New Irish Writing Bursary Recipients 2021

After the successful bursary programme of 2020, we decided to re-open the programme this year to promote new Irish writing. The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is delighted to announce the eleven recipients of the New Irish Writing Bursary 2021 programme. We received 29 submissions, and would like to thank all the playwrights for sending in their work.
After closing the submissions on the bank holiday of May, the day we usually kick off our festival, our Artistic Director, Brian Merriman, has worked tirelessly to read all the plays and select the bursary recipients.

Gerry Sinnott Bursary

Maxine by David O’Brien

A play about male vulnerability and what happens if it’s exploited by someone who has chosen hatred as their modus operandi. Thynne Davis runs a course for disenfranchised men to become ‘manlier’ through his acting workshop by embodying famous ‘masculine’ characters. However his irresponsible rhetoric radicalises those involved and has disastrous consequences.

Masc by David O Brien

A play exploring loyalty, legacy and the inseparable ties of family. Trapped and made infamous by the literary diaries of the lover she murdered, Maxine decides to carry out a plan to reclaim her girlfriend and destroy those who damaged her legacy. 

A spectacular life demands a spectacular death.

Amy Dalton Bursaries

Half of Nothing by Ella Skolimowski

Yaretsi is at that awkward age: their testicles have descended, but their periods still haven’t started. Sex ed class isn’t helping them feel any less worried. Yaretsi begins to suspect they might be a man. But that’s impossible – no one is a man, or a woman; gender is a spectrum. Anyone who claims otherwise threatens the stability of this genderless utopia. Failed by their parents, teachers and the courts, Yaretsi takes drastic action to live in the body he wants.




Suicide Pact by Jason Goodwin-Tully

Two strangers meet on a bridge one night and strike up an unlikely friendship after making a pact to kill themselves. As they share their stories, will the different paths that led them to the bridge that night and their newfound friendship be enough to save them both?






Dublin LGBT Pride Bursaries

The Dwyer Scandal by Robert Downes

A murder investigation is launched into the suspicious death of the minister for Education. Rumours are flying about the conduct of Minster Dwyer. A married man, a family man, found dead at a gay sex party with drugs in his system. What does this mean for the government, can they survive another scandal? What does it mean for the people involved? That is a matter for the courts, first we need to find out the whole story.





Stripes by Marcus Bateson

Stripes is trying to do post-graduate life right. Unpaid Internship in a hipster magazine – check. Tiring barista job earning minimum wage – check. Paying ridiculously high rent – check. Avoiding feelings of abandonment with meaningless and regular Grindr hookups – check. Stripes is a one act play which delves unromantically into the struggles and realities of being gay and in your early twenties in Dublin – crafting tragic events with a dark humour as it explores themes of mental health, queer loneliness and grief.





The Changing Room by Eveanna O’Meara and Aoife O’Beirne


It’s only 11 a.m. in Marks and Spencer’s changing room but a lot is already happening in those cubicles. Bra shopping isn’t fun when Lorna’s breasts are trying to kill her. Peggy thinks she needs parachutes not a sports bra to hold hers up because gravity isn’t kind when you’re 76 years of age! Charlotte has a new partner, she always thought she liked boys until she kissed a girl and liked it! Shauna needs a nursing bra, and possibly a paternity test. And Paula , the shop assistant well her

mind is somewhere else, she’s just turned 50 and can’t stop thinking about becoming a swinger, she just needs to persuade her husband Eddie to have sex with other women! A lot of things are changing for them all, but will that change come at a cost and what if it all goes tits up!



The Death of Me by Sean Denyer

Susanne has a great life, a job she loves, a fantastic Polish wife and a son she adores, to say nothing of a gay ex-husband and his partner with whom she has made a rainbow family to be proud of. But during make-up sex her wife, Magda, a lump in her breast is discovered, and her life may never be the same again. ‘The Death of Me’ explores one woman’s cancer journey, one which will redefine all her significant relationships, but more importantly force herself to reflect on a very difficult question. What is it I want out of life?




Terrence McNally Bursaries

The Talk by Jonathan Hughes

Inspired in part by my own coming out story, THE TALK is a short comedy about the conversation that takes place between father and son, after a domineering unionist father walks in on his son in bed with a man. But, you see, when Dennis Foster walks in on his son, Dennis Foster is dressed in full IRA paramilitary gear. His secret life as a republican freedom-fighter has just been outed to his staunch protestant son. During the “talk” that follows indiscretions are revealed and old secrets come to light as acceptance and forgiveness are begged for.

Just don’t tell Mam about any of this…



Biding My Time by Tighearnan Noonan

After finally finding acceptance within himself and his loved ones, a man struggles with the restrictions a new culture brings as he enters a new life with his partner.






Long Distance by Katherine O Donnell

Long Distance is set in the mid 1980s in a Cork city domestic hallway when telephone answering machines were still a novelty. The play features a young lesbian and her older sister and how they triumph in stopping the aggressive phonecalls of a disgruntled ex-lover. 






The Last Night by Benjamin Resande

Gerard and Anthony have bumped into each other after many many years. There is a lot of water “under the bridge”. We encounter them both as Gerard makes a short trip to visit Anthony at his Turkish coastal holiday home to meet up, chat about old times, get to know each other again. It’s the last night of the trip. One last night.