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2024


6 Jan
Nollaig na mBan: Women’s Mental Health
First Fortnight

In 2019, a Women’s Health Taskforce was established by the Department of Health to improve women’s health outcomes and experiences of healthcare. In 2021, addressing gaps in mental health services for women was identified as a priority theme.
In this panel discussion, we bring together several stakeholders in women’s mental health to discuss the current standing of mental health care for women in Ireland, findings of recent research and projects, and what we can do next.
The panel includes Fiona Coyle, CEO of Mental Health Reform, Claire Flynn, Development Officer at Mental Health Ireland, and Maria Fleming, CEO of First Fortnight.


6 Jan
Nollaig na mBan: The Sea and Me
First Fortnight

In recent years, Irish women have taken to the sea for the physical and mental health benefits of open water swimming. In this panel discussion, we will hear from three women who turned to the sea for solace, motivation, and joy.
Claire Walsh, author of Under Water is a freediver, year-round sea swimmer and teacher of breathwork courses who moved to the coast in her twenties and never looked back.
Ruth Fitzmaurice is the author of I Found my Tribe, the moving tale of how she found solace from family trauma in the cold waters of the Irish Sea.
Maria Fleming, CEO of First Fortnight will chair this panel discussion to bring together these voices and experiences of turning to the sea in support of your mental health.


6 Jan
Nollaig na mBan with Irish Women in Harmony
First Fortnight

Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas is celebrated on January 6th. We are honoured to host Irish Women in Harmony for a very special performance which is closely connected to the mission of First Fortnight. We could not think of a more fitting way to celebrate this occasion.

A collective of some of Ireland’s most gifted female artists, Irish Women in Harmony come together through mutual artistic support and in their overarching mission – amplifying awareness for women and children in crisis situations.


7 Jan
Music and the Mind: Podcast Launch
First Fortnight

Music is something that we are all touched by. It connects people deeply to themselves, others and their world. Numerous scientific studies have explored the therapeutic effects of music, and how it enhances wellbeing. Music and the Mind is a new podcast hosted by professional musician Shane Mitchell from legendary Irish Folk band Dervish and popular psychologist, published author and musician Shane Martin.
To launch the Music and the Mind podcast, First Fortnight will host a panel discussion with musicians and experts on the topic of mental well-being and the positive role music can play.


10 Jan
“Duo Sciapò” canta Fabrizio De André
Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Dublino

On the 11th of January 1999, one of the most famous singer-songwriters of Italian music passed away: Fabrizio De André, the author of unforgettable ballads and songs that made generations of Italians dream.

25 years after his death, the Italian Institute of Culture in Dublin is pleased to present a “tribute” concert of the best pieces in Italian language by De André rearranged for guitar and violin by the “Duo Sciapò”, an artistic duo with close ties with Ireland. Together they will retrace all the great successes of the Ligurian singer for an unforgettable concert.


11 – 13 Jan
Selvage
Brú Theatre at First Fortnight

Granny has been incarcerated, the fairytale has faltered & now something is gnawing at Joe.

Selvage is a fast, funny show about unravelling tightly wound modern anxieties and a boy’s reckoning with his gnaw.


11 – 13 Jan
Dopa-Mean Girl
Louisa Ní Éideáin at First Fortnight

Welcome to the musical journey of a woman with late diagnosis ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Fáilte go cheolseó grinn faoi bhean a bhfuil ADHD uirthi.

Can she harness the boundless energy and creativity alongside the crippling self-criticism and impulsivity? Everything, including this show, is in search of one thing – the elusive Dopamine hit.

This cabaret-style show recreates the polyphony of a brain that must do at least two things at all times.


14 Jan
We’ll All Still Be Here
Sam Armstrong at First Fortnight

Sam Armstrong leads a cycling cast of musicians occupy the theatre, playing entirely improvised music for 7 hours.

There is a microphone at the front of the stage – it’s for you. Read your poetry, tell us about your day, whatever you feel is appropriate. The piece is in seven movements. Each hour is a new movement.

Each movement has a distinct sound palette. You can come and go whenever you want, but we encourage you to pick a movement and stay for its duration. You can always return later to see how things have changed. We’ll all still be here.


20 Jan
BAN BAM New Works Premiere: Meilana Gillard | Bianca Gannon | Carole Nelson
BAN BAM

A night of new music performed for the first time by a selection of Ireland’s top improvising and jazz musicians, featuring a suite of music from
the 3 BAN BAM commissioned composers Meilana Gillard, Bianca Gannon and Carole Nelson and their ensembles.

