The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is an annual event and currently celebrating its 16th year on stages in the city as one of the world’s best spaces for LGBT+ theatre. The festival was originally founded to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Wilde in his native city and has grown exponentially over the years, welcoming shows and actors from all over the world, including South Africa.
Fondly known as the #IDGTF the Festival aims to ‘create new opportunities for visibility and affirmation for existing and emerging gay artists and theatrical works.’
This year was a bumper year with plays from Ireland, UK, USA, South Africa and Australia. It was a good one at the box office too, according to founder and artistic director Brian Merriman –
“I’m really pleased to say that we are 58% up on last year with terrific theatre from all over the world, helped along by companies, like Artscape from South Africa over the years and it’s just fantastic to have a South African production here again. I’m just so proud that Dublin is the centre that will welcome these performers, these writers…and listen to their voices, as that’s the most important thing.”
Flying the flag for SA in 2019 is the production “Gertrude Stein and a Companion” from Cape Town, starring talented actresses Lynita Crofford and Shirley Johnston with the play directed by Christopher Weare.
After two weeks of performances by the international casts, it all culminated in a gala event and Oscar Wilde awards ceremony, the Oscars…where our very own Lynita Crofford was awarded the Best Actress Award for the festival.
“My dearest friend and fellow nominee Shirley Johnston I share this award with you…it was a team effort .Thanks also to our wonderful director Christopher Weare!”
The Best Actor Award was won by well-known actor Ciarán Griffiths who you may recognize from our Tv screens as Mickey Maguire in ‘Shameless’ and Gary Best on ‘The Bill’.
How important is this festival to you?
Oh, very important. Our play ‘All I See Is You’ is very relevant as it is about the courage it took for gay people to be them true selves back in ’67 when it was actually illegal to love someone of the same sex and there’s still parts of the world now where it’s punishable by death, you know, so it’s very important. It its my first performance at the festival and I’m really happy to be a part of it.
The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is back next year pushing boundaries and broadening horizons for all. We can’t wait to see our Rainbow Nation back on stage with more award-winning theatre!