama reveals both hidden heroes and alternative happy endings.

May 2 – 7 @ 9pm; Matinees May 2 & 7 @ 4pm
 
 


… and don’t miss our Irish Historical Theatre Shorts featuring a real life lesbian love story from 1916 and our Marriage Equality comedy drama – ‘The Ref‘.
 

WEEK TWO – Mon May 9th to Sat May 14th
 
Erect But Unstable – Multi-Faceted Comedy about Queer Love
Erect But Unstable 

This gem from Canada explores queer love and sexuality through multiple monologues. Don’t miss this award-winning comedy drama.
 
May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 14 @ 2:30pm
 

 
F*cking Men – A Portrayal of Male Desire
F_cking Men
 
Three gorgeous men star in this smash-hit play from London’s King’s Head Theatre.  A look at the erotic encounters of 10 men searching for sexual satisfaction.

May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm & Matinee May 14 at 2:30pm
 
 
 
 
5 Guys Chillin’ – True Stories of Drugs, Hook-ups and Grindr
5 Guys Chillin'
 
This graphic and gripping play also from the ‘King’s Head Theatre’ explores real stories of real men from the world of ‘Chemsex’, Grindr and instant gratification…
 
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
 
 
 
 
Remember Me – Retracing a Relationship
Remember Me
 
Luc pays his ex a visit, both men searching for comfort and consolation. Swinging from hysteria to moments of tenderness a relationship is laid bare in this Irish drama.

May 9 – 14 @ 7:30pm; Matinee May 14 @ 2:30pm
 
 
 
 
 
 
Away From Home – A Male Escort & a Premiership Footballer
Away From Home
 
Male escort Kyle gets more than he bargained for when he is hired by a closeted premiership footballer.  But can the truth be hidden forever in this exploration of sexuality and homophobia in the world of soccer.
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm
 
 

Proposal Under the Rainbow – Meet the Mother-in-Law!
Proposal Under the Rainbow 

Two fictional dynasties, the Jamesons and the Guinnesses are about to be united as Vivyan plans proposing to his partner Timothy.  But first he must face a tricky challenge… the approval of his formidable future mother-in-law, Lady Dorothy!


May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
 
 
 
Sexmaniac
Alex seems like a normal 25 year old guy on the surface.  But behind the moral facade he indulges in his deepest darkest desires.  Don’t miss this high-energy adult drama from Germany.
 
May 9 – 14 @ 9pm; Matinee May 14 @ 4pm
 
 
International Shorts
 
… and from a moving coming-out tale to condoms to lesbian nuns and Julie Andrews don’t miss our sparkling selection of International Theatre Shorts.
 
ByIDGTF

Festival Preview 2016 – May 2nd to 15th

Celebrate Heroes and History-Makers at IDGTF 2016!

IDGTF is the largest event of its kind in the world. It celebrates the contributions of the LGBT community through theatre and gives a valuable platform to talented and varied participants from Ireland and abroad.

Our programme is carefully curated by our Artistic Director from over 100 submissions to ensure high artistic standards. But most of all it is fun, exciting and open to all!

In 2016 we celebrate heroes and history makers. From ancient Greece to Oscar Wilde to 1916 and on to modern Ireland, Iran and Russia we explore where we have come from and where we now.

Our programme features revolutionaries, footballers, boxers, nuns, hedonists, feminists, geniuses, heroines, lovers, poets and more!

 

Here is a preview of the 2016 Festival Programme:

  • A truly international line-up from Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Iran, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Greece.
  • Approximately 30 productions over 14 days and nights across 6 venues (over 180 performances of theatre in all)
  • Drama, comedy, music, cabaret, dance, free events and more.
  • Multiple World, European and Irish premieres.
  • Exciting new collaborations with the leading LGBT theatre companies in the UK (King’s Head Theatre) as well as with the oldest LGBT theatre in the USA (TOSOS).
  • A series of events related to the 1916 Rising – including full length and short plays and an academic seminar.
  • New writing by female writers and directors in our ‘Feminists Awake’ programme.
  • Irish Historical Short plays as well as International Shorts.
  • A look at the 2015 Marriage Equality Referendum and its aftermath
  • A nightly Festival Club where participants, audience, supporters and volunteers can socialise
  • Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday daytime matinee performances at only €10
  • Our closing ‘Gala and Awards Night’ where we celebrate excellence in the Festival with awards for acting, writing, aspects of production, intercultural-dialogue and contributions to LGBT theatre.