BAN BAM is a biennial commission and development opportunity for female and gender minority composers from across Ireland.


23 – 27 Jan
Echo
Dominic O’Brien

Echo begins as a gig and then becomes something else. Something stranger.

It’s about Ronan, a musician on tour in the UK. He’s the opening act for a much bigger band, and we follow him over the course of two nights, two concerts. The first one goes well. The second is a nightmare. As his past catches up with him, Ronan must decide whether to confront it, or just keep singing the same tune.

This is a show about music, morality, and masculinity; one that weaves songs and stories together to examine the ways we try (and fail) to connect with the world around us.


25 – 27 Jan
Constellations
Entr’acte Musical Theatre and Drama Society

One relationship. Infinite possibilities. A beekeeper and a physicist meet at a party. Maybe they go for a drink, maybe they don’t. Maybe they end up married. Maybe they never see each other again.
Nick Payne’s epic yet intimate Constellations explores the infinite variations of one relationship as seen through the lens of the quantum multiverse.


30 Jan – 3 Feb
THOM PAIN (based on nothing)
Cathal Cleary Theatre Company

Comic and disturbing, this provocative monologue charts one man’s anguished journey from shattered childhood dreams to the tenuous optimism of adulthood, told in dangerous intimacy by a voice loaded with wry humour and deceptive charm.
A surreal but touching exploration of death, rejection, love and fear, where Thom Pain questions as much as he reveals, yet affirms life’s worth through a realization of its unpredictable splendours amid its predictable mediocrities.

Ecstatically happy people should stay at home.


3 Feb
SHAMELESS
Women of Wit

Lift your spirits and soothe your soul with fun, laughter, storytelling and comedy along with a dash of psychotherapy!
Enjoy this all female line-up in the cosy and historic setting of Smock Alley Theatre in the heart of Dublin’s Old City. Expect 100% pure comic mayhem.

Comedians: Emily Ashmore, Eve Darcy, Kate Feeney, Emma Gleeson, Josephine Lacy, Breda Larkin, Mags McHugh and more.
Music by Emileo.


6 – 10 Feb
The Good Father
Murmuration Studios and Resonate Film and Theatre

It’s New Year’s Eve and most of the party guests are in the kitchen admiring photos of their babies. Two lonely strangers find themselves cut off from the rest.
Jane was invited because she knows the people in the kitchen.
Tim was invited because he painted the kitchen.
Jane drunkenly asks Tim, “What are you doing for sex tonight?” and a few weeks later she calls him with some unexpected news: she’s pregnant…


15 Feb – 2 Mar
Scene and Heard Festival
Scene and Heard

Scene + Heard was designed to nurture and support artistic collaborations and showcase new works.
The 2024 programme saw 107 brand new shows across all genres – music, comedy, theatre, dance, poetry, children’s theatre, drag, circus.
Link to the full 2024 programme here


4 – 9 Mar
A Rose By Any Other Name
Rosemary Loughlin

This one woman show charts Rose’s fascinating and life changing journey with Shakespeare from childhood to recent times.
It centres around the controversial subject of Shakespeare authorship which takes Rose on a journey through parts of Italy and England on the trail of 16th Century poet and courtier Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.


15 + 16 Mar
Francis Breen: WHITE
Fly Away Home Productions

The year is 2024, a white man does stand-up comedy? What?! In this case he’s a man in a cheap white suit daubed in white paint. For lovers of the absurd.
In association with Fly Away Home productions.

The final showing of Francis Breen’s 2023 Edinburgh Fringe run.


16 Mar
Áine Gallagher: For the Love of Milseáin
Lisa Richards Presents

Award winning comedian and Ireland’s “queen of the offbeat” Áine Gallagher, is on a mission to prove that speaking Irish can be both accessible and hilarious.

Following her recent sell out national tour Áine is back using her quirky and deadpan style as her secret weapon as she navigates dating, mug-cake-baking, and mistake-making to create a wholly unique comedy experience. A comedy experience that is bilingual but also completely accessible and that guarantees to reignite your grá for the language and unlock your cúpla focal.


20 – 23 Mar
Lost and Found
Inchicore College of Further Education

Lost and Found is a re framing of the story of the highwayman MacHeath, and his gang of men, Peachum the Thieftaker, his daughter Polly and all the murky underworld of London.
We set our production in the middle of nowhere, in a shop that offers things that are Lost and Found. Here a group of people, seemingly strangers to each other, meet and begin to tell the story under the aegis of the shopkeeper, The Boss. Perhaps they have all been together before, perhaps other stories have been told. This story will be told today.


