Queer Notions Festival

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Country and Region IrelandDublin
Type of Festival Drama
Location of Festival Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Festival Contact Information

Jenny Jennings
Email: jenny@thisispopbaby.com
Phillip McMahon
Email: phillip@thisispopbaby.com

Festival Description

Glorious Outsiders—Bold investigation—Riotous fun. Queer Notions features new work from Ireland’s biggest boundary-pushing queer artists. The five-day festival, conceived as a Platform for Outsiders, brings plays, art, music, lecture, dance, film and politics to Dublin using the queer aesthetic as a jumping-off point. As well as showcasing the best of queer performance and ideas from Ireland, the festival will present extraordinary international artists with work never before seen in Ireland.

Queer Notions is a platform for magnificent outsiders, provocative investigation and riotous fun. Queer Notions is produced by THISISPOPBABY and Project Arts Centre, and is supported by The British Council, Dublin City Council, Trinity College Dublin, ABSOLUT and CityArts.

Festival Dates December 7 - 11, 2010
Festival Links


Festival Events:

  • THE BIG DEAL (Work in Progress)
    Directed by Una McKevitt (Ireland)
    Wed 8 and Thurs 9 December | 7.30pm | 60 mins | €8
    • Following the recent hit show 565+ at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival, and nationwide success with Victor and Gord, Una McKevitt directs this poignant and gritty work-in-progress showing based on letters and emails between two real life friends undergoing male to female gender reassignment.
  • TRADE (Rehearsed Reading)
    Written by Mark O’ Halloran, directed by Tom Creed (Ireland)
    Presented by THISISPOPBABY and Project Arts Centre
    Friday, 10 December | 7.30pm | 60 mins | €8
    • In a run down B+B in the north inner city, a chaotic and vulnerable rent boy meets with a middle-aged, happily married client. At first their meetings are simple, money/sex exchanges, but as they get to know one another, the man experiences a troubling burden of care and a moral awakening that threatens to pull his domestic life apart. In this searingly honest look at the murky relationship between money, sex and desire, leading Irish writer Mark O’Halloran (Garage, Adam & Paul) explores the nature of desire, the shifting sands of the morally ambiguous transaction and the overwhelming need for power and control.
    Written by Neil Watkins, directed by Phillip McMahon, presented by THISISPOPBABY (Ireland)
    Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December | 9.30pm | 60 mins | €12 / €8 concession
    • Neil Watkins has wanked more than is healthy, allegedly. In 2007, Neil woke in the night to be greeted by the vision of Amma, ‘the Hugging Saint’. She’d hugged him in Dublin the night before. Standing at the foot of his bed, her face changed into that of Jesus and back again. “Do you still want to kill yourself?” said the vision, “because you can come with us now.” “No,” said Neil, shitting it that his number was up, “I want to stay”. “Well then…tell your story.” On orders from heaven, this is Neil’s story through the wilderness of queerness: from Catholic Ireland to the cruising bars of the world; from Finglas head shops to Native American ceremonies. Bitterly funny, devastatingly tragic but always entertaining, Watkins explores what it is to remove the resistance in his life and reach his highest potential.
    Created and performed by Eddie Ladd (Wales)
    Tuesday, 7 December | 7.30pm | 50 mins | €12 / €8 concession
    • Bobby Sands was a long distance runner as a teenager. During his time in the infamous Maze prison in Belfast, Sands wrote articles and essays on endurance and running. His essay, ‘The Loneliness of a Long Distance Cripple’, is the inspiration for Welsh choreographer Eddie Ladd’s extraordinary show The Bobby Sands Memorial Race. Set on a 12ft X 6ft running machine, Ladd’s stunning solo piece follows the sixty-six days of the hunger strike and considers the long-distance goal of resistance. Eddie Ladd is one of Wales’ most exhilarating artists. She makes breathtaking performances that combine dance, text, music and new media technologies.
    Written and performed by Jonny Woo (England)
    Wednesday, 8 December | 9.30pm | 60 mins | €12 / €8 concession
    • Making his Irish theatrical debut, London club land’s brightest star Jonny Woo’s legendary performances are packed with wonderful euphoric highs and deliciously dark lows. An icon of London’s East End fashion, performance art and gay scenes, Jonny has thrown parties for Sharon Osbourne and supported Peaches at the Royal Festival Hall as well as having a number of sold out runs at the Soho Theatre. Jubilant gay anthems, twisted storytelling, sucker punch poetry, sublime characterisations and deranged drag are all ingredients in the Jonny Woo show cake.
    by Dickie Beau (England)
    Thursday, 9 December | 9.30pm | 60 mins | €12 / €8 concession
