Dublin’s Fringe Festival has far less comedy than its Edinburgh counterpart, but every year it seems like more and more cracking comedy shows are added to the line-up. Here’s our top picks for the must-see comedy shows of 2018.
WITCHES & DOGS
ERIN MCGATHY & BEN SEEDER
Anyone who caught Erin McGathy’s one-woman comedic tour de force Murdertown at last year’s Dublin and Edinburgh Fringe festivals will know she’s a rare comic talent. She returns to this year’s Dublin Fringe with a new improvised theatre show starring alongside another veteran US improviser Ben Seeder. This is the first theatrical outing for MOB, McGathy’s new company which promises to deliver a lot more improv-based comedy and theatre in the coming months. In Witches & Dogs, Seeder and McGathy will deliver a ‘funny, compelling and frequently poignant, never-before-seen production based on interviews with the audience.’ Each show will be an original play, never to be performed again. Go and see this at least once, if not twice.
Preview Sep 18 @ 18:30
Dates Sep 19-22 @ 18:30
Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Other performance Sep 22 @ 13:00
Duration 60 mins
Venue The New Theatre
DREAMGUN FILM READS: THE FRINGE BINGE
We’ve sung the praises of this particular comedy collective in YOUTH before (see here). Dreamgun continue to ‘amuse and exasperate cinephiles in equal measure with their skewed, joke-stuffed and wholly unrehearsed takes on established cinematic favourites.’ This year, they’re bringing the Film Reads greatest hits to both the Edinburgh and Dublin Fringe. Having caught about half of these shows the first time out, and listened to the rest on the Dreamgun Film Reads podcast, I can confirm that every single one of them is laugh out loud hilarious. The only question is whether Dreamgun can maintain the energy of the ‘unrehearsed’ format when the shows are repeated. My guess is these shows will only get funnier as the excellent comedy cast hone their performances in Edinburgh. Our picks for best shows are Spider-Man, Batman Begins and T2-Judgement Day.
Dates Sep 11-16 @ 20:45
Tickets €16 / €14 conc.
Other performance Sep 16 @ 13:30
Tuesday: Harry Potter
Wednesday: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Friday: The Matrix
Sunday Matinee: Spider-Man
Sunday: Batman Begins
Duration 80 mins
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre 1662
TRIAL OF THE CENTURYS
THE MESS AROUND & POPICAL ISLAND
Art pop and comedy collide in this courtroom musical from the minds of Giles Brody and Bobby Aherne. Brody is the twisted comic genius behind the hilarious fictional priest Father Quigg and his surreal Sunday Sermon podcast, while Aherne crafts perfect pop tunes under the moniker No Monster Club. Together, they’ve crafted a musical about fun-loving popstar twins Trevor and Elliot Century (AKA 'Trelliot') who face a miserable magistrate after being served a summons by a dodgy merch salesman. If this wasn’t enough to get you to part with your hard-earned cash, they’ve only gone and cast two of Ireland’s top comedy stars Kevin McGahern and Tony Cantwell as the giddy pop siblings. Do not miss this show.
Preview Sep 17 @ 18:30
Dates Sep 18-22 @ 21:00
Tickets €15 / €13 conc.
Other performance Sep 22 @ 14:00
Duration 75 mins
Venue Project Arts Centre Cube
Longform comedy improv shows popularised by groups like UCB and The Second City in the US are rapidly growing in popularity in Ireland. Regular performers at The Tightrope improv night in Anseo on Camden Street, Auto-Correbt (not a typo) are bringing an unusual proposition to the Fringe. They have set themselves the challenge of performing every other show at this year's festival. The only problem is that they haven't seen any of them. Based on titles of shows, lines in the brochure or the vague recollections of audience members, they'll make up excerpts, theme songs, interviews with the directors and slideshow seminars on the deeper themes of the other shows. I was lucky enough to catch the group pilot this idea in Anseo during last year’s Fringe and it was a joy to behold.
Dates Sep 08 - 13 @ 19:30
Tickets €13 / €11 conc.
Duration 50 mins
Venue Festival Club Comedy Cellar