Julie Andrews, Alan Turing, Padraig Pearse, Oscar Wilde, Roger Casement and Helen of Troy will all be joining us for Festival 2016. We hope that you can join us too!

ByIDGTF

Review – Away from Home

‘Away From Home’ takes on another taboo – the premier league- in the Players Theatre at Trinity College. This well-produced one man show reveals the secrets of complex masculinity in ‘the beautiful game’ in a seemingly honest portrayal of contemporary sporting life.

Kyle is a complicated young man, rebellious and leading a double-life as an escort, comfortable enough in his own skin. He socialises with the ‘lads’ at the soccer games but services the lads on his client list. Hartsthorn-Hook Productions and Working Progress Theatre Company (UK) present a revealing drama which tackles homophobia in football both internal and group, in a very frank way. Kyle (Rob Ward) is a deserved star of one man show theatre. He is handsome, energetic and totally convincing as the desirable young escort who finds himself ‘crossing the line’ with a famous client.

Writers Martin Jameson (director) and Rob Ward unpack the hidden side of soccer from supporter to player which has strict boundaries between ‘laddishness’ and affection. The play does slightly over-egg the issues near the end, but it is Ward’s completeness in the role that drives the play forward with an honesty and struggle for truth and acceptance. It unpeels the layers of protection of the insisted machismo of throwing your arms around each others in supportive joy when your team scores, to the pub banter that is often offensive to the guy you have your arm around in celebration. Kyle’s separation of all aspects of his life is a precarious balance between telling the family he works with friends and vice versa. It all comes crashing down when love intervenes in an impossible scenario of clashing careers, publicity and fear. The charismatic playing engages the audience from the start and puts this performance truly into the premier league. It is sexy, honest, energetic and convincing throughout and will appeal to soccer supporters, players or anyone who finds love in an unexpected place. Showing in Players Theatre, Trinity College (Through Main Gate, veer left three blocks) at 9pm nightly and 4pm on Saturday.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Review – Tits Up

‘Tits Up’ is the gloriously politically incorrect, predictable comedy contribution from the ever popular ‘Acting Out’ LGBT community drama group that continues to power ahead. It is good to see this form of theatre being included in the programme for 2014. There was quite a subdued audience on Monday night and it is essential with a comedy that insists on ‘sending up’ ever possible minority in an ‘un-PC’ way to go with the flow. If you don’t, you will find yourself the subject of the outrageous humour in the next sequence.

The play centres around a mismatched couple, Clive (Howard Lodge) and Susannah (Rachel Fayne) whose marriage survives on putting others down rather than facing their own realities. It is a series of monologues by writer Sean Denyer than annoyingly evolve from the predictable into the ‘you can’t help but laugh’ scenario for the audience – and that’s what you do – laugh at things you probably should not. Clive is an interior designer in serious denial. Susannah is his outrageous spoiled D4 wife who insists on not ‘judging’ people with hilarious rebounds. However ultimately these thin stereotypes prove to be quite open to change and new horizons, even if some precious status symbols get sacrificed along the way. This marriage fumbles along until Magda and Chuck intervene and all hell breaks loose in the previously sublime surrounds of D4 living. The plot is contrived – it has to be. Sometimes the build up to the predictable is agonising as there can be nothing subtle about this comedy. The pace is somewhat laboured and deliberate and the audience does not need that much assistance in throwing itself into a series of one liners designed to offend and amuse. Do not bring your value system to this just join in one of Susannah’s aerobic classes and watch the consequences unravel as two lives go ‘tits up’ is an hour of farce, humour, and fun in a well lit and camp sound-tracked show in the entertaining hands of this community drama group. Runs at 9pm until Thursday.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Review – Eirebrushed

