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  • Chris ORourke

Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2016

The Tiger Burning Bright at Twenty-Two

September 10th sees the twenty second edition of Tiger Dublin Fringe kick-off for a knock out sixteen days of indelible, powerful and magical experiences for all ages. Busting taboos and pushing boundaries, Fringe is where trends get set, where the radicals and experimentalists, the artists whose projects just don’t fit in the box - the crafters, the grafters, the misfits and the clarion voices - all flourish, and new styles of work thrive and are born. Festival Director, Kris Nelson, promises this year will be no exception.

“We have a terrific line-up this year, rich in all kinds of jaw-dropping and thrilling experiences. A big night out for everyone and so many shows which will delight, inspire, provoke and astound. It’s a year of artists taking huge strides – it’s thrilling to present their work at Fringe. We’re so excited about this edition, it wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership and support from Tiger Beer.”

Tiger Dublin Fringe is Ireland’s largest multidisciplinary arts festival hosting 73 productions, 412 performances, with 40 world premieres in 23 amazing venues. International in scope, it features artists from across the globe as well as homegrown talents, across a variety of disciplines including theatre, dance, comedy, music and many that defy easy description. It’s a city takeover and this year Fringe gets the keys to one of the city’s favourite gardens, Merrion Square, where the Spiegeltent returns in all its glittery glory, nestled amongst the beautiful splendour of Georgian Dublin.

Fabulous festival highlights include the world premiere from the phenomenal THISISPOPBABY, who celebrate their 10th year with “RIOT” their most ambitious and entertaining show yet. Siren songs, drag royalty, jockstraps, hurling helmets and sizzling spoken word, “RIOT” is powerful, inspired and ferocious and not to be missed. Australia’s Briefs Factory presents “Hot Brown Honey,” an all-woman cabaret packing in more fun while provoking an edgy political pulse. Comedy maven and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner (2013) Jinkx Monsoon lands into planet Fringe with her dashing companion Major Scales as they unearth their favourite pop tunes with “The Vaudevillians,” a double act from the 1920s back to reclaim their hits stolen by contemporary pop artists.

Fringe has been busy strengthening its network with exciting cultural organisations abroad, including collaborating with major cultural partners in Greece, Germany, Lithuania and Portugal as part of a network funded by the Goethe-Institut. Co-producers of Brokentalkers’ much anticipated new work “This Beach,” The Goethe-Institut has also enabled Fringe to bring Cláudia Dias’ searing “Monday: Watch Out for the Right!” to the National Stadium. Fringe has also found a kindred spirit in the vibrant SummerWorks Performance Festival – Toronto’s leading independent arts festival. With the support of the Ireland Park Foundation, Tiger Dublin Fringe hosts maverick artist Liz Peterson with her travelogue meets dance meets comedy piece, “Performance About a Woman,” an arrangement which see Irish artists head off to SummerWorks in Toronto this August.

Theatrically, The Tiger Dublin Fringe has a rich offering with many premieres including Belfast playwright, Stacey Gregg’s play “Override.” Republic of Telly’s Joanne McNally stars in her new one-woman show “Bite Me” directed by Una McKevitt and Umbrella Theatre Project carve a journey through music, movement and puppetry in the fantastical “Glowworm.” The hard hitting “Coast” a new drama by award winning writer and Fringe favourite Tracy Martin and Red Bear Productions, tells the story of four souls at crisis point. “Traitor” follows the stories of five people caught up in a changing world: their betrayals, loves and various body modifications. Collapsing Horse assembles their biggest ensemble yet to retell the Roman epic, “The Aeneid.”

This year The New Theatre has many offerings in store in keeping with its mission of developing new writing. Premieres include Dylan Coburn Gray’s “Briseis After the Black,” “RISK” by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Theatre Company, “A Sinkhole in Guatemala” by Sarah Gordon, “Release the Baboons” by Paul Currie and “Half Light” by Mollie Mollumby. Of course no Fringe would be complete without its Show In A Bag series by Tiger Dublin Fringe, Irish Theatre Institute and Fishamble: The New Play Company, which this year features Niamh McGrath and Keith Singleton in their show “Looking Deadly,” Margaret Mc Auliffe’s “Humours of Bandon,” Kate Gilmore’s “The Wickedness of Oz” and Helen Norton and Jonathan White’s “To Hell in a Handbag.”

