As recently reported, team PP spent some time up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, where we were lucky enough to see an abundance of brilliant work. You can imagine my delight therefore when last week our joint AD James extended to me an invitation to the ABSOLUT Fringe Festival in Dublin, courtesy of the very lovely people at the Irish Theatre Institute. One week later, I’m taking two days off from booking our spring tour of Kate Tempest’s WASTED, and boarding an Aer Lingus flight from London Gatwick, to see what Irish theatre has in store. Very excited indeed.
As Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival, over 16 days the ABSOLUT Fringe Festival stages up to 525 events in over 40 venues, and is a platform for the best new, emerging Irish arts companies and a showcase for the best contemporary theatre. While I’m there, I’ll have the pleasure of attending the ITI’s Information Toolbox and Show in a Bag initiative, a platform for new small-scale artist led shows which promise to be daring and invigorating.
Historically, PP has enjoyed a great relationship with the Irish, and we’re always on the lookout for new writers to work with, and venues to tour to. You may remember our A Play, A Pie and A Pint season last year toured all five plays to Bewley’s Cafe Theatre, one of the venues at this year’s ABSOLUT Fringe. Artistic Director of Bewley’s, David Horan, directed IN THE PIPELINE by Gary Owen, and Belfast born Marie Jones wrote FLY ME TO THE MOON. We were also thrilled to take Mike Bartlett’s LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to this year’s Galway Arts Festival, and delving into our archive, you’ll see that we have recently produced plays by ace Irish playwrights Enda Walsh, Sebastian Barry and Hilary Fannin.
With a jam-packed schedule of new writing, Information Toolbox and Show in a Bag, I’ll report back fully next week on my Dublin adventure… if I ever make it out of the Guinness Factory, where I have been instructed by James to find time to have a pint. Yes boss!