Acrobatics, drama and a sing-along musical with numbers from Katy Perry and Britney Spears are among the top attractions at this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. The festival will mark the emergence of many Dublin theatres from lockdown in style with 107 performances of 23 events in 13 venues, including 21 world premieres and two Dublin premieres. The city’s eclectic arts showcase will be taking place over 16 days and nights, from September 5-20, with the help of core funding from Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council and Ballymore as principal patron.
The Dublin Fringe Festival 2020: Pilot Light Edition has a new format to enable it to bring back performances safely with social distancing in place. That will include tailor-made performances at venues like Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and The Chapel Royal, with the latter hosting the world premiere of choreography and music project, Before You Say Anything. Festival events will also take place in outdoor venues, such as Dublin Castle Courtyard, and there will be opportunities to enjoy the festival at home, online and via Dublin Digital Radio (ddr).
The packed festival programme has seven themes, ranging from Come Out to Play, which invites audiences to make art in the fresh air, to Utopia or Bust, which reimagines the world with manifestos for a new era that will be posted on the streets of Dublin and Paris. As ever, the programme’s content is rich, varied and innovative with 100 Miniature Meadows, a new work by Luke Casserly and Shanna May Breen, inviting audiences to take part in a planting project where they receive instructions by post and a downloadable soundscape to listen to. Tickets for these and other events featuring names such as playwright and performer Eva O’Connor, Belfast drag queen Rosa Tralee and Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan are now on sale at www.fringefest.com.
"Their resolve to provide a creative proposition in such a challenging environment is very welcome in an incredibly difficult year for the arts."
Above all, this year’s festival demonstrates the importance of the arts to people’s lives, as Festival Director Ruth McGowan explains.“This is an opportunity for experimental performance to take the lead, and for voices that defy the mainstream to light the way forward in dark times. Dublin Fringe are responding to the world around us with a new festival format, but our programme remains devoted to artistic risk, active spectatorship and shared moments in time.”
The festival also deserves praise for their achievement and imagination in creating this year’s event, says Sean Mulryan, Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Ballymore. “Their resolve to provide a creative proposition in such a challenging environment is very welcome in an incredibly difficult year for the arts. I am delighted this year’s festival is going ahead, providing a much-needed platform for emerging artists to showcase their unique talents”.