There’s a RIOT on the way!

RIOT. photo by Conor Horgan for THISISPOPBABY


How it’s New York:  Happened this week in New York City
How it’s Irish: Talk with Irish Theatre company ThisPopBaby and Panti Bliss about upcoming tour of their show RIOT

RIOT. photo by Conor Horgan for THISISPOPBABY

This past Tuesday the Irish Arts Center hosted a talk with the creators and star of the upcoming show RIOT from the Dublin Theatre company THISPOPBABY.  The brainchild of Jennifer Jennings and Phillip McMahon, who are collectively THISPOPBABY, and starring the one and only Panti Bliss (aka Rory O’Neill), they came to share the origins of the show and a bit about their collective theatrical paths.  The show will be playing 3 nights in February 2018 at the NYU Skirball Center, and tickets are going fast!

Founded in 2007 during their days of club-hopping, Jennings and McMahon began[pullquote]Dublin, and Ireland itself, is changing and they want to present something that shows the tides of the times.  [/pullquote]THISPOPBABY to present theatrical pieces in club settings.  Eventually they went on to present more elaborate pieces in tents at popular music festivals, widening their audiences and allowing them the draw to be able to present in theatres.  RIOT is the ultimate culmination of these efforts and played sold out runs at the Spiegeltent and Vicar Street in Dublin last year to great critical acclaim.

I’ve met Philly McMahon a number of times with Panti over the past few years, and he has been the co-writer and director of her show “High Heels in Low Places“, hence Panti’s involvement as the Ring Leader in this new show.

They talked a bit about the formation of that show and how a lot of it was shaped by the after-math of Panti-gate and the Marriage Referndum campaign.

Dublin, and Ireland itself, is changing and they want to present something that shows the tides of the times. While not purely political, there are elements of commentary on current situations and figures and definitely handfuls of glitter.

One delightful quote from the effervescent Jenny Jennings was that whenever they found a piece wasn’t working they would throw a handful of glitter at it and that always made things better.

The show will feature a number of different acts, ranging from theatrical pieces, dance, circus style strength and acrobatics, all on the gloriously whacky sets and in the costumes designed by longtime Panti collaborator Niall Sweeney, in a candy colored world populated by counter-culture superheros.  All of this will be enhanced by a pumping dance-music score and swirls of disco lighting.

RIOT. photo by Conor Horgan for THISISPOPBABY

You can find information on tickets for this show, being co-sponsored by the Irish Arts Centre and the Skirball Center for February 15th, 16th and 17th 2018 here tickets

It’s a dazzling spectacle of love, life and hope and I can’t wait to experience it and hope to see you there!


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