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Queer Notions.

By Adam Duxbury

From the 7 -11 December the Project Arts Centre celebrated its second Queer Notions mini festival.

The festival is organised by Thisispopbaby, who bill the event as a platform for ‘Glorious Outsiders’, bringing plays, art, music, lecture, dance, film and politics to Dublin using the queer aesthetic as a jumping-off point..

Thisispopbaby were established 3 years ago and are an events and theatre company who aim to promote popular culture, queer culture and high art. They are also behind one of the most eye-catching tents at the Electric Picnic.

Over 5 days, this year’s festival brought 40 artists performing in 24 events with performers from both Ireland, the UK and further afield.

Amongst the Irish talent was Una McKevitt’s new play, ‘The Big Deal’, which is based on the letters and emails sent between two real life friends undergoing male to female gender reassignment. Una gained international critical acclaim with her previous plays ‘Victor & Gord’ and more recently ‘565+’, a real life account of how school teacher Marie O’Rourke copes with personal crisis by attending 565 plays.

The mesmerising ‘Bobby Sands Memorial Race’ is a solo performance piece set on a giant treadmill that recounts an essay by Sands titled ‘The Loneliness of a Long Distance Cripple’. Sands was a keen  runner as a teenager and Welsh woman Eddie Ladd uses his essays on the subject as inspiration for her performance, as she follows the sixty-six days of the hunger strike and considers the long-distance goal of resistance.

On Thursday, British drag artist Dickie Beau performed Retroflection which is best described as a re-telling of the Narcissus myth for the YouTube generation, whilst on Tuesday and Saturday a video installation, ‘Liliquoi Blue: God Made me a Boy’, introduced us to the world of transgendered Filipinos living and working in Dublin.

If you missed out on this year’s festival, take a look at ‘QUEER NOTIONS – New Plays & Performances From Ireland’­,  a book which celebrates queer culture since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993. The festival will also return next year, undoubtedly bigger and better than ever.

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