A feast of theatre @ Galway Fringe Festival

FROM EPIC, ancient, voyages to the ‘girls night out’, from stories of bag ladies to the return of Christ, the Galway Fringe Festival theatre strand has it all.

Theatre shows taking place in The Galway Playhouse, the Columban Hall, Sea Road, include Black Couch Theatre Company’s Blessing in Disguise (July 21 to 26, 8.30pm ), a new comedy of love, marriage, and children, and the in-laws.

Inspired by the era of Shakespearean theatre, The Mute Quire (running daily at 3pm, up to and including July 27 ) is a freewheeling story of a blind printer, his illiterate apprentice, and a buffoonish actor from the King’s Men. This show, created by an ensemble from Italy, China, and the USA, won Best Original Production at the Detroit’s Rogue Critic’s Awards 2012.

Fregoli Theatre will stage family show The Voyage of Brian (July 23 to 25, 1pm ). It follows the adventures of King Brian and his wife the Queen. Together they sail the seas to islands of magic where they encounter “grief hid as joy and sorrow as fun”.

Skytashe Dance Theatre’s Bitter Youth (July 25 to 27, 6pm ) tells the tale of shared human experience, secret regrets, and salvation in self and others through the media of music and dance.

The Hall at Busker Browns will also host shows as part of the fringe, including works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Irish playwrights Samuel Beckett and Frank McGuinness.

All A Dream is a monologue drawn from the prose writings of Samuel Beckett and is on today at 8pm.

Dostoyevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor (July 21 to 25, 1pm ) was inspired by his own The Brothers Karamazov. Atheist Ivan and novice monk Alyosha debate the possibility of a personal and benevolent God. This leads to a story about Christ returning to earth during The Inquisition only to find The Grand Inquisitor questioning His works and ideas.

Dhá Laimh Theatre presents Frank McGuinness’ Bag Lady (July 24 to 26, 4pm ). The Baglady is a gentle woman whose life has been affected by violence. Performed by Antje McInerney and directed by Laura Mulcahy who will take part in a post-show discussion.

Lost Goose Theatre Company will stage Havarie (Kelly’s Bar, Bridge Street, July 21 to 26, 3.30pm ). The play tells the story of two sisters who board a boat, leave their home and travel across the sea, aided only by the stars, a seal, and the stories they tell each other.

The sisters have to brave wind and weather, hunger and thirst, and their growing loneliness. But the greatest danger they have to face is rooted in a dark secret about the day their home was attacked.

Also in Kelly’s is Fionnuala Gygax’s one-woman show Noodle (July 25 and 26, 1pm ) which focuses on the awkwardness of growing up and the tumultuous journey from innocence to experience, told through the lens of one character - Noodle.

Community theatre group ALâ will present two forum theatre shows in the Victoria Hotel, Eyre Square, tomorrow and Saturday at 3pm.

The first show, The Other Side of the Mirror (tomorrow ) centres on Galwegian Brian who works for a major company in Africa, and then realises the images and messages about Ireland are embarrassing and he sets out to change this perspective.

Divide and Conquer (Saturday ) is about how communities can be divided on a particular issue to suit vested interests.

Yer Wan, written and performed by Niamh Moroney (July 21 to 25, Áras na nGael, 5pm ) is for women who love to go to clubs, put on platforms, fake tan, and hair extensions, as well as those who love to look at such people and declare: “Would ya look at yer wan? The state of her!”

ShadowPlay is a new dance show by Galway’s Off Beaten Path Dance company (July 22 to 24, Columban Hall, Sea Road, 6.30pm ), which will seek to challenge strangeness/otherness, and the tensions between the private and public self. The accompanying music is performed live at the show by Galwegian composer and songwriter Eamon Brett.

Off Beaten Path Dance features dancers from Ireland, Poland, USA and Canada, and was founded by Genevieve Ryan and Katarzyna Voetter.

The festival runs until July 28. Tickets are available through galwayfringe.ie or from the box-office at 3 Lombard Street.

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