‘Eirebrushed’ by Brian Merriman is a controversial and challenging piece of theatre that takes a lot of cultural taboos and shakes them to their core. It is what a gay theatre festival is about, if it is to assert a mainstream relevance. This moving, provocative story invites Pearse, Casement, Gore Booth and O’Farrell back to the new ‘Republic of Equals’ to ‘tell their truth’ in 75 minutes of energetic delivery, interesting construction and a rapid fire of ideas, theories, sacred cows and twisted interpretation. It casts the fight for freedom in 1916 beyond the nationalistic struggle and into one for personal freedom. It makes a lot of sense. Ideas are thrown out in quick-fire delivery of questions with answers to an acknowledged audience but it stops rightly short of insisting on a particular conclusion. That is up to us and we have a range of options we didn’t have before the play began to consider. The audience has to work at this and it is definitely a piece that a walk along the boardwalks afterwards will help to digest.

Killian Sheridan presents a fragile Pearse, not the leader expected. He still struggles with truth and dogged certainty, a century later. Stephen Gorman’s rasping Casement is well presented without any baggage. He is forthright, to the point, honest sometimes with considerable humour. That is what might be expected of a story of heroism in 1916, but the discussion of womens’ rights, passionately placed in the hands of Joanne Logues’ Eva Gore Booth and Diana O’Connor’s empathetic Nurse Elizabeth O Farrell, is the real feminist heartbeat of the piece. Logue’s is eloquent as a campaigner and writer. Farrell’s down to earth, low energy logic connects the audience into a complicated plot with humour and ease. There is some astonishing research and the thematic connection of the common bonds between the heroes in the final scenes is powerful and revealing. The relevance of the struggle for personal freedoms today is not lost. Excellent lighting and design graphics keep the heartbeats pounding as the Republican idealists stand accused of replacing a political oppressor with a conscience oppressor for another century. It is a battle of Church and State as Casement notes, ‘oppression is often defined by borders but the worst is within’.

This play reaches out way beyond the remit of this theatre festival and if it begins a new approach to examining this oncoming decade of anniversaries then it will contribute something relevant and important and fuel many a debate in the days to come. It will not be so easy to ‘airbrush’ out the contribution of LGBT heroes in the future or to accept the narrow definition constructed in the text books so easily and limiting. Provocative, controversial, revealing and new. Runs until Saturday in the New Theatre at 7.30 pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Review – A Boy and a Bean

‘A Boy and A Bean’, by ‘Nick n Tom’ comes direct to Dublin from it’s Mardi Gras award winning performance in Sydney. Following a great tradition of Australian theatre at the festival, ‘ A Boy And A Bean’ is a twist on the classic fairytale ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ set in contemporary Sydney, with a marriage equality message. The story is charmingly delivered by Nick Atkins in an hour of intimate theatre that just flies by. The storytelling is delivered through the eyes of 19 year old Jack, 24 year old David and a Giant whose presence swings from sinister to reality. He cuts to the chase of modern relationships and raises the bar at crucial moments as we skip through a decade of Australian events that progressed and regressed marriage equality.

This modern urban tale also skips through modern day Australian politics (with an explanatory guide) with a timely message for those formulating their campaigns for equality in Ireland next year. It explores the manipulation of the marriage equality debate by religious groups who fundraise to oppose equal marriage via coffee franchises in a strong performance piece that charms, entertains and informs. From the chanteuse/cabaret welcome, to the careful manipulation of a mountain of coffee beans, through to general knowledge trivia, placed in the story to challenge you to be accurate in assessing your own actions in a relationships, this piece does a lot more than campaign for rights. Jack and David are two inadequately prepared young men at its centre and the play reveals all the truth and carelessness along the way to building a meaningful relationship. It is a love story which falls victim to the inadequacies of the boy from Wogga Wogga finding his way in the big city who struggles to find the format for a same sex relationship that works. Atkins is petite and powerful with a diversity of characterisation that sustains this structured piece in a warm and engaging way.

