ed serif;”>Making her Fringe Debut after assisting Talking Shop Ensemble and Shaun Dunne on their new production Death of The Tradesmen, sovaldi Aifric Ni Ruairc gives an insider’s view to the Festival.

treatment serif;”>It’s the end of the summer and we’re all back to college but that doesn’t mean the festival season is over. The Absolut Fringe Festival Launched on Saturday the 8th of September and runs until the 22nd. With over 80 different acts in over 30 different venues around the city, the festival is huge and has something for all tastes. This year the Absolut Fringe turns 18 and to celebrate this milestone birthday its ready to flaunt its new legal status and celebrate! But what is the Fringe all about?

Fringe is an Arts festival (so all you Arts students have no reason not to get involved) and it boasts the best in home grown and international theatre, music, dance, comedy and much more. There is something for everybody here and even if you think you don’t like this scene. The full programme is available www.fringefest.com and all tickets can be purchased online.

The playwright and performer Shaun Dunne is an old hat at the Absolut Fringe, this is his fourth year in a row showcasing a new piece and he believes this year’s program is truly special. “There are actually some really good shows this year” he says, “I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Flatpack by Ulysses Opera Theatre, a modern opera about Ikea.” Yes, the Fringe has an opera about Ikea. I told you there was something for everyone here. If that sounds too strange for you but you still want to something more lyrical maybe try Elevator, a new musical about partying from THISISPOPBABY.

So why should UCD students bother seeing Death of The Tradesmen? Dunne’s play references Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesmen (a play all you English students will be familiar with) in order to accurately portray the difficulties marring the lives of older tradesmen. Even though it sounds heavy, Dunne assures that there will be plenty of laughs along with the tears, “The piece is about two young people exploring a topical and relevant subject for all young people today. You’ll see a lot of yourself in it, and of your family. Whether your dad is a tradesmen or a businessman we’ve all had to face up to money matters, especially students.”

Lauren Larkin, Best Female Performer Nominee at last year’s Fringe Awards thinks the Fringe is a great opportunity to sample every aspect of the arts in Dublin “I love theatre but I find the Fringe a great chance to see new comedy acts” she says. Comedy is plentiful here, with The Rubberbandits back again performing in Meeting House Square. Comedy shows are reasonably priced at the festival as well, it’ll cost a student only 12 euro to see the always hilarious musical comedy supergroup Dead Cat Bounce’s new show Dead Cat Bounce …Clowns.

So what will the highlights of the Fringe be this year? “Obviously, Death of The Tradesmen, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Elevator, Flatpack and Wilfredd Theatre’s new play Farm” says Dunne. “Janey, I don’t know!” says Larkin “Just hanging around the Festival club! But I really wanna see THEATREclub’s new show Hungry Tender, The Company’s new piece HipstersWe’ve Met and Liked and Elevator.”

If all of this sounds too weird for you then why not check out one of the music acts like Kormac’s Big Band, fresh from their Electric Picnic success, who are playing Meeting House Square this Friday the 14th of September. Efterklang & the Major Lift Orchestra, one of the highlights of the festival, will also be playing the square on the 14th. If your short on cash, it’s worth taking a wander through temple bar. You never know what you’ll stumble across with the Fringe.