Last year THISISPOPBABY commissioned Neil Watkins to write a new play for two performances within our Queer Notions arts festival. Upon first reading we knew we had something extraordinary on our hands. Written in hypnotic verse, this brave and heartbreaking piece is both a profound personal journey and a furious state-of-the-nation address. Two performances would not be enough.
Watch Neil HERE: bit.ly/YOMW2011
This is a story that had not been told before on the Irish stage and one that urgently needs to be brought to a wider audience. A story of internet porn addiction, destructive sexual behaviour and social isolation. It’s also a story that hasn’t gone away - one of Catholic guilt, crippling gay shame, living with HIV and the search for love and intimacy.
We want to bring this groundbreaking story to full production at ABSOLUT Fringe 2011, making it the most talked about theatrical event of the festival, while inspiring, challenging and exhilarating as many people as we can squeeze into the theatre!
If you joined us at Queer Notions 2010, you will know all about the mid-show power cut, the urgent evacuation from Project Arts Centre, the rousing performance on the snowy streets, and the sustained standing ovation.
You will know that Neil is one of Ireland’s most exciting artists, and one of our most incendiary performers. Somebody who consistently challenges the status quo and provides unforgettable nights out. He is a maverick. A force of nature. A 33-year-old homosexual with a Jesus complex.
Operating outside of any established support structures, Neil has created history as Heidi Konnt (unforgettable winner of Alternative Miss Ireland 2006) and host of WERK in the Abbey Theatre (Sunday Times Best Night Out 2010). He stole the show in THISISPOPBABY at Electric Picnic (2009/2010) and has written/directed a number of sold-out plays in Dublin Fringe.
This year, we want to bring Neil’s inspiring and poetic story to a much wider audience. We have been invited to perform as part of ABSOLUT Fringe and we need €6,000 to make this happen. This will be used specifically to bring the creative team into the rehearsal room for three weeks in August, reworking the script and developing the set, costume and sound elements.
The Year of Magical Wanking team is: Neil Watkins (writer / performer), Phillip McMahon (director), Ciarán O’Melia (designer) and Jennifer Jennings (producer). The show has selected sounds from electronica artist Oberman Knocks. THISISPOPBABY is a theatre and events production company dedicated to ripping up the space between popular culture, counter culture and high art.
Some praise for The Year of Magical Wanking at Queer Notions 2010:
"A brave and piercing display...both caustic and considered, a seething personal autobiography which, under Phillip McMahon’s bracingly unsentimental direction, is transformed into a more capacious metaphor for disaffection and regeneration...heartbreaking" Irish Theatre Magazine
“Truthful, heartfelt and immediately identifiable…astonishingly brave” - Queer Notions festival highlight. The Irish Times
You will not be disappointed!
A HUGE thanks for your help,
Neil, Phillip, Ciarán & Jenny.