The use of multimedia, sharp technical delivery and an unflagging delivery makes for a charming afternoon of theatre that plays again on Saturday in the New Theatre at 4pm but nightly at 9pm all week until Sunday. This heart-warming tale of two guys, a dog, a beanstalk and an outcome is modern, relevant and thoroughly entertaining.

Festival Review Team

ByIDGTF

Musical Highlights 2014

dgtf_TheDressers

2 actors, 8 characters and a whole host of fabulous costumes

From award winning Irish Director Mark Pollard, The Dressers is a bright new fun show, full of wonderful tunes, lots of laughs and of course real heart.

Click here to book >>

dgtf_ChickenFiredCiccone

From ‘junkie’ to ‘functional’ with a little help from Madonna

‘Chicken- Fried Ciccone’ is an unapologetic comeback story about turning adversity into personal triumph. Starring last year’s GALA award winner J. Stephen Brantley.

Click here to book >>

dgtf_StellaBass

An evening of music of legendary composer Stephen Sondheim

Starring Stella Bass, one of Ireland’s leading jazz singers, A Little (Jazz) Night Music features brand new jazz-inspired arrangements by acclaimed musician/arranger, Cian Boylan.

Click here to book >>

The decade of cheesy pop, too much eyeliner, and really big hair

Acceptable in the 80s – Lady K and Ruby Noir sing, play, perform and discuss the music of their favourite queer icons and artists of the camp 1980s, in this two-night-only prodcution.

Click here to book >>

David Turpin’s exclusive performance

Equal parts Laurie Anderson and Hans Christian Anderson, ‘The Late David Turpin’s’ meticulously curated electro-acoustic songs invites you into a beautifully unsettling otherworld.

Click here to book >>

Falling in love with a coke addicted rent boy…

Man Enough follows 18-year-old Chris loving life and conquering the world – one man at a time. But when he stumbles across Joey, love and sex will take on a whole new meaning.

Click here to book >>

A drag comedy musical extravaganza like no other!

Join Maggie in the 80’s as she gets lost in Soho on the eve of a vote to pass an anti-gay law. Catch the Irish Premiere of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho.

Click here to book >>

 

ByIDGTF

Comedy Highlights 2014

Is it possible to wear a strap-on without getting a wedgie?

Check out last year’s sell-out comedian, Breda Larkin, in her outrageous stand-up, Other Women’s Vaginas. You won’t want to miss this world premiere
comedy.

Click here to book >>

A drag comedy musical extravaganza like no other!

Join Maggie in the 80’s as she gets lost in Soho on the eve of a vote to pass an anti-gay law. Catch the Irish Premiere of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho.

Click here to book >>

Lesbian and Bi women bare all in hilarious storytelling play

In Lesbian Style we hear powerful warm tales from romance to role models, coming out to breaking up, bereavement to bejazzling in a revelation of honest heartfelt insight.

Click here to book >>

Savagely funny, relevant and moving.

Civil Parting is the unravelling of one of the first gay marraiges in South Africa , never straightforward, often hilarious, sometimes not…

Click here to book >>

Award-winning US comedy drama

Winner of Chicago’s best new LGBT writing award, At the Flash features the stories of five characters past & present.  Both moving and funny and not to be missed.

Click here to book >>

Something for everyone in a packed ‘Shorts’ programme

The ever-popular programme of short plays returns, including a lesbian couple misremembering the night they first met and a handsome gay doctor who must confront his grandmother.

Click here to book >>

Their lives are about to go tits up…come watch!

The world of a couple who, seem to have it all, is about to unravel as they are forced to face the lies they have told each other, and themselves. See the premiere of Tits Up only at the IDGTF.

Click here to book >>