Flying the flag for dance is award-winning choreographer Liz Roche, who collaborates with an exceptional cast of dancers in “Wrongheaded,” a beautifully choreographed response to the 8th amendment, the first part of a carefully crafted Double Bill performance which also features Oona Doherty’s “Hope Hunt” where she deconstructs the stereotype of the concrete disadvantaged male. Choreographer Aoife McAtamney leads an ensemble of spirited performers in “Age of Transition” which celebrates community while “Low Lying” by Robbie Blake, Jessie Keenan and Ciara McKeon is a show that investigates what we felt after we heard the economic bubble crash, through music, dance and visuals.

Musically, An Evening with HamsandwicH offers an acoustic set by Ireland’s favourite indie pop band set in the magical surroundings of the Spiegeltent. Returning to the festival, This Is How We Fly have a collective pedigree which includes collaborations with The Gloaming, The Chieftans, Darol Anger and Gjallarhorn. Limerick’s hottest musical trio, Rusangano Family, offer a mix of hip hop, razor sharp rap and spoken word that collide with explosive beats in an electrifying live show, balanced off nicely with modern soul and pop, with support from Cork’s soaring Shookrah. Dublin duo Forrests elegantly straddle the twin worlds of electronic music, with one foot placed in the glacial surrounds of carefully considered and crafted electronica, the other resting happily amongst the warmer climes of heart melting dance floor euphoria. “Goulash Disko” with Caravana Banda and featuring Babu Król & DJ Gadio CZ brings some real Slavic soul for the festival’s closing night party. So make sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Ireland also flies the flag for comedy. Returning with a brand new show after a seven-year break from stand up, during which she had babies, made a movie in Vietnam and became the mother of Moone Boy, Deirdre O’Kane returns with “1Dee.” Jason Byrne’s brand new show “Jason Byrne is Propped Up” delivers everything you’d to expect from the king of comedy, plus ducks, false chins, portable igloos, bewildered owls and much, much more! New York underground’s legendary, Penny Arcade will battle against the gentrification of our souls in “Longing Lasts Longer.” Festival favourites Foil, Arms and Hog return with their brand new show “DoomDah” where you can learn how to speak Dublish, find your perfect stereo from a broad range of stereotypes, and thank God you’re not the tallest person in the room. Comedian Gearóid Farrelly loves old things such as vinyl, grandparents, grudges and stages his brand new show “Things” at the Stags Head. The late Joan Rivers described Gearóid fondly as “the best opening act in his price range.” International cult comedy show FanFiction Comedy makes its Irish debut where Heidi O’Loughlin, Steven Boyce and special guests delve into the creepy internet phenomenon of fan-fiction. Two tantalizing Fringe debuts at the International Bar are Andréa Farrell giving her first full stand up night with her show “Who Loves You?”and Emma Doran explores the world through her sarcastic, cynical, no nonsense eyes in “Liga, Lube and a Bottle of Gin.”

Dublin Fringe’s three-year title partnership with Tiger Beer has grown from strength to strength. Something Stephanie Bell, Tiger Beer Brand Manager, Heineken Ireland is justifiably proud of;

“We are very excited to be in our third year as title sponsor of Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival. Our partnership with Fringe has helped us position Tiger at the forefront of arts and culture in Ireland and we are looking forward to working with the team at Fringe to make this another truly memorable festival!”

The Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2016 line-up is diverse, compelling, with all cultural tastes catered for on a grand scale. There are the artists you know and love, making huge leaps, along with new voices, new talent, new combinations of makers from across many disciplines. Fringe is the kind of festival where you can always be certain to get bravery, quality and ambition. It’s the festival where you jump into the fray along with the hundreds of artists who will thrill Dublin this September. So be adventurous, think big, laugh out loud and leave it all on the dance floor.

Get ready for Tiger Dublin Fringe 2016!

TIGER DUBLIN FRINGE runs from September 10th – 25th.

For information on shows, programmes or booking tickets, visit

Alternatively, call 1850 FRINGE (1850 374 643) from August 31st.

Twitter - @tigerdubfringe / #tigerdubfringe

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