With the Autumn term comes the usual excitable feelings and back to college rituals. Fortunately the Autumn/Winter period continuously boasts an effervescent program of arts events, and the 2017-2018 calendar certainly appears to continue this tradition. One of the highlights of the cultural year, the Dublin Fringe Festival, happens to occur over the first two weeks of the first semester.

The Festival has gained a huge following of art enthusiasts and newcomers alike to the scene. Its aim is to combine a multitude of artistic disciplines, such as theatre, comedy and dance, to bring fresh, innovative interpretations of these disciplines to the audiences of Dublin. The festival runs from the 9th-24th September with several shows performed each night in several different performance spaces across the city.

This year has an incredible line up, with some particular highlights. These include:

 Not at Home: With the current campaigns surrounding the 8th amendment, this play is particularly relevant as it explores the the idea of the abortion clinic waiting room. Produced by Emma Fraser of Nine Crows and Grace Dyas of Theatre Club, they have spent over a year collecting testimonies of 163,514 women’s experiences of  travelling abroad for terminations in order to retell these stories in a non judgemental way through an artistic platform, and more importantly to connect women who have gone through the same experience. It will run from 14th-17th September in the NCAD gallery.

Neon Western: Created by Peter Power and Conflicted Theatre, Neon Western has been described as ‘part rave, part theatre.’ The play is set in the Soiled Dove Saloon, a place which we can quickly identify is an area of little to no morals. As well as an interesting story, the high point of this play is the interactive feel and the merge between audience and theatre space, as well as the use of lighting and effects. Showing on 9th-10th and 13th-17th September in the Samuel Beckett Theatre.

Soldier Still: Junk Ensemble Dance Theatre have a reputation for consistently brilliant productions and prove again and again that Ireland holds an incredible level of dance theatre and contemporary dance. Twin sisters Jessica and Megan Kennedy have created Solider Still, a dance theatre piece involving dancers and former soldiers to give form to the trauma and violence so often experienced by soldiers. Text, spoken word and visuals are incorporated to fully explore the concept. Showing from 9th-14th September in the Project Arts Centre.

The Friday Night Effect: This new play has just had a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and received rave reviews to no surprise. Theatre company ‘Sundays Child’ made up of Eva O’Connor and Hildegard Ryan are responsible for the creation and writing of this play, with O’Connor also starring. The two have become a force in new theatre after the success of plays “My Name is Saoirse”, “Maz” and “Bricks and Overshadowed”, which focuses on the theme of anorexia and has recently been commissioned by BBC Three to become an eight part drama. These ladies are creating relatable, intriguing works and is a must see of the festival. Showing September 20th-23rd at the Smock Alley Theatre.

Alison Spittle; Worrier Princess: For a lighter side to the Fringe Festival, comedian Alison Spittle will be doing her new show following the success of ‘Alison Spittle Discovers Hawaii’. Her honesty and genuine tales of worry will have you in an elated mood from the minute you step into the auditorium, Showing 11th-17th September at the Bello Bar.

Bulmers Comedy Festival: The Bulmers comedy festival will take place from the 7th-30th of September. The festival will feature 17 award winning comedians who will perform every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month. The festival will take place at the Laughter Lounge in Dublin, and arrival before 7:30pm each night will be rewarded with a complimentary Bulmers pint or cocktail! The four main comedians performing are Stuart Goldsmith from the 7th-9th, Andrew Ryan from the 14th-16th, Nigel NG from the 21st-23rd and Owen O’Neil from the 28th-30th, with special guests on each night.

Holly Lloyd – Arts & Events Editor