22 – 23 Mar
Making A Show of Myself
Mary Kate O’Flanagan

An Irish raconteur shares the most ridiculous, embarrassing, hilarious and tragic episodes of her life, showing there’s a story in every stumble – and a little magic in every story.
Back by popular demand, following a sellout run in November/December 2023, Mary Kate explores how her lifelong fascination with story has shaped and sustained her and makes a compelling case for how stories shape and sustain the human race.


24 Mar
John Doherty
John Doherty

Donegal singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, John Doherty, first entered the Irish music scene as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the band, Little Hours. He is now releasing brand new music as a solo artist. Doherty, celebrated for his distinctive voice and profound song writing, brings his new show to Smock Alley.

Having graced stages across Ireland, the UK, and Europe alongside industry giants like James Bay, Kodaline, Gavin James, Seal, and Birdy, John Doherty is no stranger to the spotlight. Now, with his solo venture, he is poised to embark on a new chapter.


1 + 4 – 6 Apr
Unhooked
Ella Skolimowski

Look, I’ve almost recovered, I’m going to group therapy. I. Am. Doing. The. Work. So what’s the harm in downloading a dating app? In going on just one little date?

Alright, I’ll admit, it’s not exactly what they tell us to do in the sex and love addicts group – but what do they know?! If we all waited until we were emotionally stable and happy and healthy before we got into a relationship: no one would go out with anyone, would they?! And then wouldn’t life be dull??? I think you know what I mean.

Do you know what I mean? And if you do, what did you do about it? How did you get… unhooked?

From award-winning writer-performer Ella Skolimowski, Unhooked was initially developed at Axis Ballymun, presented at Scene + Heard in 2023, and developed further with support from the Arts Council.


10 – 13 Apr
SUZY STORCK
Cathal Cleary Theatre Company

Another unbearably hot evening. It’s 8.45pm. Suzy Storck sits by the window. A glass of wine. A bottle. Three bottles.
Her husband’s left. Maybe he’s coming home. Maybe he’s not.
Upstairs, the sound of tiny hands behind a bedroom door. Her children. Suzy locked them in. Another glass. The smell of an animal that isn’t quite yet dead. And still the sun will just not set.
Suzy realises she never chose any of this. She wonders how she ended up here. After tonight, she might never find her way out.

This powerful and haunting modern classic play receives its Irish Premiere this April. Directed by Ursula McGinn, the first recipient of the Early-Career Directors’ Award from Cathal Cleary Theatre Company.


13 Apr
Pottervision: Secret in the Chamber
Pottervision

The Potter parody show is back with a brand-new show, now celebrating the ridiculousness of the second Potter film. The Pottervision boys take you on a Ford Anglia ride through the Chamber of Secrets with new characters, new sketches and the same old Pottervision madness.

“Great comedic timing and an ability to connect with the audience that other companies can only dream of.” – Broadway Baby


15 – 20 Apr
Bunny Bunny
Nora Kelly Lester

Take a trip down the rabbit hole with Bunny. Men, money, motherhood, sex, politics, competition, the world. What’s it all about? Poor Bunny, she doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going… or does she know exactly what she’s doing?

A riotous and absurd romantic nightmare comedy filled with piggy banks, ex-lovers, their new lovers and songs about hotel soap.

“Masterful clowning shows us a woman struggling with life in a way that will be all too familiar to many: full of humour and pathos, as all clowns should be.” ★★★★ Everything Theatre


19 + 20 Apr
Bing Bong Comedy Improv Show
Bing Bong Comedy Improv

A chaotic cavalcade of comedy featuring some of Ireland’s tip top improv groups. Nothing is pre-planned so no one knows what’s going to happen next, including the performers. A very fun and very silly night out at the theatre.

Fri 19th Apr: Tiny, Kiss Your Dinner, Broad Strokes and Pro Rasslin’
Sat 20th Apr: Auto-Correbt, Cool Baby, Hayes & Kelly and Parental Guidance


23 – 27 Apr
The Last Incel
Jamie Sykes

Log into the world of the Incels: an online community of toxic men that blame women and society for their inability to have sex.
That is, until one of them does hook up with a woman who invades their group meeting. And all hell breaks loose.

Strap in as this wild satire turns over one of the darkest stones of the internet to reveal the strange fleshy humans wriggling underneath.


