A drag queen from Dublin has been making headlines around the world over the last couple of weeks. The issue that kicked off the controversy was gay rights, but now the debate has morphed into nothing less than a battle for free speech in Ireland.
The tradition of the noble call is an old one from the days when the only entertainment was the craic you made yourself. Everyone had a party piece, a song, a dance, a recitation, a piece of music to offer. Thus, the recent Abbey Theatre production of The Risen People, a play about the famous Dublin Lock Out in 1913, solicited responses in the tradition of the noble call from different people after each performance. Last week, the performer they called on was Rory O’Neill, who performs as “Ireland’s Most-Fabulous Drag Queen” Panti Bliss. Read the rest of this entry »