Smock Allies: Scene + Heard Festival

With the annual Scene + Heard festival running until 3rd March, Kate McBrearty gives us the rundown on all the events.

 

The Scene + Heard festival is a platform for up-and-coming directors, writers, producers, and performers to showcase their works. The festival stages diverse genres such as music, dance, theatre, comedy, and spoken word. Taking place in the Smock Alley Theatre, it will contains four separate stages: Smock Alley Theatre, The Boys School, Black Box, and The Banquet Hall.

In 2016, the festival’s inaugural year, Scene + Heard saw 85 pieces of new work being showcased. Audiences were invited to give feedback on each performance, via a video booth, secret ballot, or candy poll for example.

Last year the festival featured acts such as Chromatics, a new Irish musical which is soon to debut a full performance in the Mill Theatre, Dundrum; Mursery, a grizzly retelling of classic nursery rhymes from an adult’s perspective; and Smashing Barriers, a piece devised and performed by people with disabilities to challenge the perceptions and stereotypes cast upon them.

This year Scene + Heard will showcase 100+ new works by various companies.

Tickets start at €5, and the audience will often get to see more than one piece with their ticket, as pieces are grouped together in “Blocks.”

This year Scene + Heard will showcase 100+ new works by various companies.

Tickets start at €5, and the audience will often get to see more than one piece with their ticket, as pieces are grouped together in “Blocks.”

Generally, each block will contain two pieces of new theatrical work of contrasting themes, giving the audience a variety that appeals to everyone. Some blocks will contain only one longer piece.

For example, Block 1 this year features two pieces of drama: Magpie, and Waiting for Wifi.  The programme describes Waiting for Wifi as a “comedic” piece that follows the protagonist, Maggie, as she travels through tropical South America with the goal of making a successful travel blog. The catch, “Maggie is an agoraphobic failed Journalism graduate hiding in her bedroom in Rathmines for the past year…”

Drama is not the only type of theatre that features in the festival. Pine the Pilcrow in Block 28 is a music and movement piece, to launch the group’s EP. By contrast, the second piece in Block 28 is described as a “physical comedy.”

 The festival also stages social commentaries. Block 31 features an interactive piece called Rape HaHa! which invites the audience to “examine the transcript and decide if rape is ever a joke.”

Aside from these examples, there are many more pieces to experience at the Smock Allies: Scene + Heard festival this year. The full programme can be found on www.smockalley.com.

The festival runs from February 13th until March 3rd.