'Fragile' by Aaron Rodgers, presented as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

'Fragile' by Aaron Rodgers, presented as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.

As the Gay Theatre Festival goes, we’re in familiar territory with Fragile. Aaron Rogers’ play is essentially a tale of a young man coming out to his family and friends, and wrestling with the inevitable affairs of the heart.

The action takes place on a raised, slightly staggered stage in the Cobalt café. The three actors who form the cast dip between dialogue and direct address. While everyone has a part to play, the focus is on protagonist Nick (Grindel) while so-called ‘Boy’ (McCarthy) and ‘Girl’ (Kemperman) are there to primarily relate his story, occasionally amplifying his words as a trio.

Nick is especially vivacious in his delivery, although in the intimate space, there are times where he could exercise a little more restraint. Kemperman has the unfortunate task of spreading her legs to shout “pussy” and “vagina” on two separate instances, although she prevents this from being our parting memory by being sassy and confident throughout.

As the action proceeds, an apple is passed around the cast, and if the poor hygiene doesn’t irk, the biblical symbolism just might. Words are intercut with a snappy sound track of pop tunes, although the actors tend to coolly dance rather than sing along.

Rogers is the youngest playwright presenting his work at the festival, and along with the company he started this year, deserves to be commended for this. His play has warm, fun moments that many will enjoy. However, the writing needs more work in terms of substance and structure. One might have expected the programmers to notice that the play wasn’t ready for a public performance just yet, certainly not at €15 per ticket. A staged reading would have been the most appropriate format for the piece in its current state, giving the fledging writer and his play the opportunity to reach their potential.

Fintan Walsh is a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Drama, Trinity College Dublin. He is ITM’s staff writer.



  • Review
  • Theatre

Fragile by Aaron Rogers

4 - 8 May, 2010

Produced by I Don’t Care Productions
In Cobalt Café, Dublin 1

Directed by Aaron Rogers and Roisin Watson

With: Denis Grindel, Janna Kemperman and Fergus McCarthy

Produced by I Don’t Care Productions as part of the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival: