Dublin Fringe Festival: FAIR BALL T'YIS: A Football Opera by Het KIP presented by CAMPO

The timing couldn't be more fortuitous. The week before Dublin take on Mayo in the All Ireland Senior Football Final in Croke Park, real life GAA fans take the starring role in Campo/Het Kip's football 'opera', immersing us in the atmosphere and antics of Hill 16 on match day.

Placing the audience on the stage, 50+ fans of the boys in blue flood into the house seats, decked out in the capital's colours, making explicit the distinctly theatrical role of spectators in the sport. Uniformly attired, they express, as one, the thoughts of the everyday people of the city as their gladiators do battle on the pitch, previous All Ireland matches against Kerry and Meath playing out on a screen behind our heads.

Like early choruses, these supporters communicate through song to show solidarity, to rally spirits or to express appreciation for what's been done. They chant and exaggerate appearance, plastering paint across their faces and wearing novelty wigs, to intimidate the opposition, their own and the God-like referee whom they love to blaspheme. There's even a touch of the Broadway chorus to proceedings as they break out the choreography.

There are moments when the show can test your endurance. The repetitive banter of half-time and a prolonged period of jumping up and down drag on and make little impact.

But that ardent sense of belonging that comes with being a sports fan is well captured, especially when the group freezes and we get solitary tales of sacrifice, of the lineage and tradition that has kept both sport and theatre alive for centuries.

Star rating: ★★★★



  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: FAIR BALL T'YIS: A Football Opera by Het KIP presented by CAMPO

11-15 September, 2013

Produced by Het KIP presented by CAMPO
In Samuel Beckett Theatre