2 – 4 May
The Ireland We Dreamed Of
Sinead McCann and Louise Brangan

The Ireland We Dreamed Of is a new performance by visual artist Sinead McCann in collaboration with sociologist Dr Louise Brangan.

In Catholic Ireland, moral purity and virtue had become the national motifs. The problem was, you can’t claim purity if you know otherwise. The dirt and sin that defied it had to be scrubbed from Ireland’s national consciousness.

The Ireland We Dreamed Of brings the audience through a series of unsettling dreamscapes. This powerful performance explores what it was like to live with the unbearable weight of self-denial, how silence seeped into our homes, and the bravery it took to break out from this world of secrets.


3 + 4 May
The Good Women
Good Women Arts LTD

It’s the 1960s, the world is changing. Protesters take the streets, hippies celebrate free love, and a young band called “The Beatles” is rising to fame. Not in conservative Switzerland, where women did not even get the vote until the 1971.

Bette, star of a regional TV cooking show and Trudy, a housewife with an alcohol problem and an obsession for Bette’s show, are about to change that – and question their life choices, sexualities and what it means to be a good woman in the process.


9 – 11 May
The Pigeon Factory
Oh!Scare Wilde Productions

A new one-man show that explores ideas of work, family, and finding purpose in a broken society through the lens of absurdity, pathos, and pigeons.

Walden has a pretty good life – happily married to his mannequin wife, he works his pigeon children into the ground so that he may feast upon their eggs for sustenance. Walden is doing everything he’s supposed to do – so why does he feel so empty? Can his fantasies about his pigeons sustain him? Or must he do the hard thing, and face up to a great hurt done to him in the past?


11 May
Night At The Harem
Yalla Bellydance Dublin

Step into a world of enchantment and rhythm with “Night At The Harem” – an exquisite bellydance extravaganza show!

Immerse yourself in the allure of swirling veils, captivating melodies, and mesmerizing movements that will transport you to a magical realm. From sensual solos to dynamic group routines, “Night At The Harem” guarantees a night of entertainment that will leave you breathless and craving more.


16 May
The Dress of Memories
Compagnia B

The Dress of Memories unfolds as an emotional journey through the boundaries of pain and human resilience, in which the protagonists find themselves confronting the bitter reality of separation, exploring the delicate balance between the desire to stay and the need to leave, between the promise of eternity and the cruelty of farewell. The characters grapple with the uncertainty of the future between fears and hopes, clinging to the past and their memories.

Company B is an association founded in 2002 that carries out production activities for performative and multimedia events (art, video, cinema and theatre), under the artistic direction of Alice Capitanio. It operates mainly in the Sardinian regional territory, with frequent activities on a national and international level.


17 May
Bum Notes: The Improvised Musical
Bum Notes

Our entirely improvised musical is back, better than ever. You don’t want to miss this chance to have your musical suggestion crafted in real time into a fully-realised, ridiculous, comical, and maybe even heartfelt production.


18 May
RAP Party for Palestine
ArínọláTheatre

The R.A.P Party for Palestine is a night organised by ArínọláTheatre in the aim of brining talented poems paired with talented DJs to the people of Dublin City while also raising money for the Palestine Red Crescent Society. 100% of the profit made will be donated directly to the PRCS.

The R.A.P (Rhythm and Poetry) Party is the most unique, exhilarating, vibrant, live literature event anywhere in the world. Founded by Inua Ellams, it is a nostalgic, no-clutter, no-fuss, evening of poems inspired by hip-hop culture, paired with favourite hip-hop songs.

A poet reads/performs a piece: a poem or short prose ‘inspired’ by any aspect of hip hop culture, after which the DJ spins a couple of their favourite songs. The format is painfully simple, but THE VIBE is where it’s at…


21 – 25 May
New Era, New Éire
BoyFace & Standard Practice Productions

Set in a working-class suburb of south Dublin, the play centres around JT O’Brien and his father Stephen “Buzzer” O’Brien as they deal with the recent death of JT’s mother Marie. Both must deal with change socially, physically and emotionally as their lives moves forward.

A blackly comic look at how men grieve, New Era, New Éire is a play about change and memory that touches upon more serious issues in Iife such as grief, alcoholism and mental health challenges.


24 + 25 May
DublinLand
Partial Nudity & Smoke Machines

Following an acclaimed sell-out run at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2023 DublinLand returns for an international tour.

