Tag Archives: gay rights

Player’s Theatre: Montparnasse (IDGTF)


Just as the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2017 is about to re-open its doors to the second week of the gay awareness feria, there is just one more play from the first week that deserves to be highlighted.

All the way from the Canadian province of Alberta to the Emerald Island, Theatre Outré brought to us Montparnasse, a 75 min extravaganza about two girlfriends living and experiencing the Années Folles – The Crazy Years. In the aftermath of the Belle Epoque a whole new era of art, culture and ideas has emerged. And the two Canadian ex-patriots, as well as best friends, found themselves in the midst of what was promising to be one of the most exciting eras to be alive.

We are in the city by the Seine. The aroma of vine, croissants and mixed paints is in the air. And Margaret (played by Katharine Zaborsky) is loving it. She has re-defined herself as a muse to some and a party friend to the others, but always being in the center of the elite Parisienne société: Miller, Modigliani, Hemingway, Chagall… Stripping off her clothes in front of them day after day, Margaret believed that she was doing something more, something bigger: she was inspiring the artists to create and to produce.

While her friend Amelia (played by Carolyn Ruether) didn’t find it all that amusing. A painter herself, she was more interested in the game of light and shadows, in the angles, in the positioning of the body… It seemed she had all the tools to do the job but the only missing piece seemed to be the vital one: the inspiration. Nevertheless, a new and unexpected, even a bit scary at the beginning, experience has been presented to Amelia. But is she ready to lay bare her body in order to learn from the best?

Montparnasse is an unexpectedly eccentric piece. It lets you witness not only the denuding of the body but also the stripping down of the very soul hiding behind it. The confidence and the security with which the actors present their work is both mesmerising and captivating. The Company has brought to the Dublin audience an absolutely beautiful recreation of Paris during the roaring twenties and the true portrayal of the spirit of the era.

Montparnasse is a brave piece of theatre that is not afraid to expose the human body in all its glowing beauty; it mixes well the picture with the entertaining story and some dreamy French tunes. With a small amount of props on stage our attention is completely overtaken by the plot and its masterful narration by the three actors.

When a play is worth bringing all the way from the other side of the ocean, it’s worth bringing! Montparnasse is easily one of the highlights of the first week of the festival. Prepare yourself for a play unlike anything else you’ve seen before!

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Filed under IDGTF, Montparnasse, Player's Theatre, Theatre Outre, Uncategorized

The Cobalt Café: I’m going through something (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival).

The Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is just about to conclude its first (out of two) week of drama, dance, music and fun.

Yesterday I went to The Cobalt Café to see I’m going through Something by The Dean Kriel. A play written and performed by Dean Kriel, a performer from South Africa who lives and works in Moscow. Through his play Dean is talking about the life of a homosexual man living in Putin’s Russia.

I had a very personal interest in seeing this particular play. The moment I saw the description, I booked my ticket. When I was living in Russia (some 8 years ago) there were not that many anti-gay sanctions and propaganda. And even if there was, it wasn’t as commonly known as it is now. Having loads of Russian friends and knowing their points of view and and how the propaganda is affecting them, I was extremely curious to see a piece written about a life of gay foreigner in Russia.

Unfortunately, to my biggest disappointment, the description of the play was a bit misleading. And there was no word about Russia or Putin or gay life in modern Russia… and even if there was something, it was so disguised in words and poetry that I totally missed it. Unfortunately. And something is telling me that I wasn’t the only one. Maybe it was a mistake (from our part) but we (the audience) expected a bit more political, a bit more revealing, a bit more risky play.

When you enter into the café’s room that has been converted into a mini stage, on each seat there is a script with the full content of the play (well, almost full. But no spoilers!) for the audience to follow. I’m not the kind of person who likes siting during the whole performance with my nose in the script trying to follow the lines word by word by… In the script it even says, at some point, that there is no need to read, the performer will say all those words and if he is a good performer who is convincing then we should simply trust him and put the script aside. But would you be able to resist?

To be completely and utterly honest, for the greatest part I was lost. I understood that there were two characters on stage (played by the same person) and one of them was … going through something. But that’s about it.

I did enjoy though making the paper boats.

There was one part that I particularly liked. This play was unlike any others. It was very interactive. The audience sits in a kind of circle and the performer is constantly in the middle. From time to time he would interact with the audience and say something to them or ask them questions. Unfortunately, the audience didn’t often respond back.

I’m going through something is running in The Cobalt Café till May, 9th. For more info or to buy tickets: https://gaytheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873530633/events?TSLVq=0f304810-3f89-4316-8fd3-907949bf764b&TSLVp=bf5900f9-9f95-4f5c-89fb-7f94319f3bc3&TSLVts=1431119762&TSLVc=ticketsolve&TSLVe=gaytheatre&TSLVrt=Safetynet&TSLVh=3be0e03f1f9afe233b99ae53f81a1e9d

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Filed under Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Equality, Go and See, I'm going through something, The Cobalt Cafe, Theatre Lovers

Teacher’s Club: By the Bi (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival)

For the 12th time in history Dublin Gay Theatre Festival has finally arrived in the Irish capital. This year the Festival offers a number of shows and performances: everything from Drama to Music and Dance. Running from the 4th of May till the 17th, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. On the 22nd of May Ireland is facing Equality Marriage Referendum.

“… I didn’t ask to be gay, but your hatred is a choice that you make every day” By the Bi. 

There is still time. Make a difference. Vote YES.

Having already booked some tickets for a couple of shows, I was very lucky to win a pair of tickets to see “By the Bi“, a new play by The Blazing Change Players, which was advertised as a musical.

Just to make it clear from the start: it’s not a musical, not even close. By the Bi is an ensemble piece with spoken words, contemporary dance and… well, yes, music. But only used to create a sort of an atmosphere while the actors deliver their lines.

I can’t recall seeing anything of such a structure before, so I can’t (neither shall I) compare. The structure really does work beautifully for this particular piece: spoken word organically combines with the scenes being silently performed by the actors at the same time. It’s definitely not a traditional type of theatre and I did get a feeling that it might be an American thing (since the theatre company comes from the USA). To be honest, it was an interesting combination.

With a very basic stage and an absolute lack of props The Blazing Co managed to create a very vivid and touching piece of theatre. The issue they chose was a difficult one. And I really want to quote here “The B in LGBT is often silent”. Living in this society we do talk about gay people and about straight people. We do talk about transgenders and transvestites. But who talks about bisexuals? Who cares about them? The are described as “invisible people” drifting from shore to shore and not being accepted and/or understood by any side. It’s like everyone expects them to choose a side. As if being a bisexual isn’t already a choice in itself.

The play made me think that if every representer of the new generation was as understanding and as accepting as this young actors and actresses are, we will be ok!

The play runs until Saturday, the 9th. It’s a beautiful piece of theatre, NOT TO BE MISSED! For more info or to book, visit: https://gaytheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873530626/events?TSLVq=13ef3d58-c641-4a11-8bfd-233c694845bf&TSLVp=ba392f19-9198-4504-b9ed-1a966891e04a&TSLVts=1430781065&TSLVc=ticketsolve&TSLVe=gaytheatre&TSLVrt=Safetynet&TSLVh=99d14df10a5930a2486820218ed5c22f

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Filed under By the Bi, Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Equality, Teacher's Club, The Blazing Change Players