    • Reframing the myth of Narcissus for the You Tube generation, Retroflection is a sensual shape-shifting one-man show by London-based performance artist and drag Fabulist Dickie Beau. His avant-garde blend of cabaret, drag, music hall, theatre and clowning merges the sensibility of contemporary culture with queer twists and informed echoes of the past.
    Written and performed by Peggy Shaw (USA)
    Saturday, 11 December | 7.30pm | 60 mins | €14 / €10 concession
    • A one-off chance to see living legend and sublime gender bender Peggy Shaw performing in Ireland for the first time with a full show. A truly iconic lesbian performer in the height of her prowess, Swagger is Shaw’s favourite moments from her worldwide hit solo shows - You’re just Like My Father, Menopausal Gentleman, To My Chagrin and Must.
    By Qasim Risa Shaheen, curated by Liz Burns (Ireland and UK)
    Tuesday 7- Saturday 11 December | 5pm-11pm | Free
    • In 2009, Qasim Riza Shaheen, a Manchester-based British visual artist was invited to develop work that responded to the changing demographics of Dublin City Centre, where an abundance of hair dressers, beauty parlors, restaurants and karaoke bars have emerged over the past ten years, created by and catering largely for the new immigrant populations. Qasim connected with members of the transgendered Filipino community in Dublin through the north inner city hair salon they frequent, and through these connections developed Liliquoi Blue: God Made Me a Boy. The piece consists of three video adaptations titled Father I have sinned I, II and III that explore ideas around beautification, gender, memories and fantasies, while also telling very personal stories of longing and transformation. Presented in partnership with CityArts.
TALK 2010:
    Wednesday 8- Saturday 11 December | 6pm | 45 mins | €4
    • Hearty discussion and cheap talk; Queer Spiel is a series of robust chats by leading queers on hot topics. Irreverent, nostalgic, divisive and enlightening – this intimate series will fire up the neurons and spark debate.
    • Wednesday, 8 December | 6pm: Qasim Riza Shaheen: Sexual Revelation – The Relationship between Sexual Identity and Art Thursday, 9 December | 6pm: Willie White, Fiach MacChonghaile: Public Outcry–The Changing Face of Queer Performance at Project Arts Centre 1976-2010
    • Friday, 10 December | 6pm: Tonie Walsh, Impure and Revolting: A history of gay cruising in Ireland. Saturday, 11 December | 6pm: Marie Mulholland and Una Mullally: Dykeotomy – How Irish Lesbians stopped being invisible
    Venue: Neil/Hoey Lecture Room, The Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
    Friday, 10 December | 3.30pm | 120mins | Free, Open to the public
    • A unique opportunity to encounter groundbreaking artists, working with different media, as they discuss their queer cultural interventions. Discussion will focus on the past achievements, current urgencies and future possibilities of queer arts practices. Speakers include Liz Burns (Curator, Ireland), Mark O’Halloran (Actor/Writer, Ireland), Stacy Makishi (Live Artist, UK), and Peggy Shaw (Artist/Performer, USA). The event will be chaired by Dr. Fintan Walsh (TCD). Part of ‘Queer Theory, Culture and Society’, a yearlong interdisciplinary seminar series hosted by The Trinity Long Room Hub, which is open to the public. Sponsored by The Trinity Long Room Hub and a Visual and Performing Arts Fund (TCD).
    Wednesday 8-Sat 11 December | 7pm | 15 mins | Free
    • Stop. Your heart beats faster and your pupils dilate. It’s over before it sinks in that it’s really begun. Catch your breath and continue on, your day a little stranger, a little richer, a little wilder than before. Start. Queer Encounters is a series of free live art happenings around Project Arts Centre building at 7pm during the Festival. Featuring Fanci Smanci and Anne Fetamine, Fionn Kidney and Caroline Campbell, Shane Byrne and special guest artist Stacey Makishi.
    Tuesday 7 December | 6pm | 60 mins | By invitation
    • The Queer Notions anthology, edited by Dr Fintan Walsh, is a record of some of the most important performative ideas that have shaped queer culture and performance practice in Ireland in recent times, principally in the years following the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1993, up to the present. Contributors include Loughlin Deegan, Deirdre Kinahan, Neil Watkins, Verity Alicia Mavenawitz, Phillip McMahon, Niall Sweeney, Úna McKevitt and Panti. The book will be officially launched during the Queer Notions festival 2010, and copies will be available to purchase from Project Arts Centre box office at a special festival price of €25.


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Practical Info:

  • Project Arts Centre
    39 East Essex Street
    Temple Bar, Dublion 2
    Co. Dublin, Ireland
  • Queer Notions
    Project Arts Centre
    • In person at the Project Arts Centre
    • Online at http://www.projectartscentre.ie/queernotions and at http://www.thisispopbaby.com
    • By Phone: +353 01-881-9613


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