Dublin is in a time of crisis. Rents sky-rocketing, houses turning to hotels, tech conglomerates spreading like wildfire. But don’t worry, the government has a plan to save us… and its called DublinLand! In the near future, the Taoiseach announces that they have sold Dublin to corporate investors who plan on turning it into a Dublin-themed theme park, offering an experience as “more Irish than Ireland itself.”

DublinLand is a daring, biting and wonderfully bizarre satire of all that Dublin is and all that it’s becoming.


28 May – 1 Jun
Just A Minute
Conor Murray

Meet the intern.

Alienated, delusional, and with a monumental crush on the straight boy in the office, our intern is the ultimate corporate flop. Join him for one life-changing day as he attempts to suppress his queerness and rise through the ranks at the Greenwich Meantime Museum.

If you’re a recovering workaholic, a Colin the Caterpillar fanatic, or simply looking for a laugh – this is the show for you!

This is a riotous new comedy written and performed by Conor Murray and directed by Emma Finegan.


11 – 15 Jun
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
No Drama Theatre

Step aside, Prince Hamlet, for this is the tale of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two hapless minor characters who find themselves thrust to the fore. In Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly funny play, the spotlight swings away from the Danish prince to shine on these unwitting heroes.

They navigate a dizzying existential labyrinth where reality is as muddled as their memories and every exit is an entrance somewhere else. It’s a story where the sidelines become the centre of action, and whatever is usually meant to happen off stage happens on.Watch as these accidental heroes tackle their unexpected starring roles with a blend of bemused incompetence and whimsical philosophy. It’s a laugh-packed exploration of fate and free will, proving that even the smallest characters have their own stories.


13 – 15 Jun
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Court Jester Theatre

Join Dorian on a descent into debauchery.
This Picture of Dorian Gray explores the ‘Wildest’ side of Dorian and the darker side of Wilde as we expose Mr. Gray’s sensational secret. Why does he look so young? Why is he so unscarred by sin? And what became of that pleasant portrait Basil Hallward painted of him?


16 Jun
Fragments of Lucia
Joseph Chester

FRAGMENTS OF LUCIA is a solo guitar performance by Joseph Chester of his highly-acclaimed album LUCIA, a suite of 10 pieces inspired by fragments of the life of Lucia Joyce.

Joseph Chester is a multi award-nominated songwriter, composer and musician whose albums have featured in the books ‘101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ by Tony Clayton-Lea, ‘Buried Treasure’ by Dan Hegarty and in The Sunday Times list of the best Irish albums of all time. Over the course of two years, Chester took ten key moments from the life of Lucia Joyce. Ten facts of her existence and composed a piece of music for each, to pay tribute to her, to bear witness to her and in some fantastical, imaginary way, let her speak.


18 Jun
Building
The Fine Theatre

Building or the ordinary madness of the corporate world gone wrong. One day. Thirteen floors.
Employees work to the untimely rhythm of birds crashing against the windows as their emotions fluctuate beyond their control.

The increasingly frantic pace of their ascent foreshadows a programmed fall, while communication, goodwill and empathy are counterproductive.

From the maintenance worker to the director, everyone is forced to flee the exchange in this absurd universe where personal profit takes precedence over humanity. They become animals with primitive instincts.


20 Jun
The Rise of Maqoma
Nandi Jola

“How do we as a society of Africans heal when our entire history is buried in Museums”This play is an innovative storytelling and oral history body of work influenced by the discovery of Chief Maqoma’s stick in the National Museum of Ireland. The stick came to Ireland in 1873 and was donated to the Museum in 1880. The language of colonisation and migration comes to life through challenging whitewashed history and most especially opening the conversation on repatriations.


26 – 29 Jun
Motherhood
Michelle MacMullan

1 Show, 3 Plays
Endless ways to be a Mammy, or not…

Play #1: Oh Baby, Baby!
Peer inside the mind of pregnant teenager Aoife. This one- woman show exposes the fear, guilt, shame and secret joy of an unplanned pregnancy in 1990s Dublin. This is not the world of The Snapper – it’s much more middle class.

Play #2: State of Grace?
Sick of stigma about being single and childless? Tired of talking about your sex life with strangers? Certain you won’t change your mind about babies? So is Grace. Feel the frustration as she undergoes interrogation in disguise as a dinner party. Familiar territory to women of a ‘certain age’.

Play #3: Lost and Found
You’ve heard of an ‘out of body experience’? Some events are so frightfully awful, so traumatisingly tragic, that we need to escape our own selves to survive. Michie is having a miscarriage. Her flesh feels every excruciating moment, but her mind floats away to find refuge. Can she ever piece together the fragments of her fragile body and soul?